run26.2 wrote:Fresh Prince wrote:dixiecupdrinking wrote:FP, it seems like you're deriving some pleasure from this Dewey debacle (this is not a criticism). Any particular reason or just garden variety schadenfreude/car-crash syndrome?
Am deriving absolutely zero pleasure from this. Several of my close friends work at the firm and this whole matter has made me extremely concerned for their wellbeing.
I am, however, shaking my head at the lack of discipline and shitty leadership the Dewey partnership has shown over the years. Law students considering firms need to look at the symptoms of this debacle and learn to avoid firms that exhibit similar symptoms.
I agree that students "should" try to learn what they can from this, but law firm leadership is enough of a blackbox that I question whether they can. What symptoms were showing when 2Ls went through OCI? Or even before what is happening now hit the news?
I ask from the perspective of a law student that almost accepted an offer from Howrey. The main reason I didn't was because I called one of the associates with whom I had lunch on the callback. He told me that several of the partners he worked for had left and that his own work was drying up. This sent a very strong signal to me. But had I not called, or had I called the other associate, I would have not gotten the same perspective. Note that at the time, several people whose opinion I value encouraged me to accept Howrey's offer. A few of them pointed out that the training program offset the lower salary. Let's just say that the conversation I had with the Howrey associate was providential; I accepted at another firm.
But without this type of conversation, how would a law student be able to evaluate the leadership or long-term viability of a firm?
Never having been in a position to negotiate, I've been told by friends that once you have an offer, you can request details on the firm's status, like its debt structure, etc. I'm sure some firms won't tell you and some may ding your record for being so presumptuous. Also, while Dewey didn't embrace anything too unusual, Howrey's "apprentice" program should have been a massive red flag. A traditional firm deviating from the normal Biglaw model would be a redflag for me. Also, a firm that seems to lack a strategy, Reed Smith carpet bombing the country with offices to grow, SNR Denton trying a funky trans-atlantic merger, Dewey's office-opening spree would all concern me. Also, general firm health would concern me. Pepper Hamilton is known to be reliant on a couple of practice groups for the bulk of its profits and Fish & Richardson has had to extensively re-trench after a failed growth strategy.