Earlier this month, we reported on staff layoffs in the Los Angeles and Dallas offices of Jones Day. Now we’re hearing about additional layoffs at the firm, which raise the question: Could staff layoffs at JD perhaps be a firm-wide phenomenon, even if the firm only confesses to what it’s confronted with?
Yesterday the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Jones Day cut an unspecified number of non-lawyer employees in its Cleveland office. The firm cited the old “technology allows us to be more efficient” rationale, which has been widely invoked by law firms when they cut stuff:
[T]he 117-year-old firm issued a statement saying that “universal adoption of smart phones, voicemail and email enables (and requires) lawyers to be more self-sufficient,” reducing the need to have as many support staff to perform duties now done directly by lawyers.
“Although we deeply regret the need for this action, these changes preserve our ability to best serve clients and remain one of the leading global law firms,” the company said.
Jones Day — which has tooted its own horn in the past, despite also boasting of its discretion and understatement as a firm — couldn’t resist using these staff layoffs as a chance for even more self-aggrandizement….
Instead of just expressing regret about the staff layoffs, the firm had to whip out the pom-poms and cheer for itself. It told the Plain Dealer:
“While the entire legal industry has seen radical shifts, we continue to hire additional lawyers to meet client demands. We have also kept our traditional summer and on-campus recruiting programs, and are poised for additional growth,” said Lyle Ganske, partner-in-charge of the Cleveland office, in a statement.
Easy there, Jones Day. Why not wait until your “rightsizing” process is complete, before talking about “additional growth”? Who do you think you are — Latham?
Of course, in fairness to JD, it’s just one of many law firms that have resorted to layoffs during these tough times. In her Plain Dealer piece, reporter Janet Cho also includes a helpful round-up of other Cleveland law firm layoffs. Check it out here.
If you have more details on what went down at Jones Day in Cleveland, including an estimate of the number of staffers affected, or if you have information about layoffs at any other JD offices, please email us (subject line: “Jones Day layoffs”). Thanks.
Jones Day cuts unspecified number of Cleveland workers [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Jones Day Lays Off More Staffers, But Is ‘Poised for Additional Growth’ [ABA Journal]