Biglaw, Layoffs, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Severance, Staff Layoffs, Technology

Voluntary Buyout Watch: McKenna Longs To Lower Headcount

Say hello to ‘Buyout Box,’ which we use in lieu of ‘Layoff Lady’ when covering voluntary retirement programs.

This past spring, McKenna Long & Aldridge made it into the Am Law 100, the nation’s 100 largest law firms by revenue. McKenna achieved this feat by posting an impressive 23 percent jump in gross revenue.

Now that it’s in the big leagues, McKenna is following the lead of other Biglaw firms by trying to get smaller (and more efficient). Like so many other top firms, it seeks to reduce its secretarial staff through voluntary buyouts….

We heard reports of a voluntary retirement program at McKenna Long late last week. We reached out to the firm, which provided this statement through a spokesperson:

We recently introduced a firmwide secretarial support model to further increase service levels to clients. Under the new model, we will build on the secretarial team concept that we have successfully implemented on a limited basis and expand it to offices firmwide. The team concept requires fewer secretaries overall, and we will be soliciting interest from our secretarial staff in a voluntary departure package. The firm remains strong and we are implementing this latest firmwide initiative to take advantage of technological innovations while providing greater opportunity for our secretaries to advance their careers — both of which help us realign our resources for the ultimate benefit of our clients.

This reminds me a bit of how legal technology is changing the world of document review. Technology makes the process more efficient and less expensive for clients, and it improves the careers of the folks who do it, but it does reduce the total number of available jobs.

If your firm is reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs or stealth layoffs or buyouts, let us know. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477). Thanks.

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