COVID-19 and the legal profession

Since we’ve been discussing this, I thought I’d post some of the articles I’ve read about how law firms are responding to the global pandemic and related lockdowns:

Schiff Hardin LLP is cutting salaries and attorneys.

So is Greenspoon Marder. And Ballard Spahr. And Baker & McKenzie. And Winston & Strawn. And Seyfarth Shaw. And Norton Rose Fulbright.

Some firms are cancelling or moving summer associate programs.

Changing legal jobs is a HUGE challenge during the coronavirus lockdowns.

And then there’s Pierce Bainbridge, which was already facing a probe for a named partner’s alleged financial misconduct. Three named partners quit last week. 50 have left in recent months. Yesterday, the firm announced it was closing down. Check out these statements by Don Lewis, a former Pierce Bainbridge partner, and a whistleblower who says he was forced out of the firm for calling “foul” on John Pierce, founder of the firm:

“Pierce is a desperate, broke, substance abusing shell of his former self…. The opening of PB’s books, would very likely reveal that Pierce is a fraud and a con man, lying to his partners, lying to the press, lying to his clients and lying to investors; it would also very likely crater a firm built on smoke and mirrors . . .

“Shortly before I was ousted, the bookkeeper said Pierce withdrew $200,000 from firm accounts in August and September 2018, we almost missed payroll, Pierce placed a moratorium on paying creditors …”

“When I decided to say something about financial improprieties, for the benefit of the partnership, not for one second did I think the response would be a concerted and relentless group attack on my reputation. Even if people now realize I was right all along; the damage my former partners have done to me is immense and they must be held accountable. …”

“[M]y former partners were concerned with themselves only, they intentionally ignored my efforts to stop John Pierce’s shenanigans, and instead turned a blind eye, endorsed, promoted and enabled him until the money dried up; each of my former partners put a price on their integrity.”



Don Lewis



John Pierce