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New York City Bar Association Moves to Help Dewey Employees
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For the first time in the history of the New York City Bar Association, the bar is responding to the crisis of a single law firm. The association has announced two career-planning sessions this summer, specifically for the hundreds of attorneys and legal staff laid off by Dewey & LeBoeuf, before it went into insolvency. The landmark event shows the sympathy evoked in the lawyer community for those hurt by the surprising implosion of Dewey.

The first session is for attorneys and would be held on July 10. There would be a panel discussion on job search techniques and sessions with career advisers. The second session would be for the support staff of Dewey, though the date for the session is yet to be finalized.

Association president Carrey Dunne said that this is the first time that the city bar was reacting to reach out to those affected by the closure of a single law firm. The program is being planned independently and the Dewey estate is not involved.

  
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Though Albert Togut, Dewey’s bankruptcy lawyer had said in court last week that “a significant majority” of the firm’s staff had found employment, he could not be reached for a comment as to why the City bar felt it necessary to help out former employees of Dewey.

Big firms like Winston & Strawn, Morgan, Lewis & Bockus, Duanne Morris and others had in the final weeks of Dewy hired big groups of Dewey partners, or acquired entire non-US offices of Dewey. According to the last reports before Dewey went under bankruptcy, only last month it had formally laid off 433 people. The current employee strength of the firm in US is 90 though it was 150 when it went into bankruptcy.

Representatives of Dewey keep declining to provide any concrete figures of the number of employees and attorneys actually affected by the collapse of Dewey. A class action complaint by employees pins the figure at 550 employees who had lost their jobs.

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According to the annual survey published on Monday by the New York Law Journal, in 2011, Dewey had 1,040 lawyers worldwide including 614 associates. Before its destruction, Dewey & LeBoeuf was the eighth-largest private law firm in New York with 476 attorneys.





 

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