How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

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joeshmo39
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby joeshmo39 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:32 pm

5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Holy crap... breaking news on law 360 (subscription required, which I don't have). http://www.law360.com/topnews/articles/ ... firm-head-

Fellow SAs... this sucks :(


oh my god, wow. condolences to all involved.


It was bad before, now it's flat out ugly. Sorry Dewey SAs. I understand that we were all skittish about certain firms during OGI based on information we received, but if I counted out all the firms I hear something unsavory about as far as stability my bid list would have been blank. Let's be honest: there isn't much transparency in regard to firm finances and it's not something we are in a position to ask about. There is a large amount of luck involved in the end. People are saying certain partners warned them about Dewey, but does it surprise us if firms talk badly about one another? I guess it's nice that they said that to you, but it's not like they share the same tidbit with every interviewee every time.

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

Postby sunynp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:41 pm

This has gone into the realm of the bizarre. It looks like Davis and his friends were taking all the money he could get out of the firm once he knew it was insolvent. I guess I am not the only one who has been trying to put together what happened and been dissatisfied with what I was finding out.

I don't know how anyone could have suspected that this is what was going on.

I hope you guys find something else. I hope you listened to the good advice in this thread - I was wrong, I really thought it was a simple covenant default with the lenders that could be fixed. I would never have guessed criminal activity was involved (or is that a ploy to get back all the money paid to people under those guarantees.) I thought that the firm would keep it together long enough for the summers to get their job experience.

This is so much worse than anything I thought could have happened. I guess this is the end of innocence.
Last edited by sunynp on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:42 pm

Terrible. So sorry... :(

sunynp wrote:
Law360, New York (April 26, 2012, 8:53 PM ET) -- A group of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP partners has asked the New York district attorney to bring criminal charges against the chairman of the tottering firm, which could close its doors as early as next week, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The source told Law360 that an undisclosed number of partners from Dewey asked the New York County district attorney to charge Chairman Steven H. Davis with embezzlement, wire fraud, mail fraud and other criminal activity.

Dewey, which has lost nearly 20 percent of its partnership this year, has stretched itself financially to the breaking point, forcing the firm to seriously consider filing a prepackaged Chapter 11, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The firm could shutter its offices as early as next week without being able to pay off associates, paralegals, kitchen staff and others, a source said Thursday, predicting that “the story can only end one way."

Calling Davis a “sinister character,” the inside source revealed that Davis informed the firm’s partners at a global partners' meeting in October that he had signed more than 100 contracts guaranteeing certain partners compensation.

Those contracts, which added up to approximately $197 million, drained more than 75 percent of the firm’s reported $250 million in year-end profits, leaving hundreds of partners to split up the remaining $50 million.

And while it is not unusual to extend guaranteed compensation contracts to lateral hires joining the firm, the source claims Davis gave out too many, most of which went to friends. The chairman was allegedly “running the firm like a mafia,” the source said.

When questioned, the firm’s executive committee claimed it did not know about the firm’s overextended circumstances, indicating that Davis allegedly handed out the guaranteed compensation contracts — some worth up to $1.2 million — without any oversight.

In addition, Davis has already cashed out his personal capital in the firm, in violation of firm agreements, the source said.

Internally, Dewey told partners in December that it had not made enough money in the past year to even pay partners with guaranteed contracts, leaving many breached. The informant told Law360 Thursday, however, that the firm was insolvent as early as November.

As the insolvency crisis nears collapse, with the firm’s $72 million revolving credit line with lenders J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC Holdings PLC and others set to expire on the last day of this month, the source says a lot of people will be harmed in the process.

If Dewey does file for bankruptcy, it is predicted to be “the nastiest bankruptcy a law firm has ever had,” the source said, as all of the firm’s capital accounts are brought to zero.

Former partners have already reported that they are waiting for overdue payments of invested capital from Dewey, but if the firm declares bankruptcy, they may never see those funds.

The payments were part of multiyear reimbursement plans that were established to repay former partners for traditional capital contributions the attorneys made when they joined the firm or were elected to partner.

Further, reports that Greenberg Traurig LLP will merge with Dewey may be hasty, the source warned.

“Why would they want to merge?” the source asked, adding that the group of partners negotiating with Greenberg have kept the rest of Dewey’s partners in the dark as to the productivity of the talks.

The source, however, was able to confirm that Greenberg got an inside look at Dewey’s books and that a plan to “cherry-pick” the best of Dewey’s partners was not out of the question.

The district attorney’s office and a representative for Dewey were not immediately available for comment Thursday.

--Editing by Cara Salvatore.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:45 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:
5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Holy crap... breaking news on law 360 (subscription required, which I don't have). http://www.law360.com/topnews/articles/ ... firm-head-

Fellow SAs... this sucks :(


oh my god, wow. condolences to all involved.


It was bad before, now it's flat out ugly. Sorry Dewey SAs. I understand that we were all skittish about certain firms during OGI based on information we received, but if I counted out all the firms I hear something unsavory about as far as stability my bid list would have been blank. Let's be honest: there isn't much transparency in regard to firm finances and it's not something we are in a position to ask about. There is a large amount of luck involved in the end. People are saying certain partners warned them about Dewey, but does it surprise us if firms talk badly about one another? I guess it's nice that they said that to you, but it's not like they share the same tidbit with every interviewee every time.


I heard nothing but positive comments from people I interviewed with. I knew it was rough right after the merger, but everything looked promising. By all indications, it looked like a growing firm. Now as a ronin Dewey SA, I'm still in shock that my career was destroyed before it started. I did everything right. I did well in college, studied for the LSAT, got into a good school, accepted an offer from what I thought was a good firm -- and now, through no fault of my own, my career may be ruined before it began. Greed...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby sunynp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:46 pm

FWIW no one else seems to have picked up this story yet. I guess we will see what happens in the morning.

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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:10 pm

As a Dewey SA, I made this haiku to express how I feel:

sunynp wrote:into the realm of the bizarre.



sunynp wrote:
the end of innocence.


Anonymous User wrote: ronin Dewey SA



Anonymous User wrote:
Greed...

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

Postby xcountryjunkie » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:19 pm

I'm utterly speechless. That is so much worse than I thought Dewey's situation was. My sincerest condolences to all those affected.

keg411
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby keg411 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:22 am

xcountryjunkie wrote:I'm utterly speechless. That is so much worse than I thought Dewey's situation was. My sincerest condolences to all those affected.


+1. This is absolutely terrible.

I hope some other firms are nice enough to take on Dewey SA's. Seriously, there were zero signs that I saw that it was something THIS bad. Sounds like Davis is absolute scum.

rad lulz
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby rad lulz » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 am

Holy shit.

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

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:30 am

Wow, awful. Sincere condolences.

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

Postby NinerFan » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:31 am

:( Condolences.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:58 am

Law360, New York (April 26, 2012, 8:53 PM ET) --

If Dewey does file for bankruptcy, it is predicted to be “the nastiest bankruptcy a law firm has ever had,” the source said, as all of the firm’s capital accounts are brought to zero.


I'll say.

Sympathies to the SAs. The universe owes you guys something pretty damn good after this.

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

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:15 am

keg411 wrote:
xcountryjunkie wrote:I'm utterly speechless. That is so much worse than I thought Dewey's situation was. My sincerest condolences to all those affected.


+1. This is absolutely terrible.

I hope some other firms are nice enough to take on Dewey SA's. Seriously, there were zero signs that I saw that it was something THIS bad. Sounds like Davis is absolute scum.

I wonder if anyone has any space. Sucks so much for them.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:40 am

Incoming SA, have any other incoming SA's contacted anyone at the firm?

Anonymous User
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:40 am

So the chair of my firm this summer came to speak at a small reception.

He told us that when he was a 2L, he was no offered.

When he was a 3L he struck out at OCI, but (but picked off a big law stint by networking in a random hole left by someone who went to clerk).

As a 2nd year associate, his firm collapsed.

At his next firm, he wasn't put on partnership track.

At the firm I'll be summering at, he eventually made it to partner. Worked his way up to firm chair.

He said he went home several times and went to bed thinking his law career is over. If you were meant for this business, you'll find a way to make it. If not, it's just ending the misery, stress, and humiliation sooner.

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

Postby dailygrind » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:08 am

rad lulz wrote:Holy shit.


+1. Wish nothing but the best for you folks.

k99me01
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby k99me01 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:17 am

:(

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

Postby TTTLS » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:38 am

Holy shit. This makes my blood boil.

My condolences to the SAs.

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

Postby thesealocust » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:50 am

Definitely sucks. For what it's worth, I know several people who were headed to Howrey that landed on their feet post-collapse. This injects a lot of uncertainty into the lives of 2Ls and 3Ls who were planning a start with Dewey, but it's not a career death sentence.

Having had the offer means you were "vetted" once already, other firms will surely be as receptive as their business needs allow. Certainly worth some hustle.

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

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:08 am

thesealocust wrote:Definitely sucks. For what it's worth, I know several people who were headed to Howrey that landed on their feet post-collapse. This injects a lot of uncertainty into the lives of 2Ls and 3Ls who were planning a start with Dewey, but it's not a career death sentence.

Having had the offer means you were "vetted" once already, other firms will surely be as receptive as their business needs allow. Certainly worth some hustle.


I think the real question is how to show on your resume that you were supposed to be a Dewey SA. Otherwise a Dewey SA would have the resume of someone who just struck out for 2L summer.

At least Howry exploded when you could still get some decent summer work. It's almost May.

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

Postby thesealocust » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:14 am

Cover letter is the perfect place, resume could be tricky but could probably be made to work for at least the first job hunt.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to handle Dewey (or similar firms)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:18 am

As a once-incoming Dewey SA with two balls and a functioning penis, I have to ask -- why would anyone care about indicating that they were 'vetted' for a firm on their resume? Is being vetted by a criminally incompetent law firm really that prestigious? That is like saying you won a good moral character award from OJ Simpson. It just sounds pathetic. If you didn't work for a firm, don't list it on your resume like some sort of desperate tool. Just hustle for a public interest job this summer and try for 3L oci. You can mention Dewey and your sick mother and your bad back in OCI interviews if you are that insecure.

Off topic, but thank god I have little debt and was not depending on this crappy firm to pay my food bills. What a piece of crap this firm is. Shame on me for not noticing the signs earlier. Suffice it to say, I hope Dewey's soon-to-be-unemployed kitchen staff finds creative uses for the chairman's broiled testicles.

I am not innocent in all this. I regret claiming that I was a homosexual during my callback in the LA office, where I just assumed everyone else was gay, gay all the way. I did it purely for diversity points. Lot of good that did me. Shannon, if you are listening out there --- I am sorry you are no longer the LA recruiting director, and I am even sorrier that I told you I liked men. You were a nice lady who did not deserve my lies or the implosion of the firm you so cheerily shilled for. The frappuccino you bought for me was fabulous, even if the $7.49 you spent on it only hastened Dewey's insolvency. I hope you have found a more stable gig and would like to take you out to a heterosexual dinner sometime, assuming you are still alive and in the LA area. You have my number.

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

Postby sunynp » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:40 am

No one else is reporting this story on the partners going to the DA. I'm not sure where that story is headed. You think another news outlet would mention it somewhere.


Bloomberg just has a summary of the story so far.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-2 ... -debt.html

Economist has an overview and opinion on how hard it is for law firms to pull back from the brink:
http://www.economist.com/node/21553478

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:29 am

Wow, of all possible outcomes, this was the least probable. Sorry for the SAs. Good luck, I hope you get the benefit of the doubt elsewhere because you should have had an SA on your resume.

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

Postby DrGuano » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:44 am

Just checked to see if the kind soul who I mentioned previously in my Dewey interview told me that the firm was still in rough shape/billables were at recession levels.

Jumped ship to Hogan sometime around the new year it seems. Glad some folks are making it out okay. Can't imagine what it's going to be like for all those staff and paralegals though. That's the real tragedy here...they employ a lot of folks that will have a tough time finding jobs elsewhere and haven't been making 6 figures annually to tide them over in the interim.




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