Bloomberg has posted a short but fascinating documentary Steven Davis and Rise and Fall of Dewey LeBoeuf. Ten years after the spectacular collapse of the ALM 100 law firm, former Chairman Steve Davis broke his silence. No other former partners agreed to be interviewed for the documentary. Commentary by David Lat, Founder of Above the Law; Vivien Chen, legal analyst at Bloomberg Law and Prof. David Wilkens, Director of the Center for the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School is woven into the Davis narrative.
Dewey LeBoeuf was not the first ALM 100 firm to collapse. Heller, Brobeck, Howrey, Coudert Brothers all succumbed to the mysterious alchemy of missteps, hubris and changed law firm economics. Dewey LeBoeuf has the distinction of being the first truly “white shoe” law firm to join this solemn procession. They were also the first collapse to result in the indictment of law firm leaders. Lat refers to Dewey LeBoeuf as “The Lehman collapse of the legal world.”