Thacher Proffitt & Wood on Tuesday informed about 50 associates that their futures at the firm were uncertain because of the collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities, an area where the firm had had a leading practice.

The firm’s warning, first reported Tuesday on legal gossip blog Above the Law, affected 24 non-first-year associates who were told they were almost certain to be laid off in January unless the credit market substantially improved.

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