Carolinas Roundup |

Slow economy sparks more lawyer layoffs

The downturn continues to squeeze Charlotte's legal community, leading to more layoffs at local firms.

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal laid off seven real estate attorneys last week in its Charlotte office, which has about 20 attorneys now, firm spokeswoman Linda Butler said. The economy was the reason, she said.

The layoffs, to take effect at the end of the year, were part of “a couple dozen” across the Chicago-based firm, Butler said. The Charlotte office was hit harder than others because of its high concentration of real estate attorneys, she said. Still, “we remain very strongly committed to that office and intend to grow it,” Butler said.

Earlier this year, the firm said it had rescinded two job offers and two summer associate offers in Charlotte because of the slowdown.

In recent months, a string of big law firms have announced layoffs, including Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which laid off nine global finance and capital markets attorneys in Charlotte in January, part of layoffs across the New York firm. Kirsten Valle