Pay Cuts, Layoffs, and More: How Law Firms Are Managing the Pandemic

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton

The firm announced April 13[66] it was furloughing 33 of its 823 staff members. The furloughs apply to team members who cannot do their jobs remotely, including receptionists, support services and file center employees, the international law firm said in a statement. The affected staff members had been on payroll during the last four weeks when the firm transitioned to working from home. The employees were told they could expect to return to work in 60 to 90 days.

Shook Hardy & Bacon

A firm statement said it is delaying or deferring various operating expenses, deferring some partner distributions, reducing partner draws, introducing pay reductions and temporarily furloughing some employees.

Smith Gambrell & Russell

The Atlanta-based Am Law 200 firm is deferring partner draws by 20% and cutting pay for all employees, including associates, by 10%, chairman Stephen Forte told[67]. He said the firm will not be furloughing or laying off employees.

Squire Patton Boggs

The firm announced on May 1 [68]across-the-board pay cuts in the U.S. and overseas, along with furloughs of an undisclosed number of support staff. The firm said partners, as owners of the business, would take the biggest hit, via reduced profit distributions. Associates will see salaries cut by 20%, but bonuses will not be affected. Support staff will see cuts ranging from 10% to 20%, with higher earners subject to larger reductions. Some staff who either are currently underused or unable to do their jobs remotely will be subject to furloughs. The firm is also canceling its 2020 summer associates program. Instead, admitted students will receive a $5,000 stipend. Incoming U.S. associates who had been scheduled to join the firm in September will now start in January 2021.

Stoel Rives

The Portland, Oregon-born Am Law 200 firm is reducing partner distributions by 20%, effective April 1, as well as a 20% pay reduction for associates, staff attorneys and of counsel on an annualized basis starting in May (making for a 13% reduction as of the end of the year). The firm is furloughing about 10% of staff beginning April 17 for at least 90 days, though benefits for these employees will continue. The firm has also implemented hourly reductions for staff, with corresponding pay reductions: 5% for those earning less than $75,000, 10% for those who make $75,000 to $100,000, 15% for those making $100,000 to $150,000, and 20% for those who make over $150,000 annually.

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