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

Stoel Rives has also put in place a hiring and spending freeze, eliminated associate bonuses based on hours billed, though it may give some “discretionary-only” bonuses, and eliminated reimbursement for parking and transit.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Stroock implemented[69] pay cuts and offered voluntary buyouts. From the start of June, equity partners saw draws reduced by 20% and all other lawyers took a 15% hit. Associates who hit hours targets will ultimately be “made whole,” however. And employees who wish to retire early or avoid returning to the office when remote work ends will have the option of taking “generous” buyouts.” A spokesperson added, “We have let staff and attorneys know that, subject to firm needs, we are open to reduced schedules for individuals who voluntarily elect to go that route.”

Sullivan & Worcester

In addition to general discretionary expense cutting, managing partner Joel Carpenter said the Boston-based firm has furloughed a number of employees for 90 days with full benefits and has instituted temporary pay cuts across the board. Employees making less than $66,000 per year will not be affected, while those staff and employees making over that mark will see a 5% reduction in salary. Non-equity partners will see a 10% reduction, while equity partners will see a 20% decrease from their monthly draws.

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

Effective April 1, partner draws were reduced by 25% and the firm made “minimal reductions” in head count representing 1.4% of attorneys and 3.5% of staff, spread across the firm’s seven primary offices. “At present, Taft does not intend to adopt the approach of making across the board reductions in the head count or compensation of its administrative staff or associates, counsel or staff attorneys,” the firm said on April 6. “Instead, consistent with the employer-of-choice workplace culture that is one of Taft’s hallmarks, the Taft partners intend to shoulder the primary economic burden of COVID-19.”

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