Saturday, March 29, 2008

Black "List" Discovery Temp Agency


Blackletter Discovery placed a group of 35 attorneys on a job in San Francisco, based on the following terms:

1) It would last 3-4 months
2) There would be "plenty of overtime"
3) There would be suitable working conditions

Instead, here is what we got:

1) One week into the job, we were told that, oops, the job would be ending in two weeks. So, for those of you doing the math, the job went from 3-4 months to 3 weeks. We were also told that regardless of the changed circumstances we were required to finish the job and not look for other work.
2) Overtime was also cut off at the same time. Of course, when we asked the recruiter if we could look into other contract opportunities that included overtime, we were harshly scolded (i.e. if you do that, our firm will never hire you again, and we will tell every other firm that you don't follow through on your commitments).
3) There was no air conditioning, and no windows. Let me tell you, an enclosed space, with no ventilation gets extremely stuffy, smelly, and hot within hours. Try living in it for 8 hours a day for 3 weeks.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

these are the same folks who ran the jdjive website and then took it down. what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

Okay- so, why did they stay on the project?

Anonymous said...

Why the hell would you need to ask the recruiter if you could look into other contract opportunities?

If the job is only lasting 3 weeks, and only has work for 8 hrs a day, it makes much more sense to work the project to conclusion while looking for other work after hours.

That being said, if what is said about Blackletter Discovery is true, these people are liars and don't deserve your business in the future. You can repay their dishonesty by refusing to work their projects and telling everyone they are scum.

Anonymous said...

Compromise- although most of you are temporary and can be canned at any moment, what do you think would be reasonable pay, working conditions, and hours for your job of reviewing documents? I've never seen so many complainers in my life, most of you are very sensitive. A horror story is not not being able to join a country club, a horror story is no college education, stuck working at mcdonalds for minimum wage. go out and do something with your lives. take on some real responsibility.

Anonymous said...

RESONSIBILITY? Ha. These unemployables are all about blaming others. Look how well they are doing!

Anonymous said...

LOL, 9:09, we are doing better than you! You are nothing but a pathetic, groveling agency tool who has nothing better to do on a Saturday night than post your idiotic drivel on Craig's List....you are a sniveling coward.

Also, we make a lot more money than the measley agency wages they dole out to you.

Go back to your miserable life, loser.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is why those of you who are obviously so much better than anyone else here would bother to hang around here? Which is worse, the people you say are unemployables or those who hang out on sites like this trying to seem better than they are? There is no need to answer. It's clear you are the pathetic ones. It's clear that these temps should not accept crappy projects, but it's also clear there is something far more wrong with you.

selling my jd said...

so the san francisco reviewers got the shaft... it is the nature of the business... take the money and do what you need to do...

also i agree with an earlier post.... don't ask the temp agency for permission about finding a new spot... just do what you need to do.. it is war out there... just look out after your best interests and don't look back...

blacklisting is weak for all those involved... limits the temp agency.... plenty of dockers (or is it docers??), but some are better than others.. blacklisting a good reviewer is not a good business decision...

the cut down on hours and time is because the firm or client is cheap.... more likely the client.... farming out reviewers and using them is a firm's dream... but the documents can upset when they feel they are not getting respect... sometimes the documents can explode if treated cheaply...

Anonymous said...

why dont you get a real job instead of being temps for a temp agency, what do you expect, the red carpet treatment?

Anonymous said...

Duh! 10:48- no one wants them, they HAVE to be temps.

Anonymous said...

HOw bad is the legal job market?

I was talking to an unemployed colleague yesterday, and the subject turned to contract attorney work/doc review. I told him about the unprofessional recruiters, stagnant pay, and poor working conditions. He said it sucks, but "how can I get one of these jobs?"

selling my jd said...

the law schools have created a problem by pumping out thousands of jds...

please remember the #1 rule in document review: get the cash when it is on the table.....

for those who are yelling at people on this site to get a "real job." 1st legal temping is technically a real job. pays the bills. 2nd, make sure you keep kissing up at your real job. tough out here in the jungle babe.

Anonymous said...

You guys are lucky in NYC. Your firms and recruiters are scum, but at least they aren't afraid to show it. Out here, everyone is FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!!!!!!!

Watch out for Namita at BLD.

Anonymous said...

I love these "watch out" comments. Any of you money whores will be all over any agency who is paying the highest buck. Stop pretending anyone cares. Where the money is, to the recruiter you will follow. The end.

Anonymous said...

hey 12:50...

some truth to that...

Anonymous said...

agreed. you line up for the paycheck and expect people to feel bad that you are in the top tax bracket.

noone will ever do anything to change anything on their own. all you can do is suggest things for others to do for you.

i have a suggestion, start at the bottom at a bottom law firm and work your way up. otherwise, take your paychecks for doing nothing and shut up.

Anonymous said...

And that "sleezy recruiter pool" ?? Yet another joke. You animals will be begging ALL those recruiters for work the minute you hear they have a well paying project.

You will boycott NO ONE no matter how much you get shit on.

Have no fear-- for a top paying doc review Tom will be first in line!! It won't matter if it's from Krowitz or the Update bitches.

Anonymous said...

Dude, when one party misrepresents the terms of a contract and the other party sticks around to literally and figuratively take it in the bunghole, the second party is an idiot. If these people had misrepresented material facts to me, I would get on a plane and leave town.

Anonymous said...

Why stay at all? is this agency the be-all end-all of work opportunities? Methinks not. I would have walked immediately.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the usual bs, the fact is that we are temps and have no control over the situation. It's luck of the draw, really.

You should just go with flow. Sometimes it's riding a wave and other times it's a train wreck. You can't do much except quit or ride it out, once you've accepted an assignment.

It's not really news when a project ends early. We just have to use our best judgment when selecting projects, but can't always pick a winner.

Hope your next project is better.

Anonymous said...

These people are terrorists. So if we don't put up with your bull-shit you will go ahead and tell every firm that we do not follow through with our commitments?

Anonymous said...

I don't get posters like 1125. So your core argument is shut up and take it? What kind of lawyer are you? For the record, you should never go with the flow. It's what leads to the race to the bottom in which if you accept this crap gig they all become crap gigs over time. This is how markets are formed and happen. This is business 101. 1125 isn't trying to help anyone here.

Anonymous said...

12:38 - My point is that you have to play the game. If you don't like the gig you're on, you can either quit or suck it up. If you quit, you run the risk of never working for that agency again. If you're willing to not work for Blackletter or any other agency, just walk off the job in protest if you find it unacceptable.

What are your other (legal or otherwise) options? I'm not saying I think the blog post represents a good situation - far from it, but really, what can you do besides bitch and moan?

I was once on a project that had a certain very high overtime rate advertised. Two weeks into the project, they lowered the rate to a market rate. Many people complained, threatened to quit and called the agency.

The upshot? The agency did nothing and the temps all sat there coding away and did not quit. Of course they were angry but again, because the system is designed so temps have zero power, there is nothing we can do except sit there and code.

So again I ask you, what are your options? Is there a better way to handle this situation? Some people were making over $3,000 a week on the project I was on. Are they supposed to quit and be unemployed and have no unemployment insurance?

Anonymous said...

you are temps, that means you are an interchangable part. if the part acts up the part gets replaced.

the company needs you for a finite period of time. that is why you are a TEMP.

You are hired help for one purpose only, you will never be wined and dined. this is the life that you choose to make for yourself. in exchange you get more money then most starting associates. if you want to be treated better, you will get paid less. end of story.

selling my jd said...

11:47, your premises are solid. only problem being is that there is no where else to really go within the legal field besides being a temp. not necessarily a choice.

sue the law schools !!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for your response 12:05. however, there is really a place to go in teh legal field. its called becomming a LAWYER. you start low on the totem pole, and work your way up.

Anonymous said...

If these people had misrepresented material facts to me, I would get on a plane and leave town.

Uhh . . . why?

selling my jd said...

hey: 12:41

thanks dude... hanging out my own shingle... but i hear the market is saturated.... applying to a small firm for a cheap $40,000 spot is almost a waste of time.. they get 500 resumes for every opening....

the documents and temp work is the only way to pay bills. i had a good year last year. this year is OK so far....

maybe 12:05 you should give document reviewing a shot ... sounds like you want to know what it is like...

Anonymous said...

As long as you did not have a partner and/or children relying on your income stream for even the smallest window of time, the only appropriate reaction would have been to instantly quit, but do so in a way more akin to "my sister is sick and must take care of her, sorry, emergency"....move on, find another, but don't burn any bridges. It is called survival. getting in their face gets no results positive to you, but shafting them while leaving open your options (in case something changes or a better gig arrives in the future) is really the best revenge. Then, go find something else immediately. No way, I'd ever stay when there was a blatant misrepresentation of fact.......then, the recruiter who misled you ( desparately wanting her own fee regardless of knowing she/he was lying) doesn't get a dime off of your back. Hit them where it hurts - right in the pocketbook and they lose face in the eyes of the law firm. Double Whammy.

Friend said...

I lived there, when I was in the Army.

Anonymous said...

hey 4:49,

i did try doc review for a few months ,the money was good but i did not like the way i was treated so i applied to a lawfirm for less money. i am treated with respect now and paid less. i made the choice. i feel like i have a future, and money is not everything, it will come eventually.

Art Vandelay said...

How I wish that someone had a running tape recorder in the room when the agency people threatened to effectively badmouth your name other agencies. Can you say lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

7:05, can you say get a life? Maybe you'd have a real job if you quit your agency murder fantasies and buckled down. No one wants a piece of garbage working for them. Yes, that means you.

Anonymous said...

and the relentless browbeating continues...I wonder what the profits are for some of these agencies. They're public companies, we should do some research; maybe even make board proposals at annual meetings.

Anonymous said...

As someone else posted, unless you had family obligations (totally understandable), there is no excuse for staying on these projects.

Also, as I said before, the market is determined by what we're willing to accept. If we accept people shitting on you, then it affects the market for the rest of us. So stop id.

If you listen to these morons telling you that this is what you have to accept, then you are stupid. The core argument seems to be "nothing changes." Of course, with that attitude, nothing ever will.

Grow a pair. Say no. Or, as someone else suggested, lie and move on. But, don't just take it or stay there.

Even in the temp world there is more choice than some of you seem to think. I have friends working in equally fungible industries. The difference is that they aren't conditioned to overthink risk like lawyers are.

For example, if you had all left or said no- there is no way they could have, under the circumstances you described, not been forced to give you a better deal. Did any of you realize that? Did any of you talk to each other later about the fact you sort of had them over a barrel.

Do any of you ever collectively realize on individual projects how much it would cost them to have to start from scratch if all of you left? But that would take the ability to say "no." Try it a few times- you will be surprised. I am saying this because I am self intereted. The more cowardly you are. The less likely it is that the market will yield better results.

Anonymous said...

zzzz...zzz....zzzz

Same shit, different day. How many years is this stupid blog with the same stupid message going to go on? 2 years and you sad sacks haven't done ANYTHING besides watch your hourly rates go down. What a pathetic bunch.

zzz...zz.zzzzzz....

Anonymous said...

Blackletter is trash. Don't worry though, Update (the 500 pound irritable gorilla) is coming into the California market and will soon crush them.

Anonymous said...

doc review is considered "paralegal work". it is not considered "the practice of law."

every year you continue being an overpaid paralegal, the less employable you will become. you may never become a lawyer.

you are not temp attorneys you are temp paralegals.

Anonymous said...

doc review is considered "paralegal work". it is not considered "the practice of law."

every year you continue being an overpaid paralegal, the less employable you will become. you may never become a lawyer.

you are not temp attorneys you are temp paralegals.

Anonymous said...

doc review is considered "paralegal work". it is not considered "the practice of law."

every year you continue being an overpaid paralegal, the less employable you will become. you may never become a lawyer.

you are not temp attorneys you are temp paralegals.

Art Vandelay said...

@9:19 PM-


"Murder fantasies?" I see that once again, the kiddies are trolling, because obviously someone here doesn't have reading comprehension. How does the fact that a tape recording of blatantly unethical threats would lead an agency to settle a lawsuit against them pronto, translate into "murder fantasies"?

Maybe you should, you know, at least put some thought into your lame attempts at trolling, so that your douchebaggy nature isn't as obvious?

Or maybe the agency hacks really are desperately trying to cover this up..........after all, the number of "you temps are worthless" responses is suspiciously high for what is actually a rather legit complaint post.

Anonymous said...

Even in the temp world there is more choice than some of you seem to think. I have friends working in equally fungible industries. The difference is that they aren't conditioned to overthink risk like lawyers are.

I.e., they're not neutered cowards like lawyers are. You will be treated no better than you demand to be treated--period.

Anonymous said...

First of all, in NYC at least there is no shortage of doc review projects or agencies once you have 6 months of doc review experience the agencies love you and you will have no problem getting something from a recruiter somewhere. You will be unemployable when it comes to any other legal job, but agencies will love you.

At most you will spend 2-3 weeks unemployed between projects so there is no reason to ever put up with crap from any particular agency. I personally REFUSE to take work from Update and know of a few people who are of the same mindset with regard to other agencies. If this agency screwed you -- DON'T TAKE WORK FROM THEM AGAIN. There are literally dozens of agencies in NY and while it is true that a handful get most of the projects the others are not exactly starving and you are free to blacklist a few agencies yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hey haters, do you honestly think you're better than us because we do doc review and you don't? I can assure you that most of my doc review colleagues and I are neither lazy or dumb. You are right, I did choose to do this. I chose to do doc review over selling my condo so that I could live on $35,000 a year working at a small firm doing mass bankruptcy, PI or insurance defense. Sure, I'd rather have a "real job", but IMO, being an ambulance chaser or conning people into declaring bankruptcy is no more a real job than doc review. The market is not great in Chicago, and doc review lets me take my time and be picky about the permanent job I choose. So get off your high horse and don't judge until you've walked in our shoes. Oh, and have a good day!

Art Vandelay said...

@1:55

Are you having luck getting doc review jobs in the Chicago area? I signed up with several agencies, and even with prior doc review experience, I got a total of 1 interview for a doc review job over a period of over a year. The market IS pretty bad in Illinois, that's for sure.

As far as "conning" people into declaring bankruptcy....usually, people who want to declare it are already convinced they want to do it, and they sometimes have to be told they can't do it, or shouldn't do it. The worst part about those 35k/yr. jobs is that the firms pretty much have you running around, using up your car and energy, while paying you squat, for the "honor" of "getting experience". Unlike the "old days", lawyers are sadly considered far more replaceable, thus making the idea of putting in time for a reward down the road a bit of a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh. You're all crazy for caring so much. Stop bashing people who do doc review. Everyone has their own reasons. Yes, its boring and isn't necessarily career building, but there is a fairly steady flow of it and it pays the bills. It's a good way to survive without signing away your life to a firm. Jesus people!

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh this sucks....

Anonymous said...

Is anyone finding that agencies you are signed up with and contact every week are hiding projects from you? saying they never have anything and then hearing from friends who were contacted?

Anonymous said...

Are these people really attorneys? I've never heard such an inconsiderate bunch of foul mouthed people in my life. Certainly not in my profession. If someone came on here with a legitimate problem, why don't you address the solution or just leave him alone.

I just graduated law school and I'm dealing with this economic mess in a very real way. I don't like being called "unemployable" by an anonymous glib jackass. I'm competing with experienced attorneys for what used to be beginner legal jobs, and I'd hoped to find advice for dealing with temp agencies when I came to this site.
Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves. Your not behaving like adults, much less attorneys. Get over yourselves and let the people who actually have to deal with finding a job work together to share information without your mean spirited peanut gallery chattering away between their posts.

Anonymous said...

Doing something about unfair employment practices is a lot better than merely complaining about them. If there is an issue regarding not being able to take your rest periods or meal breaks, as required by law, or not being paid properly, why not raise the issue with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement? See www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DistrictOffices.htm for addresses and phone numbers of local district offices. If the issue is unsafe working conditions (say, you working in a dusty warehouse and breathing in who knows what or boxes are falling on you), contact Cal/OSHA Enforcement Unit district offices: www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DistrictOffices.htm. Moral of the story is the pen is mightier than the sword.