Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Debevoise was in private practice in Newark, New Jersey from 1953 to 1979. He was formerly a partner in the firm now known as Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP. He is a graduate of Williams College (Class of 1948) and Columbia Law School (Class of 1951). He began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Phillip Forman.
After 29 years on the Court, Judge Debevoise has approximately 60 former law clerks, including Stuart Rabner, current Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, former New Jersey Attorney General and former counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Peter C. Harvey who was the first African American to serve as New Jersey Attorney General (2003-2006).