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SIZING UP AND TRIMMING DOWN - While a number of law firms have sought to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Great Recession by steering clear of knee-jerk layoffs and hiring freezes that could come back to bite them when the economy improves, that doesn’t mean staff cuts are completely off the table. As Patrick Smith reports, the recent layoffs at Sullivan & Cromwell indicate that even very wealthy law firms are using this period of remote work as an opportunity to take stock of their staffing needs. Legal consultant Kent Zimmermann told Smith that while he does not expect a round of sweeping layoffs, the pandemic has laid bare the fact that many firms are in fact overstaffed. “In a time like this, sometimes firms look to address inefficiencies,” Zimmermann said. “If they really look to address them, overcapacity is low-hanging fruit.”

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