Friday, March 06, 2009

Law Firm Layoffs dominate the ABA Journal Coverage

The headline in the ABA Journal online edition is March Mayhem: Law Firm Layoffs in One Week Total Nearly 1,500. Click on the title to this post to read the full article, which echoes the drumbeat of the online blogs I linked to below. They list the big firms and number the layoffs -- focusing always on the lawyer layoffs, rather than staff, of course. But it's sobering that the ABA Journal has begun to pick it up and focus coverage on the carnage. There are three related stories linked on the same page, covering January and February layoffs as well, and looking at the job market for lawyers in Canada. (look out!)

The glut on the market of experienced attorneys will make it tough going for graduating law students, I worry. The posts I linked to yesterday includes mentions of firms withdrawing offers, or, less, awfully, postponing the start dates for their new hires, to save money.

Timing makes so much difference in people's lives. What year you graduate, for instance.... A few years ago, firms were vying hard to hire quality associates and driving up the salaries. Of course, they also were expecting their pound of flesh in exchange -- we began to hear stories of associates being expected to bill nearly all their waking hours.

I suppose this, too will pass. But what will happen to the students who graduate in these years?

1 comment:

Marie S. Newman said...

We are hearing reports of down-sized summer associate programs, of rescinded permanent and summer offers, and of students competing with experienced attorneys for jobs. It is a tough time to graduate. I don't know what to say to students, although I do tell them to be flexible in terms of where they are willing to live and what kind of law they practice.