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Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:36 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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magnum_law

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Re: Dechert

Postby magnum_law » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:50 am

TLS consensus is to avoid unless it is your only offer -- they apparently have done stealth lay-offs (of first years) for multiple cycles now

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:12 am

I had CB at Dechert after already receiving another offer, so I was bold enough to ask this question to a young associate who closed his door and encouraged me to ask any questions that I wouldn't feel comfortable asking my other interviewers. He said: "Ohhh... yeah... You saw the ATL article? I think that happened at a few of our offices last year. If you get an offer and that is something you are really concerned about, you should call one of the partners to discuss it and ask whether they anticipate it being an issue in the future."

Needless to say, I was dinged the next business day (lol). Though TBF, I did have some fairly awkward interactions with one of my interviewers--partner whose undergrad alma mater has always had a weird underlying tension with my own--so that could have been the reason for my ding. I have no reason to believe the associate turned around an wrote me a bad review because of my uncouth question; he seemed genuinely chill. Definitely not something I would have asked if I didn't already have an offer, because I would have been too desperate to care about whether I might be laid off in my first year. It seems to me that desperate applicants are Dechert prime demographic, and yet they are ironically so picky with their offers...

You can't have your cake and eat it too, Dechert, either stop laying off first-years or settle for lesser talent.

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:36 am

I had a similar question. It seemed like a lot of people in the firms to stay away from thread were making sweeping statements about the heath and long term stability of the firm, do first year layoffs/firing really mean the firm is doing terribly? It seems like it has been less than 20 people getting let go each year according to ATL, and one article mentioned that the total number of associates is actually going up. While firing first years sucks, does tls make too big of a deal about this? particularly because we are so risk averse here it seems like we really overact about these things i.e. the thread about Latham firing people in the great recession. And considering a lot of the posts are from people who were laid off by Dechert in the other threads I was just wondering how much they should be taken with a grain of salt or if it really is a very serious situation and we should avoid at all costs because it speaks of greater issues about the firm and not just a different mentality about how long you should wait to start culling the ranks(which is still bad, just not as bad).

cavalier1138

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Re: Dechert

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had a similar question. It seemed like a lot of people in the firms to stay away from thread were making sweeping statements about the heath and long term stability of the firm, do first year layoffs/firing really mean the firm is doing terribly? It seems like it has been less than 20 people getting let go each year according to ATL, and one article mentioned that the total number of associates is actually going up. While firing first years sucks, does tls make too big of a deal about this? particularly because we are so risk averse here it seems like we really overact about these things i.e. the thread about Latham firing people in the great recession. And considering a lot of the posts are from people who were laid off by Dechert in the other threads I was just wondering how much they should be taken with a grain of salt or if it really is a very serious situation and we should avoid at all costs because it speaks of greater issues about the firm and not just a different mentality about how long you should wait to start culling the ranks(which is still bad, just not as bad).


Unfortunately, there's one guy with an axe to grind when it comes to Dechert, so it's kind of hard to sort out what's actually happening at the firm. But we know that they have let a number of first-year associates go, and yes, that's a very bad thing. I can't think of any other firms where this would be an acceptable practice, especially because Dechert seems to be doing layoffs, not performance-based firings (which are also bullshit in the first year when it's not for really egregious problems, because you're still ostensibly training).

sparkytrainer

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Re: Dechert

Postby sparkytrainer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:46 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a similar question. It seemed like a lot of people in the firms to stay away from thread were making sweeping statements about the heath and long term stability of the firm, do first year layoffs/firing really mean the firm is doing terribly? It seems like it has been less than 20 people getting let go each year according to ATL, and one article mentioned that the total number of associates is actually going up. While firing first years sucks, does tls make too big of a deal about this? particularly because we are so risk averse here it seems like we really overact about these things i.e. the thread about Latham firing people in the great recession. And considering a lot of the posts are from people who were laid off by Dechert in the other threads I was just wondering how much they should be taken with a grain of salt or if it really is a very serious situation and we should avoid at all costs because it speaks of greater issues about the firm and not just a different mentality about how long you should wait to start culling the ranks(which is still bad, just not as bad).


Unfortunately, there's one guy with an axe to grind when it comes to Dechert, so it's kind of hard to sort out what's actually happening at the firm. But we know that they have let a number of first-year associates go, and yes, that's a very bad thing. I can't think of any other firms where this would be an acceptable practice, especially because Dechert seems to be doing layoffs, not performance-based firings (which are also bullshit in the first year when it's not for really egregious problems, because you're still ostensibly training).


Just as an aside, didn't the mods confirm it was actually two people?

cavalier1138

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Re: Dechert

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:47 am

sparkytrainer wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a similar question. It seemed like a lot of people in the firms to stay away from thread were making sweeping statements about the heath and long term stability of the firm, do first year layoffs/firing really mean the firm is doing terribly? It seems like it has been less than 20 people getting let go each year according to ATL, and one article mentioned that the total number of associates is actually going up. While firing first years sucks, does tls make too big of a deal about this? particularly because we are so risk averse here it seems like we really overact about these things i.e. the thread about Latham firing people in the great recession. And considering a lot of the posts are from people who were laid off by Dechert in the other threads I was just wondering how much they should be taken with a grain of salt or if it really is a very serious situation and we should avoid at all costs because it speaks of greater issues about the firm and not just a different mentality about how long you should wait to start culling the ranks(which is still bad, just not as bad).


Unfortunately, there's one guy with an axe to grind when it comes to Dechert, so it's kind of hard to sort out what's actually happening at the firm. But we know that they have let a number of first-year associates go, and yes, that's a very bad thing. I can't think of any other firms where this would be an acceptable practice, especially because Dechert seems to be doing layoffs, not performance-based firings (which are also bullshit in the first year when it's not for really egregious problems, because you're still ostensibly training).


Just as an aside, didn't the mods confirm it was actually two people?


I think they confirmed that multiple people were posting to confirm that first-years were being fired, but I think there was only one guy talking about the conspiracy of silence, etc.

sparkytrainer

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Re: Dechert

Postby sparkytrainer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:49 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a similar question. It seemed like a lot of people in the firms to stay away from thread were making sweeping statements about the heath and long term stability of the firm, do first year layoffs/firing really mean the firm is doing terribly? It seems like it has been less than 20 people getting let go each year according to ATL, and one article mentioned that the total number of associates is actually going up. While firing first years sucks, does tls make too big of a deal about this? particularly because we are so risk averse here it seems like we really overact about these things i.e. the thread about Latham firing people in the great recession. And considering a lot of the posts are from people who were laid off by Dechert in the other threads I was just wondering how much they should be taken with a grain of salt or if it really is a very serious situation and we should avoid at all costs because it speaks of greater issues about the firm and not just a different mentality about how long you should wait to start culling the ranks(which is still bad, just not as bad).


Unfortunately, there's one guy with an axe to grind when it comes to Dechert, so it's kind of hard to sort out what's actually happening at the firm. But we know that they have let a number of first-year associates go, and yes, that's a very bad thing. I can't think of any other firms where this would be an acceptable practice, especially because Dechert seems to be doing layoffs, not performance-based firings (which are also bullshit in the first year when it's not for really egregious problems, because you're still ostensibly training).


Just as an aside, didn't the mods confirm it was actually two people?


I think they confirmed that multiple people were posting to confirm that first-years were being fired, but I think there was only one guy talking about the conspiracy of silence, etc.


Ah that might be right. But I remember the mods confirmed at least two different posters detailed the egregious first year firings.

Anonymous User
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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:00 am

FWIW I was c/o 2015 and know a few people who went to Dechert in NYC and Philly. From what I can tell on LinkedIn all of the lit people are still there but the corporate people all left for other firms. Not a huge sample size but I suspect that's indicative of where their issues are...

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Re: Dechert

Postby delusional » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:25 am

I have a friend who left Dechert, apparently voluntarily. He implied that the layoffs were concerning to many non-laid off associates and that played a role in his decision to look for other opportunities.

I don't have any greater insight into Dechert than anyone else, but I don't understand the posters who keep asking, "is it really a bad sign?" Every firm has some objectionable layoffs all the time. Most mid-level associates, especially the types who read ATL and TLS regularly, hear scuttlebutt about different firms all the time. The vast majority never makes the blogs. The Dechert layoffs appear worse than normal in numbers, class year, and the way the firm went about it. It is reasonable to consider that a sign of instability.

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:35 am

Have a friend starting as a first year in NYC soon. He has always wanted to do litigation and ranked it as his first choice upon receiving an offer after his SA. Was ultimately forced into some sort of transactional project finance group.

Not sure if that is indicative of anything, just sharing FWIW.

JusPassItToWill

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Re: Dechert

Postby JusPassItToWill » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:49 am

delusional wrote:I have a friend who left Dechert, apparently voluntarily. He implied that the layoffs were concerning to many non-laid off associates and that played a role in his decision to look for other opportunities.

I don't have any greater insight into Dechert than anyone else, but I don't understand the posters who keep asking, "is it really a bad sign?" Every firm has some objectionable layoffs all the time. Most mid-level associates, especially the types who read ATL and TLS regularly, hear scuttlebutt about different firms all the time. The vast majority never makes the blogs. The Dechert layoffs appear worse than normal in numbers, class year, and the way the firm went about it. It is reasonable to consider that a sign of instability.


It's because they're hoping that someone will reassure them that it's really nothing and that it's just one or two bad eggs who are spreading rumors about everyone. Maybe either because it's their only offer or (if in a non-NY market) their only market-paying offer.

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW I was c/o 2015 and know a few people who went to Dechert in NYC and Philly. From what I can tell on LinkedIn all of the lit people are still there but the corporate people all left for other firms. Not a huge sample size but I suspect that's indicative of where their issues are...


My 2L friend who had an offer from Dechert recently asked about this and the firm said that most people who were let go were in litigation.

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:59 pm

My best friend in law school accepted an offer for the Charlotte office and I've silently been worried for him. Not my place to intervene as this was his only offer, but I'm nervous.

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Re: Dechert

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW I was c/o 2015 and know a few people who went to Dechert in NYC and Philly. From what I can tell on LinkedIn all of the lit people are still there but the corporate people all left for other firms. Not a huge sample size but I suspect that's indicative of where their issues are...


My 2L friend who had an offer from Dechert recently asked about this and the firm said that most people who were let go were in litigation.

I was one of the first years let go, and can offer some perspective on this. Litigation is forthcoming about their layoffs. In transactional, we were strongly warned against even telling others in our group that we were being let go. I was told in no uncertain terms that the group and firm has had major economic issues and these were the reasons for my being let go. Work had been slow for everyone since I started, and I was basically told that I just wasn't as well liked. There would have been no way to predict any of this going in.

I applaud the litigation group for being open about it. While I don't think any Dechert group offers standard severance packages (re comp and website time), it's somewhat easier to bounce back if it's known that a particular group is struggling. The idea that anyone else has an ax to grind is untrue and offensive. Anyone posting on here has better and more personally pressing things to do with their time, and is incurring risk to do so. The endeavor is simply to help young people make good choices. This isn't to say that it isn't a great firm, and a 3L return offer is never 100% guaranteed. It's about degrees of risk, not risk versus no risk.

My sense is the root cause may be structural. Namely, Dechert works on a few mega deals and work tends to be feast or famine, which often leads to under/over-hiring. Both the firm and law students would probably be better served if Dechert reduced its summer program from ~50 summers firm-wide to around ~20 and relied on contract attorneys when the need arises. The firm's business structure precludes it from being able to support the number of attorneys that it has for any long term period, which is why there's so much turnaround and dissatisfaction.



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