A few days ago, Atlanta-based Alston & Bird deferred start dates for incoming associates. The associates were offered the opportunity to participate in one-year public service or pro bono fellowships. This is common practice this year when biglaw firms defer associates.
Alston & Bird announced today it is laying off 14 lawyers and 38 staff. But the lawyers are being offered an opportunity very much like the pro bono fellowships for deferred associates; and they may even be able to get their jobs back.
From the memo:
Today, we have notified 14 associates in our transactional practice areas that the demand for legal services is not sufficient to support their full-time positions. In addition, we are reducing our support personnel by 38 staff members across several of our offices…
…we have established a program to place our lawyers in legal positions with public interest initiatives, pro bono and nonprofit groups, and clients through the end of the year… [T]hese opportunities have already been identified and will include continuing benefits, reduced pay from the firm, administrative support, and the possibility that, should demand pick up by year end, we will ask them to return to Alston & Bird.
Alston & Bird LLP is the second largest law firm in Atlanta and the forty-third largest in the United States. Founded in 1893, the firm has local offices in Atlanta; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; New York City; Washington, DC; Dallas; Los Angeles, the Silicon Valley and Ventura County.