Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: Dewey & LeBoeuf Starts Making Cuts

Dewey LeBoeuf LLP logo D&L DL Above the Law blog.jpgDewey & LeBoeuf has been slowly shedding people over the past few months. The firm closed down its offices and relocated attorneys from Charlotte and San Francisco. There was some forced attrition in November. The firm announced structured finance layoffs in December. And the firm laid off a significant portion of its Los Angeles associates in January.

Today, cuts have come to NYC and D.C.

The firm is not calling these cuts “layoffs.” Instead, the firm is finishing up semi-annual performance reviews and making cuts along those lines. The firm provided ATL with this statement:

Dewey & LeBoeuf maintains a semi-annual performance review process and we are currently in our year-end cycle. We do not comment on the specific outcomes of our performance review process or individual review conversations.

Some explanation about the Dewey & LeBoeuf review system, plus thoughts from tipsters, after the jump.

As we understand it, legacy LeBoeuf (f/k/a: LeBoeuf Lamb) used to have only annual performance reviews. Legacy Dewey (f/k/a: Dewey Ballantine) had performance reviews twice a year. When the firms merged, the new management committee decided to go with the Dewey system instead of the LeBoeuf system.

Therefore, Dewey & LeBoeuf conducted performance reviews near the end of last year, which resulted in associate terminations, and is doing so again now, resulting in additional terminations. Obviously, the standards for those performance reviews are a little bit tougher than in previous cycles.

Our tipsters are somewhat dismissive of the firm’s reasoning:

It figures they’re calling it performance — I can’t imagine that they would ever step up and admit that it was based on the economy like others have. Especially when they have to make the merger look like it wasn’t a colossally bad idea and poorly timed.

But the firm contends that if it ends up conducting layoffs for economic reasons, it will do so in an open manner, as it did in December.

Reviews at Dewey & LeBoeuf will continue tomorrow, and on into next week. We’ll bring you overall numbers if and when we receive them. Good luck.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Dewey & LeBoeuf Lays Off 12 Associates
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Dewey & LeBoeuf Parts Ways With L.A. Associates
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Performance Review Attrition at Dewey & LeBoeuf

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