Lateral hires at Duane Morris brought extra legal assistants to firm, spurring layoffs

Duane Morris says the firm has hired around 42 partners and counsel in the last two years, many of whom brought their legal assistants with them.

The result was overstaffing and the need to lay off 17 legal assistants, Above the Law reports.

“Duane Morris does appear to be in expansion mode,” Above the Law says. “The firm just opened an office in Myanmar.” The Myanmar press release is here.

A Duane Morris spokesperson gave this statement to Above the Law. “We eliminated 17 legal assistant positions (secretary and paralegal) across our 25 offices in order to get our ratios back in line with our previous levels. Our numbers had gotten out of alignment due to our hiring of lateral attorneys—some 42 partners and counsel in the last two years alone. Many of those brought legal assistants with them, and the ratio has been compounded by very low turnover in our legal assistant ranks. The individual decisions were based on merit and not length of service. Our continual investment throughout in technology and the high quality of our professional and administrative staff made this an appropriate and good business decision for the firm.”

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