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Should You Stay or Should You Go Now?

It seems that every day now brings new announcements of law firm layoffs or downsizing. The latest: White and Case is laying off 70 associates and there are reports of reduced summer hiring, even at top schools like Harvard.

So here's my question: If you're currently employed as a lawyer, should you stay at your firm or jump ship now? This Dallas Morning News story quotes experts who agree that, in this economy, it's better to remain at a lousy job and take the paycheck instead of trying to find a new position. But I'm not so sure that's the best approach. Staying at a job in unstable times can be stressful and may detract from your ability to look for other opportunities.

On a related note, here's the perspective from the employer's side regarding layoffs. At Texas Lawyer's Work Matters Blog, Michael Maslaka gives a rundown of layoff tips from entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki's new tome, Reality Check. They include: cut once and deep; move fast; lower the boom on Monday (so that folks can start looking ASAP); and give minimal severance, sans releases (which just anger employees).

What do you think? Do you agree with Kawasaki's advice on layoffs (I'm sure most lawyers cringe at the thought of no release)? And what should a lawyer do when things are slow -- keep the job or jump ship now?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 12, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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