Model Policy Regarding Employee Terminations

WHEREAS, in recent months our country has been faced with a recession, a downturn in our economy which, as history has demonstrated, will eventually reverse course toward a more prosperous period;

WHEREAS, it is common knowledge that large numbers of attorneys, most of whom are associates, have recently been laid off, which layoffs may potentially result in an adverse impact on the professional development of young lawyers and on our profession;

WHEREAS, on February 1, 1991, the Young Lawyers Section adopted a resolution which authorized representatives of the Young Lawyers Section to work with fellow members of this Association to (1) investigate the impact of the economic downturn on Philadelphia lawyers, (2) establish support services to assist displaced attorneys, and (3) explore alternative solutions to enable attorneys to maintain and secure employment during this economic crisis;

WHEREAS, the Young Lawyers Section held a panel discussion which concluded that there is a need to determine and implement alternatives to attorney layoffs;

WHEREAS, the results of the investigations performed by the Young Lawyers Section and Beryl Dean, this Association's Placement Services Director, have revealed that the recent attorney layoffs have adversely impacted the careers of affected young lawyers, continue to threaten the quality of attorneys in Philadelphia, and further threaten the image of the legal profession;

WHEREAS, the Young Lawyers Section has developed a report and policy concerning attorney terminations which it recommends be adopted by the Board of Governors;

WHEREAS, this Association wishes to encourage Philadelphia law firms to adopt written attorney termination policies following, at a minimum, the guidelines set forth in the attached;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association as follows:

  1. The Association hereby adopts the attached Report of the Philadelphia Bar Association Adopting a Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations and the attached Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations, and calls upon each law firm in this City to endorse the attached Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations and to develop and adopt its own written attorney termination policy, adhering, at a minimum, to the guidelines set forth in the attached Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations.
  2. The Chancellor and staff of the Association are authorized to take such steps as the Chancellor may determine in conjunction with the Chair of the Young Lawyers Section, to publish and distribute the Report of The Philadelphia Bar Association Adopting a Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations and the Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations, and to encourage law firms to endorse publicly the attached Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations and to develop and adopt their own written attorney termination policy, adhering, at a minimum to the guidelines set forth in the attached Model Policy Regarding Attorney Terminations.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: DEC. 19, 1991