Stoel Rives laying off 17 staffers; about half of law firm leaders report staff layoffs




Stoel Rives is laying off 17 administrative staffers as it changes its staffing model.

Its decision is by no means unusual, according to a survey (PDF) this year by Altman Weil, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports. The consulting firm’s survey found that 48 percent of the law firm leaders surveyed reported cutting staff to increase profitability over the past few years.

Eighty-nine percent of firm leaders surveyed by Altman Weil said that fewer support staff will be a permanent trend going forward.

Stoel Rives said its layoffs were part of a strategic plan that “focuses on proactively modernizing the way we run our firm,” according to an internal memo cited by the Am Law Daily and Above the Law. “Updating our staffing model to meet the demands of today’s legal market reality is part of that, so we’ve laid off 17 of our administrative staff,” managing partner James Torgerson wrote in the memo.

The memo said the layoffs amount to 2.1 percent of the firm’s workforce.

Other firms that reportedly laid off staffers this year include Sedgwick and Seyfarth Shaw, which also laid off lawyers.

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