Calibrate CEO Jennifer Johnson was quoted in The American Lawyer in an article on significant staff layoffs at an Am Law 200 firm
While the true reasons behind the Sullivan & Cromwell layoffs are not known—the assumption from sources is that it was a business decision rooted in pandemic-fueled economics. But that might not be the full story.
S&C ranks fourth in the Am Law 100 in profits per partner, is not leveraged and owns its own building. If a firm like that is jettisoning staff to save money, what does that mean for those who don’t enjoy the stability and resources of the white shoe, Wall Street giant?
It means firms are taking a long, hard look at their staffing arrangements. The pandemic, among other things, has been a great experiment in the effectiveness of remote working and the capability of attorneys to do much of what was formerly done by legal secretaries and or legal administrative assistants (LAAs).
“I would say the pandemic has given the opportunity to rethink the shape of a law firm,” Jennifer Johnson, founder and CEO of legal recruiting and consulting firm Calibrate Legal, said. “I think it has heightened an awareness that the traditional model may not be what we are going to see as having the most success going forward.”