Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 Beastly Behavior Award



While it will be hard to top a cockroach infested basement, a public defense of blocked fire exits, and a mass retaliatory firing, nominations are now being accepted for Tom the Temp's 2007 Beastly Behavior Award.

In other news, I was contacted by an AMLaw 100 firm and they are looking to hire 15 Document Review Attys in NYC directly on a full time salaried basis, $72K, plus holiday, benefits, vacation and OT ($60/hr) after 35 hours. If you are interested, send me your resume ASAP (before the agency snakes get wind of this and dish out their bribes), and I will forward it over.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not market this website for services regarding circumventing the agencies? It seems everyone reads you- I've had head of temp projects talk about this site. Just an observation about what you can do to help-- have you tried calling out and marketing this site as a resource? Also- what do you know about the efforts in DC to unionize?

Anonymous said...

i don't mind paying tom the temp a modest intermediary fee since he spends time makine sure the blog runs okay. Alo the blog has indeed gotten some media exposure. It would be a fantastic way to circumvent the agencies who, lets face it, are not engaged in rocket science.

JCTemp said...

I hope Tom will get some kind of finders fee if he gets the positions filled. The agencies usually do and I would MUCH rather see that cash go to Tom! Thanks for the heads up and thanks for giving us a voice and a place to exchange information.

Anonymous said...

I hope that more firms hire directly, with salary and benefits. That's really all that most of us want...a little stability in our lives and to not have to deal with the agency leeches.

This way we can get the money we've earned and not have to fork over %30 - 50 to an agency that provides absolutley no service beyond finding the job. Thanks for opening this up for us, TTT. May many other firms catch wind of this and join the party. It is the holiday season after all!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Tom is now a legal recruiter! Who would have thunk it?

Anonymous said...

Actually he, as I envision it, could turn this website into a clearhouse rather than a legal recruiting site. The thing that amazes me about lawyers and law firms is not how the rest of the country's industries regularly integrate technology into their outsourcing efforts, and lawyers, what do we do? We treat it like its a some great enemy. Agencies serve no vital function that a properly constructed database of resumes and profiles couldn't serve that included critiques of performance both of the law firm and the contract employees. Most of the time- let's be honest- they simply pull resumes from a stack without knowing who we are so they don't even serve that purpose. The problem is that no one challenges this. Getting rid of the middle man would do a lot to change economies for lawyers income.

Anonymous said...

and whom do you suggest should bear the financial burden of administering payroll and benefits? these things are expensive and I doubt the cheapo firms would take this expense on.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the NY or DC bar associations carry out these duties. I am sure they can hire people for cheap to serve as a central clearinghouse for payroll and benefits. Where does all our due money go, anyway?

Anonymous said...

Bar associations already provide insurance, and you can find cheaper insurance on the open market than the group rate (the only benefit for most agencies) that agencies provide. There is also the advantage to the contractor of expensing more costs such as their insurance and the like. My friends who work as contractors in other industries have major write offs for their business efforts-- ie, meals, transportation etc.

The cost of administering payroll could be handle by several outsourcing companies that have as their sole function this type of work (agencies are not particular good at anything except fronting the cost when law firms don't want to pay-- that's the only value added for contractors- guaranteed payment- but then this can be done also through a clearinghouse rather than agencies and probably more efficiently because the clearinghouse wouldn't be beholden to the law firm-- maybe that's the point?). I've worked for companies that outsource their payroll. it's not that complicated unless you are trying to avoid payment.

Again, a lot of this is "that's the way we've done things", and is not a matter of how things need to be done. If lawyers were better businessmen rather than only being good at billable hours they would understand the value of these efficiencies. The whole process on the level of having to reinvent the wheel each time you start a new project is stupid and inefficient to clients and law firms a like.

But, don't worry- none of this will change until the clients realize all of this. The law firms certainly have no incentives to change because they simply pass the cost to clients and the agencies act as buffers to the labor pool. The clearinghouse idea would clearly be more advantageous to contractors.

Anonymous said...

10:34, you have some very good ideas. to go into effect, you will need organization and a reasonable voice for change.

it's rather unfortunate that your temporary attorney bretheren are more interested in coming on this forum to bash recruiters like children and to "declare war".

It's quite sad.

Anonymous said...

There is no way this is going to work. Other industries aren't glutted with entry-level graduates, pumped out by overpriced diploma mills. Temp Attorney work is exploitive by definition. You have a steady pool of desperate, in debt people that are scrounging for low skilled work. Law firms make money off of these people and doing so isn't pretty. Exploitation was never, and still isn't, pleasant. Much of what the agencies do, aside from payroll, is acting as the bad cops. Need to fire someone on X-mas Eve? Call the bad cops. Need to chew someone out for attending grandma's funeral? Get the bad cops to do it.

Anonymous said...

Until the ABA cracks down on overpriced diploma mills, and actually does something about the extraordinary debt loads that grads are carrying, nothing will really change.

Anonymous said...

More TTT schools + ever exploding tuitions -----------> More temp work, nasty agencies, and horrible projects. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

ABA doesn't need to crack down. People need to stop going! Caveat emptor!

Anonymous said...

It's true, it's really up to the students making grad school decisions now to see how far this profession has descended, for all but the elite few. Law school just isn't worth the money for at least 80% of those who enter law school. They simply should not go and enough information is out there to make the correct decision.

This doesn't change the fact that the hard sell by all of the ttt law schools in face of this crisis, is truly unconscionable. But the only solution is caveat emptor, don't go and don't waste your time and money.

Anonymous said...

1045-- I agree. I wrote this b/c I am bored and procrastinating tonight. It's just obvious to me what the problems are and how to solve them. The legal industry is just like any other business, and labor issues are the same as any other industry.

This isn't about the number of lawyers graduating each year, supply and demand etc. This is about finding a way to control the levers in a smart way. I agree the environment sucks (too many lawyers, too few jobs, etc), but the environment is also a product of our actions. These are just simple ideas that someone like Tom, if he were so inclined, could actually do something postively to help other. But then maybe he wants to protect his privacy so maybe it's not a good idea.

It's axiomatic that the more layers you add to a process the more you increase costs and inefficiences Therefore, we cut into what we earn and how we earn it.

Or, in plain English, the agencies are taking a cut of what we could really be earning. Their jobs like ours aren't easy, but they really aren't all that value added when it comes to jobs. I have friends who work in other industries as contractors. It's not all that complicated.

I don't expect people here to get that. I just find it funny that Tom would post this opportunity in the middle of talking shit about the law firms. Everything he says is probably true, but it seemed like to me the more important point came his late in the post where he casually mentions some actually useful information.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I agree we should have all done our due diligence, but that's water under the bridge for most of us. So, I am not sure how any of that helps present grads other than making some inane political rather than business arguments. If there is one thing I especially hate about this profession it's this tendency to make arguments just to make them.

Anonymous said...

I find his claim of being approached by AmLaw to essencially do staffing somewhat suspicious. Have these firms met him? How do they know he is someone to be trusted with placing humans in their precious firms? Because he arranges for a platform where mostly spew and hate is thrown about?

Incredulous.

Would you read some blog somewhere that was full of pissed off people then decided to do business with the tech moderator? C'mon. Tom, your constituents have displayed lack of maturity and judgement here- but this is asking too much for all to believe.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious I am not going to do any of my work so I am headed to bed soon. Just to respond - 1215 could be right OR wrong. He assumes his theories are right based on fear of risk Another reason why lawyers make poor managers is fear of risk.We can't help it we are taught to think of what can go wrong in law school. Let me ask you- What difference at the end of the day does it make if Tom is lying or not? What value would it serve Tom to lie to get other people's resumes? What do you have to lose in sending him your resume? See- how this works 1215? I look back on some of my mistakes that got me here, and I think it was fear of taking a chance that was one of the biggest because I choose law to be "safe."

Anonymous said...

Yes, spew and hate is thrown around here against firms and agencies that operate in an unprofessional and shady manner. How could you not abhor an employer that sticks you in a smelly basement and treats you like a third world plantation slave; or not dislike a temp agency that tries to enforce a 2 week damages clause in an employment contract for quitting a temp job?

Of course. a blog that labels itself as the "Sweatshop Edition" is going to focus on those kinds of not so happy issues.

I do wish Tom would be a little more positive and professional in his postings, but I also understand that many of the negative things that he focuses on are real and are resonating with people. People are clearly angry, hopeless, and frustrated. The negativity that we see on here is merely a reflection of that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the AmLaw firm wants to do business with someone who is real, tells it like it is, and actually knows what it is like to get up every morning and do the document clicking for 12 hours straight, rather than some phony recruiter with fake nails, a GED, and a plastic smile.

Anonymous said...

why are you still here?

Rima said...

what do you want? Why are you still here?

Anonymous said...

My vote for the "Beastly Behavior Award for 2007" is De Novo. They operate some of the most Kafka-esque sweatshops in the city with overzealous, hovering project managers. Of course there are highlights, they give you free pizza (like a 12 year old's pizza party) and you get to see Evelyn sweating on a daily basis. DN gets my first place vote, with the ever lovable Scott Krowitz and Lex in second place. This vote is more of a lifetime achievement award than for any specific act.

Anonymous said...

is this Am Law Firm Willkie Farr?

Anonymous said...

hey tom, can you at least confirm receipt for those of us who sent you our resumes. that'd be the decent thing to do.

Anonymous said...

5:01, Tom is a recruiter now. You aren't going to get any such confirmation.

Anonymous said...

He should not dare divulge the name. The only good it would do is to unleash the agencies on this firm. Nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

Chill out, 8:25-- it's a hoax.

No firm called Tom.

helpme123 said...

d

Anonymous said...

Agency trolls, this could be your death knell! Good move Tom, this could really shift the playing field in our favor.

Now all we have to do is unionize and shut down the TTT-high price diploma mills....

helpme123 said...

Sorry I was not able to respond to each one of you who wrote individually. I just got home after a 10 hour day of clicking. I got a great response, and sent over the first batch of resumes that I received late last night. The partner at the firm thanked you all for your interest, but forgot to mention in his original email that, as of now, he can only consider those people that are NY Bar Admitted and have at least one year of document review experience. If you have these two qualifications, please list them boldly at the top of your resume.

Also, if you are applying for and are eventually selected for one of these positions, I would implore you (beg you) to give it your all and do the best job possible. These are unique opportunities. Unlike most of your other colleagues, you will be paid benefits and you will be fully compensated as a professional. A partner at a major law firm is actually taking the time and providing us with the opportunity to show what we are made of. By taking one of these positions, you are representing the entire national contract attorney population. Let's start showing that petty, tyrannical agency middlemen are no longer needed to produce cost effective and high quality work product.

Anonymous said...

Tom, not to be overly cynical and paranoid, but how do you know this isn't a ploy/ruse by the agencies to ferret out who reads this blog?

Anonymous said...

Dude, everyone reads the blog, nobody but temps admit to it.

don't be a slacker said...

Also as Tom noted above, if you get to be a direct hire please, please don't be a slacker as I'm sure you won't because you will no longer be as much of an interchangeable part as you were as a temp, the firm will have invested in you and for our benefit and the firms, show that the agencies are not as necessary as they would have us think.

Anonymous said...

Oh God, what a ploy this is. you folks who have sent your resumes are now blacklisted. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

Who cares, blacklist me please! We are supporting all of you lazy agency types that leave at 5:00 every day, while we're clicking to 7, 8, 9 pm or later.

Oh yeah, and ship my job to India too...

Anonymous said...

Craig's List has a wonderful permanent job listing today:

Attorney Position Available

-----------------------------------
Reply to: murphy.associates@yahoo.com
Date: 2007-12-19, 10:31AM EST


Attorney position available for uptown firm specializing in administrative hearing, criminal, and real estate law.

Starting salary is $30,000 plus immediate bonuses.
Spanish speaking preferred.

Please email your resume to Murphy.Associates@yahoo.com"

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/lgl/514090975.html

alexfool said...

Yes, that's a wonderful job listing. Indicative of the current law graduate glut in new york. Also a big reason temps stay at lame temp jobs - - - at least they manage to pay a living wage, even if the work is ultimately demoralizing.

Anonymous said...

Mickey Mickey your so fine your so fine you blow my mind Hey Mickey Hey Mickey

alexfool said...

Another annoying aspect of this type of temp is having to work in a room with 80 other temps who constantly complain about the work and the working conditions and then proceed TO DO NOTHING ALL DAY/

Anonymous said...

how does one get into doc review? I've been looking for work since May and have had zero luck. I've even been turned down from those 30k a year toilet law jobs because I went to a tier 1 and have decent grades so the toilet firm are afraid to hire me.

I've sent my resume to Update, Hudson and HIRECounsel, but I've gotten no reply. Do I have to know someone?

With temp jobs out of undergrad I literally had to bribe someone at the agency. I would like to avoid having to slip an envelope under the table.

Anonymous said...

kind of ridiculous. He does not provide an email or postal address for the resumes he wants in the posting! Last year s/he was more "on the ball" about accuracy." We are at-will employees who deserve nothing, but work hard for what we do get. I know I do.

Anonymous said...

you should re submit multiple times, and call every few weeks without being annoying about it. they get tons of resumes.

by the way, side note, there are some really paranoid people on here. some of you need to seriously consider getting some help emotionally because if you are this crazy I can only imagine what you are like to be around in real life.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you, tom the temp, for dissuading me from a career in law.

seriously.

I was always told that law school was the best option for someone so "smart." I started a master's degree in international finance (not an mba), hoping that once I finally got into law school, that the master's would help get an awesome international law job.

I had no idea that the market was as terrible as it was, whatever the field of law.

I've been temping myself while going to grad school, but as a paralegal. The experience I've had as a temp, in addition to everything I've read and heard from everyone who's gone to law school (partly from the things I've read on this blog), have convinced me to not go into law, unless paid for by someone else with a guaranteed job afterwards.

Many people see becoming a lawyer as the only way to earn 6 figures. There are many, many, many other options out there. I've gotten a few great job offers with a much cheaper master's. And trust me, less than six figures can be attractive if it means that your brain will not atrophy as you click away your youth, or spend 16 hours a day rimming a partner.

Btw, to all the asswipes that keep gloating about how much it rocks being an associate at a BigLaw firm: hardships happen to everyone. Family emembers die during finals. Shit happens. The LSAT is ridiculous (and i scored above the 98%tile, I just recognize what a ridiculous test it is). Just because you're temping doesn't mean you're a loser. It just means that you can't sit at home and live off of your trust fund 'til the job market gets better.

As a temp paralegal, I'm treated better than the doc review attorneys. So sad.

Anonymous said...

I nominate the Lily-Eggman-Hudson troika for "Beastly Behavior Award for 2007."
Hudson of course makes the list because it is the only agency that bid on a ridiculously low rate when the Vioxx doc review work camp at 65 Broadway was created ~5 years ago. Various commenters have remarked on a Napoleonic character I'll call "Jilly" who heads up Hudson and maintains an overt blacklist.

Lily, as slave driver behind the doc review operation, resided over a camp the likes of which had not been seen since WWII. Her bumbling, illiterate, megalomaniacal staff attorney partner in crime, the Eggman, is single-handedly responsible for instituting a series of progressively more Orwellian measures on the workers. 2007 was the watershead year during which the onsite coordinator followed people into the bathrooms to make sure they went to the bathroom. It was also in 2007 that a glass wall was ripped out of the building structure to enable more close spying and pack more bodies into an already cramped space.

The Jilly-Lily-Eggman troika is a wonderful study in the psychology of inferiority complexes: the short, obese, and undereducated abused marginal power to overcompensate for physical and mental flaws they will never overcome and abused an educated class of people. Veterans of the work camps servicing the now settled big pharma litigation may at least rejoice in the fact that two out of the three are living on borrowed employment time with nothing to show for themselves apart from human rights abuses.

Anonymous said...

Why no comments about Sandrene and her big Jamaican butt?

Anonymous said...

6:29, what a respected attorney you must be. So hard to believe someone of your stature is unemployed.

Anonymous said...

I read here that the "sick out" is December 25th. Since that day is also Xmas, do you guys want to dress up in green and red too? I think it would be rad.

Anonymous said...

11:22 - You are wise! Law school will always be there if you want to go later. There are many more lucrative fields that only require hard work to get into, not three years of drudgery and browbeating. You better spend your youth working your way up in a corporation or other firm of your choice.

The law is full of smart people many in bad jobs or unemployed.

Anonymous said...

"educated class of people"- please point me to those people. I would like to hire them for my next project.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, for people like you with associates degrees and an IQ of 85, you wouldn't recognize an intelligent or educated person.

That's why you staff these projects full of castoffs sociopaths.

Tells us agency guy, what criteria do you use when selecting people for projects? We'd really like to know why you always choose the most incompetent and socially inept and unprofessional.

We read about educated law school grads that can't get work from the agencies but we see the project staffed with people with borderline personality disorders and questionable credentials (remember the Hughes Hubbard/Hudson scandal where they were caught employing non-lawyers with fake credentials?)

What acutal "screening" do you provide the law firms?

Anonymous said...

I screen your mom's pussy