Home Criminal Defense Biglaw Firm Conducts Layoffs, Citing ‘Excess Capacity’ – Above the Law

Biglaw Firm Conducts Layoffs, Citing ‘Excess Capacity’ – Above the Law


Despite predictions of an onslaught of layoffs within the legal industry, all has been relatively quiet on the job loss front. Perhaps it’s been a little too quiet. As it turns out, law firm leaders are still quite worried about the economy, and layoffs are still lurking among us. In fact, an Am Law 100 firm quietly conducted a round of layoffs earlier this week.

Davis Wright Tremaine — a firm that pulled in $482,140,000 gross revenue in 2021, landing it in 89th place on the Am Law 100 — has laid off laid off 21 professional staff members, citing the need to “better align [the firm’s] capabilities and capacity with current and anticipated workflows.”

Firmwide managing partner Scott MacCormack discussed the layoffs in a memo to all employees:

Transparency is a critical element of our distinctive culture, and I want all of you to have some insight into what led to this action.

We have excess capacity in some areas and, with the way we work continuing to evolve, we have some redundancy and misalignment around the skills and capabilities we need to serve our clients.

Given the economic climate, we are making these changes now to enable us to make investments in capabilities that we need in areas of strategic importance or high demand.

Per MacCormack, the staff who are being guided away from the firm will receive severance packages as well as the support of outplacement services. Best of luck to those who are being let go from Davis Wright Tremaine.

(Flip to the next page to see the full memo from Davis Wright Tremaine.)

If your firm or organization is reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

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Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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