Friday, February 13, 2009

Job Loss and the Economy

The headlines screamed 800 Law Firm Jobs Lost in One Day.

Law firms cite a declining demand for legal services, decreased fees for the work that's left and a lack of usual attrition as reasons for cutting attorneys loose. In plain english : "its the economy...dummy"

It is now apparent that this downturn will be deeper and broader than past recessions, and all business sectors will be adversely affected in some way," Goodwin Procter Chairwoman Regina Pisa wrote in a memo announcing that the firm would lay off 38 associates and 36 staff, about a 4 percent reduction. DLA Piper cut 80 associates, or 5 percent of its U.S.-based lawyers DLA also let go of 100 staff members across the firm's 26 U.S. offices. Before the cuts, DLA Piper had about 1,500 attorneys in the United States and 3,800 attorneys worldwide.

“In light of the deepening economic downturn over the last number of months, we have carefully considered and reduced expenses across virtually all of our operations,” the firm said in a statement last weej. “While we had hoped for a rebound in economic activity, we believe that a major improvement in 2009 is increasingly unlikely.

The lawyoffs have hit all levels of the Amlaw 200 and the Global 100.
It is important to realize that most attorneys don't work for top Am Law firms so in reality is the news is much worse for the legal industry. . Imagine how many jobs have been lost at small to mid size firms with no press or fanfare.

We are in the middle of what will likely be the worst U.S. economic contraction since the 1930s. I can understand various attempts to prop up the financial system but as the owner of a litigation support business I think that more of the government's focus should be on incentives for people and businesses to invest, produce and work.

I know I am severely underqualified to comment on and understand the policy and decison making that goes into the stimulus package - as is 99.9999% of the U.S.- so I find myself watching; worrying and hoping that Obama gets it right and I ask - who has more incentive to get it right than President Obama?

At the end of the day however , a great deal of the debate between the Democratic and Rebublican parties is about how to apportion our nations wealth.

It's too bad the debate has ceased being about whether the government should be in the business of apportioning wealth.

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