Biglaw, Layoffs, Outsourcing, Staff Layoffs, Technology

Staff Layoff Watch: O’Melveny & Myers Replaces 75 Humans With Technology

The big news this morning is bad news for the staff at O’Melveny & Myers. News started leaking out last night that the firm would be laying off 75 support staff members.

The firm has confirmed the news that was first published in The Recorder.

Approximately half the of the laid-off O’Melveny staffers will be cut outright. The other half will have the opportunity to be relocated to scenic West Virginia….

These layoffs represent the latest example of a firm outsourcing on-shore (i.e., sending work to a less expensive domestic location). Here’s the statement that O’Melveny gave to Above the Law:

Like other law firms and companies, we continue to evaluate and restructure our staff functions to reflect technology driven efficiencies and practice model changes. This restructuring, which includes the transfer of certain functions to our trusted business office services provider, Williams Lea, will result in the elimination of roughly 75 staff positions. No attorney positions are affected. We will provide financial and other support to assist the affected staff through the transition.

While no OMM attorneys were affected, I’m sure associates at O’Melveny are interested to find out that the firm is cutting so many staffers this close to bonus season. Is the firm cutting the fat in order to afford bonuses, or just cutting?

Meanwhile, the staff is understandably angry. Tipsters point out that this news comes soon after firm chairman Arthur Culvahouse’s letter extolling the virtues of OMM and celebrating the firm’s 125-year anniversary. Open note to OMM partners: don’t talk to your people about the O’Melveny “family” just days before you lay them off (or before you tell them they have to live in West Virginia).

What’s funny is that after people have forgotten about the people who lost their jobs today, OMM will probably be praised for keeping its outsourcing operations in America as opposed to sending the work offshore.

Good luck, O’Melveny staff. Hopefully you will all land on your feet.

O’Melveny Laying Off 75 Staff Nationwide [The Recorder]

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