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Layoff Watch: Ballard Spahr, Blank Rome, Reed Smith Shed Lawyers, Staff

Posted Jun 5, 2008 6:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Three more law firms have fired or laid off employees, but only one attributed the reason to the economic downturn.

According to the Legal Intelligencer, the law firms are:

• Blank Rome, which cut nine associates after their annual reviews. Six were from Philadelphia, two were from New York and one was from Washington, D.C. They practiced in the areas of litigation, real estate finance and corporate. A spokesman denied the job cuts were layoffs and said the firm is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy.

• Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, which laid off 13 support staffers because of redundancies and efficiencies created by technology. Ballard Spahr chairman Arthur Makadon said it’s a good time to evaluate payroll given the poor economy.

• Reed Smith, which let go of 50 legal secretaries because it had too many of these staffers compared to the number of attorneys. Twenty-one of the layoffs were in Pittsburgh, where the firm hired 18 people last year to staff a 24-hour business center that serves all of Reed Smith’s offices. Its staffers’ duties include document review, handling client questions and answering the phones after hours.

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