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Dewey LeBoeuf's Chickens (Associates) Coming Home to Roost

Vivia Chen

May 21, 2010

The quiet corridors of Dewey & LeBoeuf are about to get noisier. Coinciding with the arrival of summer associates will be the return of the firm's deferred associates.

Euphemistically called DL Pursuits (doesn't that sound like some kind of New Age yoga program?), Dewey's deferral program is coming to an official end in June, reports Above the Law. ATL reminds us of the terms:

Remember, Dewey’s deferral program wasn’t open just to last year’s incoming associates. People already at the firm had the opportunity to take a year’s sabbatical. But many who took the offer did so with the understanding that Dewey would still have jobs for them when they came back.

And so will they have jobs? Well--kinda. The firm states that it isn't "revoking any offers," reports Above the Law, though it also admitted "that some practice groups are slower than others and not everybody has a job waiting for them at this time."

More ambiguous is this statement by the firm to ATL:

Some of the attorneys currently on the program will be returning to the firm at the beginning of next month, as scheduled, while others have already chosen to change their career path entirely and will not be returning to the firm. Based on individual circumstances, some lawyers have chosen to extend their participation in the DL Pursuits program, or are in discussion with the firm about other options.

Above the Law says the firm stresses that the “other options” do not include layoffs. (The firm confirmed that it made the statements to ATL.)

Still, we're curious about the reasons some lawyers are choosing to "change their career paths" at this point. Did these people make the choice not to return or were they given a little nudge? If you know, wouldn't you share?

If you have topics you'd like to discuss, or information to share for The Careerist, e-mail chief blogger Vivia Chen at VChen@alm.com.

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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