By Edwin Reeser
The demise of Dewey & LeBoeuf has drawn much attention in the legal profession for the past three months, and commanded great attention in the business press as well. Now that the process of the firm coming apart as a viable enterprise has concluded, the wreckage of the firm has been turned over to the bankruptcy court for salvage. Like a train run full-speed off the trestle, thousands stand on the canyon walls peering down at the disaster below.
What happens next? Some people will express the view they do not care, or at least do not care to watch. They can stop reading now. But if you ride the train of Biglaw yourself, whether directly as a partner, employee, lender, creditor or landlord, or even as a client…. maybe you should care. Because while Dewey is the same as many of the failed law firms that have gone before it into bankruptcy in recent years, Dewey is also different, and not necessarily in ways that distinguish it from many firms still standing.
The salvage operation for this disaster is going to reach into new areas that have yet to be explored in law firm failures, and some of them could be game changers for the future. Let’s look at just a couple of them.
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