Reed Smith initiated its second round of layoffs on Tuesday, when it announced that it is eliminating 26 associate positions and 55 staff jobs.

Of the associate job cuts, 17 are in U.S. offices, while the remaining nine are in the United Kingdom, according to a firmwide memo sent by global managing partner Gregory B. Jordan. The memo was also posted on the legal blog Above the Law. Those cuts account for less than 4% of the firm’s associate ranks. Additionally, the firm’s staff cuts affect 55 employees in U.S. offices, and as many as 19 employees in the United Kingdom, which is about 5% of the firm’s total support staff, according to the memo.

“The decline in the worldwide demand for transactional services in the first quarter of 2009 has required Reed Smith to make further adjustments in our workforce,” Jordan said in a written statement. “Although the firm’s business is holding up well overall, we have assessed our clients’ needs in this turbulent global economy and determined that we need to realign our capacity so that we can continue delivering the high quality, cost-effective services clients require.”

The job cuts were concentrated in Reed Smith’s real estate and corporate practice areas, Jordan said.

Though Reed Smith’s gross revenue was up by 10% in 2008, profits per partner at the firm fell by 6.5%, according to The American Lawyer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal.

Reed Smith laid off 115 support staffers in December. Jordan said the laid-off attorneys and support staffers are receiving severance and outplacement assistance.

In the memo to the firm, Jordan said that trimming the number of associates will “enable associates who remain to be more fully utilized.”