Below are links to two compelling articles that discuss very different aspects of the effects of the waves of lay-offs that we have been experiencing in our industry.
The first discusses lawyers (mostly young lawyers) who are "adrift" and "lost." In "Laid-off Lawyer's Find Themselves Adrift" from the National Law Journal, Leigh Jones highlights young, high-achievers who lost self esteem, hope, and direction after being laid-off at: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202428827679. The article ends in optimism and I hope anyone affected by these lay-offs is able to pull up their socks and find something new and better. NYCLA and other local bar associations are making special efforts to assist people who are laid-off. Those are the first places I would look into; they provide great resources.
The second article, from the ABA Journal, entitled "Layoff ‘Herd Mentality’ Ignores Greater Savings of Pay Cuts, Prof Says" discusses how firms may have other options to stabilize their finances instead of lay-offs, but are not exploring those and instead are opting for what everyone else is doing. Hopefully, firms are not finding that lay-offs are easy fix of their balance because it has become an acceptable consequence of the recession. Read the complete article at:http://www.abajournal.com/news/layoff_herd_mentality_ignores_greater_savings_of_pay_cuts_prof_says/