Avoiding the next Dewey

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


About to accept an OMM offer in CA over NYC V5-15 firms. Is this wise??

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


About to accept an OMM offer in CA over NYC V5-15 firms. Is this wise??


+1

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


About to accept an OMM offer in CA over NYC V5-15 firms. Is this wise??


+1


Which office?

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


About to accept an OMM offer in CA over NYC V5-15 firms. Is this wise??


+1


Which office?


Does it matter? Either the firm is solvent or not.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


About to accept an OMM offer in CA over NYC V5-15 firms. Is this wise??



Which office?


LA, but does it matter? Either the firm is solvent or not.


The solvency question was big last year, when they had all the partner departures in NY. That appears to have stabilized with new laterals being brought in from Dewey, and a change in leadership. I asked about office because something like their SV outpost, which relies on emerging tech/corporate work, may be harder hit by the contraction of corporate work that Bloomberg News reported on last week, and may be a riskier choice than their LA headquarters.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


Source for Pillsbury?

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


Source for Pillsbury?


I'm a little perplexed by this. The information I am getting is that Pillsbury has zero debt and no lease commitment (they own their office space). That generally seems like pretty conservative management. Any substance behind rumors?

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pillsbury in SF/SV is not doing well. Read a bunch here about O'Melveny, but not entirely sure of its accuracy.


Source for Pillsbury?


I'm a little perplexed by this. The information I am getting is that Pillsbury has zero debt and no lease commitment (they own their office space). That generally seems like pretty conservative management. Any substance behind rumors?


It was the fact that they shut down their 2010 California recruiting, and recently moved into a smaller office space to save money (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/print-edition/2011/11/11/pillsbury-shrinks-space-with.html?page=all). Could be nothing, but I haven't any stories of positive business outlook.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby DeweyWins » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:45 pm

It's difficult to guess which firm will collapse next, but it's pretty easy to determine which firms will layoff/no-offer people en masse if the economy slows down considerably (or fails to pick up). Just look at historical offer rates and layoffs. It's also useful to check whether the firm has strong counter-cyclical practices (like restructuring, or to a lesser extent, litigation).

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As offer decision deadlines loom, I thought having a thread about the financial stability (or instability) of law firms would be helpful. Anyone have any insight into which firms are financially unstable or on the other hand, firms that are shining stars in terms of financial stability. Also, it would probably be useful to say why (if you know) in addition to sharing firm names. :)


Fulbright and Jaworski (Dallas) is not doing well financially.

As someone who is interested in that firm I'd like to know where this information is coming from. I've seen it posted around TLS without much to support it or reasoning behind it. Anyone care to share?


This is bull. Fulbright Dallas is the most profitable office.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 am

When, after the mass layoffs, did Latham hire huge summer classes? A timeline would be helpful. It sounds like some folks are saying that they had a lot of associates during the boom (true), laid off a bunch (true), hired a bunch of summers?, laid off more associates?, and are hiring more summers again?

From what I understand they have changed their hiring philosophy since the mass layoffs, and they've especially committed to lean summer classes. But I could be way off. Thoughts?

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:10 am

Cavalier wrote:At this point I don't think anyone can predict which firm(s) will fail next. Two years ago it was fairly obvious that Howrey was in trouble, but last year Dewey looked fine--only a handful of its partners knew about its problems at the time. A few weeks ago there were a lot of rumors about White & Case stealthing associates, and now there's talk of incoming layoffs at Latham, but the problem with anonymous posting is that there's no way to determine whether these reports are credible or just the work of one or two people who happen to be bitter about a particular firm.

If you're considering a firm, research the heck out of it--search it on Google (in the past year/month/week), Google News, Above the Law, TLS, AutoAdmit, etc. A wave of departures is generally a bad sign. See if the firm's revenue per lawyer has been increasing or decreasing. Talk to any 3Ls at your school who summered there. Also, don't totally blow off school now that you have an offer. My friends who were headed to Dewey both found jobs at other law firms, but I suspect they might have had more difficulty if they had let their grades tank.


Apparently Dewey wasn't a surprise to everyone. One partner at my firm told me they were told a year before the collapse to start evaluating practice groups they may want to bid on. Apparently Dewey had been notoriously slow paying out to its partners and that's a huge sign that things aren't right.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby sunynp » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Cavalier wrote:At this point I don't think anyone can predict which firm(s) will fail next. Two years ago it was fairly obvious that Howrey was in trouble, but last year Dewey looked fine--only a handful of its partners knew about its problems at the time. A few weeks ago there were a lot of rumors about White & Case stealthing associates, and now there's talk of incoming layoffs at Latham, but the problem with anonymous posting is that there's no way to determine whether these reports are credible or just the work of one or two people who happen to be bitter about a particular firm.

If you're considering a firm, research the heck out of it--search it on Google (in the past year/month/week), Google News, Above the Law, TLS, AutoAdmit, etc. A wave of departures is generally a bad sign. See if the firm's revenue per lawyer has been increasing or decreasing. Talk to any 3Ls at your school who summered there. Also, don't totally blow off school now that you have an offer. My friends who were headed to Dewey both found jobs at other law firms, but I suspect they might have had more difficulty if they had let their grades tank.


Apparently Dewey wasn't a surprise to everyone. One partner at my firm told me they were told a year before the collapse to start evaluating practice groups they may want to bid on. Apparently Dewey had been notoriously slow paying out to its partners and that's a huge sign that things aren't right.


But it was a surprise to a great number of people. Citibank is suing one lateral partner for payment of the loan it gave him for his buy-in. He is alleging that Citibank had a duty to tell him that Dewey was struggling, which is something Citibank knew. Citibank say he had the chance to look at the firm's books but never took it.

Why were Dewey partners so intimidated that they never checked the firm's books? I'll never understand that one.

But most people were fooled by Dewey and Dewey managed to keep up the masquerade (fraud) for a long time.

I read as much information on law firm financials as I can find and I wouldn't be able to pick the next Dewey or Winston either. I don't know how to tell what firm will be next.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:22 am

sunynp wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Cavalier wrote:At this point I don't think anyone can predict which firm(s) will fail next. Two years ago it was fairly obvious that Howrey was in trouble, but last year Dewey looked fine--only a handful of its partners knew about its problems at the time. A few weeks ago there were a lot of rumors about White & Case stealthing associates, and now there's talk of incoming layoffs at Latham, but the problem with anonymous posting is that there's no way to determine whether these reports are credible or just the work of one or two people who happen to be bitter about a particular firm.

If you're considering a firm, research the heck out of it--search it on Google (in the past year/month/week), Google News, Above the Law, TLS, AutoAdmit, etc. A wave of departures is generally a bad sign. See if the firm's revenue per lawyer has been increasing or decreasing. Talk to any 3Ls at your school who summered there. Also, don't totally blow off school now that you have an offer. My friends who were headed to Dewey both found jobs at other law firms, but I suspect they might have had more difficulty if they had let their grades tank.


Apparently Dewey wasn't a surprise to everyone. One partner at my firm told me they were told a year before the collapse to start evaluating practice groups they may want to bid on. Apparently Dewey had been notoriously slow paying out to its partners and that's a huge sign that things aren't right.


But it was a surprise to a great number of people. Citibank is suing one lateral partner for payment of the loan it gave him for his buy-in. He is alleging that Citibank had a duty to tell him that Dewey was struggling, which is something Citibank knew. Citibank say he had the chance to look at the firm's books but never took it.

Why were Dewey partners so intimidated that they never checked the firm's books? I'll never understand that one.

But most people were fooled by Dewey and Dewey managed to keep up the masquerade (fraud) for a long time.

I read as much information on law firm financials as I can find and I wouldn't be able to pick the next Dewey or Winston either. I don't know how to tell what firm will be next.


Anon from above. I don't disagree it surprised many. But knowledge of it wasn't limited to internal partners as asserted. It seems that its troubles were widely speculated on by partners outside the firm. It just wasn't general knowledge.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:When, after the mass layoffs, did Latham hire huge summer classes? A timeline would be helpful. It sounds like some folks are saying that they had a lot of associates during the boom (true), laid off a bunch (true), hired a bunch of summers?, laid off more associates?, and are hiring more summers again?

From what I understand they have changed their hiring philosophy since the mass layoffs, and they've especially committed to lean summer classes. But I could be way off. Thoughts?


No, you're dead on. The other post is clearly from someone that has no clue what they are talking about--most likely from someone upset they didn't get a callback there.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:When, after the mass layoffs, did Latham hire huge summer classes? A timeline would be helpful. It sounds like some folks are saying that they had a lot of associates during the boom (true), laid off a bunch (true), hired a bunch of summers?, laid off more associates?, and are hiring more summers again?

From what I understand they have changed their hiring philosophy since the mass layoffs, and they've especially committed to lean summer classes. But I could be way off. Thoughts?


I do get the sense that they are trying to keep their SA class relatively small. At least for the LA office, their SA numbers stayed about the same (15-20) for the past couple of years and I was told they are planning to hire 18 this year. But who knows, could it be because they don't have enough work to go around (I don't know about this part just guessing)?

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When, after the mass layoffs, did Latham hire huge summer classes? A timeline would be helpful. It sounds like some folks are saying that they had a lot of associates during the boom (true), laid off a bunch (true), hired a bunch of summers?, laid off more associates?, and are hiring more summers again?

From what I understand they have changed their hiring philosophy since the mass layoffs, and they've especially committed to lean summer classes. But I could be way off. Thoughts?


I do get the sense that they are trying to keep their SA class relatively small. At least for the LA office, their SA numbers stayed about the same (15-20) for the past couple of years and I was told they are planning to hire 18 this year. But who knows, could it be because they don't have enough work to go around (I don't know about this part just guessing)?


Associates (juniors) in the office I interviewed at talked about being very busy and the amount of work there is to go around. They could have been lying, but I doubt juniors at Latham have a vested interest in tricking candidates. There could also be differences amongst practice groups.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:46 am

Winston. Winston. Winston.

Look. This is the firm where large numbers of lateral groups from pretty much every recent failed biglaw firm (note -- I didn't say attorneys. These are laterals who move from firm to firm). Heller. Thelen. Howrey. Dewey.

Plus, considering their horrific offer rates and well-known, common practice of stealth layoffs of associates (and apparently it is a horrid working environment for associates), you would literally be crazy to choose this firm to start your career if you have other options. If you don't have other options, you better plan on finding some whenever your career finds itself derailed suddenly, fyi.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:50 am

I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.


Why Hogan Lovells? I'm very interested in their NY office.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby anon168 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.


Why Hogan Lovells? I'm very interested in their NY office.


Hogan Lovells is like trying to hold up two dumbbells with a rubber band. Eventually the rubber band will snap under all that weight.

It has little to do with finances, per se, but there was and still is very little synergy from that "association" of supposed equals.

But it doesn't mean they are about to go "Dewey" any time soon, but there maybe some major and painstaking restructuring in their near future -- be it outwardly or not.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.


Anyone have more details on Goodwin? I know they had deferrals during the downturn but I hadn't heard any rumors of current problems.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.


Why Hogan Lovells? I'm very interested in their NY office.


They told me that their friends were very unhappy and slow on work in the corporate side. Low morale usually isn't the best sign.

Plus, I hear that there's not that much work going around, and the lower level V100 firms are getting squeezed out of the markets. When everybody charges the same, you're going to want to hire the best firm you can.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I heard from attorneys on callbacks that Kaye Scholar, Hogan Lovells, Goodwin Proctor, Winston & Strawn and White & Case were the firms to stay away from.


Anyone have more details on Goodwin? I know they had deferrals during the downturn but I hadn't heard any rumors of current problems.


They were laying off lots of staff, and usually that's the first step to stop hemorrhage.

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Re: Avoiding the next Dewey

Postby bjsesq » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:14 am

As a kid who got caught up in the Winston and Strawn mess, even I don't know where the firm's finances sit. Shit, damn near nobody in the firm save for the very top does. They have toed the line on being "conservative with money" and making cuts "before there are issues." Point: nobody has any real idea about these firms, and that is because the firms make it so.




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