Am Law 20 Firm Begins Layoffs

Layoffs spread to another firm.

layoff notice[UPDATE: Memo provided on the next page]

Unfortunate news to kick off 2023.

Goodwin Procter, positioned at 17 in last year’s Am Law 100 with just a shade under $2 billion in revenue, appears to be in the early stages of a layoff.

We’ve already had layoff news out of Cooley LLP and Gunderson and even Kirkland. While the nation’s financial outlook is still dodgy, encouraging economic developments and a vivid memory of the Great Recession appear to have stayed the pink slip hand of most firms, firms with substantial tech work seem to be getting hit a little harder than the rest of the market.

We’ve now learned that Goodwin is joining the list of firms cutting back on lawyers. Tipsters from multiple offices have reached out to report that the firm is communicating layoff news to attorneys over the course of the day. No word yet on the scale of the cuts or whether only specific groups or offices are involved. As details emerge, we’ll update.

It’s hard to find a silver lining in any layoff, but according to one tipster:

It sounds like a broad reduction in force based on anticipated need in the future. This was specifically not tied to any review or performance evaluation.


In an industry that has embraced the “stealth” layoff where leadership tries to make individual lawyers feel like it’s the associate’s fault they’ve been let go, we appreciate firms that are straightforward about employment decisions.

No firm wants to be known for layoffs, but if it’s happening, a reputation for transparency matters over the long-term.

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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