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2 More Firms Join Today’s Layoff List: Blank Rome Axes 79, Husch Cuts 62

Posted Mar 12, 2009 5:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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With news this afternoon of layoffs at two more well-known law firms, the total number of known attorney and staff terminations since Feb. 27 now tops 2,800.

Blank Rome laid off 27 associates and 52 staff members today, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal. This follows an earlier round of layoffs there in January, in which 20 lawyers and 40 staff members were told to leave.

And Husch Blackwell Sanders has terminated 17 lawyers (including some partners) and 45 staff throughout its offices, reports the Kansas City Star.

Although firm chairman Dave Fenley said more than a third of the lawyers let go were real estate attorneys, he insisted that the terminations are performance-based rather than because of the dismal economy, the newspaper reports.

"We do this every year, and most of the time we’re net up at the end of the year," Fenley tells the Star. "We have 26 kids starting in the fall and we’re hiring laterals, so we’ll probably be a little bit bigger at the end of the year than at the first of the year."

The Husch firm now has about 660 lawyers.

Not included in the 2,800 total are three other law firms that apparently are making layoffs right now, too, but haven't announced the specifics. They are Baker Botts; Proskauer Rose; and Sidley Austin.

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