How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

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LawIdiot86
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How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:03 pm

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/03/dewey-have-a-plan-of-action/
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/02/wheres-leboeuf-an-update-on-doings-at-dewey/

I know ATL can be prone to hyperbole, but assuming things at Dewey are as bad as they make out, what should prospective SAs and 3Ls who have accepted offers there be doing? I'm sure the firm has reassured them they still have jobs, but Howrey did the same thing to a friend of mine, until they rescinded her SA offer. She managed to land at a better firm through connections, but everyone isn't as lucky. My future firm has had similar setbacks, but seems healthy now. For people in Dewey SA/3L shoes, when is it appropriate/permissible to start shopping the market? Unlike working associates they have no track record and it might seem disloyal to jump ship before they've onboarded, but ITE, who could blame them for seeking the safest waters?

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:42 pm

i have several friends who are working at dewey and everything seems fine in the ny office at least.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:20 pm

I'm an incoming SA at a D&L office and I'm incredibly nervous right now. I'm frightened about the possibility of them no-offering a huge part of the class if these rumors are true and indicative of a larger problem. I know 3L OCI tends to be a bloodbath, especially after a no-offer...

xcountryjunkie
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby xcountryjunkie » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:27 pm

Current 2Ls should strongly consider applying for clerkships.

LawIdiot86
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i have several friends who are working at dewey and everything seems fine in the ny office at least.

Right, I'm not saying there is actually a problem, but how should SAs and 3Ls respond when their future firm is subject to credible but non-verifiable rumors that would indicate they are likely to have their offers rescinded or be fired soon after starting? It's an issue because unlike current employees, it could be seen as reneging on the offer to go looking elsewhere, but they can't reasonably ignore increasing rumors of impending doom. Do they have to wait until the WARN notices go out or is there some threshold that is considered generally accepted?

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:19 pm

I really wanted Dewey and was rejected post-CB. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I didn't end up getting that offer, because I probably would've taken it (even if ATL is prone to hyperbole and everything could be perfectly fine).

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:08 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i have several friends who are working at dewey and everything seems fine in the ny office at least.

Right, I'm not saying there is actually a problem, but how should SAs and 3Ls respond when their future firm is subject to credible but non-verifiable rumors that would indicate they are likely to have their offers rescinded or be fired soon after starting? It's an issue because unlike current employees, it could be seen as reneging on the offer to go looking elsewhere, but they can't reasonably ignore increasing rumors of impending doom. Do they have to wait until the WARN notices go out or is there some threshold that is considered generally accepted?

If you're a 2L or 3L concerned about being fired or no-offered, you should start looking for another firm now. If a firm's future truly is bleak, the last thing anyone there will care about is an incoming attorney or summer reneging. And even if you anger a few people by reneging, that's a small price to pay for the security of being at a healthier firm.

That said, I'm not suggesting 2Ls and 3Ls headed to Dewey freak out yet. Do a daily Google News search on Dewey to monitor for more partner departures and other developments, and consider acting if things start to worsen. Everyone headed to a firm should do this at least once every few weeks anyway just to stay on top of things.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i have several friends who are working at dewey and everything seems fine in the ny office at least.

Right, I'm not saying there is actually a problem, but how should SAs and 3Ls respond when their future firm is subject to credible but non-verifiable rumors that would indicate they are likely to have their offers rescinded or be fired soon after starting? It's an issue because unlike current employees, it could be seen as reneging on the offer to go looking elsewhere, but they can't reasonably ignore increasing rumors of impending doom. Do they have to wait until the WARN notices go out or is there some threshold that is considered generally accepted?

If you're a 2L or 3L concerned about being fired or no-offered, you should start looking for another firm now. If a firm's future truly is bleak, the last thing anyone there will care about is an incoming attorney or summer reneging. And even if you anger a few people by reneging, that's a small price to pay for the security of being at a healthier firm.

That said, I'm not suggesting 2Ls and 3Ls headed to Dewey freak out yet. Do a daily Google News search on Dewey to monitor for more partner departures and other developments, and consider acting if things start to worsen. Everyone headed to a firm should do this at least once every few weeks anyway just to stay on top of things.


The problem is, who is going to take you? I'm looking for jobs at other big firms but it seems too late.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:44 pm

Unfortunately I think you need to assume you will be at Dewey for the upcoming summer. At this late date biglaw has finished hiring. It's doubtful the firm will collapse before the summer is over.

In the long-term, you do not want to be at a firm that might go into Howrey mode (I think a firm as large as Dewey would probably splinter instead of collapsing, but either way I would not want to be a junior person there). However, you should begin preparing for the 3L job search. Luckily, you will have a leg up on people who did not have SA jobs 2L year or people who were no-offered for performance reasons. A lot of firms like to "poach" people from lower-ranked Vault firms and Dewey has traditionally probably been a target for firms like CSM, DPW, STB.

2LLLL
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:43 pm

Definitely not good signs. As we've seen in the past, most recently with Howrey, partners with portable business who can leave will be looking for the door, and the firm and its remaining service partners will be even more f'ed.

As an incoming SA, there's not really much you can do though... I guess just hope the firm makes it to August, network your butt off all summer, and start brushing up the clerkship apps.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:22 pm

A managing partner I know whose firm is taking on Dewey partners and associates told me Dewey is bascially screwed.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:45 am

Incoming SA here. Hoping this is all hyperbole.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:07 pm

The best thing Dewey can do is get the hell off ATL ASAP. They have lost like 5 partners. This is a firm that has revenues approaching $1b. I think they can survive the loss of a handful of partners even if those partners have nice books. However, the longer they are on ATL, the more the rumor mill turns, the worse it looks. Have they posted FY2011 revenue figures?

An incoming Dewey SA should work hard at this semester and bust their hump over the summer. Unfortunately those are the only two things in your control. Any dreams of jumping ship to another firm right now are unlikely, that ship sailed in like August.

All the ATL/TLS (especially TLS) talk is 100% conjecture. Nobody knows what is going on. Read the awesome article in the Washingtonian about the downfall of Howrey. These downfalls happen because of the decisions of like 3 people at the top, not because of a few partner defections below.

I remember a few OCI's ago, the whole board was urging people to not even consider certain firms because of imminent implosion. Several of those firms posted double digit profit and revenue growth last year and are doing better than some of this board's stable firms.

Moral of the story: nobody has any clue what is really going on so make sure your credentials are as good as they can be. You can only rely on yourself.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The best thing Dewey can do is get the hell off ATL ASAP. They have lost like 5 partners. This is a firm that has revenues approaching $1b. I think they can survive the loss of a handful of partners even if those partners have nice books. However, the longer they are on ATL, the more the rumor mill turns, the worse it looks. Have they posted FY2011 revenue figures?

An incoming Dewey SA should work hard at this semester and bust their hump over the summer. Unfortunately those are the only two things in your control. Any dreams of jumping ship to another firm right now are unlikely, that ship sailed in like August.

All the ATL/TLS (especially TLS) talk is 100% conjecture. Nobody knows what is going on. Read the awesome article in the Washingtonian about the downfall of Howrey. These downfalls happen because of the decisions of like 3 people at the top, not because of a few partner defections below.

I remember a few OCI's ago, the whole board was urging people to not even consider certain firms because of imminent implosion. Several of those firms posted double digit profit and revenue growth last year and are doing better than some of this board's stable firms.

Moral of the story: nobody has any clue what is really going on so make sure your credentials are as good as they can be. You can only rely on yourself.


TITCR

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The best thing Dewey can do is get the hell off ATL ASAP. They have lost like 5 partners. This is a firm that has revenues approaching $1b. I think they can survive the loss of a handful of partners even if those partners have nice books. However, the longer they are on ATL, the more the rumor mill turns, the worse it looks. Have they posted FY2011 revenue figures?

An incoming Dewey SA should work hard at this semester and bust their hump over the summer. Unfortunately those are the only two things in your control. Any dreams of jumping ship to another firm right now are unlikely, that ship sailed in like August.

All the ATL/TLS (especially TLS) talk is 100% conjecture. Nobody knows what is going on. Read the awesome article in the Washingtonian about the downfall of Howrey. These downfalls happen because of the decisions of like 3 people at the top, not because of a few partner defections below.


Well, a few things:

(1) 14 partners, by the publicly reported count. Including several office and practice group heads. At some firms, these people can have disproportionate ($10m+) books. Not saying they all do, but it's nothing to sneeze at.

(2) The bigger concern than the partner departures is the assertion that Dewey does not have enough cash to pay its partner guarantees. There's a word for businesses that can't meet their obligations with their cashflow: insolvent. If true (and I'm not saying it is), this is really serious since it will lead to many more partners jumping.

(3) Most accounts of Howrey's fall (including the American Lawyer's, which is great) talk about the stupid decisions of 3 people at the top, which then led to the widespread departure of important partners. Firms fail because work dries up. More often than not, work dries up because the partners with the work leave, not because they all of a sudden stop being good lawyers.

But I agree that people should wait until Dewey posts results, and that there's not much you can do at this point as a 2L except wait it out until 3L OCI.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:14 pm

Not sure how reliable AutoAdmit is, especially when the poster is named "Poster w/ 6.5in. penis+ruler-shaped stomach bruise," but layoffs have been alleged: http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thr ... 2#20107522

Update: This poster claimed to work there back in 2009 (--LinkRemoved--), so this seems a little more believable

Update 2: On ATL now: http://abovethelaw.com/2012/03/dewey-ha ... personnel/

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I really wanted Dewey and was rejected post-CB. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I didn't end up getting that offer, because I probably would've taken it.


Going to repeat this again. Never been so happy for that "we don't like you" letter as I am now.

LawIdiot86
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I really wanted Dewey and was rejected post-CB. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I didn't end up getting that offer, because I probably would've taken it.


Going to repeat this again. Never been so happy for that "we don't like you" letter as I am now.


I know! I wish I had saved my letter.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:11 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I really wanted Dewey and was rejected post-CB. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I didn't end up getting that offer, because I probably would've taken it.


Going to repeat this again. Never been so happy for that "we don't like you" letter as I am now.


I know! I wish I had saved my letter.


It was a super-obnoxious letter too.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:17 pm

There's a new report out on ATL about 5% layoffs for lawyers and 6% for staffs.

Not sure what this means for SAs.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There's a new report out on ATL about 5% layoffs for lawyers and 6% for staffs.

Not sure what this means for SAs.



In light of this news, is there any chance that they will cancel the summer program? Feeling incredibly uneasy right now. I hope they email us SAs soon to give us some insight...

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There's a new report out on ATL about 5% layoffs for lawyers and 6% for staffs.

Not sure what this means for SAs.

In light of this news, is there any chance that they will cancel the summer program? Feeling incredibly uneasy right now. I hope they email us SAs soon to give us some insight...

The summer program won't be cancelled unless the managing partners expect the firm to dissolve. Assuming 30 summers (last summer Dewey had 28), salaries will be around $720,000 for an eight week program, so the total cost of the program can probably be kept under $1 million--especially if Dewey shortens the summer to six weeks or reduces pay. Everyone knows cancelling the summer program will severely hurt Dewey's ability to recruit (compared to simply no-offering half of the class and then deferring start dates), so I can't see Dewey eliminating the program unless the firm's dissolution is inevitable.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:47 pm

People I know at the NY office have billed very few hours (fewer than a thousand) and are shitting their pants.

edit: Also FYI I know class of 2011 was deferred until at least January.

Dewey took on a great number of star laterals in the past year, so this is surprising to me. On the other hand, playing the lateral game is dicey. All too often partners overpromise and underdeliver when it comes to the business they can bring... and firms typically tie the initial comp to the promises.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I really wanted Dewey and was rejected post-CB. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I didn't end up getting that offer, because I probably would've taken it.


Going to repeat this again. Never been so happy for that "we don't like you" letter as I am now.


Had this experience with Howrey.

Godspeed to the D&L summers, although I'd be surprised if they cut the program.

LawIdiot86
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:31 pm

I'm trying to figure out this part of the memo:

At the same time, however, we, like some other firms, have also experienced a significant increase in our cost base.


How does your cost base increase in ways you couldn't have predicted and planned for? Revenue is the variable figure in law firms, but this isn't Apple trying to figure out the cost of silicon and man-hours of labor to build an iPad. What were the associates doing? They're salaried and work in buildings with long-term leases. Were they sitting on Westlaw running ALLCASES searches around the clock for fun?




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