Biglaw, Layoffs, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: A Reorganization Claims More Jobs

Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s likely that law firm layoffs will resume. Earlier today, we covered a reduction in force at one firm that recently went through a merger.

As you can see from looking through our past coverage of layoffs, many of Biglaw’s biggest names have laid off lawyers and staff over the past year. Prestige and profits are no protection from the grim reaper of jobs.

Which major law firm, recently recognized by Fortune magazine and by Crain’s New York Business as a “best place to work,” will no longer be the workplace of a few dozen employees?

The firm in question is Bingham McCutchen. From the firm-wide memo from Tracee Whitley, the COO of the firm:

Since 2011, we have been working to transform Bingham’s administrative organization with an eye toward the future. We have transitioned a number of staff functions and positions to our Global Services Center in Lexington; transitioned other support staff to outsource providers, primarily DTI; and undertaken a comprehensive procurement program with Profit Recovery Partners. As a result of the efficiencies achieved through these programs, the evolution of legal practice support needs, technology advancements, and the current low-growth state of the legal industry, we are taking the following next steps:

The memo then outlines the following changes:

  • the elimination of 31 staff positions across various administrative departments;
  • movement to “a new team-based approach to the provision of secretarial support in our U.S. offices” (which many other firms have implemented); and
  • sending 22 positions in Bingham’s Revenue Management department to the firm’s Global Services Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

We’ve previously covered Bingham’s shrewd move in sending a significant number of administrative support positions down south. Given the brutally cold weather we’ve been experiencing here in the northeast, Lexington is looking more and more appealing.

But not everyone can relocate to Lexington, perhaps due to personal or professional connections to their current cities. Good luck to all the Bingham employees affected by these developments.

(Flip to the next page to read the Bingham McCutchen memo in full.)

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