The WSJ Law Blog interviewed Latham & Watkins chairman, Bob Dell. Let’s just jump straight to the money quote:

Associates at the firm still aren’t fully occupied, according to Dell.

But that, he said, is due in part to the fact that the firm was judicious last year with its layoffs, holding on to more lawyers than it needed to service the recessionary level of demand for its services.

Judicious? On the off chance that soon-to-be 2Ls have the research capabilities of a goldfish, click here, or here, and then tell me what you think about the word “judicious.”

If that represents judicious layoffs, I can’t imagine what kind of sick nightmare Dell would call “aggressive” layoffs.

Oh, but there are other problems with that statement…

I guess Dell was trying to signal to clients that, despite everything they’ve heard about Latham’s layoffs, the firm didn’t ruin its ability to serve clients. Sure, Latham might as well have unleashed a plague on its associate ranks, but Dell wants people to know that there were still enough of them around to handle big cases.

And it’s true. Surviving Latham associates that we’ve spoken to constantly talk about being “slammed,” “very busy,” and “wishing for death.” If you didn’t get laid off by Latham, you’re working your tail off.

But, in case you missed it, Dell isn’t satisfied with how hard his associates are working: “Associates at the firm still aren’t fully occupied, according to Dell.”

I have to ask again, what kind of nightmare scenario is Dell dreaming up where associates are “fully occupied”? Do fully occupied associates get bathroom breaks, or is Dell sad that there haven’t been enough requests for the Latham executive bedpan?

Really, the above statements tell you all you need to know about the life of a Latham associate. Latham must fully occupy your life, or you’re likely to be laid off. Judiciously, of course.

A Sit Down With Latham Chairman Bob Dell [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Latham Cuts 440 (190 Associates, 250 Staff)
Stealth Layoffs Open Thread: Latham & Watkins


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