Saturday, May 26, 2007

Update Legal Voted Worst Temp Agency In On-Line Poll

No surprise there. People have been complaining about the underhanded tactics of this agency for years. Courtesy of http://tempatty.com:

"Half the attorneys I know have been "blacklisted" by these overly sensitive Bedford Wives."

"This is a wild place. I have heard that they blacklist folk."

"By far it is 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."

"I feel very let down and misused by update. My experience on my present assignment is negative. They have crammed 150 of us into a space that the fire marshall has approved for only 75 persons. There are only 6 bathroom stalls for 150 people!!! We are lined up table to table like a sweatshop. To leave my seat I must squeeeze through chairs and ask my colleagues to move their carcasses out of the way. Update does not have the contractors' interests at heart. They are simply here to enforce the desires of the hiring lawfirm. We must work 58-66 hours but the site is open only to 8:00pm so to avoid giving us carfare or dinner. In effect, we are forced to work until 8:00 at least 4 days per week until 8:00 - to leave earlier means not being able to make one's hours. "

"Don't ever tell them anything they do not wish to hear or you will be blacklisted. They can be unprofessional."

"Worst agency EVER. I have worked with several agencies and this was by far the worst. The yelled at me and threatened me - partly because I picked up my cell phone to answer *their* call (I knew it was them because they are the only blocked number that would call me) and because I was accused of socializing too much - approx. 30 min during the course of 10 hour days. Avoid like the plague."

"Don't forget, they will blacklist you for not taking a project that pays below market rate. I've overheard conversations that were bizarre! I have successfully worked with 5 or more agencies. Only with Update, my first (and last) experience with them had been a nightmare."

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THE NOTORIOUS UPDATE LEGAL BLACK LIST is very real and my premise is that it ultimately is disservice to the legal profession, individual lawyers who are unfairly discriminated against for consideration of employment as well as law firms and their clients. How you ask? The Blacklist "spin" is that agencies use it as a "quality control" or "QC" technique to weed out undesireable candidates who less than stellar workers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In point of fact, Update Legal staffers, most of whom are not lawyers, paralegals and not only have never worked in the law firm enviornment but many lack actual workplace, human resource and real life professional experience. Yet these very same people often make wrong or discriminatory decisions about qualified people. Many are young sales girls who see your overtime as their next pair of shoes and will sooner try to staff that guy who always finds a way to get 14 hours of work out of 9 hours than the professional who is a tad more ethical. Firms like Update Legal reward mediocrity by assigning greater value to those who do not rock the boat, bill the most hours (regardless of whether the work justifies it) and never leave a project for a better opportunity.

ISSUE: How does the Update Legal Black List or lists of such kind impact a law firm's and their client's bottom line?

ANSWER: Many agencies seek exclusives or semi-exclusives to staff a project. The problem is granting an agency that has a questionable means of blacklisting qualified and desireable candidates means that said law firm will never see the resumes of many people who might be of greater assistance to that law firm than those presented. What they are getting is the people whom that agency has most control over. While many think of doc review as a skill-less exercise, it is usually the first layer of review of evidence in a case. Hence, the eyes reviewing your client's evidence might be relevant. I would not have believed it if I would not have seen and experienced first hand how Update drones are regularly staffed while highly qualified people remain on the sidelines.

SOLUTION: Law firms should require agencies to sign an agreement that their screening and qualification criteria does not discriminate unfairly against candidates based upon highly subjective and personal criteria (reminder: screening is often by a 24 year old sales girl). Law firms should eliminate exclusives and semi-exclusives and look into whether those making decisions about what agencies to use or not use are not receiving kick backs, payments and/or and gifts from Update Legal, Lexolution etc. Law firms should instead staff their projects on a rotation basis with several agencies so that they will see a more diverse and more qualified applicant pool. And lastly, they should consider seriously the ergonomics of the work space for interim staff and whether it enhances the success of their overall effort.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

You guys have to lay off with this racial persecution complex. I am a white male and I have to suffer just like the rest of you because I got my JD from a TTT school. It took me 6 months after graduation just to get a shitty doc review job, and some of my law school friends (who are also white males) couldn't even get that. The main reason for attorney exploitation is because the market is saturated, plus a new law school opens every year. There are only so many jobs available and even those are being outsourced. We are all in the same boat, so put away your race card.

Anonymous said...

You should be concerned, as well. The legal profession doesn't like white trash, either.

Anonymous said...

See, it's no wonder that nothing ever gets done except whining around here. Everytime someone tries point out the obvious, another person hurls insults at him/her. Good luck with your "racial struggle" though. I'm sure you will win a lot of friends in the profession that is filled with "white trash".

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet that the second poster is white too.

Anonymous said...

No reason not to place that bet. People associate with their own kind, except in big cities. I go to an all AA church, with our own bank, too.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't your presenting this to the ABA and other organizations? If you truly feel these are real problems why not start a nonprofit dedicated to these issues? It's clear that this is your passion- the way the industry treats people. People create non profits all the time- and this seems like as good an issue as any.

Anonymous said...

whatever happened to that online poll/petition that was forwarded to Bar Assocn Pres Barry Kamins about the deplorable working conditions of temp attorneys? Whatever happened with that, or was that just another nice idea that fell through the cracks?

-NYC Esq.

Anonymous said...

Now this is rich.

Update Legal called me and left a message on my cell. I called them back and asked what kind of job they have for me. Instead, they asked that I stop e-mailing and calling them so much and letting them know I am available for
work!!!!

They called just to tell me to stop bothering them !

"Stop calling us, you peon. What do you want? A fucking
job? What do we look like to you, an employment agency?"

P.S. This is just after having pulled the rug from under me by offering me a job only to tell me an hour later that it no longer exists or has already been filled. This is crazy, I need to find another line of work pronto.

Anonymous said...

Some lady on one of my old jobs said Update did that to her too.

She claims that Update called her with a job. Two minutes after they called, she called them back and was informed that the job had been filled. The lady conveyed her dismay to the young female Update recruiter, not believing that a job could be filled within 2 minutes.


The recruiter all of sudden became bitchy, snapped at the lady, and suggested that she call one of her other agency friends to get her a job.

Anonymous said...

Some lady on one of my old jobs said Update did that to her too.

She claims that Update called her with a job. Two minutes after they called, she called them back and was informed that the job had been filled. The lady conveyed her dismay to the young female Update recruiter, not believing that a job could be filled within 2 minutes.


The recruiter all of sudden became bitchy, snapped at the lady, and suggested that she call one of her other agency friends to get her a job.

Anonymous said...

all you underemployed lawyers should use your legal skills. Sue Update for employment law viloations. All of you together should be able to put together a case and represent yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Have any of the Update Legal staff ever acknowledged that they black list people? You call it the "Notorious" black list - but why is their black list any more notorious than any temp agency's black list? Is it industry-wide? Does it keep a temp from working?

Anonymous said...

Swear to God, I've had nothing but good experiences with Update. I had one horrendously dehumanizing supervisor at one gig, and threatened to walk off before the end of it - and my rep at Update literally BEGGED me to stay to the end. I'm a hero over there now, and I've actually had to turn down more offered gigs from them than I've accepted.

I don't doubt that there's a blacklist, but as mentioned above, I can't imagine there's an agency without a blacklist. And I have also had experiences with arrogant "sales girls" from each of several other agencies - but not with Update.

So your mileage really may vary. I'm not sure why Update gets picked on so much, except that when a popular blogger starts shouting "Update blacklist!!" on a regular basis, everybody else starts parroting him.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you've got me wrong - I posted the questions about Update and black lists not to suggest that Update isn't so bad, but to gather more information about Update and black listing in general. To some extent I was playing devil's advocate - but these were real questions - not musings to demonstrate that Update's practices are benign. I just want the details! Update does suck. They ARE a bunch of architectural shoe-loving air-headed non-licensed SALES girls, and since they often deal with male managers and partners, I'm sure that ain't coincidental. I've read through previous posts and don't see any "parroting" - most of the stores are both unique and horrendous. Most people I've worked with think they're a bunch of inconsiderate, unprofessional idiots.

Anonymous said...

PS And what I've gathered is especially irresponsible about Update's black list is that it doesn't take much to put you on it - just that the client wasn't pleased (no matter that the client violated labor or other laws/regulations or that the client has dicey mental health) AND that gets communicated to other agencies.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you but every agency has a "blacklist", use with caution, or Do Not Use list. Before law school I worked at a few different agencies and this is what it would take to get on that list:

client complaints (3 or more)
*Cell phone use
*Call in sick every Monday/Friday while on a project
* (proven)timesheet fraud
* You are late all the time and have been counseled about it a few times
You have to remember that an agency is paid to "screen" and that means pick the candidates that have the best hard (resume) and soft skills (people skills).

Good luck on your job search.

Anonymous said...

WOW get a life. One of you used the word (not really a word) "aint" I bet you went to Touro

Anonymous said...

This agency is great! I am currently on first assignment with this agency, it has been 3 months. I have dealt with other agencies and this is by far the best. At first, I was not convinced because my resume was sent out a number of times without getting chosen by various clients. However, I was contacted fairly frequently (like once or twice a monthly, sometimes more often about positions). Once or twice, I rejected positions because I was working through another agency, they did not have a problem with this. Even though all agencies are for the client's interest, Update Legal genuinely cares about their employees. I was surprised, but every four or so weeks, I receive a call from someone (usually a different person) to see how I am doing at my assignment. My current assignment is with one of their biggest clients so they actually come and pick up the time sheets and drop off the checks.

Anonymous said...

this post - This agency is great! I am currently on first assignment with this agency, it has been 3 months. I have dealt with other agencies and this is by far the best. At first, I was not convinced because my resume was sent out a number of times without getting chosen by various clients. However, I was contacted fairly frequently (like once or twice a monthly, sometimes more often about positions). Once or twice, I rejected positions because I was working through another agency, they did not have a problem with this. Even though all agencies are for the client's interest, Update Legal genuinely cares about their employees. I was surprised, but every four or so weeks, I receive a call from someone (usually a different person) to see how I am doing at my assignment. My current assignment is with one of their biggest clients so they actually come and pick up the time sheets and drop off the checks. -

is update legal spam.

it was posted here http://www.panix.com/~grvsmth/redguide/cgi-bin/review.cgi?index=646 too.

Anonymous said...

What "race card"? The entry said nothing about race. It said "discrimination" --meaning that some people are arbitrarily/unfairly singled out for poor/unprofessional treatment. Blacklisting by definition is discrimination. No one claimed it was racial.

Anonymous said...

Yea, well if that is happening to whites, it's three times worse for blacks--whose unemployment numbers STAY in the double digits even when the economy is good (11-13%). If the economy is bad, white folks are squawking about 9.7%-10% unemployment when it has gone up to close to 20% for blacks, men and women. If you don't think it's racism, walk into any medium to large law firm in America and count the blacks with JD's who work there...bet you don't make it past 10, even in a firm with more than 100 lawyer-employees. The firm I worked in the slave dungeon doc review trenches with with other black folks who were degreed professionals? All black, one white--the supervisor, who had not even attended college, let alone had a JD. BS, there ain't no "race card." If you didn't get hired, it wasn't because you were white, that much is certain. "Saturated market" may work for YOU, but that is mostly NOT the case with blacks, who deal with saturated markets that aren't saturated. Every single solitary day.

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Anonymous said...

Update is a joke. They keep me on their roster to pretend to law firms they have a large pool of qualified candidates. They even send me notices about new assignments and requesting if I'm available and never respond to my response. Its obvious they are using the same people all the time and are discriminators. They shouldn't accept minority applicants if they aren't going to place them.