Marketing department layoffs – same as lawyer layoffs?

Is there a connection between marketing department layoffs and associate layoffs?

In laying off attorneys, the managing partner of a client of mine told me that he was "culling" the ranks, that the lay-offs (calling it what it is, "firings") was not related to the condition of the firm. I don’t believe this language. I do believe that folks tend to act rationally, in their own self-interest.

Why, then, would you terminate lawyers when, in doing so, you are costing the firm between $300,000 and $500,000 per attorney – bottom line – according to the conversations I’ve had with managing partners.

Why not hire "right" (correctly, based on your needs at the time) and keep those folks, educate/train those folks to be attorneys who can handle any of your practice area needs, and develop a firm culture of unity?

Failure to do this is economic suicide … and only when the law firm follows the Corporate Model will this change. And then, the partners can begin to earn more money.

These principles apply to the marketing department as well. When you can connect the layoff impact to the marketing department to the layoff impact to attorneys, then the marketing directors can and will sit at the management table, talking about the real life business aspects of running the law firm.

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