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BCG News 03/12/09


US Legal Sector Lost 4,200 Jobs in February
According to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, the legal services sector shrank by 4,200 in February 2009.

BCG News 03/12/09

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the 0.36% drop from January reflects a continued series of layoffs by US firms.

Since February 2008, 21,000 jobs have been lost in the legal sector.

As a whole, the US economy shed 651,000 jobs in February, and the national unemployment rate rose to 8.1%, up from 7.6% in January.

March 9th Worst Day for Law Firm Layoffs So Far
Despite the fact that February 12th is still known as Black Thursday and generally considered the worst day for law firm layoffs since the economic meltdown began, the truth is it's only the third worst day to date.

March 9th, had the largest number of single day layoffs: White & Case announced 400 layoffs (although the victims have yet to be informed), Morgan Lewis cut 216 and K&L Gates cut 121. Total: 737.

January 29 was the second worst: Linklaters (5). Total: 652.

And the widely lamented Black Thursday: Holland & Knight (243); DLA Piper (180); Goodwin Procter (74); Bryan Cave (58); Epstein Becker (53); Dechert (19); and Cadwalader (16). Total: 643.

White & Case Lays Off 400
White & Case announced today it will lay off 200 associates and 200 staffers. From the official announcement:

Following a thorough, strategic review of its business, White & Case LLP announced today a number of measures that will allow the Firm to respond to changing demand in the market for legal services.

These actions include an evaluation of its partnership, which will result in a reduction in the number of partners, commensurate with current and anticipated business needs.

The Firm is also implementing a global workforce reduction of about 200 associates and 200 administrative and business support staff.

In addition, the Firm is deferring the start date of approximately 60% of this year's incoming associate class in the US until 2010.

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