Big Firm Follies — Both Sides Now.

It was nice seeing someone intelligent behind the Presidential podium last night, attempting to answer difficult questions with some sense of context, history, reality, and informed judgment. Whether any of it will work, however, is another matter….

Meanwhile, DBR’s Alana Roberts works the endless well of Akerman rumors and speculation and finds some non-equity partners are getting all Carvered-Up:

Akerman Senterfitt has reported a dramatic 30 percent drop in its non-equity shareholders, capping off a difficult year marked by rapid turnover, the embarrassing collapse of a merger and the revelation that it missed its budget.

Other than that, though, things are just peachy!

And over at Hogan & Hartson they have frozen associate pay and are trying to figure out a way to get rid of their secretarial staff….nicely:

Hogan & Hartson is the latest firm looking to trim its legal staff, but it hasn’t enacted layoffs.Instead, the Washington-based firm offered buyouts on Monday to about 240 of its legal secretaries and word processors. Staff and associate layoffs have become commonplace at law firms in the past six months, but Hogan & Hartson is among the first to encourage staffers to leave voluntarily.

“In the end, I think people are going to feel pretty good that the firm gave people a choice,” said Hogan & Hartson Chairman J. Warren Gorrell Jr. The buyout offer has been extended to secretaries and word processors who have been with the firm for at least five years. Those who choose to accept the buyout will receive four weeks of pay, plus an additional week of pay for every year they spent with the firm. The buyout offer is more lucrative for longtime secretaries, who generally make more money than recent hires.

Everyone knows longtime secretaries at big firms are notoriously tough survivors, who are not pushed around easily and have lots of ways of exacting vengeance if they feel mistreated or under appreciated.Better have a runner taste that coffee, Mr. BigFirm BigShot — better yet, pour it yourself.

Oh hail I’m not done yet this morning. Here’s my ode to you beleaguered BigFirmers, sung to the tune of Joni’s “Both Sides Now”:

Tears and fears and feeling proudTo say “You’re Fired” right out loudDreams and schemes and declining profits-per-partnerI’ve looked at life that wayBut now old friends are acting strangeThey shake their heads, they say I’ve changedThey question why my billables went downAnd why I don’t originateI’ve practiced law from both sides nowFrom win and lose and still somehowIt’s the BS from the managing partner I recallI really didn’t know he was such a heartless jerk after allI’ve practiced law from both sides nowFrom up and down, and still somehowIt’s that crap from that jerkoff in my exit interview I recall

I really don’t like this place after all

Hang in there, folks!