Layoffs, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Staff Layoffs

Staff Layoffs at K&L Gates: It’s Not The Number, It’s The Manner

KL Gates logo.JPGMultiple independent sources report that K&L Gates had a minor spate of staff layoffs late last week. One particular tipster sums up the move nicely:

In the Dallas office last week, five staff members are given the boot, very stealth-like.
Reason given: Not enough work to go around.
As the staff numbers sharply decrease, many attorneys are doing a larger portion of clerical (a/k/a non-billable tasks.
Naturally one would wonder is the time spent filling in for an ever-decreasing staff being billed to clients?

Five legal staffers isn’t necessarily front-page news, but you have to check out how K&L Gates went about this round of cuts.
“Screaming” details, after the jump.

One tipster who was there at the time when two legal secretaries were let go had a surprising eyewitness — or earwitness? — account of the cuts:

It just keeps getting better and better at K&L Gates. On Thursday in Dallas, two long time secretaries (23 and 30 years tenure) were laid off.

One of the actions took place at lunch time in an office next to the lunchroom. The people in the lunch room heard a scream and a wailing sound (which had come from the first secretary to go that day). They thought someone had passed away.

They went to the office and the firm director opened the door and said everything was OK (well, for him it was). As usual they were escorted out, not allowed to go back to their desks. Their personal belongings would be couriered to them. Sad.

K&L Gates did not respond to our inquiries about this specific situation.
But here’s a free ATL tip to law firms that want to fire support staff: Maybe it’s time to rethink the necessity of a physical escort out of the building. Our reports indicate that seeing people led out of the building makes people feel like they are in the middle of a scene from Lady and the Tramp. Not one of the happy scenes.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of K&L Gates

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