Sunday, March 26, 2006

Witch-Hunts

The witch-hunts are on! I knew it was only a matter of time.

At Paul Weiss, Alfred Youngwood allegedly had a large lunch for all of the temps last week. Apparently, the firm has been trying to figure out who has been speaking to the media.

At another firm (which I promised not to name), an agency warned all incoming temps that a certain "troublemaker" (a.k.a. suspected blogger) was on the project.

On my project, the names of suspected bloggers are flying around the room. I wouldn't be surprised if the agencies have created (and are now leaking) a "short-list" of suspected bloggers.

None of this phases me. I am now at a point where I have learned to ignore the dirty tricks, gross exploitation, and petty politics of the agencies and firms. I can't control what others may do. All I can do now is concentrate on serving the corporate client in the best way that I can (which I am proudly paid to do), and by speaking out against an inefficient, unethical, corrupt, and exploitative system of legal services delivery.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom: have you thought of just striking it out on your own? I know someone in DC who isn't even admitted yet who has just done that...She completely bypassed the agencies and works for herself, for attorneys and firms, without the hassle of lousy work conditions. Her site: http://lawclerkatyourservice.com/

Anonymous said...

I used to be on TTT's project. I know TTT personally. I think they have met their match. They don't want to catch that witch. There will be alot of unhappy people.

Anonymous said...

Don't let them shut you down! What is wrong with what you are doing? Why would they expect highly educated people trained in verbal/written sparring and muck raking to keep their mouths shut in such deplorable conditions? TTT, I thank you. I was hating my small firm job and considering doc review until I read your blog. Trust me, I have a newfound appreciation for my job and fairly low pay now.

Icybear said...

I have an idea, if we REALLY want to fuck with Paul Weiss (and who shouldn't want to do that, given how they've fucked with their doc review temporary attorneys). I know that, like lots of big firms, Paul Weiss likes to tout their "pro bono" work for "worthy" charities. Perhaps someone should contact them, give them evidence of how Paul Weiss has treated their temps, and ask them what they think about being represented by a law firm that essentially runs a sweatshop? Additionally, I know that Paul, Weiss also used to be somewhat "politically connected." Again, info on how Paul, Weiss treats its temps could be forwarded to the staffers of politicians who have received donations from Paul Weiss. This latter tactic will only work for Democrats, obviously -- Republican politicians clearly wouldn't give a shit (since they plan on having everyone treated even WORSE than how Paul, Weiss treats their temps).

Again, just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a Democrat before I discovered how Paul, Weiss treats its temps. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

8:09

TTT -we know that was your post...stop pretending to b an anonymous blogger..you are upset that your blog lost steam, in fact, it never had any juice after all the name calling and finger pointing stopped. you have no credibility left after the long farewell..i am too tired to blog because of dog and family issues. when someone else started a blog to help you, you quickly..uhhh, like a day later took back your blog. if the temp sector is so bad, why aren't people clogging this blog with temp stories and examples of the agencies and firms that been treating them bad. you have focused on one agency and one law firm but the claims are that the whole industry is evil and law firms are offering up cruel and inhumane treatment. There are thousands of temps out there in these "conditions" and yet you only manage to get a paralegal(s) filling up this blog - get back to basics and state your case and do something about the issues...and please don't say "i will be blacklisted if i do something" if you are going to keep your blog going but offer no real solutions, all of the temps that your are trying to reach are not going to visit this site and you will only have a bunch of trouble makers posting. btw, the AL article made cause look weak, especially with the moronic quote from the temp that said he is milkin the system - i have a feeling you are going to hurt your fellow temps more than help. Evaluate your cause, in the end, firms and agencies are going to think JD's are to much trouble and will have paralegals doing your job for $20 per hour and the client will get billed $150. the agencies will still make money, the law firms will still make money and the clients will be saving money, thus the end of the temp lawyer. proceed with caution and remember why you started the blog -issue a new mission statement -good luck

Anonymous said...

"all of the temps that your are trying to reach are not going to visit this site and you will only have a bunch of trouble makers posting."

Hi, Eileen!

Anonymous said...

As Ronald Reagan used to say, "there you go, again"

"if the temp sector is so bad, why aren't people clogging this blog with temp stories and examples of the agencies and firms that been treating them bad."

They have. Read through the old comments. I also should say that readers of the blog don't get to see the e-mails that I receive. Some of the things that I read are just plain shocking. I can't post many of these things because the people that tell me about them are afraid that they will be found out.

"and please don't say 'i will be blacklisted if i do something'"

for sure I will. In the past, I have been removed from projects for making complaints about ethical violations to my agency. If you want me to prove this by publishing these e-mails just let me know. I have no interest in destroying peoples' reputations and careers, however.

"btw, the AL article made cause look weak, especially with the moronic quote from the temp that said he is milkin the system - i have a feeling you are going to hurt your fellow temps more than help."

No, it made us look strong and professional. (which many of us are). Many of my colleagues that I talk to are sick and tired of the "milking" that goes on in the industry everyday. We want it cleaned up and we want to be viewed as the professionals that we are.

"Evaluate your cause, in the end, firms and agencies are going to think JD's are to much trouble and will have paralegals doing your job for $20 per hour"

This is the proto-typical union-busting quote that is used over and over again. I don't know which is worse. a) the poor quality of the union-busting consultants that you hired, or b) the fact that you are using your workers money to hire union-busters instead of providing them with a health insurance contribution.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

I can attest that many temps do read this site, and are happy with Tom's efforts. There is only so much you can do with a blogsite.

Try and freelance yourself out individually and you will get fired. Make no mistake about it.

I hope Tom continues to keep blogging, but if this kid had a any balls he would speak out directly to the agency or firm. On the flip side of the coin, he has the foresight to know that if he does do that, the payckeck will dissapear. I guess you cannot fault him for that.

Think about it: If he did not have legitimate gripes, you would not be reading and responding, so he has got your attention, too. Let him go to the media. The law, as a profession, I believe has an ethical reponsibility to other lawyers, particularly recent graduates with no source of income, esteem, or direction. Lawyers with resources, i.s. partners and chairman of firms, are in a position where they can do something about the temp industry. If they control the business of the agencies, they can mandate policies, pay, cle tutoring, benefits, job leads, etc. Just an idea.

This blog is trying to expose the shortcomings and business of the temp agencies. Its fair to say his credibility is lacking as an anonymous blogger, but the the grievances are legtimate and can be justified in many cases.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:36, I am from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, but I take issue with your comment:

"Again, info on how Paul, Weiss treats its temps could be forwarded to the staffers of politicians who have received donations from Paul Weiss. This latter tactic will only work for Democrats, obviously -- Republican politicians clearly wouldn't give a shit (since they plan on having everyone treated even WORSE than how Paul, Weiss treats their temps)."

I am a left-wing Democrat, but I have found that there are a lot of Republicans out there who care about poor working conditions and low pay. There are those who don't of course. But many Republicans are members of their party because they believe in a strong military, small government, and free markets. The temp industry is not a free market because information is often (a) false, as in the agencies lie to us, or (b) not available or exchanged, though this changing with TTT and other bloggers.

Putting parties aside for a moment, which politicians are more likely to listen to us - those that depend on money from Paul Weiss partners or those that don't?

Whether we like it or not, the Republicans control all three branches of government, and many congressional districts will always be Republican. If you are a Republican who cares about working conditions, you need to be voting in primaries and telling the candidates that you support better working conditions over increased profits for executives. Republican politicians may not listen to Democrats very often, but they do listen to the people who vote in Republican primaries.

Anonymous said...

8:40pm: "I used to be a Democrat before I discovered how Paul, Weiss treats its temps. What a bunch of hypocrites."

There are all kinds of Democrats. Some are the corporate types that are only Dems because they support abortion rights and don't hate gay people. Please don't lump us all in with them. Many of your fellow temps are Dems who care about labor rights.

Anonymous said...

Tom-
keep posting the truth brother!

Union Busters / Corporate Spies / Abusive Firms / Eileen-
I am a law student at a t14 LS and have shared this blog with my classates and friends in over 30 of the top tier law schools. Let's just say that it's a great motivating force for those of us still in school to avoid the hell that Tom describes. I know at least a few students who are purposefully avoiding big law in NYC, DC, Chicago so they don't get stuck working for the degrading sweatshops that inhabit the grim underbelly of the legal world. Be forewarned, we are onto you.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, t14. You are destined to fail already. You're avoiding? They're actually avoiding you. You would give your left nut if even they looked your way.

Anonymous said...

7:50

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

7:20

idiot

Anonymous said...

good job tom the temp! just ignore the idiots!

Anonymous said...

wonder if these so called law firms have any fee splitting issues?

the client pays them $200 per hour and the law firm splits the fees with the agency, a non-attorney, on a 75 / 25% basis .. fee splitting?

any breach of fiduciary issues? .. the firm has a duty to disclose to clients that the $200 / hr. includes a hefty markup to the temp agency, a non-lawyer; if the temp agency gives anything back to the law firm there would certainly be a duty to disclose ......

Anonymous said...

10:04

idiot!

Anonymous said...

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 Mr. Youngwood 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...

Often, witch-hunts hurt the innocent and let the complainers complain.

Anonymous said...

Not all bloggers are created equal. Some are legit. And some are spineless opportunististic slackers who want to stay on a project not by working hard but by de-faming others. The latter, watch out! What comes around goes around. Leonard Cohen.

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