Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sullivan & Cromwell's Work "Pit"

While conditions at Sullivan & Cromwell have greatly improved since the opening of additional floorspace, some unfortunate souls may still find themselves being thrown into the notorious S & C "pit," as it is commonly known. Yesterday, someone sent me a picture of the pit. As horrifying as it was to look at, in order to protect the identity of the photographer, I promised that I wouldn't publish it.

"This is C2 at S&C, 120 Broad St.

I may have underestimated the size of the room, but not by much (looks perhaps 24x20). As I stated, 5 tables, 4 attys apiece, then two other people. Needless to say, there were no windows, and the stink of rotting garbage was overpowering some days - the trash can was to the left, just outside the frame.

We tolerated this for nearly 5 weeks. As for perks, we got free coffee, fruit and cookies (limited amounts; no cars, meals or consideration. Hours were very restricted --capped at 50, I think. Someone was fired for coming into the room 5 minutes before the 9:30 starting time. There was no cellphone reception on that level, and I felt that if the building were ever evacuated in an emergency, no one would bother notifying us."


Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any information on the ABCNY Committee that CAs have been trying to form?

Anonymous said...

An intrical part of the Sullivan and Cromwell machination is its many and bitter legal assistants/paralegals...particularly the infamous..."B_ _ _ _ _ _ (sounds like Melvina) the Terrible!"

To protect the identity of the innocent I can't reveal the incidents I have personally witnessed as a temp at S & C involving this person...but I know of several people who have ended up on Update's blacklist due to her unprofessionalism.

p.s. B_ _ _ _ _ _, don't blame us because you couldn't get into law school!

Interesting Article said...

By Gartleby
A Story of K Street
January 23, 2007
Vol. 21, No. 1
Do you type? Have access to a computer connected to the Internet? Feel the obsessive-compulsive need to engage in provocative, rancorous banter that without the veil of anonymity would get you canned by character and fitness? If all these elements are met, then watch out! We have prima facie indication that you have engaged in the crime of perusing one or more online law school discussion boards. In the vast galaxy of shining stars that make up the Internet, these black holes suck in otherwise dedicated young law students (and some lawyers) into rapid-fire exchanges of insults, venting, posturing, and plenty of scuttlebutt about grades, schools, and firms that is all meticulously calculated to drive each other bonkers with insecurity and resentment.

Let’s take a look at a few, starting at the bottom of the barrel. Jdjive.com is a focal point for many practicing attorneys, most of whom seem to work in small insurance defense or personal injury shops. Many of them are unhappy about their decisions to become lawyers and spend their time griping about abusive work environments that promise long, grueling hours for low pay. Typically, they went to schools ranked in the lower echelons of the U.S. News and graduated with a lot of debt without any lucrative career options that would allow them to pay it off. These are the tragic heroes of our profession, modern day King Lears who have exchanged their ermine fur for worsted wool from Hong Kong. And appropriately, I think the prospect of having to bill three thousand hours for $40,000 a year – in New York City – is enough to make me go mad and gouge my eyes out.

If Jdjivers are birds with broken wings, LawSchoolDiscussion.org is a nest of the eggs from which they hatch. By contrast, here the mood is one of confidence and hope. Everyone here knows that lawyers make a lot of money, do all sorts of interesting work, and have high regard in the professional community. Everyone here expects to make top ten percent and law review. The more knowledgeable and jaded among us will take a look at some of these quixotic comments and cringe from their saccharine-sweetness: “Tier 2 bound and proud!” “You got a 151? Wow! You did better than 50% of the people who took the LSAT!” The feeling is similar to watching the fat upper crust on the Titanic waddle around with life jackets over their stuffed shirts and cummerbunds, ignoring the imminent, painful catastrophe.

For my money though, these and all others are second to the digital leviathan of prestige that is xoxohth.com. This is the A-list set, composed of the crème de la crème of the most elite schools in the country – and invariably the most juvenile. A quick glance at some of the threads shows loads of cryptic acronyms used for shorthand communication; examples include: TTT (Third-tier toilet, a malapropism commonly directed at any school ranked less than #5); and WGWAG (white girls with Asian guys, a shticky “Killroy was here” tag that gets posted to many threads by an apparently staunch proponent of interracial dating). Some of the personalities have become mini-legends among the regulars of the board, though there’s no telling what basis any of them has in reality. There is “MadCat”, a twenty-something Legal Aid attorney from Baltimore whose life resembles an Americanized version of Bridget Jones. There is “pensive,” a very eccentric mathematician who from time to time appears and launches into bizarre, rambling monologues that usually decry about how life is so much more difficult for intelligent people and instruct others on how to enhance their level of prestige through career and lifestyle choices. Last but not least is “Henrietta Egg”, who claims to be twenty-nine and enrolled as a 1L in GW’s part-time program. She appears to be clearly torn about her decision to attend law school at such an age and worries about the financial impact tuition and her earning potential as an IP lawyer will have.

Granted, like every open forum on the net, each of these sites has a very high ratio of B.S. to good content. Still, there’s a lot of utility to be extracted from them if you’re willing to put forth the time and tolerance. Assuming that you’re going to give a modicum of credence to the other users, they can offer a fledgling like yourself a lot of insight into areas that the glossy law school brochures don’t depict with the same amount of precision. Incumbent students who have been through the circus of admissions can give some grounded advice to newbies as to which schools will accept them based on their stats. People often advertise their experience with a particular firm or practice area and happily chat about the kinds of work they do, fielding questions from the curious. But most important of all, no matter what the topics, it’s not so much the content of the communications that attracts people to these places as it is the candor that pervades them.

In a world where appearances can count as much as substance, and everyone is always mindful of what they say, at any given moment, it’s nice to be able to let your inhibitions and your guard down in a way that only an anonymous screen name can provide. I urge you to give it a try if you haven’t already.

Anonymous said...

Which agency staffed this project?


I worked at S & C back in early 2006. We were paid $32 an hour. I found S & C to be top-notch when I was there. Our staff att. was very nice and laid ack, and no one busted balls at all. TRue we were in the pit, but it wasn't too bad.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the dean of your school is a Valvoline Dean?

Anonymous said...

S & C is definitely an interesting mix of cherries. I have heard of nightmare cases where the associates and litigation analysts were great and smaller cases where the associates and litigation analysts were assholes. S & C is a giant legal factory--all that's missing are punch clocks, uniforms, timed bells and thermoses. The only thing that makes it bearable is having supervisors who are humane and fair. Otherwise, you will want to pull your hair out.

It's interesting to note how after going to college, graduating from law school, and passing the bar, Associates and litigation analysts at S&C appear quite distrustful of temp attorneys, often treating them like unskilled day laborers--watching over them like hawks, speaking to them in the most distasteful and disrespectful fashions, not allowing them to have internet access while freely giving it to temp paralegals and copy checkers.

workhard said...

Hi.. your articles are very informative and interesting

Attorney companies