Life for Lawyers after Layoffs
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Lawyers are not very often referred to as refugees. However times are tough in the economic times of lawyers as well. Major Law firms have been notorious for laying- off more than 1400 lawyers. This is not a surprise to most people because everyone has been experiencing layoffs around the country. However, landing a position as a lawyer is not as easy when 1,400 of your peers have been laid-off as well. Most of the layoffs of lawyers were from major law firms that simply closed their doors.

Fortunately, most of those lawyers have found new jobs and are not waiting around for employment anymore. Eighty eight percent is a large number of employees that have found jobs. Some of the lawyers who were laid off went on to work for even better firms. Reports have shown that of the 1400 that were laid off—have found major positions with 250 of the nation’s largest firms.


“The vast majority of those attorneys have since landed new jobs, according to a study by Emory University business professor Christopher Rider. He tracked the employment of 1,426 attorneys left jobless by the dissolutions of Heller Ehrman; Thelen; Thacher Proffitt Wood; WolfBlock; Dreier; and Morgan & Finnegan. By reviewing resources including LinkedIn, Martindale-Hubbell and other online directories, Rider confirmed that 88% found jobs.”

A lot of these lawyers did get help finding employment. “Alumni networks were most useful in helping partners find new jobs, the study determined. For associates, working with the right partner often was the critical factor in finding new employment.”

Most of these lawyers found that networking was the best way to find an open position. This often works for more than just lawyers. A lot of people these days are finding employment through networking and talking to others.

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“The results of this study indicate that prior education and employment network contacts do indeed facilitate employee-employer matching but that only contacts made during prior employment experiences are likely to help individuals attain positions of greater intraprofessional status.”

While some of these lawyers were burned by their former law firm bridges; a lot were able to move on to bigger and better things. While associate lawyers may not be scoring big with alumni contacts, “big wigs” are finding more success with that job route. A study has shown more details in this matter:

“To Rider’s surprise, his analysis found that alumni networks were more important for senior attorneys than for associates. That might be a result of associates depending on partners to bring them along to a new firm, rather than finding new employment on their own, he said.”

In these tough economic times, lawyers seem to find a job in any way possible. If you know someone who can help you land a position, that is great– but networking also seems to be a major key factor in the life after a lawyer layoff.


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