Bad News for Laid-Off Associates: BigLaw Is Shunning You, Recruiter Says

Laid-off associates looking for work may have a hard time finding a job in BigLaw, even at firms that are hiring.

Many large law firms aren’t interested, even when associates have in-demand expertise, New York recruiter Marina Sirras tells the National Law Journal. “I have heard a lot of firms say that they won’t even look at laid-off associates,” she said.

Hiring partners are also looking askance at associates who previously jumped to a different firm because “it raises questions about what prompted the move.” What’s more, some large law firms aren’t interested in paying recruiting fees to find those associates, Sirras told the publication.

The job market is showing some signs of life, though, for associates whose expertise is in the “sweet spot” of hiring demand, Sirras told the NLJ. Those that fit the bill are midlevel associates with backgrounds in restructuring, intellectual property and corporate issues. There is also some increased interest in litigation and real-estate associates.

Sirras’ advice is for laid-off associates to “reach out to the firms themselves” and to “remain open-minded” about other work opportunities, even if it’s a volunteer job or it involves a move to another city.

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