Jennifer Bridges – Big Law firm Goodwin Procter is apparently implementing layoffs by stealth according to reports.
The firm, which grosses over a billion dollars in revenues, is reportedly cutting associates, having already reduced staff numbers. Using ‘stealth tactics’, the firms can reduce employee numbers almost undercover where they avoid referring to cutbacks that relate to the economic situation.
Typically this will involve lawyers being given a set period to find another job. What may be more sinister is a prompt that begins with a poor performance review.
A recent report on Reddit noted –
“I am posting to let people know that I was stealthed at Goodwin Procter. Since this is obviously a tough time to be a law student or in the legal market, I want to make sure that law students/laterals have as much information as possible when choosing a firm. When I was interviewing, I was fortunate enough to choose Goodwin over other firms, and had I known the firm treated people the way they treated me, I probably would have gone elsewhere.
“Before the firm decided to stealth me, I received consistently positive performance evaluations and was given positive informal feedback. My hours were always a healthy margin above the billable hours target and were consistent with that of my colleagues. One day, very suddenly, I was told that I had performance issues and had three months to leave. The conversation made no sense to me, and I spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what I had done wrong – thinking I had inadvertently offended someone or made a giant mistake – until a coworker confided in me that the same thing happened to them. Through the grapevine I was able to figure out that this is happening throughout the firm, and it wasn’t just me.”
The stealth layoff technique hardly becomes any law firm, let alone the Big Law inhabitants who have generated massive revenues and PEP for their partners. But tough times beget ethically questionable practises, regrettably.
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