How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

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

Postby sunynp » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:04 pm

Two more partners left: Fred Gander and Hershel Wein - tax partners I don't think they have been mentioned in this thread before.

http://www.thelawyer.com/former-dewey-b ... 96.article

http://www.thelawyer.com/second-dewey-p ... 06.article


Hershel Wein, a tax partner in Dewey’s New York office, has become the latest partner to defect, landing a role at KPMG.

News of Wein’s departure comes the same day it emerged that London tax partner Fred Gander, who led legacy firm Dewey Ballentine’s London office before its 2007 merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, has also left to join KPMG (24 April 2012).

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:17 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I was an incoming SA and signed a contract stating my intention to summer there. The tortious interference claim would be against a law firm who sought to interfere with that relationship, which I might add does not even require a contract. It would probably be convenient for your Employment Law exam if at-will employment precluded all tortious interference claims, but unfortunately that's just not the case. Sorry babe. :cry:


Ignoring the other stuff and focusing on what you signed... it was not a contract. I'm sure you signed something. We all signed offer letters. Those were not contracts and probably explicitly stated that they were not contracts, that your employment was at-will, that you could leave or they could cancel your SA position at any time without prior notice.


Point taken...signed a document evincing a business relationship.

My offer letter explicitly states that neither I or the firm has any obligation to continue to relationship. I'd be shocked if every SA offer letter in the country didn't have similar language. This is at-will employment, duder. They can't sue anyone else for you changing your mind.


Again, Dewey SAs have nothing to worry about in this regard, but the only point I was trying to make earlier in this thread is that at-will employment relationships are not shielded from tortious interference claims.

We perceive no difference in the ethical culpability, if any there be, of the uninformed, intentional interferer, whether it later turns out that the contract he interfered with was terminable at will, voidable, or indeed unquestionably enforceable...[The imposition of liability for intentional interference with performance of a contract to which the competitor is a party must depend on the worth and significance of the objective interest to be protected. The actual, legal interest under a contract which may be avoided by the other contracting party at his election is not materially different from that under a contract which the other contracting party may terminate at will. In both instances the party seeking to impose liability enjoys no legally enforceable right to performance; his interest is a mere expectancy a hope of future contractual relations.

Guard-Life Corp. v. S. Parker Hardware Mfg. Corp., 50 N.Y.2d 183, 193 (1980)

That is all!

timbs4339
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Again, Dewey SAs have nothing to worry about in this regard, but the only point I was trying to make earlier in this thread is that at-will employment relationships are not shielded from tortious interference claims.

We perceive no difference in the ethical culpability, if any there be, of the uninformed, intentional interferer, whether it later turns out that the contract he interfered with was terminable at will, voidable, or indeed unquestionably enforceable...[The imposition of liability for intentional interference with performance of a contract to which the competitor is a party must depend on the worth and significance of the objective interest to be protected. The actual, legal interest under a contract which may be avoided by the other contracting party at his election is not materially different from that under a contract which the other contracting party may terminate at will. In both instances the party seeking to impose liability enjoys no legally enforceable right to performance; his interest is a mere expectancy a hope of future contractual relations.

Guard-Life Corp. v. S. Parker Hardware Mfg. Corp., 50 N.Y.2d 183, 193 (1980)

That is all!


This thread has reached an all-time low.

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
Ignoring the other stuff and focusing on what you signed... it was not a contract. I'm sure you signed something. We all signed offer letters. Those were not contracts and probably explicitly stated that they were not contracts, that your employment was at-will, that you could leave or they could cancel your SA position at any time without prior notice.


Point taken...signed a document evincing a business relationship.

My offer letter explicitly states that neither I or the firm has any obligation to continue to relationship. I'd be shocked if every SA offer letter in the country didn't have similar language. This is at-will employment, duder. They can't sue anyone else for you changing your mind.


Again, Dewey SAs have nothing to worry about in this regard, but the only point I was trying to make earlier in this thread is that at-will employment relationships are not shielded from tortious interference claims.

We perceive no difference in the ethical culpability, if any there be, of the uninformed, intentional interferer, whether it later turns out that the contract he interfered with was terminable at will, voidable, or indeed unquestionably enforceable...[The imposition of liability for intentional interference with performance of a contract to which the competitor is a party must depend on the worth and significance of the objective interest to be protected. The actual, legal interest under a contract which may be avoided by the other contracting party at his election is not materially different from that under a contract which the other contracting party may terminate at will. In both instances the party seeking to impose liability enjoys no legally enforceable right to performance; his interest is a mere expectancy a hope of future contractual relations.

Guard-Life Corp. v. S. Parker Hardware Mfg. Corp., 50 N.Y.2d 183, 193 (1980)

That is all!


This is why I hate labor law. The statutes permit at-will employment, meaning either side can leave whenever. But, because we have to be "fair" and protect rights, we let employees read into every action the employer takes, be is publishing an employee handbook or giving them a confirmation of their at-will, a business relationship with enforceable rights. Then to balance things out, we must be fair again, we let employers sue unscrupulous employees. Why not just say that either side can be as wretched and unfair to the other side in terminating them and not waste time litigating these issues?

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:53 pm

Even if there was an interference claim (which there isn't), a party to a contract can't be sued for interfering with that contract, they would just be sued for a breach. only a 3rd party can be sued for interfering with a K. in the event of a bankruptcy filing, those claims are discharged in any event.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:00 pm

Dewey SA here. PLEASE do us all a favor and stop having a 1L internet gunner debate about hornbook contract law that no one cares about. You're clogging this thread when it should REALLY be used for keeping track of departures, the potential merger, communications from the firm, the debt issues, etc. Please.

09042014
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Dewey SA here. PLEASE do us all a favor and stop having a 1L internet gunner debate about hornbook contract law that no one cares about. You're clogging this thread when it should REALLY be used for keeping track of departures, the potential merger, communications from the firm, the debt issues, etc. Please.


Well this is going to be as close to legal work you are going to get this summer so enjoy it. #toosoon

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dewey SA here. PLEASE do us all a favor and stop having a 1L internet gunner debate about hornbook contract law that no one cares about. You're clogging this thread when it should REALLY be used for keeping track of departures, the potential merger, communications from the firm, the debt issues, etc. Please.


Well this is going to be as close to legal work you are going to get this summer so enjoy it. #toosoon


There but for the grace of God go you.

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:24 pm

sunynp wrote:Two more partners left: Fred Gander and Hershel Wein - tax partners I don't think they have been mentioned in this thread before.

http://www.thelawyer.com/former-dewey-b ... 96.article

http://www.thelawyer.com/second-dewey-p ... 06.article


Hershel Wein, a tax partner in Dewey’s New York office, has become the latest partner to defect, landing a role at KPMG.

News of Wein’s departure comes the same day it emerged that London tax partner Fred Gander, who led legacy firm Dewey Ballentine’s London office before its 2007 merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, has also left to join KPMG (24 April 2012).


Current website count is 251.

09042014
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dewey SA here. PLEASE do us all a favor and stop having a 1L internet gunner debate about hornbook contract law that no one cares about. You're clogging this thread when it should REALLY be used for keeping track of departures, the potential merger, communications from the firm, the debt issues, etc. Please.


Well this is going to be as close to legal work you are going to get this summer so enjoy it. #toosoon


There but for the grace of God go you.


Just some gallows humor bro. I've got a question for you. Is there any way to let firms at 3LOLCI know, via your resume, that you were going to be a Dewey SA? Dewey, at the very least, should have a 2 week "summer associateship," even if they only pay you 500 bucks/ week. That way you can put it on your resume and firms will be sympathetic.

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:29 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dewey SA here. PLEASE do us all a favor and stop having a 1L internet gunner debate about hornbook contract law that no one cares about. You're clogging this thread when it should REALLY be used for keeping track of departures, the potential merger, communications from the firm, the debt issues, etc. Please.


Well this is going to be as close to legal work you are going to get this summer so enjoy it. #toosoon


There but for the grace of God go you.


Just some gallows humor bro. I've got a question for you. Is there any way to let firms at 3LOLCI know, via your resume, that you were going to be a Dewey SA? Dewey, at the very least, should have a 2 week "summer associateship," even if they only pay you 500 bucks/ week. That way you can put it on your resume and firms will be sympathetic.


Having read the articles about Howrey's wind-down, is there anyway of volunteering to help them pack boxes and having that re-labeled as an unpaid associateship? It sadly might be the equivalent of most first year's doc review.

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

Postby sunynp » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:34 pm

I don't know if there is any point in posting articles that don't have new information. But I guess to try to keep a record of what is out there is worthwhile.

Here is today's summary from New York magazine, which, in terms of popular culture, means that Dewey is moving out of interest to just the business and legal world and into the popular culture news. I really hope Dewey can pull something together.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/la ... uptcy.html

ATL ATL quotes the Daily Journal which requires a subscription:
But will a post-diet Dewey be svelte enough to attract a desirable mate? According to the Daily Journal (sub. req.), Dewey’s “strategy of seeking a prepackaged bankruptcy-and-merger deal with another large law firm has been widely rejected by several of those who have been courted by it…. Potential suitors have not gotten far beyond viewing the firm’s financial information and the structure of such a deal, according to one source.”

Dewey’s rumored love interest, the Christian Grey to Dewey’s Anastasia Steele — right now I’m reading a great guilty pleasure, 50 Shades of Grey (affiliate link) — is said to be Greenberg Traurig. But according to Casey Sullivan of the Daily Journal, Greenberg needs Dewey to lose some major weight before they hop into bed: “Greenberg expressed to Dewey that roughly half of Dewey’s partnership would need to be shed in order for a deal to occur.” Even considering all of the recent defections, Dewey would have to lose over 100 partners.


http://abovethelaw.com/2012/04/dewey-ha ... -come-due/


WSJ
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 28644.html

No new news this am (25th) from business week except that some london partners are talking to Akin Gump:
Legalweek.com reported yesterday that a team of London partners from Dewey are in talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Those considering a jump to Akin Gump include oil and gas partners John LaMaster and Marc Hammerson, finance partner Bruce Johnston and banking partner Amanda Jennings, the publication said.



http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-0 ... ess-of-law

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

Postby sunynp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:02 am

How many floors did Dewey have in their building at 1301?

They are actively subleasing 3 -4 floors now. If each floor is around 40,000 sg ft and they have about 474,000 - I guess they have 11-12 floors? They are subleasing 1/3 of their space. It is a quarter of the total space in the building. ( I wonder if there is a limit in the lease on how much of their space they can sublease?)

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20 ... /120429938

Shrinking legal giant sheds big block of space
Troubled Dewey & LeBoeuf has tapped Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to sublease up to about 160,000 square feet at the law firm's headquarters at 1301 Sixth Ave., sources say.
Deeply troubled law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has tapped Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to sublease up to about 160,000 square feet—roughly a third of its space—at 1301 Sixth Ave., where it is the largest tenant, sources said.
The firm, which has been hemorrhaging attorneys and is reportedly considering a prepackaged bankruptcy, is looking to initially sublease three or four floors of the building, which average 40,000 square feet each, according to CoStar Property. The firm leases roughly 474,000 square feet, nearly a quarter of the space in the 1.8 million-square-foot tower owned by The Paramount Group.

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:49 am

sunynp wrote:I don't know if there is any point in posting articles that don't have new information. But I guess to try to keep a record of what is out there is worthwhile.

Here is today's summary from New York magazine, which, in terms of popular culture, means that Dewey is moving out of interest to just the business and legal world and into the popular culture news. I really hope Dewey can pull something together.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/la ... uptcy.html

ATL ATL quotes the Daily Journal which requires a subscription:
But will a post-diet Dewey be svelte enough to attract a desirable mate? According to the Daily Journal (sub. req.), Dewey’s “strategy of seeking a prepackaged bankruptcy-and-merger deal with another large law firm has been widely rejected by several of those who have been courted by it…. Potential suitors have not gotten far beyond viewing the firm’s financial information and the structure of such a deal, according to one source.”

Dewey’s rumored love interest, the Christian Grey to Dewey’s Anastasia Steele — right now I’m reading a great guilty pleasure, 50 Shades of Grey (affiliate link) — is said to be Greenberg Traurig. But according to Casey Sullivan of the Daily Journal, Greenberg needs Dewey to lose some major weight before they hop into bed: “Greenberg expressed to Dewey that roughly half of Dewey’s partnership would need to be shed in order for a deal to occur.” Even considering all of the recent defections, Dewey would have to lose over 100 partners.


http://abovethelaw.com/2012/04/dewey-ha ... -come-due/


WSJ
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 28644.html

No new news this am (25th) from business week except that some london partners are talking to Akin Gump:
Legalweek.com reported yesterday that a team of London partners from Dewey are in talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Those considering a jump to Akin Gump include oil and gas partners John LaMaster and Marc Hammerson, finance partner Bruce Johnston and banking partner Amanda Jennings, the publication said.



http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-0 ... ess-of-law

One of the reasons I initially thought the Greenberg rumor was false was this partner headcount issue. Dewey had about one partner per three lawyers. Greenberg is closer to one in six. First, those indicate fairly different business models. Second, Greenberg would not dilute their firm's power structure with the partners who were standing at the helm while Dewey foundered.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:13 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
sunynp wrote:Two more partners left: Fred Gander and Hershel Wein - tax partners I don't think they have been mentioned in this thread before.

http://www.thelawyer.com/former-dewey-b ... 96.article

http://www.thelawyer.com/second-dewey-p ... 06.article


Hershel Wein, a tax partner in Dewey’s New York office, has become the latest partner to defect, landing a role at KPMG.

News of Wein’s departure comes the same day it emerged that London tax partner Fred Gander, who led legacy firm Dewey Ballentine’s London office before its 2007 merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, has also left to join KPMG (24 April 2012).


Current website count is 251.


Current website count is 250.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:16 pm

It seems like partner departures are slowing. Indeed, this appears to be a positive sign.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It seems like partner departures are slowing. Indeed, this appears to be a positive sign.


Quite the contrary. It looks like major defections are being organized (Mort Pierce, foreign offices, etc.). It looks likes about to get worse.

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

Postby sunynp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It seems like partner departures are slowing. Indeed, this appears to be a positive sign.


Quite the contrary. It looks like major defections are being organized (Mort Pierce, foreign offices, etc.). It looks likes about to get worse.


Yeah, I agree with this. They have until Monday to come up with a deal with the lenders. Perhaps no more partners are going to leave before then if only to show some minimum support for their old colleagues.

I admit that I didn't know they had that massive bond debt when this exodus began. I thought they had only revolving credit liability to banks who would in ordinary situations be willing to work with them even if Dewey had technically triggered a default under the loan covenants.

Dewey's management should really be hung out to dry on this one. Or maybe Lebouef, who should have never gone for the merger.

Edit to add: Looks like the sublease included the executive floor

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/04/25/dew ... ive-floor/

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:28 pm

I think the merger is too far fetched. At this point I think the best hope for summers is that Greenberg picks up a large swath from new york and dc, maybe 50+ partners and their associates, and agrees to take what's left of the summer class as a sign of good will.

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

Postby sunynp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:57 pm

Now Dewey is the poster child for the problems of biglaw now and in the future:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/ ... trys-woes/

This is an interview with a guy who is self-publishing a book on Amazon about the legal industry. Dewey’s woes hardly surprise Michael H. Trotter, a partner at Taylor English Duma in Atlanta who, in addition to a five-decade career as a corporate lawyer, has written two books about the economics and management of law firms.

Q.
The publication of “Declining Prospects” comes at a moment when Dewey faces the risk of collapse. The turmoil at the firm appears to be a manifestation of a lot of the issues that you discuss in your book.

A.
I don’t think Dewey’s problems are just a matter of a management mistake here or there but instead reflect a change in the fundamental competitive environment in the legal services industry. Many of the larger firms that serve major business clients are caught up in these changes. We’ve already seen several go under, and I think we’ll see quite a few more over the next few years.

Q.
What has changed?

A.
There are now far more capable lawyers and law firms than there is work for them to do. The financial costs of legal services have gotten so high that most clients are determined to reduce them. Many legal services have become commodities that can be supplied by a large number of firms with sufficient quality to meet the needs of most clients in most situations, and corporate general counsel now know that they can get what they need at a lower cost if they force the major firms to compete for the work.

Q.
One reason for Dewey’s trouble is that it poached lawyers from rival firms by offering them multiyear, multimillion-dollar guaranteed contracts.

A.
That’s a very risky strategy. For one thing, people don’t always produce what they promise; often the clients that they currently have move with them, so to give anyone a guaranteed contract based on their past success is basically a mistake. Imagine the environment where profits are dropping and there are some partners getting the full amount they were guaranteed and you’re getting half of what you expected. It generates a lot of hard feelings.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the merger is too far fetched. At this point I think the best hope for summers is that Greenberg picks up a large swath from new york and dc, maybe 50+ partners and their associates, and agrees to take what's left of the summer class as a sign of good will.


Um, why would Greenberg care about goodwill towards summers? Taking any associates would be a sign of goodwill at this juncture and Greenberg has historically taken many fewer summers per lawyer than Dewey. If they're trying to mitigate the risk of the Dewey partners screwing up their firm, they won't make the mistake of bringing in extra cost centers in the SAs.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:42 pm

http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticleALD.jsp?id=1202550293765

One European-based Dewey partner told The Am Law Daily Wednesday that the firm's newly created "office of the chairman"—a five-partner team that includes bankruptcy expert Martin Bienenstock, corporate department head Richard Shutran, and global head of litigation Jeffrey Kessler—"is silent now; it's been like that for a few days."

"It seems like bankruptcy is imminent," said the European partner, adding that those toiling abroad see the firm's situation as increasingly dire. "Everyone is seriously dejected ... It's very difficult to see a future for the London office under the circumstances."

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

Postby DrGuano » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:59 pm

This is really nutty stuff. As someone who was very close to many families affected by the financial crisis, and now a 2L at Fordham, this is like watching what happened in Bear Stearns and Lehman, but in slow motion. Obviously, the mass departures are different, but the whole "the sky is falling" thing brings back memories of yore.

I received an offer from Dewey, but wasn't really taking it too seriously. Want sports law, but firm health was more important to me. Ended up at one of the most financially stable firms, but during the decision a kid who picked Dewey was trying to sell the firm to me. His quote verbatim was "C'mon, bro, it's a great firm."

Sorry bro. Looks like you'll summer associating with the unemployment office.

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5ky
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby 5ky » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:14 pm

DrGuano wrote:This is really nutty stuff. As someone who was very close to many families affected by the financial crisis, and now a 2L at Fordham, this is like watching what happened in Bear Stearns and Lehman, but in slow motion. Obviously, the mass departures are different, but the whole "the sky is falling" thing brings back memories of yore.

I received an offer from Dewey, but wasn't really taking it too seriously. Want sports law, but firm health was more important to me. Ended up at one of the most financially stable firms, but during the decision a kid who picked Dewey was trying to sell the firm to me. His quote verbatim was "C'mon, bro, it's a great firm."

Sorry bro. Looks like you'll summer associating with the unemployment office.


You sound like a dick.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:14 pm

5ky wrote:
DrGuano wrote:This is really nutty stuff. As someone who was very close to many families affected by the financial crisis, and now a 2L at Fordham, this is like watching what happened in Bear Stearns and Lehman, but in slow motion. Obviously, the mass departures are different, but the whole "the sky is falling" thing brings back memories of yore.

I received an offer from Dewey, but wasn't really taking it too seriously. Want sports law, but firm health was more important to me. Ended up at one of the most financially stable firms, but during the decision a kid who picked Dewey was trying to sell the firm to me. His quote verbatim was "C'mon, bro, it's a great firm."

Sorry bro. Looks like you'll summer associating with the unemployment office.


You sound like a dick.




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