Goodwin Procter, a law firm, has seen a fluctuation in lateral associate hires and departures since 2020. The firm hired 646 lateral associates and lost 392, resulting in a net gain of 254 lateral associates. The daily average of lateral associate movement was one per day. The law firm also hired more than 280 first-year associates over the past two years.
In 2021, Goodwin Procter had a successful year, with profits per equity partner averaging $3.69 million, increasing total hours worked by 27%, and a 10.7% rise in headcount. However, the associate attrition rate during the same year was over 20% annually. Over 80% of the lateral hires were in transaction practices, which faced a decline in demand in the latter half of 2022.
In January 2023, the law firm announced layoffs for 5% of its timekeepers and non-lawyer professionals. Some laid-off employees may not be reflected which depends on online profiles that may have remained active for several months.
Joe Altonji, founding principal of LawVision and a firm management consultant, suggested that some associates joined the firm with short-term intentions. He stated that some associates who switched from a 1,800-hour firm to a 2,800-hour firm may have only been willing to endure the job for a limited period.
Mark Santiago of SB2 Consultants, another firm management consultant, opined that the attrition rate could have reflected the working conditions during heavy deal work.
In conclusion, Goodwin Procter has experienced both gains and losses in lateral associate hires and departures since 2020. Despite a successful year in 2021, the firm also faced an associate attrition rate of over 20% and layoffs affecting 5% of its timekeepers and non-lawyer professionals in 2023. The reasons for the high turnover rate of lateral associates are still being discussed among industry experts.
Goodwin Procter averaged gain or loss of 1 lateral associate each day since 2020