- Awaiting Change—and the Stimulus: Despite then-unprecedented layoff numbers in January, some firms did hold off on post-holiday cuts pending the arrival of Obama and the economic stimulus plan he'd promised to introduce. The legislation's subsequent congressional travails and cool reception by the money markets led firm leaders to surmise that the recession is here for the long haul and cemented their resolve to rein in spending—by eliminating salaries.
- Placating the Partnership: With preliminary 2008 AmLaw returns showing, as expected, shrinking profits per partner in many firms, outfits likely feel the need to cull their associate ranks to head off partner departures. The current lateral market is virtually nonexistent for BigLawyers who aren't high-earning partners (or select senior associates) with portable books of business, and a firm's inaction in the face of more expected revenue flattening in 2009 could send high earners scurrying.
On an entirely unrelated note, this marks Void's 200th post. Thus far, the journey's been one of raises, freezes, expansion, layoffs, piraty scandals and scandalous piracy. Count on more of the same.
-posted by ben fuchs
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