Over 2500 legal jobs go as more firms slice back on staff levels
The law job layoffs just seem to get worse in the US where a slew of layoffs has been announced by three major US firms and involving cuts to over 730 law jobs, and legal support staff.
The firms, K&L Gates, Morgan Lewis and White & Case now bring total law firm layoffs in the period from the end of February to over 2,500.
March is looking like becoming the worst month ever for layoffs, notwithstanding its early days.
The 36 Associate jobs cut at K&L Gates represent nearly 5 percent of the firm’s associate force, with a further 4 percent of support staff also losing their jobs.
However the K&L Gate’s cuts are fairly modest compared with other recent law firm layoffs. In the past two weeks, Latham & Watkins trimmed its headcount by 190 attorneys and 250 staffers, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe laid off 100 attorneys and 200 staff. O’Melveny & Myers let go of 90 attorneys and 110 staffers.
But the White & Case announcement is major with plans to lay off about 200 lawyers and 200 staff, according to an internal memo first reported by legal blog Above the Law. The firm also plans to restructure its partnership and has asked some 60 percent of its incoming first-year associate class to defer their start dates until 2010.
“These measures follow a thorough, strategic review of our business, including discussions with our regional section heads, global practice leaders and office executive partners,” the memo from the firm states.
“It is clear from this review that the deterioration of the global economy will continue to affect our clients and their demand for our services for the foreseeable future.”