To balance out word of the robust O’Melveny bonuses, here’s some bad news out of California. Earlier this week, Gunderson Dettmer (boy I miss “ad”venture capital) laid off a number of junior associates. As veterans of the heady dot-com days may recall, Gunderson put itself on the map back in 1999 by leading the charge to $125,000 starting salaries.
Gunderson did not respond to multiple requests for comment, made yesterday and today, so we don’t have an official number of new people looking for work. But two sources claim that the firm laid off half of its first-year class (five out of ten associates) on Monday, plus an additional but unknown number of more senior attorneys. These layoffs are, according to a tipster, “on top of performance-related attrition / dismissals throughout the fall.”
Some of those laid off this week were stub first-years, i.e., class of 2008 from law school. As Chris Rock might say, “here today, gone today.”
More after the jump.
I can’t really fathom how it must feel to show up at a new job in September, only to be let go before Christmas. I’ll let one of our many tipsters explain:
We’d only been there for two months and had been sold on the notion of a smaller, gentler, more caring firm. Guess not. Now we’re faced with the doubly daunting task of finding jobs as a first year stub associate — in this economy.
[T]he firm fired all of the Asian first years, and two of the three first-year women, and one of the second-year women. I don’t think that Gunderson made their decisions strictly along racial or gender lines, but the fact that they kept all of the white men, while clearing out the minorities and women, is somewhat troubling. However, given the preexisting dearth of minorities and women at the firm, perhaps it is not surprising.
Because the firm hasn’t commented, we can’t know what justification they are offering for hiring people and then firing those same people within a few months. We assume “horrible planning” must be part of that answer.
So what happens now?
So what happens now?
You’ll get by you always have before,
Don’t ask … anymore.