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Biglaw Firms May Be ‘Reluctant’ When It Comes To Layoffs During The Next Recession


3D render of a dollar sign disloving into dust.I think law firms are going to be very reluctant to shed capacity as they did in 2007, 2008 or 2009 because it left them with a bubble in their leveraged attorney population—a bubble in their associate ranks that was hard to close. So I think they’re going to be very careful about that. But there will likely be some absorption of this weakened demand environment, in the form of the already-increasing associate turnover we’re seeing, and just letting some of that run off without being replaced.

— Michael McKenney, a senior client adviser and business development officer at Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, in comments given to the American Lawyer concerning the recession that may be looming and what Biglaw firms may do to avoid a staffing catastrophe in the future. In fact, some firms are considering opening up their equity partnership ranks to attract and retain talented associates during these uncertain times.


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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