Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Economic Efficiency

Somebody left the following comment:

"Anyone who comes out publicly for temp rights at this point will never work in this town again.

The agencies just crew the ship and throw the bodies to the side.

The issue is whether we will allow the greedy partners at the large firms to continue to inflate their revenue at the public's expense by exploiting us. The increased costs to the clients are simply passed off to the public.

If the partners were not so greedy the firms would hire more people permanently to properly get the job done. If they even cared about the quality of the review work, which the don't. They really only care about bilking the client as much as possible so they can afford a bigger house in the Hamptons."


-- I couldn't have said it better myself.

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go the NYS Bar Association with this.

Keep pounding on their door. See if they care about all the unemployed recent law graduates, and the ones that have to perform document under these conditions, for the the bullshit agencies.

Anonymous said...

hwy Tom are you that surly Asian guy with the cane?

Anonymous said...

I think it is Francis, the little white, bald guy.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry so much, pretty soon they'll be shipping all these doc reviews off to Bangalor anyway. You won't have to do these crappy jobs ever again! Hope you kept the reciept for that JD degree.

Anonymous said...

The mole is a spineless, cowardly, collaborating creature destined for a future as a staff attorney at best. The kind of masochistic satisfaction derived from being the lapdog of agencies and associates and producing countless indices serves its bleak, self-loathing perspective. And it does'nt have to expose itself to the uncertainties of real legal work. It especially loves the opportunity to abuse those under its supervision. This makes it feel good. It feels the law is merely a vehicle to climb over the bodies of others and make as much loot as possible. It chooses the law because the Gestapo is no longer hiring.

Anonymous said...

Sure thing. The work is going to go to all those U.S. barred attorneys living in bangalor. There's absolutuely no difference between a privilege review and your McDonald's drive through order. Let me have a #2 with cheese and, by the way, is that work product or attorney-client privilege?

Anonymous said...

There may be a problem with the security on this blog. The comment postings may not be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

the comments are secure.

Anonymous said...

I just read some of previous posts on this blog. Wow, is it still that bad out there? To all you attorneys who are still shucking it; keep on a'trucking on. The market was shitty a few years ago, so I got out. Bailed. Went software engineering. This I can say -- Thank God. It's been a whole 'nother ride. I just feel for you all cause the stories resonate.

Anonymous said...

the whole temp attorney problem is because the law schools churn out too many lawyers. Simple as that. Shut down half the law schools and you won't have as many unemployed JD's. The top of the market jobs go to grads from top schools, those who did well on the LSAT and law school exam game. Everyone else has to compete for the bottom of the barrel. The legal market is extremely inefficient as a whole. I can understand why Shakespeare once said, "kill all the lawyers..". People dont NEED lawyers. People go to lawyers when theyre in deep debt, in jail, or facing major problems. Moreover, as the general public becomes more educated, many of the tasks usually relegated to attorneys are now being done by your Average Joe (ie Wills and Trusts, see the "Dummy Guide" series for getting your own Divorce or Living Will..the only thing they need is a Notary).
Hence, why the temp market will always be bad. Big law firms only care about business. Anyone who willingly works as a temp understands this. Its all a giant racket. Its like investment bankers. How necessary are hedge fund traders to society as a whole? How necessary is a 4th year structured finance associate, really? What about lawyers who work for the poor? Do you think Legal Aid ever has this "temp attorney" problem? NO. Because the services provided by Public interest organizations actually help contribute to a worthy cause! Not to make some jerk biglaw Harvard JD richer!

It comes down to the legal market. Shut down the crappy law schools, limit the number of JDs flooding the market and the bar exam test centers, and guess what - you start to see everything even out. The need for temp attorneys will decline and all of you will need to get new jobs.
-sincerely
NYC Legal Aid attorney

Anonymous said...

Yet you, and many others, are still working there.

It's not the law firms fault that the supply side of the equation is completely out of whack for this kind of work.

Look, I'm all for you, and I support what you're fighting for. But you're fighting a losing argument if you start getting into economic efficiency.

The issue here should be that it is 2006 and we're in the U.S., and businesses (white shoe law firms no less) should not be subjecting people to the working conditions that you all are in.

But in terms of $$$ and economic efficiency, the root problem lies with the kids going to law schools out of the top tier, and the lies and false hope that those law schools put out there to bring the kids in. This part of it isn't a law firm issue. They are businesses. This is America. They will pay what they need to pay in order to get people to do the work.

That doesn't, however, change the fact that the conditions you work in are reprehensible and that somethign should be done about it.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Some of the conditions on temp gigs are rephensible not to mention the supervisors. I once worked at this gig where the "super" paralegal told the contract attorneys that they should NOT wear ties so that you can distinguish "real" lawyers from contract attorneys. For the record, that was my last day on the job (and I really needed the money).

Anonymous said...

While bad working conditions are a valid concern, some of the entries and concerns expressed in this blog relate to the economic efficiency. Not to trivialize the work of contract attorneys in general, but let's face one giant fact: how many attorneys out there temping are really just lazy slackers who couldn't hack it at a real firm ? While temping is a good option for many newly admitted JD's who didnt have that sweet 2L summer gig or could find a legal job within the 6-9 months after LS graduation time-frame, there are still MANY contract attorneys who abuse the system just as bad ("moles"?). I know one lawyer who graduated from NYU Law, decided to travel around the world for 4 months and works as a temp because it gets him easy money. He has no desire to ever litigate a case in court. In fact, he has no desire to ever practice law and he is too lazy to investigate what he could do with a law degree/law licensed if its NOT for practicing law. Believe it or not, he isn't the only one. I also know 1 girl who is on a 10 month temp project and she's simply too lazy to give up the cushy $40/hr + OT job for a small firm job that would probably pay 45-50K. Sad part is, she probably can't get one now because at her interviews, the item on her resume saying "temp" makes her come across as lazy. Needless to say, her goal is to become a staff attorney. Easy money for brain-dead work. Overall not a bad deal, but this is probably the main reason why lawyers who stay on temp projects for longer than 8 mos-1 year will never be able to get out of it altogether. Bitching about working conditions? Please! Thats maybe like 5% of all projects. Having completed several assignments with Update Legal as well as HIRECounsel in NYC, I've never witnessed any of this.

The economic reality is there, and if you (all the temp attys reading this now) continue to claim its the law schools' fault for "Reeling gullible kids" into a JD when the reality is that lawyer jobs are scarce, then I have a bridge to sell you. Ignorance begets ifgnorance. If you were stupid enough to believe that getting a JD from a podunk T3/T4 school like Cooley, Widener or Touro would bring you lots of $$ after graduation, then that's your fault when the door hits you in the ass when you leave that career center. You make your career, not the law school. So stop the bitching and whining.

-my 2 cents

Anonymous said...

hi, eileen!

Anonymous said...

Blame the victim for sweatshop conditions! I love it. Good one.

Anonymous said...

Blame the victim for sweatshop conditions! I love it. Good one.

Anonymous said...

It's a complicated situation, and one that can never be fully addressed on a message board.

There is a lot of blame to go around, and a lot of people who should share in shouldering some of it.

My point earlier (7:54PM) was that this blog can serve a very useful purpose, and may even be successful in getting you some of the things that you deserve. But, if it is to do these things, you are best served limiting it to your strong points. Once you start getting into these "economic efficiency" arguments, you lose a lot of your credibility. Simply put, you don't have a good argument on those fronts.

Focus on the work conditions and other aspects of the job that simply shouldn't exist in a white collar work environment in America in 2006. You will have a much more powerful argument.

That's my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

"Once you start getting into these "economic efficiency" arguments, you lose a lot of your credibility. Simply put, you don't have a good argument on those fronts."

I completely disagree. The nature of the work, as it exists now, is totally inefficient. There is a huge amount of corruption and greedy partners continue to milk the situation for all it is worth. It is the public that suffers, as litigation costs are passed on through the corporations to the public through higher consumer prices.

I believe "economic efficiency" is one of our strongest arguments. If people were actually aware of how inefficient this system was they would be outraged.

Anonymous said...

Economic efficiency is what should have us all shitting our pants more than anything.

While TtT points out the reprehensible conditions contract attorneys are forced to work in, the real issue is the general crises in the law firm biz model.

Companies are already starting to balk at paying $200 an hour for work that a trained monkey could do (or at least someone w/ a high school diploma).

It might not be Bangalore, but JDs need to be extremely conscious of the fact that big law firms are destroying much of their revenue through their greed.

Yes oversupply is a problem. I would close all law schools over the top 100 (or at least make them stop lying to their students and raping them financially in the process). However, this will not solve the problem that law firms offer too limited a service pool for too high of a price.

Anonymous said...

One of the most irking things is that some of these large law firms have no dint of respect for the temp Attorneys. They leave the pojects to be supervised by the legal Assistants. These Legal Assistants treat the Temp Attorneys as if they are minnow employees.They suggest to the firms who to get rid of based on issues unrelated to job performance. They base their judgement on who kiss their "ass" the best. It is infuriating.
One of the law firms is located on Lexington Avenue.

Anonymous said...

Name the firm, why protect them?

Anonymous said...

Shearman & Sterling.

Anonymous said...

Name the legal assistant (for example Mary becomes Mandy).

Anonymous said...

I graduated from a top 10 law school. Contrary to opinion, I am not temping because I'm lazy, but I can assure you that by this point, after nearly 2 years of temping, I have no desire to ever be an associate at some shit assed firm. I don't know what 11:15 PM thinks that I can do with a JD that doesn't involve being a lawyer, but I can assure you that there are not that many opportunities out there, unless you have several years of experience (non temping, of course). As for taking a job at a smaller firm, well, I haven't got that luxury, since I have a family to support, and a small firm wouldn't even give me enough to cover my rent and utilities, let alone my student loans. 11:15 PM needs to STFU with his/her generalizations about people who do this kind of work, because I have seen plenty of non lazy top tier law school graduates. The story is always the same, every week they show up in a suit for their interview, and every week they come back dejected. I can see that 11:15 PM is a good judge of this, since he/she is apparently working temp assignments too, so I guess he or she is just a lazy piece of crap too. I don't even want to get into Legal Aid, those jokers keep themselves in business by whining about how the poor are taken advantage of, while they teach poor people how to avoid responsibility for doing apparently burdonsome things, like filling out forms and sticking them in the mail. Lose your Public Assistance because you didn't follow the rules and send in your form? Just demand a fair hearing and cite Rivera, woo-hoo. Way to really help the poor, Legal Aid!

Pencil Pusher said...
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Pencil Pusher said...
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Anonymous said...

thats bullshit - you work as a paralegal for a year or two out of college, decide you ould like to challenge yourself with law school, pass the admission process, pass the bar, take the burden of student loans, and come out and perform the same work, same money with same responsibilities?

You expect newly admitted attorneys to accept that? bullshit

They are not going to accept that and I do not blame them.

Nor do I think they care so much about the title, attorney at law, because if you offered them a position with benefits unrelated to law that paid well, most would take it. Those opportunities are unavailable to them. The problem is that they are performing the same tasks that they could have prior to law school, and getting milked by the agencies who can care less about them. I try to think about it from their perspective, ego and student loans aside, they probably feel cheapened by their work. Not good enough. But they are doing what they have to do, and that is admirable and I applaud them for that. But don't expect all to be silent to the temp agency nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Of course our names are not on the invoice einstein. We work for the agencies. But please tell me the law firms are not making a SUBSTANTIAL profit off our time. They are billing our time out at least 100 - 150 dollars an hour. Any recruiter will tell you they want attorneys looking at the documents because they can bill the time out at a higher rate than a para. Simple. So the law firm can elect to make money off our degree/license, but they do not consider us attorneys? How can that be?

Pencil Pusher said...

http://paralegals-revenge.blogspot.com/
Hogwash!!! on all counts. Only a certain type of personality would do work that is beneath them. There are a number of attorneys in staff positions that do document reviews and second reviews. The Temp attorney becomes of value when the task becomes too huge for the firm to manage. Most attorneys at law firms do not consciously undertake a position to abuse temp attorneys. Most temp attorneys are "professional temps' as you are. They have pigeonholed themselves into a class of workers that make excuses to define their existence. Its not about loans or any such things. The average loan payment of a recent law school grad is about $250 dollars a month - less than that of a new car. So its a deeper issue. And again, most temp attorneys are not invoiced - the agency fee is a disbursement on a client's bill. On rare ocassions a temp attorney will be added to a firms billing system and be billed to a client. I find it shameful that in this day and time where there are so many workers that deserve more organization in terms of labour and conditions that a group of highly educated people would actually gripe about making 200 times the minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

9:08

and they claim everyone else is greedy, a lot of folks would kill to earn their salary.
paralegals have to be assigned to oversee temps because as we read in the AL article "It's true we spend probably 80 percent of the day bullshitting and wandering around," clearly paralegals are more responsible and more focused than some lawyers, thus, they have become valuable to their employers and trusted to manage the temp process. but the egos of a few temps (i believe most temps are hardworking folks trying to earn an honest wage) create some of the nonsense on this blog -misery wants company

Anonymous said...

When law firms put paralegals to supervise attorneys they are setting themselves up for..., well fill in the blank.

Anonymous said...

I'm the attorney from the 11:15 comment. Contrary to your assumptions: I was a temp with Update Legal and HIRECounsel but I only temped for 6 months. I now may almost 60K at a small firm, approaching my 2nd year here. Yes it took a LONG TIME for me to get out of Temp Hell, but I never had a "crappy" assignment. I met some really great people and my share of slackers (like the NYU Law grad and the girl on the 10 month temp project). I also met many temps who were in transition (admitted outside NY but waiting for NY bar admission or results, attorneys leaving law for baby-making or something else). I got at many small firms because I had zero experience. Doing document review isn't difficult. A trained monkey can do it. What pushed me over the top in getting hired at a law firm was my persistence and having a little help from a law school classmate who had a contact at the firm and put in a good word for me. Otherwise, I would have been wprking at the firm for 45-50K.

Listen, its your choice to temp. Everyone else on this blog, temping, is making at least $20-25/hour. Thats not minimum wage. If you hate temping, get out. So your job options are 40k/year jobs?? Well guess what, TAKE IT. Get the experience and move on. I know tons of classmates who avoided the Temp route and took that 40K/year job and are now comfortably earning 55-65K. Its all about the long term. If you want to get ahead in the law, you have to make some sacrifices.

PS As for your Legal Aid comment directed to the Legal Aid lawyer...I hardly think advising poor, ignorant people how to fill out forms for gov't benefits qualifies as a "disgrace" I'd rather have the option of dealing with poor ignorant High school graduates who's parents were crack dealers and abandoned them, and steer them toward a better life..than making some Jow Schmoe Partner at Cravath, Swaine or Davis Polk with 3 houses in Westchester County and the Hamptons richer by helping him close a $20 million dollar real estate deal. But then again, that's just me.

Anonymous said...

get real -cravath and Davis and don't do $20 million real estate deals....that is the price of a nyc penthouse

Anonymous said...

"The average loan payment of a recent law school grad is about $250 dollars a month..." You can't be serious.

Anonymous said...

"The average loan payment of a recent law school grad is about $250 dollars a month..."

Most people I know have over $1000 a month. Are your friends rich?

Anonymous said...

Not all poor people are "ignorant," And the majority of Americans who are high school graduates, probably shouldn't be called "ignorant" either. As for how Legal Aid operates, I used to work there, so I probably have a better basis to judge how they operate. While the litigation they do is quite valuable, their actual assitance to the urban poor is pretty pitiful.

My point, which you chose to ignore is that for many of us, our expenses are greater than 40,000 a year, so we can not take a job that pays that little. Snobbery doesn't enter into the decision. We have to temp, because it's the only job available to us that will provide us with the necessary income to pay rent, loans, bills and to put "food on our families," as Dubya said. It makes matters worse when we see people who earn twice as much as us treat us like dogshit, when often times we have equal, (and sometimes superior) qualifications. As for the way we are billed out, folks, I've seen the bills. They charge the client anywhere from 150-250 per hour per document reviewer. However, I once worked at a firm where we were told that despite the fact that we were licensed attorneys and officially employed by the firm, we were considered to have status below that of the paralegals.

Anonymous said...

Why do those ignorant, brutal and stupid paralegals seem to assume they have more work experience and knowledge than the temp attorneys their plundering masters ill-advisedly allow them to supervise?

Anonymous said...

to 9:08 pm, who said "And again, most temp attorneys are not invoiced - the agency fee is a disbursement on a client's bill." there is absolutely no difference whether the firm actually bills the temp attorney out by name or bills the temp attorney out as a "disbursement" (as you say) "on a client's bill". the effect is exactly the same: the client gets billed for marked-up services. maybe in your experience temps aren't billed out individually, but i've worked on cases where the temps ARE billed out and invoiced individually on the client's bill because the client wanted to see details (as well they should). there are numerous permutations of how temps could be billed out to clients that to generalize about it is silly. in addition, there are also temp gigs where the temps are NOT billed out by the firm at all, where the client has directly hired the temps through the agency. in these cases, the agency invoices the client and pays the temps and the firm is cut out of the profit pie altogether but has to manage the case and oversee the temps nonetheless. this is the model that clients should use and will use, when they wise up. bear stearns has caught on to this and hires temps directly. if a case is sexy enough, firms won't turn it down just because they can't profit off of temps doing discovery work.

Anonymous said...

The quote in the article about "wandering around and bullshitting" was suspiciously selective. The author seems to have little practical experience or journalistic instinct. Much of the time the environment is that of a high pressured sweatshop where an incorrect comment, or even taking a personal day, can lead to the "termination" of the assignment.

Anonymous said...

My loans are about 65K total and I pay $350 a month to Sallie Mae. I have no idea where the poster above gets the $250/month number from. Most of my friends pay at least $300-500 per month and for those who have debts in the 6 figure range, it is significantly more.

Pencil Pusher said...
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Pencil Pusher said...

http://paralegals-revenge.blogspot.com/
"My loans are about 65K total and I pay $350 a month to Sallie Mae. I have no idea where the poster above gets the $250/month number from. Most of my friends pay at least $300-500 per month and for those who have debts in the 6 figure range, it is significantly more."
Sallie Mae gives 20 years plus to pay off loans. An average law school grad has about 65K in loans. Do the math. My point exactly there is no big difference between $250 and $350. Point was that TEMP ATTORNEYS use loans as an excuse to work as permatemps; when a decent paralegal job would suffice to pay their debt and live a normal healthy life.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pencil?

When you were a child did a bunch of temp attorneys burn down your house and kill your family or something?

Pencil Pusher said...
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Pencil Pusher said...
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Anonymous said...

I don't know any one who has only $250 in loans. And, there is a big difference between $250 and $350 when you consider the cost of living, whether you own (and therefore pay prop taxes) or rent in the NE is exorbitant, have a family to support, have to commute, pay benefits, oh and you do have to eat on occasion. Remove your head from your arse buddy. You are basically faulting people for being responsible. Is it responsible to take a job making $40,000/yr given all of the above mentioned duties/concerns, when you can get a job that pays twice that amount?

Pencil Pusher said...
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Anonymous said...

Pencil Pusher - for someone claiming to be so knowledgable about the legal profession you really have no clue as to the realities of the burdens of student loans. Otherwise, you would know that very few, if any, pay a mere $250 or $350 in monthly loan payments. (That is, of course, assuming that they did not have scholarships and/or mommy and daddy picking up the tab.) You also said the average law loan debt is $65k, which might be true for those who went to bottom tier local schools. However, you're not taking into consideration those of us who went to top 20 schools, where tuition alone is in excess of $30k per year, plus undergrad loans.

Fact of the matter is that some of the points you make are correct and some of the points that temp attorneys are also correct. I started temping simply b/c I need quick check after taking the bar and temping provided that, plus it requires no thought or effort at all. The firm I summered at decided to only hire 2 out of the 9 summer associates. I decided to come back to NY and NY firms only recognize the local schools and Ivy Leagues. (I was actually told by a recruiter I would have a better chance of getting a job had I gone a local bs school like NYLS rather than the west coast law school I attended which is top 20.)

BTW, if you are doing so well professionally and personally, why is your dumb ass on here making multiple posts daily? Find a chic to take back to one of your "2 homes" LOL

Anonymous said...

8:18

what law school did you attend? you ready to nameNYLS but only say you went to a top 20 ....no says i went to a top 20 school..if it is top 20 you would name because everyone would recognize it! it must piss you off that a paralegal is earning 135K so the only way to address it is to say something stupid -grow up! sorry to tell you buddy there are a lot of paralegals out there earning up to 165K hmmm, i wonder who the dumb ass is

Anonymous said...

Well said 8:18 p.m.

Anonymous said...

So I'm the dumbass b/c there are paralegals making $165k? There are also people who didn't graduate high school and work at boiler room brokerage firms making in excess of $500k yearly. So does that make you a dumbass for going to college? But you're right, I don't make $165k from temping. (I only make b/w $80-$110k a year from my temping). But seeing as how I do not do any work nor have any responsibility nor care about the outcome of the case, I see it as getting paid $80-$110k to do my day trading and check email. Not bad right?
And I don't get mad at any one for making money. I just pointed out that is seems weird that a well-to-do paralegal such as yourself (with your six figure salary, 3 cars, 2 homes, etc) has nothing else better to do than to make multiple posts on this blog daily talking about other people and their career choices.

Anonymous said...

10:05

so what it is that you are doing on this blog? btw, thanks for proving what people have been saying all along...you give temps a bad name and you are disgusting for accepting money that you did not earn. basically you are unethical and a disgrace to your law degree...and you wonder why you won't ever get a real job..loser. TTT should just close this blog because idiots like you create the Anita's of the legal world and the micromanagers who don't trust you...clearly with good reason

Anonymous said...

"Disgusting for accepting money that you did not earn." LOL. Now I know this is a female writing. Hi Eileen!

Anonymous said...

nobody is forcing you to read this blog.

Anonymous said...

I am the one who posted above that mentioned the $65K debt. I actually have a 30 year loan repayment plan with Salle Mae which is why I can get away with $350 per month. Before I consolidated my UG and LS loans, I was paying about $700 month. $65K student loans isn't terrible considering I went to a law school ranked # 50-60 in USNWR (Tier 2). I know one guy who went to NYLS and currently has $120K loan debt. He was an idiot because he lived the high life during college (SUNY!) and decided to live in Tribeca all 3 years of law school, plus he maxed out his private loans. Right now he makes around $55K (if I'm lucky) as a no-fault insurance attorney and can barely afford his rent on a 1 studio closet in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Believe it or not, there are stupid idiots out there who fork over $100K for a law degree from Touro, CUNY, etc. I also know one grad from Fordham Law's evening program who came out with only $45K in debt because of 0 debt from UG (CUNY) and working FT as a paralegal (which defrayed the tuition) and she lived at home.

I have no sympathy for ANYONE who says they cant live on $40K. One of my best friends was forced to drop out of college at age 20, and his first job paid a meager $20K a year. He had to pay rent, car insurance and other misc costs. Somehow he came out all right (no he didn't even use credit cards that much). I think its possible to live off $40K a year, even if you are married and live in NYC. You just have to work your finances, and know how to stick to your budget. There are plenty of housing options in NYC that don't include the $1,200/month studio closet in Washington Heights or the Upper East Side. There ARE ways to survive. If some of you keep making excuses that "ohh theres no way I can afford to live on $40K/year", then that's your choice. But I would rather take the hit, accept the small firm job that pays $35-40K/year,live on Ramen Noodles for 1 year, and get the necessary legal experience so that in 5 years I can be at that comfortable salary of $50-100K, or even have the balls to open up my own law firm. Some of you need to take the blinders off and look at the big picture....

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

great advice -perhaps the jerk that posted at 10:05 could learn a little something about hard work and ethics instead being greedy and trying to earn 100K without working for it. He is no different than a leech and adds little value to this blog-he probably went to touro and now wants someone roll the red carpet for him. i am not a female but how disgusting, leeches are disgusting, there is no way around that. he is probably a mole and a big apple shiner and then blogs to make himself feel empowered.

Anonymous said...

great advice -perhaps the jerk that posted at 10:05 could learn a little something about hard work and ethics instead being greedy and trying to earn 100K without working for it. He is no different than a leech and adds little value to this blog-he probably went to touro and now wants someone roll the red carpet for him. i am not a female but how disgusting, leeches are disgusting, there is no way around that. he is probably a mole and a big apple shiner and then blogs to make himself feel empowered.

Anonymous said...

don't mess with paralegals

Anonymous said...

"
what law school did you attend? you ready to nameNYLS but only say you went to a top 20 ....no says i went to a top 20 school..if it is top 20 you would name because everyone would recognize it!"

The reality of temp world and the principles of remaining anonymous while blogging force us to name as few details of ourselves as possible. If you name your law school, the agencies will be better able to track people who voice their concerns on this blog and blacklist them.

"it must piss you off that a paralegal is earning 135K so the only way to address it is to say something stupid -grow up! sorry to tell you buddy there are a lot of paralegals out there earning up to 165K hmmm, i wonder who the dumb ass is"

You are not better than people because of how much money you make. People tem for many reasons, some by choice, some not. The fact that you made a different choice and now "have nice clothes" might make you queen in your own mind, but it has nothing to do with whether agencies and firms should treat temp attorneys like crap and lie to them.

Yes, a few temp attorneys are lazy. Some attorneys are lazy. Some people are lazy. But the Anitas of the world should treat people as individuals and not abuse the whole group.

Anonymous said...

Listen to the way you talk 9:57. You have to be a female - hi Eileen - b/c of the terminology you use. No man talks that way especially a man who makes "$165k a yr, has 3 cars, 2 homes, etc." But maybe you're one of those females who think they're a guy. Anyways. So I'm disgusting b/c I don't "earn" my money? You can't be serious! I'm sure you really "earn" your $165k. All paralegals (and legal assistants and even first year associates) do is check their emails and monitor temps checking their emails. You act as if you slave away in a coal mine 18 hrs a day, perform open heart sugery daily or somehow do something to justify such a large salary. Fact remains if you, as a paralegal, earn $165k it's b/c you milk the hrs late at night and on wkends doing nothing that provides value to the client. I had a firm tell me they wanted temps to work 14 hrs a day, 7 days a week for one month to meet a deadline. Now how accurate do you think those docs are going to be and, if the firm was really concerned with the quality of work, why have individuals work those type of hrs knowing no attorney could possible produce quality work working those hrs looking at computer screens all day?

And it's funny that you mention me being greedy but fail to mention the greed of profit participating parters and the agencies. Guess what, b/c of my greed I work more hrs and not only do I make more money for myself (proving your point of my greed) I also make more money for the law firms (so they can afford high salary paralegals such as yourself) and the agencies. And the clients aren't necessarily hurt b/c in all likelihood their legal costs are insured so the only one really losing here are the insurance companies and who has sympathy for insurance companies right?

"...instead being greedy and trying to earn 100k without working for it." There's a simple word for that phrase, CAPITALISM!

Anonymous said...

"I think its possible to live off $40K a year, even if you are married and live in NYC. You just have to work your finances, and know how to stick to your budget. There are plenty of housing options in NYC that don't include the $1,200/month studio closet in Washington Heights or the Upper East Side."

Well, maybe when you grow up and start a family you will understand the absurdity of what you just said. I can't rent a studio, because I have a wife and child, and I believe it is a violation of the housing code to stuff 3 people into a studio apartment. As it is I live way the fuck out in Queens & I still have to pay more than 1900 a month in rent.

Pencil Pusher said "TEMP ATTORNEYS have been fooled into thinking that the business of lawyering is for anyone that can get into law school and finish, then make several attempts at passing the bar."

Well, isn't that nice. I feel really cool now, seeing as how I went to an Ivy League undergrad, and a top 10 Law school, which for the sake of remaining anonymous, shall remain nameless, and I'M DOING THIS SHIT TOO. Oh Yeah, I passed the bar the first time too. Your dumbassed generalizations just show why you must be a miserable human being, getting paid 135,000 per year to make photocopies and have snot nosed associates cursing at you for 16 hours a day.

Queens Attorney said...

>>Well, maybe when you grow up and start a family you will understand the absurdity of what you just said. I can't rent a studio, because I have a wife and child, and I believe it is a violation of the housing code to stuff 3 people into a studio apartment. As it is I live way the fuck out in Queens & I still have to pay more than 1900 a month in rent.<<<

No its not absurd. There is a saying which my friends live by,,,the 7 P's, "Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance". Doesn't your wife work? Are you the only breadwinner in the family?? You don't get help from the parents at all?? Seriously, all the 3L's I know at top schools who came out with 0 biglaw job offers, were faced with the choice of competing for the 40-50K/year jobs. All of them knew sacrifices were in order..That temping wouldn't be a permanent solution...Loans can be deferred for a YEAR because of unemployment. You can transfer your credit cards to other cards with 0% APR balance transfer fees for several months or more.

Oh perish the thought, you could move back home and live with your parents. I live in Queens and affordable housing is possible (unless you choose to live in upper middle class areas like Forest Hills, Rego Park, Bayside, Whitestone, etc). $1,900 a rent? Sounds like you're paying way too much. If I were you, I'd do a SERIOUS budget analysis, and then get the hell out of Temp Hell because you are way too overqualified to be doing dummy doc review. We know it, potential employers know it, and so do you. I have a hunch that you didn't even apply to law firm jobs because the salary requirements were all under $45-50K. How can you know until you try??

Anonymous said...

I hate associates. They always look down at us and are too pompous for my taste. I am glad I never became one of "them" and I sure had my chances. Saying NO to offers was very empowering. I will choose temping all over again if I was offered the opportunity again. And BTW, NO I am NOT jealous - of what? NEVER! I am off to greener pastures anyway.

Anonymous said...

My advice now to college students contemplating law school is (1) REALLY REALLY REALLY make sure this is what you REALLY want to do with your life and (2) Don't waste your time looking at a school that is NOT in the top 10. Period. If you don't get in to any of them, either keep trying or do something else.

Anonymous said...

I'm the 12:02 poster, and I would like to weigh in again on the paralegal vs. temp catfight.

First, let's see this fight as between 2 individuals, and not temps and paras generally. We're all often in crappy situations. This is common sense, especially to those of us who have done both temp work as lawyers and para work b4 or after law school. Temps and paras shouldn't be comparing our general human worth based on who makes more $ and who gets more looked down upon by the associates.

Last post, I was angry at the paralegal, "Pencil Pusher" who is clearly an irrelevant snob with a blog. (Or a snob with an irrelevant blog.) But this comment from the temp to the para:

"I'm sure you really "earn" your $165k. All paralegals (and legal assistants and even first year associates) do is check their emails and monitor temps checking their emails."

is simply not true. A lot of paras, I dare so most of them, work extremely hard for the money. They have a lot of the stress that associates have, without any of the respect. And the better they do their jobs, as compared to their peers, the more work attorneys dump on them.

Yes, paras have healthcare and job stability, 2 things that temps do not have. But they are also working hard with little job flexibility, and law firm partners are also billing them out at much highter rates than they are paying them.

All of us hookers gotta stick together!

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pencil Pusher said...

"Hey pencil pusher:
Here is the reason why educated attorneys hate paralegals. They make baseless, incorrect, mathematically and scientifically ignorant and uneducated statements:

>The average loan payment of a >recent law school grad is about >$250 dollars a month - less than >that of a new car.
>Sallie Mae gives 20 years plus to >pay off loans. An average law >school grad has about 65K in >loans. Do the math.

I did the math, and your ignorant. Assuming that the average law student graduates with 65K in loans and has to pay back over 20 years and makes 1 payment a month at an interest rate of 3.0%, thats a payment of $359.59 a month. If the interest rate is 5%, that payment is $427.19 a month. A student who went to a top tier law school who borrowed $150k now owes $829.82 a month! This is not to mention the exponential effect of missing a payment due to under/unemployment."


Again, If you can't make an $859 maximum loan payment - then you made the WRONG career choice. I am a paralegal and I pay well over $6000 a month in debts - which include mortgages, cars, credit cards etc. Plus I put 12% in a 401K till I make max IRS contribution. So stop playing with percentage points and admit that you are at the bottom of the food chain and you have made a bad career choice and also becuase of your personality type (born to fail) - you cannot change. The entrance into the practice of law as well as any other profession is not for monetary gain. It does go hand in hand that if you become a professional then the money will be there. But law grads are the only animal where failure allows for a bail out i.e. temping. How many TEMP doctors do you see?? How many TEMP accountants do you see?? There are many jobs for lawyers out there - but you people are the loosers in the field - there are no RIF's at law firms. Its the top growing industry in the world - for people that can compete in it. So much so it even makes room and generates an economy for its failures. So TEMP ATORNEYS are the equalivent of a welfare program that law firms provide. You have a good Sunday..BTW cussing me won't make a difference. Class as it is lacking in your language is also big part of your failure - and I belive Temping as a lawyer is a failure. Also, I am a paralegal so I have the power of research at my fingers. Here is the Sallie Mae pay schedule for your 90K loans.
Monthly Payment Schedule:
Initial Balance Monthly Payment
LAWLOANS $90,000 $381

Payment Summary:
Total $ Payments Total Interest Total # of Payments
LAWLOANS $114,441 $24,441 300

Pencil Pusher said...

Also - Stop blaming the law firms for your poor wages and horrible work conditions - which I think is just bloggese. The Agencies take most of your money for doing nothing. I paid agency bills recently and the markup is incredible - so you all should direct your energy towards Update, Peak and whoeverelse you people use. BETTER yet - why dont 10 of you put one paycheck each together and form a LLC then operate as your own independent agency. Look! Free legal advice from a paralegal!!

Anonymous said...

"The classy firm that I work for has clients that pay for paralegal work."

This chick is unbelievable. Who says they work at a "classy firm?" And who uses anonymous blog comments with phrases like "classy firm" and "nice clothes" to try to prove how great they are?! LMAO!

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't your wife work? Are you the only breadwinner in the family??"

My wife is a mother, which is a pretty important job that doesn't pay money. When our son is old enough to go to school for a full day, she plans to resume working at a paid job.

"You don't get help from the parents at all??"

I'm over 31 years old, & my parents are both disabled. Since I would feel bad about taking their social security money, I'll ignore this stupid question.

"Oh perish the thought, you could move back home and live with your parents."

See Above

"I live in Queens and affordable housing is possible (unless you choose to live in upper middle class areas like Forest Hills, Rego Park, Bayside, Whitestone, etc)."

As I mentioned, I have children who are on the verge of starting their education. I live where I live, because of the proximity of available opportunities for my kids. It seems to me that you must not have kids, because when and if you ever do, you will be singing a different tune. From your comments, it seems like maybe you think that parents are just some people with cash that you can leech off of for the rest of your life. You think that you can give me a lecture on making sacrifices On the contrary, I sacrifice FOR my my kids by paying more in rent and working a temp job that pays more than a 45,000 dollar job, so that I can live where I live, which is middle class & within a good school area. Do you think I enjoy this kind of work? Hell no. In fact, if it were up to me, I wouldn't have anything more to do with lawyers again. I have no problems with temping, as long as I am able to provide for my family, which gives me more satisfaction than lawyering ever will. My only problem is that supposedly intelligent people think that its ok to make stupid generalizations about legal temps, such as attributing lazyness or ignorance to the whole of the industry. My other problem is that these stupid generalizations often come from the law firms for whom we work (although I have no beefs with my current project, thank you).

Anonymous said...

Pencil Pusher said: "Again, I choose the correct career path. I thought about law school - did average on the LSAT and weighed my options. At my level - I am an expert in IP litigation, can draft most pleadings and I am called upon to manage and attend many trials. The classy firm that I work for has clients that pay for paralegal work."

Hmm...Sounds like unauthorized practice of law to me.

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That's funny, Pencil Pusher, I seriously doubt that you even know what the practice of law entails. You're probably just some dummy who scored slightly higher than a cantelope on the LSAT and was rejected by Cooley. Your "house" upstate probably came with wheels attached. Other paralegals probably pick on you, and you blame all your incompetence on the temps. We attorneys won't always be temps, but you'll always be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Make fun of my word choise all you want, I'm not the one who used the word "looser" when you meant "loser."

Anonymous said...

choice even ;)

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Pencil pusher is an idiot!!!

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Pencil Pusher is an idiot!!!!

Anonymous said...

I was just there last week - bought a 3 grand stereo system with all the cash I get just for sitting on my ass.

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Sure beats being a paralegal. Those jokers only get $40 for seamless! Maybe I'll let one of our paralegals lick the T-Bone from my Delmonico's porterhouse.

Pencil Pusher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think pencil pusher is Eileen.

Anonymous said...

Who's Eileen?

Anonymous said...

a woman from update. boy, do i have a story about her . . .

Anonymous said...

do tell