We received over 1,400 responses to last Wednesday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on layoffs, which is slightly more than the number of attorneys actually laid off in last week’s Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Even so, roughly 70% of the respondents who hadn’t already been laid off said that they were at least a little bit afraid of joining their colleagues on the breadline.
And very few respondents thought their law firms were doing much to help avoid a layoff:
* About 19% of respondents said their firms were letting associates in slow practices keep their hours up by doing some work supporting the busier practices.
* But only 9% thought their firm would actually let them transfer from a slow practice to a busy one.
* And only 2% thought their firm would let them relocate to another office to find work.
* Similarly, only 2% said their firm was letting associates go part-time.
As lack of work gives way to lack of a job, firms’ support mechanisms for the downsized are looking a bit slim:
* Only 16% of respondents said their firm was providing ample notice to terminated associates, so they could find a new job.
* Only 15% said their firm was leaving laid off associates’ bios on the firm website while they looked for work.
* Only 4% of respondents said their firm was helping associates find positions with clients or with non-profits.
* Roughly 5% of respondents said individual partners at their firm were calling around to try to help associates find new jobs.
* 9% said their firm was making a career consultant available to the downsized.
More than a quarter of respondents, 26%, said their firm wasn’t doing anything to help associates deal with, or avoid, a layoff, and 35% of respondents said they didn’t know.
A few thoughts from the commentariat, after the jump.
As the commenters put it:
They are letting associates go with two weeks notice and two weeks severance. It is getting weird around here.
They lie about the real reasons you were let go. No work.
They made repeated claims to help laid off associates find employment but they haven’t done ANYTHING.
They told me that, “Considering your credentials,” I had nothing to worry about. It’s been 2 months and I’ve had one interview.
So, support’s looking a little soft on the firm front. But is there anything associates can do to help themselves?
We’ll report those results next week.