‘The Bloodbath Has Begun’: In-House Counsel Face Layoffs

‘The Bloodbath Has Begun’: In-House Counsel Face LayoffsThanks to the economic downturn and a decline in corporate work, stealth layoffs are afoot at some of the largest law firms in world. On top of that, some firms have reportedly instituted hiring freezes while start dates for incoming associates at other firms are being deferred. When things are this bad for outside counsel, just imagine what the situation is looking like for in-house counsel. It’s not good.

In fact, last week was historic in that several tech companies decided to conduct layoffs, all at once. Here’s an excerpt from Corporate Counsel:

Stripe on Thursday announced it was cutting 14% of its workforce, or 1,000 jobs. The same day Lyft said it is chopping 13% of staff, or about 683 jobs. Meanwhile, Amazon said it would pause adding new corporate workers, citing the “uncertain” economy and a hiring boom that swelled its workforce in recent years.

The biggest cuts of all [came on] Friday. Multiple news reports say Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, plans to cut about half of the company’s 7,500 workers, with notifications starting around 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

A litany of other tech companies have announced hiring freezes or layoffs in recent days—from the fintech company Chime, which is cutting 12% of its staff, or 160 people, to the chipmaker Intel. It hasn’t quantified the job cuts, but media reports say they could run into the thousands.

One Bay Area recruiter who commented on the cuts said, “Lawyers can now know the bloodbath has begun.” Yikes. Other recruiters cautioned, however, that legal departments are less likely to feel the hit when it comes to layoffs than other divisions.

Although it is currently unclear exactly how many lawyers were let go during this round of layoffs, former in-house counsel can rest assured that their job prospects are good — outside of the tech sector, of course.

If your firm or organization is reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

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Legal Departments Snared in Historic Round of Tech Layoffs [Corporate Counsel]

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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