I figure that every new person that gets laid off is just a new recruit on the student loan bailout bandwagon. Sure, the shrinks out there would call that my “coping mechanism,” but you can’t start a revolution when everybody is well-fed and content.
The newest foot soldiers come from Hunton & Williams. The firm has laid off 87 people today: 23 attorneys, 64 staff. Hunton & Williams managing partner, Wally Martinez, confirmed the news to Above the Law:
Today, we reduced approximately 23 associate and counsel positions and 64 staff positions in our U.S. offices. The reductions are spread among most of our teams and offices.
AmLaw Daily has this report from Mr. Martinez:
“We conducted our own internal stress test,” says Martinez, adding that the lack of associate attrition was also a catalyst. “We’re quite late getting to the layoff table, but the economic situation is a lot more prolonged and deeper than we had expected.”
Hunton indicated that these were economic layoffs. But tipsters report that individual laid off associates are being told something different:
My colleague … was not allowed to use the word layoff and the departure is being considered a resignation (in order to get a severance package).
I don’t know a lot of people who have involuntarily resigned. I suppose it’s possible, but it sounds like the colleague either got “laid off,” or needs to get themselves to an exorcist immediately.
Good luck to all the people laid off from Hunton today. Welcome to bandwagon, there is plenty of room left.
Read the full Hunton & Williams statement after the jump.
HUNTON & WILLIAMS — STATEMENT — LAYOFFS
Today, we reduced approximately 23 associate and counsel positions and 64 staff positions in our U.S. offices. The reductions are spread among most of our teams and offices. We did not come to this very difficult decision lightly. We have, over the past many months, taken aggressive steps to manage our expenses with a principal goal being to avoid across the board layoffs. While the firm remains financially strong, the prolonged nature of this economic downturn, its depth, and its impact on the demand for legal services, has caused us to conclude that we must take this additional step in order to better align our capacity with present and anticipated client needs. The affected attorneys and staff are talented individuals who have made valuable contributions to the firm. We are dedicated to doing whatever we can to help them with their transition.
Hunton & Williams Cuts 23 Attorneys, 64 Staff Members [AmLaw Daily]
Earlier: Student Loan Bailout: The Choice of a New Generation
Prior ATL coverage of law firm layoffs