Friday, January 26, 2007

Unbearable Blood-Sucking Agencies

Tom: I have come to understand a great deal about the ultimate motives, agenda of some of those who come into an equity role at some of the major legal temporary agencies. Attorneys have to recognize that in most instances these folks are not your friends or career advisors invested in your professional development and success. All too often many of us are bought off with a slice of Pizza or a free sandwhich or in the case of that Scott Krowitz guy at Lexolution, some chummy b.s seminar about "Careers in Coding." Behind the scenes some slimebag middle management profiteer is all too happy to add a layer of profit in between you and the law firm employer.

Consider the case of one Robert Singer, who formerly served as an Executive Director at Weil Gotshal and Manages and Finance Director at Cravath. Roles which were primarily financial and devoid of any human component. His role has been principally to teach law firms how to be more profitable. He took his former fat paychecks and in late 2005 bought into the partnership at DeNovo legal. Since that time, he has changed the face of that agency, mostly for the worse. His motives are purely profit oriented, primarily for himself and those in his inner circle. Most temps go to work on DeNovo projects because of Sean Curtin. In fact, a friend of mine is a partner at a firm and he mentioned being pitched by Singer and the guy did not know the first thing about the data retrieval process critical to the management and staffing of a major case but tried to schmooze him about how DeNovo Legal was a full service Trial Preparation Firm. The Partner told me that a bean counter who knew jack shit about his business was essentially trying to jack him off because he saw DeNovo as no different from any other temp agency.

I worked on a project there in 2005 mostly because it had a reputation as one of the better enviornments to work in. They, however, are out of touch with people who have to work 60 hours or more a week doing mind-numbing work to pay their bills.
We have to endure Update like staffers like this Evelyn Louie chic, who has the worst interpersonal skills. Friends on a project there tell me that she periodically rises from her hole like its Groundhog day to make another announcement about the conditioning of expense reimbursements but largely the temps have no idea whether the project will last for a week, a few more days or months. Sure, they give out free pizza and the like but those that built what was a more uniquely personal and professional agency get pushed aside and what these people are replaced with is a Nazi like efficiency. They sit around with calculators all day long trying to figure out ways to extend the work day, eliminate breaks or reimbursements for meals or cars. That is the word on the street. Fortunately or unfortunately I was staffed on something else at the time, and am actually working for an agency I hate right now but it pays the bills. Agencies are increasingly becoming "UPDATE" like with no regard to ones professional development and long term job security. If we have to deal with people like Update's Leslie Firtell, Eileen Lamboy or Evelyn Louie and Robert Singer at DeNovo Legal, most will likely go someplace else.

The further lesson in all of this, is that in this modern era in America we increasingly find those at the top of the food chain sucking more and more $$ out of the business while the proletariat professional classes have to rationalize getting less. It will work for a time but ultimately bankrupt souls like Robert Singer will be dumped on the scrap heap of business history.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Update is by far the worst, unprofessional and dishonest agency that I had to deal with. I worked for 3 months/ 12 hours a day/6 days a week in sweatshop like conditions, but when I had to see a doctor and "only" came in for 8.5 hours - they black listed me, told me the project is over "for me", refused to let me go back to collect my things, and tried to deny my unemployment benefits.

Anonymous said...

EP DINE keeps a black list.

I have several friends who have applied to those listings, never to hear a thing. I think the listings are fake. Has anyone done anything for DINE except for doc review at 25 - 30/hour?

Go for it and keep the rest of us updated.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Scott would lick the snot off a urinal to make a buck.

Anonymous said...

Dine must keep a serious blacklist. I have been registered with them for over 2 years and never got offered anything. I wonder what I could have done? When the woman today said they'd call me when they had something appropriate for my background and when I pointed out that it seemed two years was a long time to wait for a temp gig, she panicked.

The temp agencies need to be eliminated and the law firms forced to deal directly with contract lawyers.

I am actually thinking of demanding to see what's in my file there.

Anonymous said...

that's too bad. I always considered Krowitz one of the more upstanding people in a business chock full of vile, loathsome cretins. Alas, faint praise damns...

Anonymous said...

Dine. yeah you actually do- what I'm trying to figure out is whether all the listings they have online a real or not. They list quite a few high paying substantive temp work and I want to know if I'm wasting my time with them in terms of the substantive projects. If they are paying me well, I don' t care about an unenforceable contract because it is unenforceable.

Anonymous said...

Scott korowitx from lex solutions totally screwed me over- is it just me or does anyone else think he is an uber turd-tool-peckerhed. He jerked me around several times re several jobs and then tried to shortchange me.

Anonymous said...

e.p. dine is shadybecause they force you to sign contract that is not legal that allows them to keep your already earned wages if you quit, AND it also has liquiadted damages and claims that they will sue you as a required term and condition of working through them. Do we need to go any farther than that? They are about the worst.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever proven the existence of temp firm wide black list?

Also, does anyone know if Update keeps notes on people, even if you've never worked for them?

Anonymous said...

This is "par for the course" with the crew at Lexolution unfortunately. Scott Krowitz' miserly ways should bite him in the ass for trying to squeeze every dollar out of a project while simultaneously trying to put forth a rep as a soulful man who cares about your career development with his "careers in coding" seminars. This illustrates why people like him are part of a very huge problem. This should not only hurt him with temp recruiting but should also hurt him with his clients. As a Temp, if you get a phone call from Lexolution, you should ask them what the actual project rate is for all firms not just what it will be going through his firm. And, as a law firm if you should utilize Lexolution to staff all or part of a project, you should request that they will conform their payroll to normal/market wages for legal professionals.

Anonymous said...

Strategic Legal recently passed around a "liquidated damages" contract for attorneys who had already been on the project for over a week. Very shady. I am unaware of anyone who has signed it. I certainly don't plan to.

Anonymous said...

Eileen Lamboy is the worst. She made a big stink about receiving a package! Meanwhile, so much work had been done by this contractor for Update that the contractor until that point received a bonus after every 200 hours!

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, Evelyn Louie of DeNovo is nothing like the witches at Update who will look for any opportunity to put you down, prevent you from retrieving your personal property when you've been abruptly told the project is over (when you are no longer on the premises). Overall, I have found her to be fair.

Anonymous said...

My personal opinion is that some agencies keep blacklists. As to whether or not they share them, I have wondered about this too. I think that this industry is so small, basically run by about 6 agencies in the NYC market, and there is enough of an exchange of personnel between them, that word gets around, and in effect one can be blacklisted from the entire industry in a geographical area. --All of which also makes me wonder whether there is an anti-trust issue with regard to price-fixing.?? just wondering... Anybody have ideas about this?

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