Fearing Recession, Law Firms Tighten Belts

January 23, 2008 Over the past several years, with the economy booming and business brisk, New York City's best law firms scrambled to hire as many lawyers as they could out of school, and from each other, pushing up starting salaries to more than $160,000 a year, plus bonuses. Now the same firms are slowing their staffing efforts, and those with big Wall Street departments are downsizing. White-shoe firms with large securities groups that could be at risk include Sidley Austin; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and McKee Nelson.

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