Goodwin Procter kicked off 2023 with a round of layoffs, eliminating about 5% of the firm’s timekeepers, including associates and all manner of other attorneys. We’ve known since last week that Goodwin started off 2024 by conducting even more job cuts, and now the firm has offered up the reasoning behind what very much looks like a round of stealth layoffs.
According to the American Lawyer, Goodwin is in the middle of performance reviews which have resulted in “an unknown number” of out-of-work associates. Here’s some additional information:
“Every January, we deliver performance reviews as part of our annual associate and professional track attorney evaluation process. And as part of this process, each year, the firm facilitates the transition of lawyers who are not performing at the high standards that our clients expect of us,” the firm said in a statement.
Many of the cuts in the past year within law firms have been framed as “performance-related.” Still, it’s not clear whether Goodwin’s 2024 cuts were the result of a more aggressive review process.
Looking back through the Above the Law archives, we can say that to the best of our knowledge, it’s unlikely that Goodwin’s “annual” January performance reviews have ever resulted in such a large-scale job loss for associates. In fact, the only January dismissals we’ve ever discussed were part of last year’s reduction in force, which had nothing to do with associate performance. Goodwin needs to be more transparent with its employees — and in this case, it seems that the only performance that needs to be reviewed is that of the firm.
Best of luck to those who have been let go from Goodwin.
If your firm or organization is reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through deferrals, 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). Thank you for your assistance.
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Goodwin, Citing Performance Reviews, Parts With Number of Associates [American Lawyer]
Earlier: Public Posts Mentioning Goodwin’s Layoffs Keep Disappearing…
Staci 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 and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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