Will Lawyer Layoffs Hobble Manhattan Office Market?

skyline1 19 Will Lawyer Layoffs Hobble Manhattan Office Market?From Crain’s:

In the wake of massive layoffs on Wall Street, law firms have been quietly letting go of staffers whose services are no longer needed now that financial deals have dried up. The targeted layoffs that began late last year have turned into a torrent that will likely continue into 2009.

Up to 200 New York-based attorneys from a dozen of the country’s top law firms have lost their jobs in the past year. An even higher number of paralegals, secretaries and other support personnel have also been axed. Some firms are postponing the start dates of new associates in an effort to save money, since their salaries now hover at about $160,000.

Law firms are one of the biggest leasers of top-shelf Manhattan office space. One has to wonder what these trickling layoffs could mean for an already reeling market in the new year.