Thursday, January 10, 2008

Here come the capital markets associate layoffs

With CMBS still off those record levels requiring large staffs, Cadwalader pulled the plug on 35 associates today, which is roughly a 5% RIF. While other firms have tried other tactics such as sabbaticals and the like, this is also often the cold harsh reality of being a big law firm associate. I nonetheless wish these people well. Having worked with CWT many times this comes as no surprise. I'm glad they did not style these as performance-based cannings, as some firms did in the past even though they were for economic reasons.

I guess announcements like this also make me glad I have my own shop, because even though I may not have a BigLaw salary anymore I still own the joint, for what it's worth. Some firms, including ones where I worked would in my opinion take the hit in partner profits first.

But that may not always be possible in these days. Such is the nature of our profession. Actually, if you want a good and interesting read about how things have changed in law firms in the fifty years, check out this wonderful piece by Abe Krash in this month's Washington Lawyer. Krash is a retired partner in Arnold & Porter (who started at that firm in 1953 when it was still Fortas, Arnold & Porter and had eleven lawyers) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown. You'll enjoy reading this story.