The Project for Attorney Retention says reducing associate working hours will save a firm more money than cutting associate positions.
PAR is an initiative of the Center of WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and advocates for reduced hours as a way for law firms to retain attorneys, particularly women and minorities.
PAR’s Joan Williams: “Our analysis shows that flexible downsizing with balanced hours may save as much or more than layoffs. Flexible downsizing also helps firms retain their investment in high-performing attorneys and avoid certain legal risks.”
The group says layoffs are costly and can lead to lower overall billable hours. Reduced hours give firms more flexibility to respond to changing workloads, without going an expensive hiring process when business returns.