As I have said in the past, law firm layoffs are more than just gossip. These are our friends and colleagues, and I want to send the regards of The Legal Watercooler to our personal friends and everyone else who have been caught up in the layoffs at Duane Morris.
From Incisive Media, (nee American Lawyer Media, which is a MUCH better name, but not the focus of this post) Duane Morris Cuts Marketing, Business Development Staff:
The firm, which has about 650 attorneys, now has a marketing and business development team of 30 to 35 people, after eliminating seven managers and staff and hiring three more senior executives in the past few months, said Ed Schechter, the firm’s chief marketing officer.
At Duane Morris, cost-cutting was a “secondary” consideration, with the firm primarily interested in building up a more experienced and leaner team, Schechter said in an interview.
I am a capitalist plain and simple. If your firm has hit a rough patch, and what firm hasn’t, I would hope that you would at least be open and honest about your layoffs. Isn’t that what Cadwalader is doing?? And, they’re getting off pretty easy by the legal gossip blogs for it, except for the whole mold in the $6 million house. By clouding the layoffs in anything other than firm economics you are tainting the careers of good, honest, dependable and loyal staff members.
Here, let me say that again in case you missed it:
By clouding the layoffs in anything other than firm economics you are tainting the careers of good, honest, dependable and loyal staff members.
No one wakes up one day and decides to layoff 18% of their staff. Unless there is a new Sheriff in town cleaning house, when have layoffs been about anything other than cost-cutting? Oh, I know, let’s blame it on InterAction, that panacea of a product:
The creation of a client-relations management system in recent years has allowed for the trimming the staff, he said. Schechter doesn’t expect additional cuts, he said.
“Now that our systems are in place and being utilized every day by our lawyers, we’re able to respond quickly and effectively and to do it with a leaner organization,” Schechter said.
Technology does not free up my time. Technology just allows me to get away from my desk since I no longer have to focus my time and energy updating mailing lists or recreating the wheel on an RFP. I can actually walk around and strategize with the partners.
I have lived through law firm layoffs. I have lived through culling by “performance,” when it’s really just a layoff. There is a right way and a wrong way of handling it. As marketers, we know spin when we see it, write it, or when we read it between the lines.