In yet another sign that things in the economy need to get worse before they will get better, one of Nashville's premier law firms has laid off 32 employees.
Bass Berry & Sims has cut 10 associate attorneys and 22 staff members from its roster. The cuts represent 5 percent of the firm's attorneys and 9 percent of non-attorney staffers. The layoffs affected the firm's Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis offices.
Keith Simmons, managing partner of the firm, told NashvillePost.com that the decision to downsize was not made out of financial distress.
"We are being asked to do more by our clients with less. This is an effort to get our cost structure in line with the market," he said. "Big firms are going to have to look at their structure. We are staying close to the needs of our clients."
In addition to the layoffs, Simmons said that Bass' summer class will be smaller than in years past and that the firm is deferring the start date for new attorneys fresh from the bar from Sept. 1 to Jan. 1. All raises for associate attorneys have been frozen as well.
Simmons said that Bass is committed to providing the best legal services possible and will continue to hire positions that advance the firm's areas of expertise.