Incisive Media

Legal recession 2009.jpgToday’s National Law Journal takes an interesting look a the mental and emotional health of recently laid off attorneys. Quite obviously, people lose a lot more than a paycheck when they lose their job:

For the first time in their lives, many of these lawyers are struggling with a profound feeling of failure. And while they acknowledge that their troubles are just a part of the jobless scene nationwide, such perspective provides little comfort for these high achievers who are grappling with a loss of purpose and direction.

It’s important to keep perspective during these tough times. We are talking about temporary setbacks, not ultimate failures. But even “temporary” depression is difficult to deal with:

In October, [Scott] Chait was let go from New York’s Wagner Davis, where his work focused on real estate transactions. A 2006 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he is collecting unemployment and has moved in with his parents in New Jersey. Without providing specific numbers, Chait, 31, said he is burdened with “a full debt load.” Rigorous workouts help keep his spirits up, he said. “It feeds the need inside me.”

He describes himself as competitive, with a “Type A” personality, and said that critical to his daily routine is not sleeping in. He spends much of his day looking for jobs on employment Web sites. He also goes to his synagogue every morning. “I get a lot of positive enforcement,” he said.

Are there good coping mechanisms out there unemployed attorneys should be looking at? A psychologist weighs in after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Therapy Session”

Orrick logo.JPGAmLaw is out today with a carnage top ten. They list the firms that have conducted the deepest layoffs by percentage of total associates.

Orrick leads the way, its two rounds of layoffs (in November and on Tuesday) nailed nearly 20% of the firm’s associates.

But is Orrick’s position in the top spot a little unfair? There is every indication that Orrick tied every single one of its layoffs to the economic crisis. Many firms (most firms?) simple cannot say the same. Take a firm like Latham, which ranks fifth on AmLaw’s list, laying off just over ten percent of its associates last week. But the 190 attorneys cut last week doesn’t take into account the stealth layoffs we’ve discussed. The firm has still not directly denied these “stealth” moves to Above the Law, despite our numerous inquiries.

The whole performance based or “stealth” layoff question reminds me of the great debate going on in Major League Baseball over performance enhancing drugs. Everybody is a suspect because so few people will admit the obvious.

More from the layoff list after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: A Top Ten List, Some Things We Missed, Other Sundries”

Publishing industry layoffs bailout.JPGWe’ve been reporting extensively on lawyer layoffs, but it’s important to remember that a downturn in the legal profession ripples through many other fields and careers. Today’s sad news comes from our friends at Incisive Media, publisher of well-known brands like American Lawyer magazine and the National Law Journal. Incisive media released this statement about its recent cuts:

As has been reported in trade outlets, Incisive Media eliminated 42 positions last week. These layoffs were distributed across positions in both business and news departments in the entire company’s North American units, which includes 31 legal and real estate publications, as well as our events group.

As you know, these are extremely difficult economic times for all media organizations and we deeply regret the loss of many valuable employees who have contributed much to Incisive. Unfortunately, every media company is facing issues similar to ours, as digital publishing rewrites the rules and economics of our business.

The cuts represent roughly 4% of Incisive Media’s overall staff.

Once we get through bailing out the banks and the automakers and people who can’t afford their mortgages, can we get some federal money for the publishing industry?

“Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”

Media Crack [Gawker]

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