Survey anticipates further layoffs for support staff and non-equity partners

June 24, 2010 More layoffs are expected in the latter half of 2010, according to a new survey conducted by consulting firm Altman Weil, but there will be fewer layoffs than occurred in 2009.

The survey - "Law Firms in Transition 2010" – showed that in 2009, 67 per cent of law firms laid off support staff, 43 per cent laid off paralegals and 44 percent laid off associates. Only 25 per cent cut equity partners and 26 per cent cut non-equity partners.

The firms polled anticipated more staffing cuts his year, with the bulk of the layoffs affecting support staff and non-equity partners. Tim Ryan, CEO of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in Pittsburgh, explained that support staff are targeted because they do not generate revenue, and non-equity partners are targeted because their higher salaries make them less profitable than associates.

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