The Month in Layoffs – May 09

by lawshucks on June 2, 2009

The bottom line isn’t good, but the trend line is. More people were laid off by major law firms in May than in April, but only by a slight margin, and still well off the numbers seen in March and April. On the bright side, there were fewer firms laying people off.

After the jump, the charts and details.

May was basically flat, with 1,204 people laid off from law firms compared to 1,148 in April.


One thing that chart does indicate is that staff are once again bearing the heavier part of the load – 71.9% in May to 65.7% in April. To the extent there are layoffs over the next few months while the summer associates are around, we expect that trend to continue as the firms make some misguided effort to save face heading into recruiting season.

The other bit of good news is that the count of layoffs dropped dramatically, by almost 42% to 18 in May from 31 in April.


Unfortunately, that meant that once again, when law firms laid people off, they laid off more people.


Half as many layoffs, same number of people, means on average, twice as many people were laid off by each of the firms that laid people off in May.

Once again, none of the largest layoffs this month make the overall Top 10 list.

Although that does move DLA Piper higher in the rankings, up to #5.

Of course, the most interesting information about May was that it cracked the 10,000 barrier for the year. ¬†April ended at 9,038. ¬†May’s 1,204 cleared that mark with room to spare, bringing the total for the year to 10,242.

The weekly detailed reports for the month were:

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