Dechert layoffs

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:11 pm

DaBigChina - I was a financial difficulty casualty. It was hinted I would be sued if I said I was slow, not to mention being laid off for financial reasons. I understand why you would want to know the specific group and office. I would gladly trade what's left of my career to help one person save theirs, especially if they have family. The thing is that I don't think providing more detail would help anyone enough to justify what would probably be a very aggressive response. I think they'll probably just change the reason although I don't think financial casualties were ever allowed to see their reviews. Right or wrong, I have no assets, am behind on student loans and lost my health insurance right before learning I needed surgery so am repaying that. I am sorry.

On the delayed cold offer, it's speculation but I think they realize around the time you take the bar that they won't have enough work. It's based on first impressions, not your experience as a summer. It would be bad press to fire you then and there. I also think this only happens when they're operating at a loss. You have say 10 first years, and stealth 2 of them. In my case, I was scolded for messing up an assignment I was never on and asked to come for a meeting. I brought this up the fact I was not on the matter in a follow up email, and the meeting was canceled with an apology.

A week later, I was asked to come to a new meeting where I was told it was financial difficulty and work product never came up again. I was never allowed to see my reviews, and that was always very guarded. I was told I could leave then or sign a non-disclosure, and then got calls from a 3rd party transition counselor about the importance of keeping the non-disclosure. I feel bad for the associate who was asked to find some work product mistake to chastise me for. I think he had mixed me up with another first year so brought up the wrong matter. It was bush league to make him make something up, but then I was told it wasn't work product so who knows? Whole thing was very bizarre and sketchy. i don't know how standard or not standard it is. I remember my first reaction being to take a hot shower.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:54 pm

Wait, I don't get it. You're saying you were a summer who was going to start at Dechert, but you were cold-offered sometime in the last couple months, and now you're behind on your loans and have no health insurance?

But if you were just cold-offered, wouldn't that make you a 3L? And wouldn't a 3L have insurance through the school and not have to repay any of their loans yet? This is really suspect.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wait, I don't get it. You're saying you were a summer who was going to start at Dechert, but you were cold-offered sometime in the last couple months, and now you're behind on your loans and have no health insurance?

But if you were just cold-offered, wouldn't that make you a 3L? And wouldn't a 3L have insurance through the school and not have to repay any of their loans yet? This is really suspect.


Where did you read that (s)he was a summer?

e. and what's more, why is this post anonymous?

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:04 pm

You're not following. I'm saying it's after you've already started, not from the summer. Essentially, you hire 5 people but only need 3. After the 5 start, you pick 3. The summer doesn't factor in/ It's a delayed cold offer because it has the same affect. You get some salary, but you don't get 3L to apply for jobs because it's not a cold offer until day one. I'm not saying it's intentionally this way. It's not, but sometimes people overestimate their needs and it's better to over-hire than under-hire given the billing rates.

It is an expression I made up. It's not a offer, then it becomes a cold offer when you're a 3L. it happens because the summer committee is small, and really just about measuring overall skill set.

This is a firm where no junior has ever (I don't believe) made partner. Nobody gives a shit about your development. It's whether you can bill now, which is not uncommon. However, it also means you're not really being tested out by the groups as a summer. You're like stormtroopers. You throw a bunch in a group, hope they hit something and see who sticks.

Some groups are different, and legitimate great to work with. It very quickly becomes obvious which ones these are.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby dabigchina » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:16 pm

@ stealthed anon. I get it. No need to out yourself for my benefit. I have no horse in this race.

Best of luck to you. I'm sure you will land on your feet once you take some time off. AFAIK the broader industry doesn't seem to be contracting in the same way your group seems to be.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:32 pm

It would help. I was removed from the website, presumably by accident midway through the search so had to start back over - the interviews pending were canceled and the people i was working with were upset. I didn't know i was bec I was getting surgery when I learned my callbacks were canceled. That set me back a lot, bec my time was up by the time I rebounded. The major takeaway lesson is to treat each day you're up there as it's your last.

At the same time, if I smiled brighter or made one less typo, I wouldn't be the stealthed one. Also, if I had gotten staffed on the matter I was initially accused of messing up, maybe I could have prevented the mess up from happening or maybe I could have actually messed it up so I could have had the learning experience.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DaBigChina - I was a financial difficulty casualty. It was hinted I would be sued if I said I was slow, not to mention being laid off for financial reasons. I understand why you would want to know the specific group and office. I would gladly trade what's left of my career to help one person save theirs, especially if they have family. The thing is that I don't think providing more detail would help anyone enough to justify what would probably be a very aggressive response. I think they'll probably just change the reason although I don't think financial casualties were ever allowed to see their reviews. Right or wrong, I have no assets, am behind on student loans and lost my health insurance right before learning I needed surgery so am repaying that. I am sorry.

On the delayed cold offer, it's speculation but I think they realize around the time you take the bar that they won't have enough work. It's based on first impressions, not your experience as a summer. It would be bad press to fire you then and there. I also think this only happens when they're operating at a loss. You have say 10 first years, and stealth 2 of them. In my case, I was scolded for messing up an assignment I was never on and asked to come for a meeting. I brought this up the fact I was not on the matter in a follow up email, and the meeting was canceled with an apology.

A week later, I was asked to come to a new meeting where I was told it was financial difficulty and work product never came up again. I was never allowed to see my reviews, and that was always very guarded. I was told I could leave then or sign a non-disclosure, and then got calls from a 3rd party transition counselor about the importance of keeping the non-disclosure. I feel bad for the associate who was asked to find some work product mistake to chastise me for. I think he had mixed me up with another first year so brought up the wrong matter. It was bush league to make him make something up, but then I was told it wasn't work product so who knows? Whole thing was very bizarre and sketchy. i don't know how standard or not standard it is. I remember my first reaction being to take a hot shower.


Thanks for sharing the additional details. Hope things turn out better for you.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:50 pm

HuntedUnicorn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wait, I don't get it. You're saying you were a summer who was going to start at Dechert, but you were cold-offered sometime in the last couple months, and now you're behind on your loans and have no health insurance?

But if you were just cold-offered, wouldn't that make you a 3L? And wouldn't a 3L have insurance through the school and not have to repay any of their loans yet? This is really suspect.


Where did you read that (s)he was a summer?

e. and what's more, why is this post anonymous?


I thought it was implied from the cold offer. And I'm anon because I'm a current associate and don't need anyone connecting my handle with my place of employment.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:53 pm

i don't really think it has anything to do with the people involved, and don't know whether it's firm wide. The finances of one group are not necessarily indicative of other groups, particularly when layoffs are not industry wide.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:14 am

The one difference is that if there aren't legitimate reasons to can you but the business is slow, Dechert may have other lawyers create a mistake or ask you to do something unethical like forging a client's signature likely as a means of foregoing paying for benefits. It's important for anyone who thinks they may be being stealthed to keep their guard up, and to be able to recognize and reject work they have a bad feeling about notwithstanding having low hours. It's equally important to document such instances, and relay them to in house counsel but to be weary of reporting it to anyone else. This may only be a concern in some groups.

At some point, this will probably be common knowledge. Until then, it's naive for associates at Dechert to assume all firms have similar values. It's preferable to convince an associate to forge a signature than have to pay a few weeks salary. It's always important to recognize and refuse to do anything unethical, but even more important to be cautious if you think you may be being stealthed.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 6:37 pm

I tried to give a heads up this was coming. I was told in no uncertain terms there would be repercussions for giving this heads up, but did it anyway. In fairness, you basically had one or two anons disputed by people at the firm and nobody else willing to talk. I also didn't trust ATL enough to send an anon e-mail - I was worried they'd use my name.

To those aggrieved looing at this now, here's what I can say:

I was pulled from the website with no heads up, and found out in an interview. Watch like hawks. I'd even go so far as to say that it may be smart to proceed from day one like you won't be on the website. The fact you have an agreement means %$$#*(()(. This is a 1940's firm in 2010's clothing.

NOTE - THIS FIRM DOESN'T FIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR AGREEMENTS. KEEP THAT IN MIND!!!! DON'T THINK - IF I'M EASY, THEY'LL MAKE IT EASY. THEY WON'T. THEY'LL SEE IT AS WEAKNESS, AND FUCK YOU

PUSH THEM FOR THE MOST POSSIBLE. IF YOU LET THEM LOW BALL YOU, THERE'S ALSO LESS MOTIVE TO KEEP THE AGREEMENT BECAUSE YOU'RE A WEAKLING. HOLD OUT FOR THE MOST YOU CAN GET. INSTEAD OF BEING DEPRESSED, TEAM UP WITH EACH OTHER SUCH THAT NO ONE SIGNS UNLESS EVERYONE DOES.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Guchster » Thu May 25, 2017 8:22 pm

This is all so bizarre.

I just got a recruiter call today and apparently trying to hire a mid-level Finance and Real Estate Associate in their NY Offices. WTF are you laying off or not?

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Pokemon » Thu May 25, 2017 8:32 pm

Guchster wrote:This is all so bizarre.

I just got a recruiter call today and apparently trying to hire a mid-level Finance and Real Estate Associate in their NY Offices. WTF are you laying off or not?



Hmm... I know a v-30 firm a few years ago that was interviewing lateral people for a group that at the same time were asking other their associates to leave. I do not think they made any offers but this is not unheard off.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 8:37 pm

Guchster wrote:This is all so bizarre.

I just got a recruiter call today and apparently trying to hire a mid-level Finance and Real Estate Associate in their NY Offices. WTF are you laying off or not?

The niche practices are a different story. You basically have the generalized Dechert brand, and then some niche groups within it that are essentially completely distinct firms with their own values (as in, they have values). FRE doesn't overhire. Dechert always overhires. Most Dechert partners revile Obama, but "give the colored fella some credit for leading the Warriors to 72 wins while being president". Niche practices may even have a black lawyer or (dare I say), even two. They're different worlds.

The firm is run by a small group of very old, very sickly white men who need to be reminded that Snickers is no longer a nickel, Stephen Curry and Obama are not "the same colored fella" and would be retired if their wives didn't kick them out for a few hours a day. They're not even allowed to operate a motor vehicle after it's dark outside, but make decisions that impact 10000s of people.

The niche groups tend to be run by younger people who only came to Dechert because no one else would be willing to let them run a group. The result of this is you have a generalized firm that's like the Confederate South where there are not only no minority attorneys, but even minority support staff aren't allowed to sit where partners can see them (not joking). Within the great confederacy, you have pockets of 2017 that aren't only in better financial shape, but even have a female partner or two.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Pomeranian » Thu May 25, 2017 8:57 pm

According to ATL, they laid off first years. I'm sure this will hurt them in OCI.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 9:04 pm

Pomeranian wrote:According to ATL, they laid off first years. I'm sure this will hurt them in OCI.


They've always fired first years.

My story as a Dechert first year:


When I was saying delayed cold offer, it's this. First years get stealthed almost immediately because the firm over hired. They crush your confidence by essentially not giving you work or going intensely after ever misplaced comma or anything to make you feel like an idiot.

I was a first year that was asked on a whim to pull consecutive all nighters, and thought it was a chance to get busy. I made 0 mistakes, nothing, people didn't even realize i was only a first year. I was called out for praise in several emails - bare in mind I had no idea what the assignment was. I was just on it for like 48 hours straight.

I asked for more work after it finished. I would get some, but then no more almost as though people were told not to give me work.

About a week later, I was called and told I made a terrible mistake - basically using the wrong party's name and they fixed it but it could have cost the firm millions - a huge deal.

I realized they were talking about a matter I was never even on. I brought this up, and they apologized and asked to not put any of this in writing.

I wised up and basically sent an email saying I'm happy to help but to make it clear was never on matter b and c. It never came up again. When I was laid off, they made sure to say it wasn't performance related but that I need to sign an agreement and got calls thereafter about the importance of it not getting to ATL. A transition worker was hired but never gave much job advice. Th3 advice was to make sure friends and family didn't even know I was looking for a job because if it got to ATL, in their experience, it's impossible to work again.

In retrospect, I think the only reason I was put on the assignment was they needed more people but also because it's hard for a partner to essentially be told hey "do this, this and this... can't tell you about the matter, no time" and do a good job. If you keep em there all night, eventually they'll make a mistake. I think the whole idea was I'd give cause, but when I didn't, they make up cause. In my case, they made a mistake and made up cause on an assignment I was never on (the irony of this is kind of funny).

It's a 2-fold process. By breaking your confidence, you're ashamed and don't speak out. They also make sure to frighten you into not speaking about, and bare in mind you're told to only communicate with transition services, which only focuses on how nice Dechert was to give you severance (you never get 3 months, and it's take it or leave it) and that you're essentially Ted Bundy if you tell anyone you were let go.

In retrospect, it's planned from the day you start. I wouldn't be surprised if Dechert has a manual for how to let first years go. I'd be surprised if they didn't.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu May 25, 2017 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Desert Fox » Thu May 25, 2017 9:06 pm

Pokemon wrote:
Guchster wrote:This is all so bizarre.

I just got a recruiter call today and apparently trying to hire a mid-level Finance and Real Estate Associate in their NY Offices. WTF are you laying off or not?



Hmm... I know a v-30 firm a few years ago that was interviewing lateral people for a group that at the same time were asking other their associates to leave. I do not think they made any offers but this is not unheard off.


My old firm did this constantly. Even within litigation groups where skills should mostly transfer. Like firing anti trust and hiring fcpa. An antitrust midlevel could do fcpa. But they didn't care.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 9:29 pm

To be honest, I feel bad.

I knew this shit would happen again, and in retrospect if you're a laid off first year, you're finished. Your legal career is virtually over, and if you're not PAYE, you're going to fall behind your payments and have licensing issues. If your hope was a middle class life, that ship has sailed.

I obviously had dreams of being able to have a middle class life, and my family not having to worry about having food and shelter. The truth is I knew deep down that ship sailed after I was pulled from the website after a few weeks mid-interview.

I felt that I had a moral duty to help make sure this didn't happen to others, but I was intimidated and afraid and remained anon, never provided specific facts and am partly responsible for the first years laid off today. I apologize to them, and anyone else. I knew this would happen, maybe could have stopped it and didn't because I was scared about salvaging a career that was already destroyed. I'm sorry. I truly believe the best thing that could happen to a Dechert summer is a no offer, and everyone who accepted a return offer with grades to go to literally any other legal job made a life ruining decision and I apologize for not doing more.

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Vincent Adultman

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Vincent Adultman » Sat May 27, 2017 10:54 am

These anons have to be the same unhinged person.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat May 27, 2017 5:59 pm

Martin Brody wrote:These anons have to be the same unhinged person.


I sure hope so.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Wearthewildthingsr » Sat May 27, 2017 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To be honest, I feel bad.

I knew this shit would happen again, and in retrospect if you're a laid off first year, you're finished. Your legal career is virtually over, and if you're not PAYE, you're going to fall behind your payments and have licensing issues. If your hope was a middle class life, that ship has sailed.

I obviously had dreams of being able to have a middle class life, and my family not having to worry about having food and shelter. The truth is I knew deep down that ship sailed after I was pulled from the website after a few weeks mid-interview.

I felt that I had a moral duty to help make sure this didn't happen to others, but I was intimidated and afraid and remained anon, never provided specific facts and am partly responsible for the first years laid off today. I apologize to them, and anyone else. I knew this would happen, maybe could have stopped it and didn't because I was scared about salvaging a career that was already destroyed. I'm sorry. I truly believe the best thing that could happen to a Dechert summer is a no offer, and everyone who accepted a return offer with grades to go to literally any other legal job made a life ruining decision and I apologize for not doing more.


Your life isn't over just because you lost a job. You can still find a job or another career that is lucrative or rewarding. Seriously, saying goodbye to middle class life? You're insane if you think you will literally be homeless and starving to death because of this. it's tough, get over it, and move on to your next step.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 28, 2017 10:52 am

Martin Brody wrote:These anons have to be the same unhinged person.

Probably. Doesn't make Dechert look any better tho.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby Night_L » Sun May 28, 2017 4:27 pm

I find it extraordinary that any associate would fault a laid off associate for leaking this news rather than the firm for this awful situation. It is emblematic of the veritable stockholm syndrome that afflicts so many young associates with regard to biglaw. Here is a firm strong-arming into silence the very people it fucked over with intimidation tactics right out of racketeering organization like Scientology or the Mafia... and some here are defending this crap? Don't tell your friends or family? How is this defensible? The depravity of this firm cannot be overstated.

Beyond that, I am continuously perplexed by how large organizations delude themselves into believing they can keep certain secrets under wraps. It is 100% inevitable that someone would spill the been to ATL at some point, so all they've done is make things worse.

But ultimately it doesn't matter. I was around in ~2008 and Latham - then-reviled among law students for grossly mistreating its offerees - didn't exactly hurt for talent then or since. These firms know that they will always have their picks from an oversupply of eager law students.

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Re: Dechert layoffs

Postby North » Mon May 29, 2017 6:49 pm

Wonder how the Dechert summers are feeling. Making bullshit small talk at summer events must be so fun rn



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