Shearman & Sterling Rolls Out COVID-19 Austerity Measures


Before they go crazy with the COVID-19 austerity measures we’ve seen a lot of across Biglaw — the salary cuts, furloughs, and layoffs, oh my! — Shearman & Sterling has decided to ask the class for volunteers. That’s right, according to Roll on Friday, they’re offering associates the opportunity to do an extended vacation.

Shearman has launched a “voluntary leave program” that allows attorneys at the firm to take a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months sabbatical at one third of their current salary. Plus, if attorneys decide to do pro bono work during their time off, their salary may be “topped up to 40%.”

But will anyone take the offer? That remains to be seen. But given the competitive environment at the firm, one insider quipped, “It would be exceptionally surprising if anyone volunteers for this at all.”

So, what is your firm doing to deal with the economic upheaval around COVID-19? If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

If you’d like to sign up for ATL’s Layoff Alerts, please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you previously signed up for the layoff alerts, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive an email notification within minutes of each layoff, salary cut, or furlough announcement that we publish.


headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).





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