LACKING LOYALTY - Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s some free relationship advice (for law firms). The pandemic has bolstered legal market free agency by weakening the bonds many lawyers had with their firms. “Decades ago, people were very loyal to their firms and would try and stay with that job forever,” Mark Jacobson, managing director of legal recruiting firm LegalSearch USA, said. “But attorneys are careerists now. They know their clients are interested in them and what they can do, not necessarily their firm.” Still, as Law.com’s Andrew Maloney, Patrick Smith and Hank Grezlak report, while some firm leaders are struggling to adapt, a number of legal industry observers said that shift in dynamics is something that law firm leaders should embrace. For instance, one thing firms can do to strengthen their organizational glue is reemphasize that every worker is valued and can do meaningful work. This is the third installment in a series examining how legal industry workers and the workplace have been altered by the pandemic. The previous two articles can be found here and here.

LEGAL OPS LAYOFFS LOOMING? - The possibility of an economic downturn has impacted companies differently, with some undergoing cost-cutting measures and layoffs, while others are reporting periods of growth and staff expansions. It’s no surprise then that some teams have grown more worried than others. While legal operations functions have gained popularity in legal departments over the last couple of years, they have now become the target of some staff cuts. And looking ahead, experts suggested to Law.com’s Cassandre Coyer that more layoffs could be on the horizon, especially for the legal operations functions that have been acting more as administrative support rather than strategic ones. Whether these cuts will benefit companies in the long term is uncertain, sources said. “Are legal ops professionals going to be impacted by layoffs? The answer’s yes. Will they potentially be more vulnerable than other components of legal departments? I think the answer to that is yes,” said Mark Yacano, managing director of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Transform Advisory Services team, pointing to a growing number of announcements on LinkedIn from recently laid-off legal ops professionals.

ON THE RADAR - Tyson Fresh Meats was hit with an antitrust lawsuit Monday in Washington Eastern District Court. The court action was brought on behalf of Cody Allen Easterday of Easterday Ranches, who claims that cattle feeders in the Pacific Northwest are forced to sell their stock to Tyson, which exerts its anticompetitive advantage in the market to control pricing and stipulate contractual terms in its favor. The complaint was filed by Arnall Golden Gregory; Etter McMahon Lamberson Van Wert & Oreskovich; and Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 4:23-cv-05019, Easterday v. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar


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