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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Thornburg

Navigating the Evolving Legal Market: Expert Strategies for Legal Professionals Facing Layoffs

The hiring landscape has seen seismic shifts since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. As we gradually return to a post-pandemic environment, the legal industry has undergone its own evolution. The hiring boom of 2021, characterized by instant job offers and remote work, has given way to a more nuanced hiring landscape. With several firms announcing layoffs in Q1 of 2024, both young associates and seasoned professionals are faced with the challenge of navigating layoffs and heightened competition. Facing a layoff can be unsettling, but it doesn't have to derail your legal career.


To provide insight into this ever-evolving landscape, we turned to our legal recruiter, Julia

Cardenas, for her expertise. Here's her advice on how to handle the topic of layoffs during the

hiring process and ways to set yourself apart as a candidate:

What are some steps you can take if you are laid off?

“Be pro-active and do your research! It's always helpful to use a recruiter that can get you to the front of the line with firms that they have good relationships with. Do your due diligence on finding a good recruiter that's willing to take the time and advocate for you. Be sure to be transparent regarding your lay off so they can present you in the best possible light.”

How do you explain being laid off in job applications?

“It's no secret that layoffs have been happening more often than not due to the state of the economy. Unfortunately, some attorneys will suffer the consequences of this by no fault of their own. Honesty is the best road to take in these situations. Be transparent about your layoff and explain the reasons your firm gave for the layoff. For example, maybe you're a litigator and your firm lost a big client and there isn't enough work to go around, or you're a corporate attorney and due to the state of the market there hasn't been a lot of movement, and the firm was forced to make cuts.”

What (if anything) can you do to stand out amongst other applicants?

“Mass layoffs are difficult as they create a pool of similar candidates all competing for the same jobs. Again, be proactive and do your due diligence on potential recruiters and firms. Research the intricacies of what potential firms are seeking and the type of clients they work with and cases they take on. Tailor your resume to emphasize where your experience aligns and highlight your strengths.”

Layoffs are tough, but they don't define your potential. Focus on what you can control: your job search strategy. With the right approach and the support of a seasoned recruiter, you can use this as a chance to find a role that's even better than the last. At Zerega Consulting, our team is committed to guiding you through these transitions with expert advice and personalized support.


Whether you're navigating a layoff, seeking to stand out in a competitive market, or just want to explore new opportunities, we're here to help you achieve your career goals. Reach out to us today to discover how we can support your journey.


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