Amid a technical recession and legal recruiters saying that “demand for associates no longer exceeds supply,” we’d been cautioning that outright layoffs (and perhaps stealth layoffs) may soon be on the way. Unfortunately, that has officially come to pass, with an Am Law 100 firm pushing employees out the door during a time of “transition.”
As first reported by the American Lawyer, Fish & Richardson — a firm that brought in $467,064,000 gross revenue in 2021, putting it at No. 94 in the most recent Am Law 100 ranking — has eliminated its litigation secretary role across all 14 of its offices. The firm offered this comment on the reductions:
“Recently, we internally announced our plan to evolve our litigation practice support from a traditional litigation secretary role into positions that better align with the advanced skillsets of our talent and the way we practice law today,” the firm said in a prepared statement to The American Lawyer.
“This shift supports our practice goals to meet the current needs of our internal and external clients and further defines the skillsets and expectations of our support roles,” continued the statement. “Our traditional litigation secretary role was eliminated and we transitioned those roles to other litigation practice support roles.”
Per Am Law, at least nine litigation secretaries were impacted by this move, and while some were offered other positions at Fish, the rest were let go.
We wish all those impacted by the firm’s layoffs the best of luck as they attempt to find new employment, in the legal sector or otherwise.
If your firm or organization is reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).
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Staff Layoffs at Fish & Richardson as Secretary Roles ‘Transition’ [American Lawyer]
Staci 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.