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Job Hunt Could be Tough for Laid-Off Cadwalader Lawyers

Posted Jul 31, 2008 6:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Legal recruiters have some advice for the 96 lawyers laid off yesterday from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Be ready to change your practice area or be ready to relocate.

Ninety of the lawyers who lost their jobs were in Cadwalader's real estate and securitization practices, areas that are hard hit by the subprime meltdown.

The Am Law Daily spoke to legal recruiters who said the market for lawyers with expertise in mortgage-backed securities is tight right now. “There is no way every lawyer that was doing that work 18 months ago can find that work next month,” said Carey Bertolet, a legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search.

These lawyers will be competing for jobs with some of their law firm counterparts laid off in January. Out of 35 who lost their jobs at Cadwalader at that time, 10 are still looking for work, according to the Am Law Daily.

Job hunters may be able to find work in general finance or corporate practices. Some firms that have been willing to hire structured finance lawyers in these areas include Arnold & Porter, Morrison & Foerster, Hunton & Williams, and Katten Muchin Rosenman, recruiters told the publication.

Said Margie Grossberg, a legal recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa: “People will land on their feet, but it is going to take a bit of time, and people may be forced to reinvent themselves.”

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