Latham & Watkins is laying off an additional 190 associates and 250 staff. Citing the deepening recession, Chairman Robert Dell told the American Lawyer on Friday, “The health of the global economy is likely to remain poor this year and so staffing levels have to be better aligned with client needs.”

As of February 18, Law Shucks Layoff Tracker has accounted for more than 4,500 jobs lost in the legal industry, including the casualties of Black Thursday. One of New Jersey’s largest firms, Lowenstein Sandler, announced last Thursday it would cut 21 attorneys and 32 staffers, and rescinded 3 associate hires. We will see more of this before the end of the first quarter as firms struggle to make Darwinian decisions that strive to protect the profits per equity partner:

  1. Firing and freezing.
  2. Skin in the game.
  3. The urge to merge.
  4. Cherry-picking.
  5. Hopping laterals.
  6. Dissolve.

For details, read my article, “Managing the winter of our discontent” in today’s issue of NJesq online.