Let’s all move to Nebraska! In a week in which unemployment was up in 48 out of 50 states (plus DC), Nebraska’s unemployment dropped by 0.1%, keeping it tied with North Dakota for the lowest in the nation at 4.4% (tie goes to the state with the Championship Subdivision (formerly D-I) football program).
At the other end of the spectrum, the state with the finest football program in the nation has the highest unemployment rate: Michigan at 14.1% (Go Blue!).
Closer to home, New York’s unemployment has hit 9%, the highest rate in more than a decade due to continuing deep cuts in the financial-services industry that spins off so much legal work.
After the jump, we detail the effects that has had on law firms this week.
The biggest news of the relatively slow week was news that even Cravath, of the oh so sterling reputation, has engaged in the vile practice of stealth layoffs. Many were surprised when the firm announced last week that it had “stooped” to deferring incoming associates, so this was quite a shock. Of course, we’ve been saying for a long time now that firms have been trying to get away with it for months now – but the deferrals seem to have been the crack in the dam that brought the information pouring out.
Cravath wasn’t the only top-tier firm in the headlines this week, though. Simpson Thacher laid off approximately 20 staff – leading to some confusion on how to operate elevators and get access to the attorneys’ floors – and Paul Hastings terminated 25 staff, but some may be relocated to the firm’s LA office.
Clifford Chance is no slouch, coming in at #22 on the current Vault prestige rankings, but they’re not likely to maintain that lofty spot much longer. The firm laid off up to 10 litigation associates in New York this week, following the decimation of that practice group in the city in the wake of the core leadership team’s departure for Gibson Dunn. Clifford Chance is also in danger of losing its spot on top of the gross revenue rankings, down 5% and likely bringing the title back to the states for Skadden.
Some lofty rankings Clifford Chance does retain:
- #4 for total number of people laid off (436)
- #3 for total number of lawyers laid off (235)
- #8 for total number of staff laid off (201)
- #1 for rounds of layoffs (12)
Magic Circle peer DLA Piper (which is also ranked pretty highly on many of those lists) had its seventh round of layoffs when it let go 22 people from various Middle East offices.
As always, additional information and the final numbers for the week, month, and year can be found in the rest of this post on Law Shucks.