How bad will the biglaw layoffs be once the market inevitably crashes due to COVID-19? Worse than 2009?

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The COVID-19 turmoil is not a crash due to a major market structural failure that was ignored on purpose until it all exploded.It’s mostly a confidence crisis as in we don’t know what’s coming. As soon as we do, things will settle (for better or worse). Remember the H1N1 outbreak in 2009? We thought it was the end of the world, by July they had a vaccine and everything was fine. With SARS (10x more lethal chan COVID-19) by April things had settled. With that said, I think this is already a lost year for capital markets (sort of) and M&A in general, since by the time stuff picks up in mid-May we will have lost half of the year already. I have a lot of stuff that was put on hold.

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Agree with everything you say, only observation is will this be the course correction moment for a juiced market that has been high on easy credit?

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Join us in restructuring and worry no more.

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All i know is my firm keeps sending me out for hearings and depos relentlessly. I'm flying every week and sometimes twice a week. I've already accepted the fact that my foxhole gets a direct hit from a corvid-19 mortar round. Everyone has their rank and file in life. I'm also a single male and childless, so there is that too.

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Thanks for not answering the question whatsoever.

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I think this more than a confidence crisis. There’s already a significant supply chain crisis that will continue working its way through global economies for months. And in the US, where consumption accounts for something like 70% of economic activity, we now have a demand crisis. Add a meltdown o global energy prices to that and you have the makings of a pretty significant downturn even before you consider future uncertainty and a market that has - as someone else said - high on cheap credit and you have the makings of a meltdown, particularly when the world generally and many in the US have low confidence in the competence of the administration. So, I do think this is going to get worse and then stay bad for a bit before improving. The interesting this this morning is the clamoring on the right for measures that conservatives have railed against for years, including paid sign leave/family leave and economic stimulus measures. It will be fascinating to see how all of this shapes policy going forward, and what the stumbles tell is about the allegedly robust and stable economy. To OP’s specific question, certain sectors will for sure see less demand for legal services in the next couple of quarters, presumably including energy and M&A. Firms are a lot leaner than they were in 2008, however, and most manage costs better. Hopefully those lessons from 2008 will save some jobs this time around.

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