Debevoise

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Npret

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Npret » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:39 am

Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:OP said they wanted advice, but primarily exposed the firm. It is not going to benefit OP in any way to have posted this information here, nor will it make any impact on discrimination occurring at law firms.


It might impact racial discrimination at this particular firm. I was told that Debevoise met with the summer associate class yesterday and acknowledged the blacklist is authentic. Debevoise's MP apologized to the entire summer class. MPs dont get out of their beds on a Friday to speak to an entire summer class for no reason. I think OP should be very careful not to get caught. What this OP did took guts and exposed Debevoise. What the MP also did took balls. Most firms would never admit something like this. But Debevoise might still have some explaining to do. Their African American associates should also get an apology.

You’re delusional if you think OP hasn’t already been identified. I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm.

Goran

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Goran » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:51 am

Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:OP said they wanted advice, but primarily exposed the firm. It is not going to benefit OP in any way to have posted this information here, nor will it make any impact on discrimination occurring at law firms.


It might impact racial discrimination at this particular firm. I was told that Debevoise met with the summer associate class yesterday and acknowledged the blacklist is authentic. Debevoise's MP apologized to the entire summer class. MPs dont get out of their beds on a Friday to speak to an entire summer class for no reason. I think OP should be very careful not to get caught. What this OP did took guts and exposed Debevoise. What the MP also did took balls. Most firms would never admit something like this. But Debevoise might still have some explaining to do. Their African American associates should also get an apology.


Longtime lurker but saw the referral to my old job and couldnt resist clicking. Whoa whoa whoa. I commend TLS for not deleting this thread.

Agree 1000% with quoted post. Took a lot of courage for OP to share their story and risk getting caught. OP shouldnt be shamed since its in OP's selfish interest to address this and not even let the public know about this. I think OP was trying to get help and call attention to a discriminatory practice. That is admirable. I also think OP was trying to do it with minimal impact and for a particular audience. OP could've posted this in the "Legal Employment" area of this site, which would have gotten far more views and might be where this whole thread actually belongs. OP chose to post this in the section of the site for URM lawyers\candidates.

Debevoise might need to explain this whole thing to clients who hear about this, not just the summers. It is foolish if they havent also realized they might need to talk to the black lawyers actually working for them. This whole topic was a sad sad read.

I'm gonna add my own post about areas that OP talked about. I have internal, somewhat dated, knowledge of Debevoise and it is really surprising that after all these years the firm still has not changed.


I was a legal analyst with the Lit group at Debevoise. OP is likely telling the truth, at least from my view of things. I still think its one of the best firms to start your career if you happen to be any other race than Black. I dont know about this "blacklist" but I do remember learning even though I was just an analyst that there was a different set of standards for black lawyers. Lawyers at Debevoise, across the board, are expected to produce great work, don't get me wrong. But no lawyer comes out of law school churning out excellent work. (((In fairness to the place since I was an analyst and not an associate so somewhat limited view))) At Debevoise, if you're white, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will work with you to improve and turn you into a great lawyer. You only get that way with more work and increased responsibility so sure, it makes sense. If you're black, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will write you off, quickly. What does that mean? That Black lawyers who want to do well at the firm should go in there producing perfect\great work right out of the gate, which isnt a realistic goal for the majority of lawyers of any race. No doubt this is why Debevoise has been only able to promote ONE black associate to partner. And that partner didn't even start at Debevoise. If my memory serves me right she came from another firm or a company. Either way she had time to develop her skills somewhere else before coming to Debevoise.

Ok so what's wrong if a black lawyer sucks and they are not rewarded for sucking? So that's the thing. The black lawyers at Debevoise don't actually suck. At least not the ones I got to work with. There were countless times when the white partners\associates I worked with raged against black lawyers for being incompetent and made negative comments when it was just us white lawyers\paras around. Only for me to work with the same black lawyers and find out it wasn't even true, remotely. All Debevoise lawyers make mistakes one time or another. Mistakes appeared to be less forgivable if it involved black lawyers. For many white lawyers the reason for having this view is bias. They don't see black lawyers through the same lens because they already think most got into the firm on diversity handouts. That's the biased population. For other lawyers its not even bias, they are simply racist. And Debevoise had ((maybe still has)) its share of racists who really want to make sure the partnership reflects a certain demographic. So they will put in the effort to keep it that way. Its an uphill climb for any black associate to fight this if there's a personal interest set on making sure you dont go past a certain class year. And the white lawyers who can support you won't stick their necks out even if they care about black colleagues because no one wants to burn their career over a problem that wont go away.

Debevoise is not the only big firm that has these issues with race\diversity. But firms don't wear the racism on their faces and a black associate won't have hard evidence that it exists. You might see it in the treatment of AA lawyers but you never really have a smoking gun to show an employment lawyer. If this blacklist exists and shows that the issue at Debevoise is actually institutional then they messed up bigly by letting that list get out.

Debevoise promotes a culture with the banner of a collegial\cheerful\fun group that should be the envy of all big firms. It was like that to me and that perception is likely more accurate for white lawyers. I doubt it is characteristic of the black experience at Debevoise. Is it really surprising that a summer who found out and dug more would then head for the fences after getting confirmation? Hmmmm no. Is is surprising that the summer exposed the firm in the process without having a backup plan? Yuppp. What's also not surprising? That Debevoise hasnt changed and black lawyers are still dealing with this.

Debevoise has the potential to be a great firm. The leadership just needs to address this honestly and come to terms with these issues.

Goran

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Goran » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:49 am

Mokosc wrote:Not calling you out for exposing the firm, just saying be careful of being identified since you are still just an upstart in this field. They will try to Id you. You are not the first to make this claim about Debevoise. With what I know about the place I honestly wouldnt go there if I was African American. Stellar firm with great reput. but not a place for certain lawyers. They are known for demoralizing African American associates by not giving them substantive work as they become more senior. Youll be doing doc review and diligence as a 6th year while your white colleagues are running trials and deals. Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm. I would shoot for 3L OCI or go back there and give it a decent chance but send applications the moment you see openings somewhere else. The exit options and the Debevoise name on your resume is helpful so it can still work out. Goodluck.


I don't think this is accurate across the board. But it shouldn't be hard for Debevoise to determine if it has a general problem of giving out work. Take a snapshot of the work given to your black associates in comparison to the work of white associates from the same year. How does it match up? If it "pales" in comparison then you have a problem there.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby uncle_rico » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:23 am

Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:OP said they wanted advice, but primarily exposed the firm. It is not going to benefit OP in any way to have posted this information here, nor will it make any impact on discrimination occurring at law firms.


It might impact racial discrimination at this particular firm. I was told that Debevoise met with the summer associate class yesterday and acknowledged the blacklist is authentic. Debevoise's MP apologized to the entire summer class. MPs dont get out of their beds on a Friday to speak to an entire summer class for no reason. I think OP should be very careful not to get caught. What this OP did took guts and exposed Debevoise. What the MP also did took balls. Most firms would never admit something like this. But Debevoise might still have some explaining to do. Their African American associates should also get an apology.

I have friends at Debevoise in the summer class and this is plain wrong. While the MP acknowledged this post, a “black list” was not acknowledged. The MP simply said that most firms have lists tracking anticipated departures and that there isn’t a list targeting black associates. If you’re under the impression that they don’t expect certain associates to be gone after some time then your delusional. These firms take huge classes every year and half are gone by the third year. While some of this is self selection, plenty of people are pushed out early which is based on their billables and feedback. I was told that the short meeting devolved into just the summers asking what they could do to not be pushed out early in their careers.

I’m honestly surprised that Debevoise has this reputation from others because I know several minorities from my school who love Debevoise and had it as their top choice. I’ve also seen that they’re very involved with minority programs such as SEO.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Npret » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:31 am

No one is shaming OP. I’m not sure how anyone could read the posts here as shaming OPs actions. What I, and I’m thinking others were attempting, was to give OP good advice. OP gave enough information to be identified and you can be sure they have been.

As a summer OP is most likely not aware that information and reputation can follow them to other firms, not just impact their relationship with Debevoise. No firm wants an associate who will be publishing negative information about them even in a tiny place like this forum. No one is saying OP destroyed their career, just that this may not benefit them

OP may not care, but it’s not shaming to try to give helpful advice based on experience.

No one was trying to get OP to not talk about the firm. If anything, this forum and ATL thrive on drama. The more drama the better. That still doesn’t benefit OP.

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cdotson2

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Re: Debevoise

Postby cdotson2 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:46 am

"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Npret » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:19 pm

cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:53 pm

Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

uncle_rico

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Re: Debevoise

Postby uncle_rico » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:57 pm

Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

Lol at thinking that I’m affiliated with Debevoise. A quick glance at my post history would indicate otherwise but whatever, good luck with your crusades

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:59 pm

cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.


Dude whatever. If this was your family member would you want them potentially exposing themselves to being cold offered?? OP should've found another way to address it. She or he didn't, fine. But dont be surprised if OP gets canned and gotta find another gig. Maybe you can donate to their GoFundMe.

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:03 pm

uncle_rico wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

Lol at thinking that I’m affiliated with Debevoise. A quick glance at my post history would indicate otherwise but whatever, good luck with your crusades


Let's see - you wanted OP and TLS to delete the thread (I agreed with that). You then said OP was lying that the list existed because SOMEONE at Debevoise, who just so happened to be a summer associate, told you the MP merely talked about this post but didn't acknowledge the list. RRRRRIGHT. And when we talk about the blacklist,we're talking about the same list that Debevoise apologized for yesterday, right? Wink wink. Hi Debevoise Associate/Staffer!! It's too late to cover this story. It's already out. Debevoise f@cked up and the fallout over this is going to be real with severe consequences for Debevoise as a firm and their getting black lawyers to come or stay there. I do think OP needs to look out for him or herself.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby uncle_rico » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:13 pm

Mokosc wrote:
uncle_rico wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

Lol at thinking that I’m affiliated with Debevoise. A quick glance at my post history would indicate otherwise but whatever, good luck with your crusades


Let's see - you wanted OP and TLS to delete the thread (I agreed with that). You then said OP was lying that the list existed because SOMEONE at Debevoise, who just so happened to be a summer associate, told you the MP merely talked about this post but didn't acknowledge the list. RRRRRIGHT. And when we talk about the blacklist,we're talking about the same list that Debevoise apologized for yesterday, right? Wink wink. Hi Debevoise Associate/Staffer!! It's too late to cover this story. It's already out. Debevoise f@cked up and the fallout over this is going to be real with severe consequences for Debevoise as a firm and their getting black lawyers to come or stay there. I do think OP needs to look out for him or herself.

:lol: okay bro

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cdotson2

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Re: Debevoise

Postby cdotson2 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:18 pm

Mokosc wrote:Dude whatever. If this was your family member would you want them potentially exposing themselves to being cold offered?? OP should've found another way to address it. She or he didn't, fine. But dont be surprised if OP gets canned and gotta find another gig. Maybe you can donate to their GoFundMe.


To be clear, I was calling out the general tone of the comments in this thread not you specifically. I was noting the same things you have noted about two other posters in your last few comments.

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:31 pm

cdotson2 wrote:
Mokosc wrote:Dude whatever. If this was your family member would you want them potentially exposing themselves to being cold offered?? OP should've found another way to address it. She or he didn't, fine. But dont be surprised if OP gets canned and gotta find another gig. Maybe you can donate to their GoFundMe.


To be clear, I was calling out the general tone of the comments in this thread not you specifically. I was noting the same things you have noted about two other posters in your last few comments.


Oh yea I got you. Sorry I thought you were coming at me. I dont care one way or another about how this pans out but OP exposed this firm majorly. Dont be surprised if they come after him or her.

By duh way, it didnt even take me very long to be able to confirm that a bulk of OP's claims were true so I dont know why the other two posters want to muddle the conversation. Now, granted, I don't have any black friends at Debevoise so I cant speak about some black experience but that f@cked up blacklist exist(ed) and Debevoise should be ashamed for it. Biglaw is hard enough. I cant imagine what life is like for a black associate at Debevoise.

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:35 pm

uncle_rico wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
uncle_rico wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

Lol at thinking that I’m affiliated with Debevoise. A quick glance at my post history would indicate otherwise but whatever, good luck with your crusades


Let's see - you wanted OP and TLS to delete the thread (I agreed with that). You then said OP was lying that the list existed because SOMEONE at Debevoise, who just so happened to be a summer associate, told you the MP merely talked about this post but didn't acknowledge the list. RRRRRIGHT. And when we talk about the blacklist,we're talking about the same list that Debevoise apologized for yesterday, right? Wink wink. Hi Debevoise Associate/Staffer!! It's too late to cover this story. It's already out. Debevoise f@cked up and the fallout over this is going to be real with severe consequences for Debevoise as a firm and their getting black lawyers to come or stay there. I do think OP needs to look out for him or herself.

:lol: okay bro


Good comeback "bro". Run along and tell your buddies at Debevoise that the 21st Century caught up to them. There should be no place for racism within this profession.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby nixy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:17 pm

Of course there should be no place for racism in this profession. That doesn’t mean people who are urging the OP to be careful about outing themselves are affiliated with Debevoise and trying to cover this up, and it sounds kind of paranoid to insist that’s the case (never mind that that kind of discussion in itself totally distracts from the issue at hand).

I hope biglaw is at a #metoo kind of moment where it would be possible to blow the whistle on this without torpedoing one’s career. It *shouldn’t* torpedo a career. But lawyers suck, so I’m not sure.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Npret » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:44 pm

Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
"I still say this was a poor approach to expose institutional discrimation at a law firm."

"Looks like you were trying to expose the firm a bit here. That's your right if youre being truthful but I wouldnt be the one to sacrifice my career over this."

"Its just how it is. They have no desire to change the model and it has worked well for them. Look out for yourself and dont try to change the culture of a 100 year old firm."

"Dont be that guy. My honest advice if there is an offer from Debevoise, is to return to the firm and then find your way out unnoticed."


Shaming might not be the right word, but people definitely have been saying that it was the wrong move for the OP. It is an odd reaction to what might be a legitimate claim of reprehensible discrimination on behalf of an "elite" law firm. These comments whether they were meant to help OP or not look like they are just trying to bury this story, and would allow this discrimination to continue.

OP has many ways to release this “story” which seems to center on a spreadsheet of predicted attrition rates.
It was the giving out of so much personally identifiable information that caused concern. There are from time to time posts made here that get the same response regarding protecting the OPs identity - as when laid off or no offered associates identify themselves when “outting” the firm. I’ve never seen it benefit anyone.


You and the other poster "uncle_rico" are clearly both affiliated with Debevoise. I applaud you for trying to steer this conversation towards the authenticity of the blacklist and deleting the thread instead of the conversation on racism. Too bad it's not your thread. One thing is clear, Debevoise is a place known for being covertly racist. That list just provides proof and makes it overt racism. No one has denied Debevoise has this reputation. Heck, no one has denied that biglaw has these issues. But Debevoise happens to the first idiot to put an institutional imprimatur on their racist ways and get caught. Tough break. Personally, I would want to hear from the black associates currently there and if what OP wrote reflects how they feel.

Debevoise DEFINITELY admitted that the list existed. That much is now clear. I've heard from enough folks to confirm that much. I still think this thread should be buried for OP's sake but his call. So to the person that had an issue with me saying that the thread should be deleted, whatever dude!! I wouldnt risk my neck to check a racist institution when I slugged through 3 years of law school and still gotta offload my loans. Leave that for someone who actually has a few checks saved and can stomach the fallout. Thats what makes what OP did so admirable. I dont think its smart though.

You’re delusional. I don’t care about racism at Debeviose being covered up. I was trying to help OP, but it’s most likely too late now anyway. You obviously know nothing about the world of big law in NYC.
OP should have handled this in a way that protected their identity. Actually OP could have handled this in a way that brought more publicity to racism at Debevoise than this forum and still have protected their anonymity.

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NoBladesNoBows

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Re: Debevoise

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:12 pm

Seems like a tip to ATL might be a good idea.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:31 pm

NoBladesNoBows wrote:Seems like a tip to ATL might be a good idea.


ATL wouldnt touch this and jeopardize its sponsorship. The current ATL is all about reporting on the latest trends and salary increases. A shell of its former self which was known for actually breaking news. Which is why TLS is definitely in the running for being nominated for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for keeping this thread alive and not letting Debevoise force delete it beecuz you know those guys are working hella hard to burn all evidence of this story :D :D

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Belkin0238 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:34 pm

Goran wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:OP said they wanted advice, but primarily exposed the firm. It is not going to benefit OP in any way to have posted this information here, nor will it make any impact on discrimination occurring at law firms.


It might impact racial discrimination at this particular firm. I was told that Debevoise met with the summer associate class yesterday and acknowledged the blacklist is authentic. Debevoise's MP apologized to the entire summer class. MPs dont get out of their beds on a Friday to speak to an entire summer class for no reason. I think OP should be very careful not to get caught. What this OP did took guts and exposed Debevoise. What the MP also did took balls. Most firms would never admit something like this. But Debevoise might still have some explaining to do. Their African American associates should also get an apology.


Longtime lurker but saw the referral to my old job and couldnt resist clicking. Whoa whoa whoa. I commend TLS for not deleting this thread.

Agree 1000% with quoted post. Took a lot of courage for OP to share their story and risk getting caught. OP shouldnt be shamed since its in OP's selfish interest to address this and not even let the public know about this. I think OP was trying to get help and call attention to a discriminatory practice. That is admirable. I also think OP was trying to do it with minimal impact and for a particular audience. OP could've posted this in the "Legal Employment" area of this site, which would have gotten far more views and might be where this whole thread actually belongs. OP chose to post this in the section of the site for URM lawyers\candidates.

Debevoise might need to explain this whole thing to clients who hear about this, not just the summers. It is foolish if they havent also realized they might need to talk to the black lawyers actually working for them. This whole topic was a sad sad read.

I'm gonna add my own post about areas that OP talked about. I have internal, somewhat dated, knowledge of Debevoise and it is really surprising that after all these years the firm still has not changed.


I was a legal analyst with the Lit group at Debevoise. OP is likely telling the truth, at least from my view of things. I still think its one of the best firms to start your career if you happen to be any other race than Black. I dont know about this "blacklist" but I do remember learning even though I was just an analyst that there was a different set of standards for black lawyers. Lawyers at Debevoise, across the board, are expected to produce great work, don't get me wrong. But no lawyer comes out of law school churning out excellent work. (((In fairness to the place since I was an analyst and not an associate so somewhat limited view))) At Debevoise, if you're white, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will work with you to improve and turn you into a great lawyer. You only get that way with more work and increased responsibility so sure, it makes sense. If you're black, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will write you off, quickly. What does that mean? That Black lawyers who want to do well at the firm should go in there producing perfect\great work right out of the gate, which isnt a realistic goal for the majority of lawyers of any race. No doubt this is why Debevoise has been only able to promote ONE black associate to partner. And that partner didn't even start at Debevoise. If my memory serves me right she came from another firm or a company. Either way she had time to develop her skills somewhere else before coming to Debevoise.

Ok so what's wrong if a black lawyer sucks and they are not rewarded for sucking? So that's the thing. The black lawyers at Debevoise don't actually suck. At least not the ones I got to work with. There were countless times when the white partners\associates I worked with raged against black lawyers for being incompetent and made negative comments when it was just us white lawyers\paras around. Only for me to work with the same black lawyers and find out it wasn't even true, remotely. All Debevoise lawyers make mistakes one time or another. Mistakes appeared to be less forgivable if it involved black lawyers. For many white lawyers the reason for having this view is bias. They don't see black lawyers through the same lens because they already think most got into the firm on diversity handouts. That's the biased population. For other lawyers its not even bias, they are simply racist. And Debevoise had ((maybe still has)) its share of racists who really want to make sure the partnership reflects a certain demographic. So they will put in the effort to keep it that way. Its an uphill climb for any black associate to fight this if there's a personal interest set on making sure you dont go past a certain class year. And the white lawyers who can support you won't stick their necks out even if they care about black colleagues because no one wants to burn their career over a problem that wont go away.

Debevoise is not the only big firm that has these issues with race\diversity. But firms don't wear the racism on their faces and a black associate won't have hard evidence that it exists. You might see it in the treatment of AA lawyers but you never really have a smoking gun to show an employment lawyer. If this blacklist exists and shows that the issue at Debevoise is actually institutional then they messed up bigly by letting that list get out.

Debevoise promotes a culture with the banner of a collegial\cheerful\fun group that should be the envy of all big firms. It was like that to me and that perception is likely more accurate for white lawyers. I doubt it is characteristic of the black experience at Debevoise. Is it really surprising that a summer who found out and dug more would then head for the fences after getting confirmation? Hmmmm no. Is is surprising that the summer exposed the firm in the process without having a backup plan? Yuppp. What's also not surprising? That Debevoise hasnt changed and black lawyers are still dealing with this.

Debevoise has the potential to be a great firm. The leadership just needs to address this honestly and come to terms with these issues.


I had to create an account just to say I'm a former Debevoise associate and this post really hit home. Do you have any idea how many promising black litigators were discriminated against during the Mary Jo White era? Great black lawyers were forced out of the firm because of bigot partners, many of whom are still at Debevoise. And no, I am not saying Mary Jo had anything to do with it. But it happened while she was our head. Also not going to name those partners responsible but they know who they are and they should be afraid that this day has finally arrived. White's SEC deputy Andrew Ceresney, who was also at Debevoise when I was there, is now head of Debevoise's lit group. Good luck changing that model under that guy. No issues with Andrew but he's blind to all of this. Just like Michael Blair, the firm's Managing Partner. Blair is actually a good guy. I too asked around and found out about what transpired at Debevoise yesterday. Michael means well but I dont think he fully understood the gravity of him getting before an entire summer associate class to acknowledge what transpired. Many would think, maybe rightfully so, that it was an effort to identify OP. But I think it was just damage-control but it was short sighted. A Managing Partner acknowledging that these allegations are true and promising that it wont happen again is not only damaging but leaves the firm open to liability. But its a catch 22 of sorts because how else will you salvage a summer class thats wondering if they should accept their offers to come back? There are some hardcore racist partners at Debevoise. I can rattle off a few names, at least on the litigation side, but I wont. You cant fix all of this unless you're ready to deal squarely with those partners.

And like the poster above said, Debevoise is not the only firm with these issues. But it might be the first to have to deal with it directly and honestly because the cat is out of the bag. People, clients, potential and current associates now know that this is going on.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby TLSposter1990 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:10 am

Debevoise associate here. I asked around to a few black friends at the firm after seeing this thread. The list apparently did exist, but there were more than just black associates on it. Not sure how it’s gotten this rep that it was a list of only black/minority names. Also, according to those who knew him, the senior associate OP mentioned left on his own accord and the firm was surprised and unhappy to see him go. Don’t know who OP spoke to over the summer, but everyone I spoke with genuinely feels that Deb is a meritocracy and they have been/can continue to do well here.

Is partnership mostly white? Overwhelmingly so. But I'd guess its the same issue at PW, S&C, DPW, etc. Kind of feels like this thread is making Deb the scapegoat for what is really an institutional problem.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Belkin0238 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:58 am

TLSposter1990 wrote:Debevoise associate here. I asked around to a few black friends at the firm after seeing this thread. The list apparently did exist, but there were more than just black associates on it. Not sure how it’s gotten this rep that it was a list of only black/minority names. Also, according to those who knew him, the senior associate OP mentioned left on his own accord and the firm was surprised and unhappy to see him go. Don’t know who OP spoke to over the summer, but everyone I spoke with genuinely feels that Deb is a meritocracy and they have been/can continue to do well here.

Is partnership mostly white? Overwhelmingly so. But I'd guess its the same issue at PW, S&C, DPW, etc. Kind of feels like this thread is making Deb the scapegoat for what is really an institutional problem.


Doesnt look like you have any first hand knowledge of what happened but you're a Debevoise associate. I am guessing you're not a black associate. If so then the BOLDED part of your post and maybe the whole post itself wreaks of the ignorance referenced before. Do you really think a few black associates will line up to say yes, we are being discriminated against. Of course they will tell you it is a complete meritocracy probably while also wondering who sent you.

You mentioned some other firms at the end of your post. Unless you're giving a first hand account that these other firms use racist lists or engage in clear cut discrimination, naming those firms in this conversation is unfair looks like a sorry attempt to confuse readers. The focus is sqaurely on Debevoise and no one else.

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:27 am

Belkin0238 wrote:
Goran wrote:
Mokosc wrote:
Npret wrote:OP said they wanted advice, but primarily exposed the firm. It is not going to benefit OP in any way to have posted this information here, nor will it make any impact on discrimination occurring at law firms.


It might impact racial discrimination at this particular firm. I was told that Debevoise met with the summer associate class yesterday and acknowledged the blacklist is authentic. Debevoise's MP apologized to the entire summer class. MPs dont get out of their beds on a Friday to speak to an entire summer class for no reason. I think OP should be very careful not to get caught. What this OP did took guts and exposed Debevoise. What the MP also did took balls. Most firms would never admit something like this. But Debevoise might still have some explaining to do. Their African American associates should also get an apology.


Longtime lurker but saw the referral to my old job and couldnt resist clicking. Whoa whoa whoa. I commend TLS for not deleting this thread.

Agree 1000% with quoted post. Took a lot of courage for OP to share their story and risk getting caught. OP shouldnt be shamed since its in OP's selfish interest to address this and not even let the public know about this. I think OP was trying to get help and call attention to a discriminatory practice. That is admirable. I also think OP was trying to do it with minimal impact and for a particular audience. OP could've posted this in the "Legal Employment" area of this site, which would have gotten far more views and might be where this whole thread actually belongs. OP chose to post this in the section of the site for URM lawyers\candidates.

Debevoise might need to explain this whole thing to clients who hear about this, not just the summers. It is foolish if they havent also realized they might need to talk to the black lawyers actually working for them. This whole topic was a sad sad read.

I'm gonna add my own post about areas that OP talked about. I have internal, somewhat dated, knowledge of Debevoise and it is really surprising that after all these years the firm still has not changed.


I was a legal analyst with the Lit group at Debevoise. OP is likely telling the truth, at least from my view of things. I still think its one of the best firms to start your career if you happen to be any other race than Black. I dont know about this "blacklist" but I do remember learning even though I was just an analyst that there was a different set of standards for black lawyers. Lawyers at Debevoise, across the board, are expected to produce great work, don't get me wrong. But no lawyer comes out of law school churning out excellent work. (((In fairness to the place since I was an analyst and not an associate so somewhat limited view))) At Debevoise, if you're white, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will work with you to improve and turn you into a great lawyer. You only get that way with more work and increased responsibility so sure, it makes sense. If you're black, and you produce good\satisfactory work, they will write you off, quickly. What does that mean? That Black lawyers who want to do well at the firm should go in there producing perfect\great work right out of the gate, which isnt a realistic goal for the majority of lawyers of any race. No doubt this is why Debevoise has been only able to promote ONE black associate to partner. And that partner didn't even start at Debevoise. If my memory serves me right she came from another firm or a company. Either way she had time to develop her skills somewhere else before coming to Debevoise.

Ok so what's wrong if a black lawyer sucks and they are not rewarded for sucking? So that's the thing. The black lawyers at Debevoise don't actually suck. At least not the ones I got to work with. There were countless times when the white partners\associates I worked with raged against black lawyers for being incompetent and made negative comments when it was just us white lawyers\paras around. Only for me to work with the same black lawyers and find out it wasn't even true, remotely. All Debevoise lawyers make mistakes one time or another. Mistakes appeared to be less forgivable if it involved black lawyers. For many white lawyers the reason for having this view is bias. They don't see black lawyers through the same lens because they already think most got into the firm on diversity handouts. That's the biased population. For other lawyers its not even bias, they are simply racist. And Debevoise had ((maybe still has)) its share of racists who really want to make sure the partnership reflects a certain demographic. So they will put in the effort to keep it that way. Its an uphill climb for any black associate to fight this if there's a personal interest set on making sure you dont go past a certain class year. And the white lawyers who can support you won't stick their necks out even if they care about black colleagues because no one wants to burn their career over a problem that wont go away.

Debevoise is not the only big firm that has these issues with race\diversity. But firms don't wear the racism on their faces and a black associate won't have hard evidence that it exists. You might see it in the treatment of AA lawyers but you never really have a smoking gun to show an employment lawyer. If this blacklist exists and shows that the issue at Debevoise is actually institutional then they messed up bigly by letting that list get out.

Debevoise promotes a culture with the banner of a collegial\cheerful\fun group that should be the envy of all big firms. It was like that to me and that perception is likely more accurate for white lawyers. I doubt it is characteristic of the black experience at Debevoise. Is it really surprising that a summer who found out and dug more would then head for the fences after getting confirmation? Hmmmm no. Is is surprising that the summer exposed the firm in the process without having a backup plan? Yuppp. What's also not surprising? That Debevoise hasnt changed and black lawyers are still dealing with this.

Debevoise has the potential to be a great firm. The leadership just needs to address this honestly and come to terms with these issues.


I had to create an account just to say I'm a former Debevoise associate and this post really hit home. Do you have any idea how many promising black litigators were discriminated against during the Mary Jo White era? Great black lawyers were forced out of the firm because of bigot partners, many of whom are still at Debevoise. And no, I am not saying Mary Jo had anything to do with it. But it happened while she was our head. Also not going to name those partners responsible but they know who they are and they should be afraid that this day has finally arrived. White's SEC deputy Andrew Ceresney, who was also at Debevoise when I was there, is now head of Debevoise's lit group. Good luck changing that model under that guy. No issues with Andrew but he's blind to all of this. Just like Michael Blair, the firm's Managing Partner. Blair is actually a good guy. I too asked around and found out about what transpired at Debevoise yesterday. Michael means well but I dont think he fully understood the gravity of him getting before an entire summer associate class to acknowledge what transpired. Many would think, maybe rightfully so, that it was an effort to identify OP. But I think it was just damage-control but it was short sighted. A Managing Partner acknowledging that these allegations are true and promising that it wont happen again is not only damaging but leaves the firm open to liability. But its a catch 22 of sorts because how else will you salvage a summer class thats wondering if they should accept their offers to come back? There are some hardcore racist partners at Debevoise. I can rattle off a few names, at least on the litigation side, but I wont. You cant fix all of this unless you're ready to deal squarely with those partners.

And like the poster above said, Debevoise is not the only firm with these issues. But it might be the first to have to deal with it directly and honestly because the cat is out of the bag. People, clients, potential and current associates now know that this is going on.


And what did you do to address the problem while you were there? Curious

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Mokosc

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Re: Debevoise

Postby Mokosc » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:34 am

TLSposter1990 wrote:Debevoise associate here. I asked around to a few black friends at the firm after seeing this thread. The list apparently did exist, but there were more than just black associates on it. Not sure how it’s gotten this rep that it was a list of only black/minority names. Also, according to those who knew him, the senior associate OP mentioned left on his own accord and the firm was surprised and unhappy to see him go. Don’t know who OP spoke to over the summer, but everyone I spoke with genuinely feels that Deb is a meritocracy and they have been/can continue to do well here.

Is partnership mostly white? Overwhelmingly so. But I'd guess its the same issue at PW, S&C, DPW, etc. Kind of feels like this thread is making Deb the scapegoat for what is really an institutional problem.


I see that was your first post so not sure I actually believe a word of what you wrote but I'll nibble. Ok so we now have a Debevoise associate here who took it upon him or herself to investigate and jeepas, all the facts fall squarely in favor of Debevoise. How fortuitous. But at least now we can stop arguing over if the list exists. Ok so go on, you saw the list and it contained other names not just black/minority names? That sounds like progress. Maybe they shouldnt have a list in the first place. But lets continue. Someone showed you the list. Hm what? lol. How many copies are there of this thing? Why hasnt Debevoise hit it with the purge?

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Re: Debevoise

Postby nixy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:05 am

And what did you do to address the problem while you were there? Curious

And what do you realistically expect an associate to do? Curious.



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