California, Layoffs, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Paralegals, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: A Double-Digit Dump

For months, if not years now, the Biglaw buzzword of choice has been “rightsizing.” The practice has infiltrated all sectors of the legal profession, even law schools. Pushing aside all the flowery BS explanations, we know what that phrase really means. There’s not enough money to go around, and whatever is left isn’t worth spending on you.

This week, yet another law firm decided that some of its employees were more expendable than others, conducting a double-digit layoff.

How many were let go, and which firm was it?

It’s none other than Downey Brand, the “well-scented law firm” that’s been consistently losing partners and associates, closing offices, and conducting subsequent staff layoffs for the past six months. This time, 17 staff members were shown the door to accommodate for the loss of 23 attorneys who’ve left since the since the beginning of the new year. All told, the firm is now down by about 30 lawyers.

Here are the details on the latest round of layoffs from the Sacramento Business Journal:

Layoffs include secretaries, paralegals and assorted staff in office services, accounting and information systems. The group was called into a conference room Wednesday afternoon for the news and information about severance. Terminations took effect at the end of the day.

Nineteen percent of Downey Brand’s staff in its Sacramento office are now gone, but not to worry, managing partner Scott Shapiro says the firm “remain[s] very busy with legal work,” which is why no lawyers were axed. In fairness, with so much attrition, they kind of need all of the lawyers they can find.

We sincerely wish those affected at Downey Brand the best of luck while they seek new opportunities.

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

Downey Brand lays off 17 staff [Sacramento Business Journal]
After lawyers exit, Downey Brand lays off 17 staff members; remaining lawyers are busy, leader says
[ABA Journal]

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