I think you’re going to see firms beginning to try and tighten up their expenses and reduce those expenses as much as they can without having to go to lawyer layoffs. I know it’s not fair to other professionals who work in law firms that they get trapped in this, but I think that’s just reality. What law firms are going to do as long as they can is avoid laying off lawyers.
I think that’s why most firms don’t want to lay off associates right now. They don’t want that pent-up demand to come flooding in and be understaffed.
— Jim Jones, director of the Georgetown University Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession, in comments given to the American Lawyer, on the most recent wave of layoffs across Biglaw, which he says are “not going to be the end of the story.” Matthew Bersani, a law firm consultant at Cliff Group said additional layoffs will depend on the state of the economy. “Law firms are reacting to the macro situation,” he said, noting that “there will be more blood on the floor” if a recession happpens.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.