Monday, March 27, 2006

Tom the Temp Respectfully Requests A Meeting With Mr. Alfred Youngwood


4/1/06- Received several shocking e-mails today. You are not going to believe it. Details in the next posting. Stay tuned!

3/31/06- Still no word from Mr. Youngwood. He must be getting ready for the long weekend. While we are waiting, here is an e-mail which details the extreme level of micro-management that these poor souls have to face on a daily basis, in the Paul Weiss roach-infested basement:

Hello Everyone:

We would like to thank you all for your hard work, however, it has been brought to our attention that some of the firm's policies are being violated. We do understand that we work long hours here and that sometimes we all have things to do during lunch or dinner. We also understand that sometimes people have to take the morning off and come in at the lunch break. In addition, we know that we have been allowing you to continue eating full meals at your desk after the lunch or dinner hour has passed, while billing the client. Many of you will not be happy, but as of today this practice has to stop.

Going forward if you come in at the lunch break, you are not to bring your lunch with you and bill the client for eating. A snack at your desk while working is fine, but it is not acceptable to eat the whole meal unless you are on a break. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

More so, many of you are also spending time playing games, reading newspapers/magazines, sending text messages and even watching DVDs, this too must end. We are here to do a job, and even though many of you find it mind numbing and as boring as can be, playing games, reading newspapers and watching movies must be done during your break time.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this email. Thank you for your compliance and your hard work.

Staff JD Litigation Clerk
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064


3/30/06- No word yet from Mr. Youngwood. I am sure he is very busy. He need not concern himself with the fact that dozens of the youngest, most vulnerable members of his profession are working with dead cockroaches in sweatshop-type conditions. Tom the Temp and Chuckles the Chicken may just have to pay Paul Weiss an in-person visit.

3/28/06- E-mail Sent.

Dear Mr. Youngwood,

I am the author of the anonymous blog -- http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com. I was wondering if you could spare some time to discuss the issues discussed in the blog and in Julie Triedman's article. Many people have been unfairly dismissed for bringing these issues up with their agencies.

Tom the Temp


Since the agencies are too busy pandering and aren't available to ask the tough questions, I respectfully request a meeting with Mr. Alfred Youngwood, the managing partner of Paul Weiss.

I would like to know:

a) Why doesn't Paul Weiss engage in fair labor practices with regards to its temps, particularly recent graduates with no source of income, esteem, or direction?

b) How does Paul Weiss justify charging a client over $200 an hour to have a $21 an hour minion review documents in sweatshop-type conditions with dead cockroaches?

c) What is Paul Weiss doing to improve the unsanitary and unsafe working conditions of its temps?

I would also like to refresh Mr. Youngwood's recollection with regards to something he said in Julie Triedman's article. In it, he mentioned that, "some 'J.D. paras' work on the concourse level." I would personally like to remind Mr. Youngwood that I worked on the concourse level. I was employed as (and billed out as) an admitted attorney, not as a J.D. paralegal.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

His contact info...
ayoungwood@paulweiss.com
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064
Phone 212-373-3080
Fax 212-373-2012

Literally, dying to hear about his response.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it on here and keep reiterating it until people catch on. Why do the clients pay the firm for our work?? Some big corporate clients have figured out the racket and pay the agency directly. The agency then pays the temps and can afford to pay a higher rate (and does, seriously). They cut the law firm profits out of the picture altogether (except that the law firm profits off its usual hourly rate managing the case and overseeing the discovery process and should be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, perhaps even rent, etc.). Bear Stearns figured this out a long time ago and I'm sure others will. HEY CORPORATE AMERICA, LISTEN UP: you don't have to pay the law firms for temp attorney work--you can force them to manage the temps without making huge profit. Just start playing hardball. Save money by cutting out the firms. Lower legal bills=higher net income=higher stock price.

Eventually it will get to the place where Corporate America will be able to bypass the agencies altogether and hire the temps on their own.

Anonymous said...

blooozer.....no one really cares about your silly gripes.

Sincerely,

Alfred Youngblood

Paul Weiss Rifkind
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064
Phone 212-373-3080
Fax 212-373-2012

Anonymous said...

Artist: Jimmy Cliff Lyrics

The Harder They Come Lyrics

Well they tell me of a pie up in the sky
Waiting for me when I die
But between the day you're born and when you die
They never seem to hear even your cry

CHORUS:
So as sure as the sun will shine
I'm gonna get my share now of what's mine
And then the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all
Ooh the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all

Well the officers are trying to keep me down
Trying to drive me underground
And they think that they have got the battle won
I say forgive them Lord, they know not what they've done

CHORUS

ooh yeah oh yeah woh yeah ooooh

And I keep on fighting for the things I want
Though I know that when you're dead you can't
But I'd rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave

CHORUS

Yeah, the harder they come, the harder they'll fall one and all
What I say now, what I say now, awww
What I say now, what I say one time
The harder they come the harder they'll fall one and all
Ooh the harder they come the harder they'll fall one and all!

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

Mr. Youngblood here...
"a) Why doesn't Paul Weiss engage in fair labor practices with regards to its temps, particularly recent graduates with no source of income, esteem, or direction?"
First: I'm confused by the language - we do or don't? I don't think that these things such as "esteem and direction" are even covered under FLSA. Are you sure you're a lawyer?

Anyway, here are my responses:
a)the temp jd paras are not employees of PWR and therefore are not covered under the FLSA.
b) our clients never ask for justification on bills. For Christ sake son. We are Paul Weiss...do you have an understanding of what this means?
c) I have asked my partners to make sure agencies send us more sanitary temp jd paras. I don't know why the current ones are unsanitry however. I've never actually seen one. (Memo to self - have someone look at a temp para JD and report findings in detailed memo)

Anonymous said...

Pencil Pusher,
Unless you are a Native American, you are a guest in the United States too you racist bastard.

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

Guys just ignore pencil penis(i mean pencil pusher) and he'll stop when he no longer gets the attention he craves.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Pencil Pusher is Eileen.

Anonymous said...

I apologize but I published this in the previous entry by mistake. Here it is:

Keep up the good work Tom.
There is only one way to describe what is going on here - EVIL.
Clearly, we have a successful well credentialed partner ridiculing and exploiting naive 25 year olds (and up) by paying them subpar wages with no benefits, calling them "paralegals".
Honestly this is an extension of what is happenning at Wal Mart. The CEO gets up with a straightface and explains that his company does not have the resources to pay for its employee's health insurance. EVERYTHING is allowed in the name of the free market. Since when did American industry reach such a low point of morality.
At some stage greedy executives decided that x100 the pay of their employees was not enough. They need x10000 the pay (remember those expensive shower curtains). One would think that the partner would become broke if he paid these young people adequately.
I think on a psychological level it is much worse in the legal field because these so called humans (aka "partners") have the ability to rationalize everything and instill fear in others. These partners started to believe at some stage that they are the epitemy of the free market gladiators and eveyone else is an inferior nothing. If things continue in this direction people will start to revolt. It is one of the true godsends of blogging, specifically, and the internet in general.

Anonymous said...

god bless the internet and the invention of the blog.

Anonymous said...

fear is their favorite weapon. every project that I find myself on, they overhire. Anyone who raises the slightest concern is branded a "troublemaker" and fired. when people see this, they learn to shut-up quickly.

Anonymous said...

You guys should all flood Youngwood's email box with your concerns. Long live the internet!

Anonymous said...

These partners are greedy, greedy, lowlifes.

Anonymous said...

the strong eat the weak.

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

Sorry, but I have to point out that Pencil Pusher is under the mistaken impression that every "anonymous" post is Tom The Temp.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you're going to never be able to work again after this. You're brave brother.

Anonymous said...

Please ignore all of Pencil Pusher's remarks and comments. Apparently he is derranged.

Anonymous said...

Tom: Keep up the good work. The effects of your diligence is evident in the attached article. Enjoy.
http://www.cobar.org/group/display.cfm?
GenID=1827

Anonymous said...

Its sad that 99% of bad lawyers ruin it for the rest.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hearing his reaction. Glad to see you coming out from behind your computer.

You got a little pair of balls. I will give you that. Keep putting pressure on them.

Nice work

Anonymous said...

NEW BLOG: http://hardouthereforatemp.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"I was wondering if you could spare some time to discuss the issues discussed in the blog and in Julie Triedman's article. Many people have been unfairly dismissed for bringing these issues up with their agencies."

Tom you must be a great and assertive lawyer...this how you want to schedule a meeting with the managing partner of a major law firm? btw, he must laughing his ass off...a lawyer who does not know the difference between regards and regard wants to me with him. with regard, TTT, not regards...i won't tell you the difference, you should look it up

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the grammar tip. It is noted.

"he must laughing his ass off"

I don't believe this is true. From what I hear, Mr. Youngwood is actually a nice, pleasant man. I truly hope he comes to realize that what is going on just isn't right.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

first you crucify him then you canonize him -make up your mind

Anonymous said...

pencil pusher where are you? I miss you

Anonymous said...

Nice people can do bad things.

Anonymous said...

uh oh, I hear Pencil Pusher is in trouble. A surprise is coming her way.

Anonymous said...

"...a lawyer who does not know the difference between regards and regard wants to me with him."

to me with him? before you pick at TTT's writing, check your own.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eileen!

Anonymous said...

"You are in violation of NY Penal Code Section 653.15 ..."

The NY Penal Code does not even go that high in section numbers. What idiot posted this? ROFL

Anonymous said...

12:30 PM: Spoken like a true unemployed person.

Anonymous said...

good lawyer blog:
http://oystersnbeer.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

update your blog you miniscule coolie.

Anonymous said...

ttt- you're so pathetic. ruff!!!

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that you all waste so much time blogging about useless and stupid issues. If you dont like it get a real job and move on. What is really at the heart of all this is you can't get a real fulltime job. so you're bitter. No one is pointing a gun at your head forcing you to temp. You CHOSE to do this. It is the ONLY way that you can use your jd to pay the bills. I left my job 2 yrs ago b/c I didn't wqant to be an associate anymore. I'm still trying to figure out what I wnat to do but inn the meantime I'm fine temping for now. it pays the bills. I don't want to do this forever but I'm doing it in the meantime until i figure out what I want to do. Do you recognize that theres a strong possibility that law firms will read these comments and flat out decide not to use temps anymore and assume that every temp out there is so disgruntled and immature that they no longer want to use them. Where will we be then? Tom- will you employ us then? This is a serious issue that you need to think about before you go attacking specific firms. what if those firms decide never tomuse temp again out of fear that accusations will be spread about them? I've had some ok gigs and some reallly good ones. Do I love doc review? NO but I show up< do what is expected of me and collect my paycheck. My work is a reflection on me. No matter how I feel about temping I still care about my performance. I don't love what I do but I want to keep working. How dare you try and jeopardize our livelihood?

Anonymous said...

8:42- cheers!

Anonymous said...

i thought we arent allowed to mention names of people? if we are pls let me know

Anonymous said...

some names were taken out but a couple were left in tom is good about removing them. Tom-- are you aware?

Anonymous said...

8:42 - I think the issue has to do more with substandard working conditions. I don't think anyone has a problem with temping to pay the bills, but when you have to work in a health and firehazard, it's another matter entirely.

Anonymous said...

Just testing. I'm showing my mom this blog and the comments section. Talk amongst yourselves.

Anonymous said...

If temps were treated like human beings in the first place and respected as the professionals that we are after so many years of schooling, conditions would be better and this blog would not exist. There are of course the rotten apples that surface on projects that make the good temps look bad, like the ones that raid the firm cafeteria and go to town on the client's dime like it is a smorgasbord, squeezing out every bit of the allowance - like the ones who bill 12 hours and work 8 - like the ones who jerk around like they're back in high school - like the ones who purposely defy dress codes and wear flip-flops and jeans at work. These are the people that need to be eradicated from the temp industry before firms start to recognize our worth. Until then, these people will continue to make us look like crap and there is no hope for reform. These days, those of us who lay low, keep our mouths cemented shut and and quietly collect our checks while planning our escape from temping are the ultimate winners.

Anonymous said...

There will always be good employees and bad employees - does this justify treating everyone like shit? No. Fire the "bad" ones - recognize the "good" ones.

Anonymous said...

where forth am I dear TTT

Anonymous said...

pgy where r u

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ny doc reviewer said...

how annoying. on my project we have to sign out, go to a different area on the floor to eat, and then come back and sign in. one day we were told that we weren't allowed to eat in the work area anymore. the reason was "you just can't anymore." so we just run out, eat for ten minutes, sign in, and continue billing.

irritating...

Anonymous said...

In 2004 there were about 100 "jd paras" crammed into 2 concourse level basement rooms. One had aboout 6 inches of space on either side before rubbing up against the next person. Maany of the people in those rooms were licensed attorneys,

The big firms want to reap the benefit of billing us out as attorneys but do not want to classify us as attorneys within the firm so they can pay us less and increase revenues and profits.

The point of the whole big law caste system is to keep you down and beaten so as to fatten up the bottom line for the partners. The associates are willing tools within this system.

Do not believe in the caste system. This awareness is the first step in reforming the lcurrent abor environment. The dissemination of this knowledge is the second step. This situation will not go on in perpetuity and its rotten, unethical underpinnings are beginning to crumble.

They keep us in fear because they need us and actually fear the prospect of our solidarity.

Keep up the pressure.

Anonymous said...

In 2004 there were about 100 "jd paras" crammed into 2 concourse level basement rooms. One had aboout 6 inches of space on either side before rubbing up against the next person. Maany of the people in those rooms were licensed attorneys,

The big firms want to reap the benefit of billing us out as attorneys but do not want to classify us as attorneys within the firm so they can pay us less and increase revenues and profits.

The point of the whole big law caste system is to keep you down and beaten so as to fatten up the bottom line for the partners. The associates are willing tools within this system.

Do not believe in the caste system. This awareness is the first step in reforming the lcurrent abor environment. The dissemination of this knowledge is the second step. This situation will not go on in perpetuity and its rotten, unethical underpinnings are beginning to crumble.

They keep us in fear because they need us and actually fear the prospect of our solidarity.

Keep up the pressure.

Anonymous said...

In 2004 there were about 100 "jd paras" crammed into 2 concourse level basement rooms. One had aboout 6 inches of space on either side before rubbing up against the next person. Maany of the people in those rooms were licensed attorneys,

The big firms want to reap the benefit of billing us out as attorneys but do not want to classify us as attorneys within the firm so they can pay us less and increase revenues and profits.

The point of the whole big law caste system is to keep you down and beaten so as to fatten up the bottom line for the partners. The associates are willing tools within this system.

Do not believe in the caste system. This awareness is the first step in reforming the lcurrent abor environment. The dissemination of this knowledge is the second step. This situation will not go on in perpetuity and its rotten, unethical underpinnings are beginning to crumble.

They keep us in fear because they need us and actually fear the prospect of our solidarity.

Keep up the pressure.

TempLover said...

Will the ass kissing temps please shut up with the obedient hard-working righteous temp crap. It's people like you who gratefully cower and scurry for direction and morsels that have devalued the temp market, not someone like TTT. When temps start refusing to work ridiculous conditions for ridiculous wages, en masse, then some real money will be able to be made. It's the suck-ups who agree to take $25/hr jobs and espouse their pride at doing so, abuse and all, who devalue the entire legal market for the rest of us.

Get a backbone, stop asking questions like “when can we go to the bathroom” or “is it ok if I make a phone call” and stop looking at other people’s timesheets. Grow up and participate in the real world, there are no teachers here to kiss up too anymore, just cold heartless exploitation and yourself. Stop blaming other temps for your miserable lives. You know who I’m talking about!

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

Although the fight against cruel treatment of temps is a righteous one, I don’t believe that pointing out a staff jd is necessary. Any names on this blog were supposed to remain unanimous. TTT you have crucified a poor staff jd that is taking orders probably from a staff attorney, who takes instructions from a senior staff attorney who also has to kiss up to the ladder.
I worked on the project this person supervised. Since day 1, I knew what was expected of me. The agency told me that I was going to be doing PARALEGAL work and I accepted that. I did not have the righteous indignation some of our colleges have that just because we have a jd we should be paid more than the value of our fruits. I showed up to the project, and must I say, that I was surprised at the amount of leniency that was afforded to us. We were not in the basement. It was a very clean and a much-lighted floor with greats views of midtown. We were allowed to walk about the floor to stretch if we wanted to. I could take a morning, afternoon, day or even a couple of days off the project to tend to personal issues, without having any fear of being taken off the project. I scheduled interviews, doctor appointments, and even went on a short vacation. Nowhere else, and TTT has admitted to this in previous posts, is this acceptable or even heard of in other parts of the temp world. is an exception to the rule; the rule of abuse and supervise by intimidation.
Lastly, please let me know which project supervisors allow a person to blatantly read the newspaper or even watch dvd’s without being fired on the spot. At least a warning went out. This person has been skinned alive and left out in the sun for the amusement of some and the undeserved benefit of others, TTT being on of them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of what you had to say. This person undoubtedly was just following orders. I removed this person's name for that reason. The "I was just following orders" defense, however, is getting a little old in my book.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that the orders were not coming from a staff attorney or a senior staff attorney. The staff JDs are in a different department - they're in the paralegal department whereas staff attorneys and senior staff attorneys are straight under litigation or corporate.

Sure, staff attorneys and senior staff attorneys are technically higher in the pecking order, but the only authority over staff JDs, paras, and temps is strictly assignment-wise.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to raise some capital and start your own public interest firm representing these poor temp attorneys...make this blog into a live news feed with daily railing against unfair labor practices in the legal industry.

Anonymous said...

While the working conditions on the PW assignment sound awful, the appalling part of the email featured here is the fact that anyone must be told not to read newspapers or watch movies while working. I have seen temps sleep at desks while billing time, had temps simply not show up for work at all, and observed temps making hour long personal phone calls- all while "billing time"- there is something to the saying "if you act like a child, you'll be treated like a child." Many temps may have JDs and may have passed the bar, but if they don't comport themselves professionally, well, they cannot complain about being micromanaged. It is highly unfortunate that those temps who are acting professionally are suffering, but, the best advice one can give to those folks is to get out of the temp world and get a full-time gig somewhere, even as a staff attorney if need be...if the conditions are indeed so bad, simply quit...and let the firm know why you are doing so.

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