Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year! - Deflate the Rate



-David Lat, "Profits vs. Partners", New York Observer.


On the above chart, I have superimposed in red C.A. hourly rates. While profits per partner, agency profits, and law school tuitions continue to skyrocket, some firms/agencies are taking advantage of the New Year by not only trying to freeze hourly rates, but deflate them, as well!

From craigslist:

"25 temp attorneys needed for document review starting Jan 14th - Must be licensed in NY and have experience. 2-3 months, 34.00/hr straight time - 50 hours a week"


Remember, inflation? $35 in 2004 was worth much more than $35 is today.

Are we just going to sit back like a bunch of quiet, docile, buttoned down professionals, while our hourly wages continue to plummet into the toilet? I think not.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Which agency posted this on Craigslist? Is it in NY?

Anonymous said...

$33 plus overtime on Craig's List:
http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/lgl/528172707.html

My Attorney Blog said...

These rates are very disappointing, shockingly so. Simply too many lawyers vying for the paltry number of contract positions out there.

JDWired said...

The smart agencies will be the ones that invest in the training of contract attorneys to do higher level work and then marketing contract attorney services directly to clients.

Anonymous said...

The agency is LSP. Check out how they try to justify the low rate of $33/hr:

Reply to: lsp@modispro.com
Date: 2008-01-04, 11:53AM EST

Large midtown law firm seeks ADMITTED in NEW YORK contract attorneys to conduct a large scale on-line document review for a few months. Project starts ASAP (1/7/08) and all attorneys must know how to use the database, Concordance. For the month of January, all candidates MUST be flexible to work at least 12 hour days and on weekends. There will be a lot of overtime. QUALIFIED, AVAILABLE and INTERESTED candidates only please. Please note that the rate is not negotiable and the large amount of overtime should make up for the slightly lower rate.

* Compensation: $33/hr. plus time and a half after 40 hours/week

Anonymous said...

Time to start a nasty email barrage to that LSP email address...

Anonymous said...

Pathetic - $34/hour plus zero benefits or retirement, not to mention no opportunity for advancement. This after 3 years of law school, bar passage and probably 2-3 years as a document review attorney (DRA).

I would not take this gig under any cirumstances, imagine the the filthy, cluttered conference room, closet or basement in which this review will be conducted. Why don't agencies every disclose the location and amenities for a doc review? Can you imagine a partner or associate not being well versed in all of the perks and benefits avaiable to them at their workplace? Temps get told nothing until the last possible moment and then they are thrown in together with no rhyme or reason. It's reckeless HR at best.

The agencies, partners and associates are all getting rich, but the all the temps are getting is fat and stressed out.....Happy New Year, with global competition and an endless stream of new law grads pouring of US Law Schools, forget about that raise... wages will remain frozen or decrease especially if a recession hits.

The temps will be the first get cut, as we aren't employees and have no voice. Agencies don't help us, they serve the law firms. Everyone knows they can find some incompetent 4th tier or foreign trained hack lawyer to fill the warm chair for almost every project. Being that there is no incentive to do good work, it's no mystery why temps have such a bad attitude. There are probably 15,000 to 20,000 temp attorneys in NYC.

Remember no one cares about the quality of work, just the veneer of speed and the ability to bill the client for it. In fact, if you miss a few responsive documents, no one will really care ;)

The client will almost never ask who actually coded their documents and won't look at much beyond the bill. So the cheaper the better! Babu can you code my docs?

Anonymous said...

"Are we just going to sit back like a bunch of quiet, docile, buttoned down professionals, while our hourly wages continue to plummet into the toilet? I think not."

I think YES! What you going to do about it? Bitching on a blog doesn't get you anything or the rates wouldn't be going DOWN.

And look how successful that contract attorney strike idea went. LSP probably got more replies to that ad than they can handle.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tom - can you trace 9:28's IP address? It's time for this asshole to get a little rude awakening.

Anonymous said...

"LSP probably got more replies to that ad than they can handle."

The agencies are incredibly greedy, feeding off of the work of highly trained attorneys and taking a whopping cut of their wages and providing zero service. To attempt to cut wages in this market is unconsionable.

Unfortunately, agency guy is right, temp attorneys in NYC could never get it together to strike or form a union. There are too many scabs ready to take your work, especially if the pay is over $40/hour.

It would be interesting to see the agencies fire a few dozen strikers, to show the world what we've been dealing with...

Anonymous said...

Why would it be interesting? We all know the agencies and firms are great at firing and blacklisting people at the first whiff of trouble. Fail to suck up, fail to maintain a constant fake smile (however shitty your work may be), and you are out the door.

Anonymous said...

LSP is a trashy agency. Watch out for Wanda. On a dime, she will turn on you and start treating you like shit.

Anonymous said...

Forget about striking or unionizing, it will never work. "Guerilla blogging" is certainly the way to go. Keep exposing and embarrassing the firms that engage in unfair labor practices, write letters and emails, seek out media publicity, get in contact with labor interests in any of the corporations that these firms represent.

Anonymous said...

I bet there is collusion to lower rates.

Anonymous said...

"Guerilla blogging" is certainly the way to go."

Oh yeah, sure. That's why your rates are down to 33/hr. Seems likes it's really working for you. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Nice. We are paying you below market, but don't worry, you will have the opportunity to waste away at work past 7pm and on weekends. Great deal. Great way to kill morale even before the project starts. That is certainly going to be a winning group.

Anonymous said...

Hey eggman bregman,

Why do you always end your statements, with "idiot" and "moron"? Sounds sort of uneducated to me.

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of LSP, Wanda is REALLY nasty to deal with and really looks down her nose at people. I refuse to take their calls or work on their projects as a result.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Wanda is a nasty Asian woman, who really despises the people that she tries to place. Not a big fan.

Anonymous said...

4:42, who ARE you a big fan of????

Anonymous said...

Just applied to that Wanda project. Can't wait to light up, fly high as a kite, and blind code some of those documents.

Anonymous said...

8:04- so I take it it'll be business as usual for you bogus attorneys, eh? Can't be surprised your hourly wages are going down. At the current rate you shysters will be at 25$/hr come spring.

Anonymous said...

The only bogus thing around here is you 11:02! Why don't you ever discuss positive solutions to the problems presented on this board? Why always negative attacks?

My guess is you're getting rich off our backs and are scared that someday the temps will wake up and cut you out of the equation.

I've decided to only go directly to law firms from now and stop using agencies. No more sub-market wages and sub-human conditions!

Anonymous said...

Just market yourself directly to the firms. I have been doing so and have been consistently making more than market. Look into the smaller litigation boutiques. The firms are always looking for competent, professional people to do this kind of work. They must be disappointed that the agencies keep supplying them with sub-par tier 4's and foreign LLM's. I guess you get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

I cut my own deal with a securties class action (Milberg Weiss type). I get $40 an hour plus OT for every hour past 40, even if I am traveling. Plane time counts.

Anonymous said...

Wanda and her trashy assignments. No, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should email Tower Legal. They are staffing 2 projects for NY admitted attorneys at market and above market rates. Tell that "Fish Named Wanda" to take her stinky 12 hour a day, below market job and shove it.

Anonymous said...

6:21- no one is going to tell Wanda to "shove it". You temps are so desperate for money that gig is probably completely staffed already.

Anonymous said...

Nah, the people that actually are desperate enough to take the "Fish Named Wanda" project, who are unwilling to wait an extra week or two to hold out for something that pays market are probably bad with their finances, and aren't the kind of people that I would want to work with anyway.

Anonymous said...

Always have a 4 month security cushion available, so when the agencies get together and try to low ball you, you can hold out.

Anonymous said...

with $1200USD a month loan payments, that 4 month cushion is not possible. 33/hr is better than no dollars an hour.

Anonymous said...

8:15, if the agencies are business competitors, why would they "get together"???

Anonymous said...

It's called collusion, dear.

Anonymous said...

oh yes, they probably all go out for drinks every other Friday and draw up plans. that makes sense!