Law Practice Management

Ropes & Gray Layoffs Are Standard 'Up or Out' Associate Reviews, Firm Says


Ropes & Gray has confirmed that it is letting go what a legal tabloid tallies as a group of about 30 associates, including at least two first-years.

However, the law firm says they are being terminated as part of a standard associate review, not for economic reasons, reports Above the Law.

“Like our peers, we have an ‘up or out’ system, so this process, as in the past, will result in the departure of some associates across all departments, primarily from the midlevel associate ranks,” the firm says in a written statement to ATL.

Although it contested some of the law blog’s claims—saying, for instance, that only two first-years were terminated, rather than the eight that ATL initially reported—the firm did not provide a total number for those let go. The firm nonetheless expects to have a bigger attorney roster in 2009 than in 2008, the statement says, and it describes overall attrition as likely to be “lower this year than our historical average.”

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