Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Job Searches, Summer Associates

Dewey Have Career Advice for Incoming and Summer Associates?

Tipsters have told ATL that career services officers at various schools have been meeting with would-be Dewey denizens to help them figure out their options. We hear that this has been happening at Columbia Law School, for example.

Here is what Mark Weber, assistant dean for career services at Harvard Law School, recommends:

[L]ike career advisers at other top schools, [he] has been encouraging these unlucky students to call firms that had extended offers last fall. He has also been reaching out to firms and asking them to “step up to the plate and use this as an opportunity to bolster their ranks, and to help out students and schools dealing with a difficult situation.”

Going back to a firm that you turned down in favor of Dewey and asking if they’d consider hiring you seems a bit… tacky. This ABA Journal headline sums it up nicely: “Dewey’s Jettisoned Summer Associates Ask Firms for Jobs They Rejected.”

But appearing slightly gauche seems preferable to winding up unemployed. Or on food stamps. On in a van, down by the river.

And it’s possible that some firms might eventually pick up D&L refugees, since there are incentives:

Benevolence and quality of workers aside, firms may also see rescuing a Dewey casualty as a way to curry favor with the career services offices at elite law schools.

“The placement offices at these schools have a lot of sway with the students,” said a lawyer at the firm who hired the stranded summer associate. “If you were a firm that took on two kids who don’t have a job because of Dewey, they might throw you a few bones, maybe tell the best students next year what a stand-up firm you are.”

We’ve been in touch with one 2L who was supposed to have been at Dewey this summer. We offered him the opportunity to tap into our readership for advice, asking him to send in a short blurb about his situation. He wrote the following:

I can only assume the other summers are scrambling to find something like I am. I’m sure many of them turned down other offers in the fall, and certainly they’re all great candidates. I’ve been meeting with the career people here regularly, and they’ve been incredible in pulling out all the stops to help the Dewey folks find something viable for the summer.

The bottom line is, “What do I do now?” Will firms add Dewey folks to their summer programs? Is there a good way to go about targeting firms/offices that will do so? Would other options like clerkships, non-profits, etc. be a better alternative now? What does this mean for the job market this coming fall?

I think I’m a great candidate — law review, moot court board, accomplished work experience previous to law school as a journalist — but it’s hard to leverage that at this stage in the game when so many firms have their summer programs filled.

Readers, what would you recommend? Your suggestions are welcome, in the comments.

(Shameless plug: if you’re seeking employment, feel free to check out the offerings on the Above the Law jobs board.)

UPDATE (7:45 PM): Dewey is making efforts to help its support staff find new positions. This email went around earlier today:

To assist anyone seeking employment opportunities, we have arranged to have recruiters from two large agencies on site in our offices tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. They will be providing information regarding available positions. They currently are recruiting for many positions including: billers, collectors, paralegals, administrative assistants and secretaries.

Additional information relating to the location will be provided tomorrow morning. If you have any interest, please contact [xxxx].

UPDATE (5/16/2012): We’re happy to report that the 2L quoted above, who was supposed to have been at Dewey this summer, has found a new SA position. We’ve heard of other Dewey refugees who have found new places for the summer as well. So there is hope!

For Law Students, Dewey & LeBoeuf Internships Evaporate [New York Times]
Dewey’s Jettisoned Summer Associates Ask Firms for Jobs They Rejected [ABA Journal]
Key partner at law firm Dewey defects to rival [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
Dewey Departure Tracker [Am Law Daily (reg. req.)]
Sources Say Dewey to Close Doors May 15 If Not Before [Am Law Daily (reg. req.)]
Partners Rush To Get Paid At Dewey [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Dewey Still Have the $6 Million Man? Nope: Mort Pierce Is Out the Door
We Don’t Have Any Summer Associates, Dewey?
Dewey Have Room For Incoming Associates? Or Overseas Offices?

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