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Effects of Layoffs on Law Firms' Reputations

published September 18, 2008

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 184 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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There are several law firms that have laid off staff in the past, regardless of the effect on the firm's reputation. Various people believe that being paid a substantial severance allowance is important. This gives them a head start in looking for other jobs.
 
Effects of Layoffs on Law Firms' Reputations

Attorney jobs are unpredictable; it depends on how hard one works and the reputation of the legal firm for which one works, or has worked. There are firms that recruit individuals irrespective of their academic performance; these employees however don't stay long in these firms. There is also the contention that most of the people who have succeeded in various law firms did not necessarily get straight A's in law school. With several workers being laid off, some people have suggested that law school graduates should start looking for jobs on other continents.


Layoffs affect the reputation and financial stability of the firm, and public layoffs put a dent on the specific firm's reputation. Sometimes when you are laid off from legal jobs, getting another legal job might prove daunting. To be laid of is surely emotionally disturbing. Beyond this, after one has been laid off, he or she normally finds it hard to get another job for a period of time.

Legal firms that are laying off workers normally categorize them in terms of years of service. Those who have completed a few years on the job can be helped in finding placement in other reputable firms.

Legal careers survive in large part on credibility. Being laid off from an attorney job may affect your reputation as well as the reputation of the firm for which you had worked. There are instances when law firms offer jobs when there is a boom for specific legal services.

<<It sometimes makes sounds business sense to perform stealth layoffs. The success of this depends on the goodwill created between the employees and the management. If properly handled, a stealth layoff can be very effective in protecting a firm's reputation.

A firm that has just laid off its workers may find it hard to recruit the same level of recent law school graduates as it did previously. When joining a law firm one should look at both their short-and-long-term prospects. There are several types of jobs for attorneys. Their offers vary from one firm to the other. You should therefore carefully choose which one you want. Dreaming of one day becoming a partner in a law firm fills a lot of law school graduates with hope. To be laid off breeds despair.

Law firms sometimes only layoff workers who are not performing to the required degree. Attorney jobs are business-oriented. What you bring to the organization, including new business, is extremely important. Associates who perform excellently at their assigned duties and thereby ensure that they are forever competitive normally stay on the job longer than those who are less talented and ambitious.

Attorney jobs require significant research skills, good interpersonal skills, and excellent communication skills. Good grades at law school will ensure that you land a lucrative job with a reputable law firm. This however, doesn't guarantee you a permanent place at the organization into the foreseeable future. It is therefore prudent to engage in career advancement courses. You should seek additional professional certifications, which can engender career advancement.

Stealth layoffs as opposed to public layoffs normally give one time to adjust and look for other jobs. A typical process for a stealth layoff is that you are told relatively far from the termination date, for example, that in three months time the law firm might no longer need your services. Stealth layoffs give you the opportunity to look for other jobs and thereby reduce the total amount of time that you would be unemployed. Legal reputation is something that doesn't come overnight. Partners in a law normally build up their reputations through many years of hard work and dedication. Once the reputation of a firm is established, it can land new business more easily. This is why most firms employ the technique of stealth layoffs. It is most common among small firms that are up-and-coming. They would not like to get a bad public image from public layoffs. Layoffs normally indicate that a firm is struggling financially. This is almost never good for business.

There are firms such as Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft which lately laid off employees. They might find it difficult to employ new recruits because the reputation of the firm has been dented, but one of the managers defended the move to several employees by stating that there was a limited boom and that he needed their services to accommodate the increase in business. However, once the boom receded, the positions had to be done away with.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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