A former Mayer Brown associate, Venus Yvette Springs, has filed a complaint against the firm. She alleges Mayer Brown discriminated against her and eventually fired her in 2008.
Springs was an associate in the real estate group of Mayer Brown, Charlotte. In her complaint, she claims that the head of the group, Frank Arado, said that he would make her a partner with the firm as recently as March 2008. But in May 2008, she was informed that she would be fired. She was officially terminated in September of 2008. The heart of her discrimination claim seems to be this paragraph:
In a statement obtained by Above the Law, Mayer Brown strenuously denied the claims:
Mayer Brown has not yet been served with the complaint filed by former employee Yvette Springs. However, based on our current review, we believe her claims have no merit. We will defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. Consistent with our policy of not commenting on personnel matters or pending litigation, we have nothing further to say.
Additional details after the jump.
Springs claims that after she was fired in September, her work was taken over by a Caucasian attorney.
It is of course possible that Mayer Brown’s emphasis on diversity simply “gave way” to the crushing economic realities of the Charlotte legal market. Above the Law reported that there were significant layoffs at Mayer Brown in November. Charlotte and New York were hit hard when the firm let go of 33 attorneys just before Thanksgiving.
But Springs has other claims:
According to the complaint, Springs was “forced to take a job that paid significantly less
and was outside her field of work.”
At least she has a job. Maybe being let go by Mayer in September was a blessing in disguise. In addition to the 33 lawyers let go in November, Mayer Brown fired 135 people — including 45 lawyers — in April. There are a lot of people that are finding out that “unemployment benefits” also pay significantly less and are outside their field of expertise.
Springs v Mayer Brown.pdf [PDF]
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Mayer Brown Update
Nationwide Layoff Watch: 135 Down At Mayer Brown