Drinker Biddle & Reath conducted a second round of associate layoffs — dropping a reported 22 on Friday — and is set to inform the remaining associates that they will be placed in four levels as opposed to associate classes as the firm moves to a merit-based system.

Legal industry blog Above the Law reported Drinker Biddle has cut 22 associates, mainly in Chicago, with some in Philadelphia. A Drinker Biddle spokesman said the firm doesn’t comment on personnel matters. The firm was also silent when it engaged in a round of layoffs in late 2008.

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