It appears that the worst might possibly be over, both for the struggling global economy and the ever-increasing number of major law firms that have been laying off support staff, associates–and even partners–in record numbers.
Although law firm layoffs continue–Thursday’s tally included some 234 people let go at four well-known firms–they have slowed.
Following news of more than 3,000 law firm layoffs made between Feb. 27 and March 12, this blistering pace of earlier in the month has clearly slackened, at least for now. Since then, although there have been well over 400 additional reported law firm layoffs, that puts the total tally, in a little less than one month, close to the 3,500 mark. If earlier March mayhem had continued, the total tally for the month presumably would have been around 6,000.
That compares to rough tallies of about 2,000 law firm layoffs in February and some 1,500 in January at major firms. (A Latham & Watkins announcement in late February that the firm would be axing 190 associates and 250 staff has been counted in the March 12 total, skewing the March numbers a bit. However, some firms have confirmed layoffs but declined to give figures and others may have made “stealth” layoffs, neither of which are tallied. Hence, the overall figure for March, so far, is probably about right.)
Four law firms Thursday announced layoffs of about 234 people and another 37-plus were let go at three other firms earlier in the week (one of these law firms announced layoffs but didn’t provide specific numbers or dates).