How the mighty Dewey & LeBoeuf has fallen. This New York-based international law firm, formed less than five years ago by the union of two legendary white-shoe practices with roots stretching back to the 1920s and beyond, is in a state of near-collapse.
Is this remarkable turn of events the result of forces within the firm or outside it? What are the lessons -- or warnings -- for other big law firms? And to what degree does the misfortune of Dewey & LeBoeuf reflect what is happening to other businesses in the United States? James B. Stewart, a journalist and former attorney who worked in a big law firm, speaks to these questions from the perspective of someone who knows that world from the outside and the inside.