Law Practice Management
Last Week’s Layoffs Saved Law Firms an Estimated $100M
Posted Feb 17, 2009 7:52 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Layoffs of around 800 lawyers and legal staffers at large law firms last Thursday likely saved the firms more than $100 million collectively in annual salaries and benefits.
Legal Times came up with the number based on a legal consultant’s estimate of annual savings. Thomas Clay of Altman Weil said a large law firm can save more than $200,000 by laying off one junior associate, and more than $100,000 by laying off one nonlawyer staffer.
Eight law firms laid off 476 staffers and 317 lawyers last Thursday; Legal Times says that by the end of Friday 1,100 lawyers and staffers had been let go or asked to consider buyouts.
Savings are temporarily offset by severance packages; the typical cost can range from $3,000 to $9,000 per employee, according to Marcia Shannon of outplacement firm Shannon & Manch, the story reports.
The story listed three packages offered by law firms, using a National Law Journal story and unnamed sources to get the information. DLA Piper offered three months' salary and outplacement services; Holland & Knight offered two months' salary and outplacement; and Dechert offered two months’ salary but no outplacement help.