So, Paul Hastings announced some layoffs earlier this week. This time around, they are calling them "layoffs" instead of pretending that they are performance-based terminations. I also understand from associates in the firm that they are no longer requesting that laid-off attorneys sign non-disclosure agreements. Also, the management is going out of its way to assure the employees that the layoff is based not on performance, but on the economy.
Even as recently as last month, Paul Hastings was claiming that its layoff of 15% of the associates in the Atlanta office was somehow based on job performance even though the firm had not yet conducted any performance reviews. It was also apparently trying to keep its stealth layoffs in LA and Shanghai under the radar.
From the way Paul Hastings partners have been trolling the comment section on Above the Law to write in asinine defense of the firm, they apparently do care about their public image. I've heard from friends who still work there that after my email was posted on Above the Law, partners pleaded with associates to post positive comments about the firm on the site. I've also heard that the head management begged associates not to make negative comments about the firm on blogs. It's all rather pathetic.
Apparently, some companies have to be shamed into doing the right thing. We could all have saved ourselves a lot of time and bad PR if they had the brains to figure out the meaning of decency on their own.
PS - As one of the readers pointed out, Paul Hastings is admitting to their layoffs only because Latham already announced theirs. Of course. They aren't motivated by shame. They are - and will be - industry followers to their dying day.