Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Hudson Legal "Newark" Project: An Update



"There are over 400 of us here. The work ebbs and flows, but there is a strong sense that the axe will fall any day now, creating a major blood bath. I would hate to be looking for work in this economy, after the axe comes crashing down over dozens of people.

Vlad is being a major pain in the ass. I think the fact that he is supervising all of these people has gone to his head. He seems to have forgetten that he is still a member of the legal proletariat."

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since the project is in the SOOO dangerous Newark, and because the supervisors are no good, Hudson is no good, the recruiters are no good, you should be psyched when the axe falls and you don't have to work there anymore, right?

I mean by your own acccord, no?

Anonymous said...

I work in the Philly office, and I too worry that many of us will be out of a job in the not too distant future. They are pushing us so hard to work crazy hours that eventually we'll get through all the documents. Who knows how soon?

I do wonder how AstraZeneca feels about all the hours some of us are billing. Some of us are billing well over 80 hours a week-- some more than 100 (I want that free television, dammit!). Do the care about the quality of the work at all or do they only care that we get through the documents? How accurate could your coding possibly be after working 90+ hours? Some of my colleagues don't even look at what they are clicking.

Anonymous said...

Never mind that all of you suckers are working 90+ hours and are all working yourselves out of jobs and our probably doing irreversible damage to your minds and bodies.

You can win a free t.v. dammit!

Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah!!! Free TVs rule!!! Go Philly!!!

Who says Hudson never does anything for us?

Anonymous said...

Hudson should probably throw the tvs in the heads of these stupid shit temps.

selling my jd said...

people... people... breathe deep... count your money.....

i must say i found the comment concerning "quality of work" to be amusing...

no, the client cares not about the quality of the document review work.... price tag ??? when their existence is on the line, companies find some cash...

at least the temp agency will get a nice xmas party out of the deal ....

Anonymous said...

i am tired of you wimp temps complaining. you would not cut it the corporate legal arena. period.

Anonymous said...

WAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But it's not their fault. The law schools tricked them. No, wait. Sallie Mae did. Nope, it was the Bar Assoc... on second thought it was the temp recruiters. Or was it the agencies themselves? Everyone tricked them!

Anonymous said...

In all seriousness, who is posting comments such as the last four? I will be the first to admit that this board is overly negative. There is a lot of self-loathing, and some unfair things have been said both about certain attorneys and certain agencies.

However, who is taking the time to slam contract attorneys like 7:21, for example? Are these temps who hate their fellow temps? Or are they people like Julie Dailey and Simon Nagel, who feel like they've been slandered, and are venting?

I just think it is interesting that people who have it pretty good are taking the time to slam people who for whatever reason (law schools tricking them, Sallie Mae or their own dumb decisions) are not so fortunate. What's with all the hate?

Anonymous said...

rumor has it that not only is the philly site probably not going to shut down, they might hire some more. sorry, newark.

from a costs standpoint, that probably makes most sense, since the temps in philly get paid less.

Anonymous said...

Yeah- they just put up an add saying stable gig in Philly-- not sure if that's the same one.

Anonymous said...

choco-Vlad sucks!

Anonymous said...

COMMON SENSE ADVICE from another FORUM
=============================
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/01/16/law-blog-qa-kirsten-wolf-law-school-naysayer
=============================

But if you don’t really know what to do, and want to make money, then be creative, nimble, and adaptive vs. following the cookie cutter path to supposed money, legitimacy, status, etc. ending up 10 years older, $100,000 in debt, broke, and unhappy.

Otherwise, get smart - become a plumber or a mason, open a bar, become a franchisee in the fast food business. If making six figures is where your heart is at, you DO NOT need the doctorate level education. There are too, too many people who barely made it out of high school who make more money than you’ll ever see. That is what is called LIFE. Ambition and sweat equity trumps formal education every time. GET USED TO IT. And if you’re real lucky, be like that fellow who makes the “Girls Gone Wild” videos and CD’s - he might be in jail right now but he’s got a very fat bank account AND he gets the cute girls.

She’s right though, I think way more kids need to rethink all of this (and I thought so too even when I was making a biglaw salary). Just because you can borrow the money doesn’t mean you should.

Here is the most valuable advice any of you will ever hear. Be the best, and the money will find you. You will be the best only if you love what you do. If you can not figure out where you stand on either of those two propositions, think of something else to do, or this chick has written your story for you.


My advice to all you undecided graduates is to go out and work for a while. Be a paralegal, volunteer at a legal aid society. Make sure you want to practice law. Then go to law school


Also, in both cases the convential wisdom is being pushed by a) people who stand to benefit financially from your mistake and b) people who made the decision long ago in a very different social and economic climate and don’t really appreciate that times have changed. One major difference is, unlike the lady in the article, most law students make the decision to go to law school around 19 or 20, an age where you can barely tell your a** from your elbow. Bottom line, the old rules no longer apply and you need to do your homework.


She spent 5 months unemployed?? Geez, I’d be flipping hamburgers after about a week unemployed, just to do something. Sorry to say that.

For most small firms, the economics are just different. Until an associate has some experience, it’s very hard to get much return out of them. But once an associate has 2 or 3 years of experience, their value (and salary) goes up a lot. Most of my friends at small firms managed to double their salary in 3 or 4 years. In a couple years most will probably be married with a solid combined income. And in twenty years, they’ll probably have better finances than the average history or poly sci major that never went to grad school.

She never had a plan and then borrowed money to finance her non-plan and now owes money for doing something she probably could’ve done without borrowing money in the first place. No wonder she makes/made no money as an attorney.


Huh? Sinking $100,000 and several years of one’s life into an education investment in a profession one does not want to use is a logic failure that ranks right up there with paying twice the reasonable value for a house and thinking one can “flip” it and make a gain.

There are firms in towns across the country that might well consider her at a good salary. Even the Armed Forces are ready, willing, and able to pay an excellent wage for attorneys that are willing to put on the uniform. She says she moved to New York not knowing what she would do. I fail to grasp her victim status. She paid top dollar for a skill that she decided she did not want to use. Sorry lady, those of us who see the need to put food on the table for a family often work at things that are not the dream job in the Big Apple. That is part of life. Grow up.



Bottom line, if you’re thinking about law school, or anything for that matter, and you encounter one of these downers who probably wouldn’t be successful anywhere, work hard and be resourceful.


What is utterly amazing with people like this girl is that they never seem willing to move…they want to stay right there in their little Bosnywash comfort zone and are not willing to venture out into America. It’s a big country with plenty of opportunity, but you’ve got to GO GET IT!!!!!





The most important thing is to know that a 100K job will not be handed to you on a silver platter just for graduating from law school; you have to earn it one way or the other.



The “law school by default” thing is exactly what happened to me. After college, I didn’t know what else I wanted to do with my life but figured a law degree might help me figure that out along the way.



Instead of encouraging people not to go to law school perhaps she should encourage people not to drop $100,000 that they don’t have on something that they haven’t really researched. I like my job and the people I work with a lot and am thankful for the stellar education I received at BUSL. My advice to young people considering law school is always the same: be a paralegal for a year or two before taking the plunge. I knew that I would be financing law school myself, so I worked as a paralegal at a small non-profit firm for a year and at a large corporate law firm for two years before applying. Thus, I went in with my eyes wide open. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive. Why would you take out six figures in loans without knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into?

Anonymous said...

SMART ABOUT STATISTICS

Fordham collected job surveys from graduating students, including starting salary information. Problem is, at that time, students with big firm (read high paying jobs) were the vast majority of students with jobs. Additionally, students with low paying jobs were, in my experience, far less likely to submit the questionaires at all.

One friend held out for a better paying job after graduation that never materialized, figuring that because the “median” starting salary for graduates from our school was $75k, and she was right in the middle of the class, she should fetch the average salary. The secret is: NO ONE MAKES $75K THEIR FIRST YEAR. That’s right, the $75K job is a myth. For every graduate working in a big firm making 150k, there are two or three graduates making 40k or 50k. This averages out to $75k, but such jobs do not actually exist.
Prozac Practitioner

Law schools also post misleading employment data. They show “average” starting salaries that are meaningless, and don’t report the % of students who responded to surveys.

AVERAGE starting salary means NOTHING. Not only are the numbers taken from a misrepresentative, self-selected sample BUT the actual distribution of salaries paid to recently licensed attorneys is extremely bi-modal i.e. a sizeable cluster of attorneys make the big bucks and a whole lot more make less than 60k a year. In fact, as is often the case, the “average” value is very rarely encountered in practice; either extreme is much more common. The link below provides a table that all ABA law schools should be required to include with their promotional materials.

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is that team leader who was shouting everybody down tonight in the night workroom in Newark? Just an atrocious project.

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nom said...

Posting today on Monster.com for Philly: note McCarter email and note salary level for 40 hours per week. Any takers?? Any believers??
********************************
Salary/Wage: 80,000.00 - 100,000.00 USD /year
Document Review Contract Attorneys - Regional law firm is seeking admitted attorneys to work on a long-term, document review project related to product liability litigation. Documents will be reviewed for relevance, attorney work product and privilege. Qualified candidates will be available to work at least 40 hours per week, have at least 6 months relevant experience and be admitted (active and in good standing) in any state.

Please send your resume via fax to 302-984-2495 or by email to bmortimer@mccarter.com. No telephone calls please.

Anonymous said...

I JUST got this notice:

Hudson is staffing up the Newark project tomorrow and there are approximately 50 slots available. The details are as follows:

-- $35 an hour, with OT at time & a half after 40 hrs

-- there is no cap on hours

-- you can work evenings and weekends, if interested

-- you must be barred in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.

Since the staff up is tomorrow, you need to contact Hudson by phone or email as soon as possible.

To contact Hudson:

212-351-7400

legaljobs@hudson.com If emailing, reference: NEWARK, NJ Project.

Anonymous said...

The additional group will be beginning on Friday 3/21... get on it now if you can.

Anonymous said...

Hudson operates a lawyer sweatshop in Houston for a certain Fortune 500 company. Its all very hush hush except every lawyer in town knows about it.

Anonymous said...

The McCarter/Seroquel review is a giant clusterfuck. Nice going Hudson! If you don't mind horrible work conditions, it IS a great opportunity to make money. I hear that some people are making as much as $4,000 to $5,000 a week.

Anonymous said...

cha-ching!

Anonymous said...

Seems like a good work environment, great hours, great money, why do so many people complain about this project?

Anonymous said...

========================================
"He's a great catch, he's a doctor/lawyer/banker".
=================================================
I am curious how the "pyramid" structure of lawyer income plays out in the singles/dating market. (I am not a lawyer)

The dating/marriage heirarchy is still anchored on the big 3 traditional careers. "He's a great catch, he's a doctor/lawyer/banker". Older generations are particularly attuned this traditional thinking. (Was more accurate in their time)

In dating, no one is turned down b/c they are a lawyer. However, in some circles, men are routinely rejected if they only make $50k-$150k, etc. So, there is a contradiction where a man could be making $75k, yet enjoys the social cachet of "Lawyers are smart, rich, and powerful"

Is this distinction made by women? Is it even possible, or are the traditional sterotypes are too strong.

Anyone here see the "law" angle work in their favor (dating, sex, setups, online dating, etc), while smirking inside, "Heck, I'm earning less than my plumber / cop / teacher / artist / realtor friends, who are all are pulling down $100k+ She's totally barking up the wrong tree."

What have been your experiences?
Navigating the perception vs. the reality. [Edit]

Anonymous said...

"Seems like a good work environment, great hours, great money, why do so many people complain about this project?"

----------------

Because complaining is what many people live to do. Would they rather be unemployed? No. Then be greatful you are employed and have the option of padding your pocket as much as you'd like. If it's not the type of employment you want then take steps towards doing something else...while you pad your pocket.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman and a lawyer. The only way I would date a lawyer is if there were some way of animating my lifeless corpse.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, 1:14. My husband's a book editor, and an actual human being with a sense of humor. I have yet to meet the lawyer who can compete with him on any level.

Anonymous said...

Wait- are you saying a doc reviewer working 90-hour weeks isn't dead sexy? But, it's a great life. It really is. Really.

Yeah, most lawyers are the personality equivalent of watching paint dry on walls. Actually, it's worse. Paint drying on walls in shades of off white.

Its not a matter of the profession. They never had a personality to start and practicing law just gave them a chance to mask their inadequacies.

selling my jd said...

document review cash can be beautiful... for those who have never tried it.... please stay at your 35 per hour work weeks (if that).... you wouldn't last...

Anonymous said...

I have friends who work about 40 to 50 hours a week who make significantly more than we do. My only regret is that I am not one of them. Many of you are kids out of blue collar backgrounds who bring that thinking with you here. You are the reason the rates are what they are. They throw you a dog biscuit, and you eat it up thanking them for it.

Anonymous said...

money makes the world go around, world go around, world go around money makes the world go around, it makes the world go around.shut up and code, bitch

Anonymous said...

You can't imagine how you make the world go round with money in any other way than coding in the way you are now?

Anonymous said...

10:41-- Nice to know there is another fan of musical theater on the board :-)

As for dating a lawyer-- and specifically a document review lawyer-- there is a reason these people mostly went to schools like Thomas Cooley and Widener. If you want to meet someone who is interesting and intelligent, stay the hell away from contract attorneys.

Gary Johnston said...

AMERICA....FUCK YEA!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is, Hudson is offering another perk to sweeten the pot - 600mg of Seroquel daily and a much needed can of Raid.

Anonymous said...

When Hudson wanted to get rid of people at 2 Logan, they laced their free pizza with Vioxx. Julie Dailey was quoted as saying, "It is so hard on someone's ego to be laid off or fired from one of these projects. We, Dechert and Merck decided it was best to just kill them. It really was an act of compassion."

My guess is that the Seroquel goes to the people who aren't billing enough.

Anonymous said...

Well, seroquel laced pizza might be better than the ketchup-on-cardboard stuff we get on Fridays.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Daily, I'd like a pizza with Vioxx, Vytorin, Seroquel and Avandia. Hold the Zyprexa."

Am I the only one on the board who actually feels GUILTY about making money off of the suffering of others?

We've all seen the documents. We all know how greedy and amoral these fuckers are at the drug companies. Anyway, it's just a thought.

code on dude said...

Keep coding. no sleep for the coders. What? feel sleepy? Just walk in the bathroom on the third floor. If the smell does not wake you by burning your burnt out eyes, the paper towels on the floor will. The pizza sucks. It would not be as bad, it it was hot or warm sucky pizza. At leas the soda is cold and free. These people have their heads up their butts. There are new coding instructions 2-9 times per day. Put in the hours cause you don't know when it may end. Jump ship when they stop hiring more coders.
All you haters out there; coders make mo money and have less stress then the Harvard law grads at the bid firms. Well, almost. Hey there is a Harvard law grad on this job.

Anonymous said...

clearly working long hours is starting to make some of you delusional.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I am delusional, but did any other ladies spot the guy with the tight **** and large, ahem, yummy? Makes for great eye candy anyway....

Anonymous Woman Coder

Anonymous said...

Who is this you are talking about? You have the ladies in 100 curious...

Anonymous said...

Thank god I am off this project. Longest two plus weeks of my life. Great money, but gestapo overseers, useless, make work triple and quadruple reviews of docs, cockroaches, hourly protocol changes aimed at making unnecessary work. One giant billing ponzi scheme being perpetrated against AstraZeneca.

Had many hours without docs, but were only allowed to stare at our manuals. No talking or reading non-project materials during down-time. No extended breaks when there was no work, just had to sit up straight,look forward and not fall asleep.

Our team leader Prothima was a useless slob. She spilled food all over the floor, blamed it on other, unknown people who came into the law library on Easter weekend and spilled her food and refused to clean it up and chatted on the phone all day but yelled at anyone who did the same things. She did no real legal work, just snapped the whip and told us to read our manuals. She also needed some new clothes as her belly was always showing as it lapped over her pants and the view of here thong was disturbing to say the least.

Project manager David King is deeper in the closet than Tom Cruise. This top gun wanna be must have been the poster child for don't ask, don't tell in the AF. He implies that he is a McCarter English attorney but is really just Hudson's lap dog. Ignores every problem including roaches and unbarable working conditions while counting all the cash in his head.

Anonymous said...

I work in the Philly office, and work conditions aren't that bad. It is pathetic how much the powers that be have ripped off AstraZeneca. I have made thousands of dollars sitting around waiting for documents. Go FTI!!!

My biggest complaint is the unfair way they have chosen to "promote" people. Instead of basing it on how hard you work or the quality of the work, it is who your friends are. What else is new, I guess?

It's also sad to see how few of our fellow contract attorneys can make it in the "real world." I just noticed the reappearance of someone who left Vioxx for a real job that ended badly, and she is just one of many. Are we all destined to go from doc review job to doc review job seeing the same people over and over again forever?

Anonymous said...

vlad is a hottie - i think he is pissed because he hasnt had sex in a while. at least i would be..make that "am"

Anonymous said...

Vlad wouldn't fuck you because there are no good looking women at 90 Mulberry.

SETON HALL LAW SCHOOLS SUCKS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I worked with David King on a prior project. Watch your backs. If there's something in it for him, he'll get you fired faster than you can say "new protocol please".

Anonymous said...

Let him have his moment in the sun. Running the "Newark" project will be the highlight of an otherwise unremarkable temp career. Same goes for the rest of the "leads". Sure, it's a cesspool, but there is money to made and someone has to run it. They're just temps like the rest of us. On Sunday David was in the filthy breakroom, cleaning up the mess left by 50 or so slovenly temps, their thanks for the free Sunday breakfast courtesy of the temp agencies.

I liked the Shawshank comparison in the prior post, although Shawshank had a far more interesting tale of redemption. There is a certain comraderie on this project, like that of Shawshank. Temps promise to meet again on new projects, far from Newark.

It's amazing how many people drop off of the project in a given week (must be at least 50). But they just keep bringing more in and training them and throwing 'em into the fire. More "new fish" headed this way.

Anonymous said...

does anyone have any idea how long this project will last? also, what are you all going to do when it is over, 500 temps all looking for a temp job all at once?

Anonymous said...

A lot of people seem to be coming down with the flu - the sounds sneezing and nose blowing is increasing with every day. Not that surprizing when you think of the number and conditions of the available toilets - must be a code violation in there somewhere.

As for the job itself - I must admit that I have not felt concerned for my personal safety in the immediate area around the project location. However Newark is not a nice town and that is to state the truth not to disrepect the people who live there.

Also while we all (ie those who have been doing it for a while) know the nature of the beast - I have got to say that this is definitely the nastiest project that I have been on. The reason being the Hudson team leaders who are basically pricks (David King, Vlad and Omar being the king pricks) - jumped up pricks for whom their little bit of power has gone straight to their heads. In wouldn't mind but they have a clue what they are doing - prancing around trying to look superior and intelligent. They keep changing the coding rules every other hour so it doesn't matter what way you code a doc - just wait, at some stage it will be correct. Not that it matters what we code - nobody is ever going to look at it or give a shit about anyway - once you realize that it makes things a lot easier.

OK we are all mercenaries - and I am going to try and get a few more weeks out of this but I can tell you this is one project that I will be glad to see the back of.

Finally my highlight of the project- being told how important it was that the redaction boxes had to be really clean and precise, not to take it too much blank white page or the other side would be upset.

PS - I have never been on a project where you can hear the coders so openly calling other agencies in the breakroom.

Anonymous said...

I've been at the Philly office since the beginning, and it really isn't as bad. But I have to agree that the team leads are awful. You give people a little power, and they turn into dicks.

I'm just amazed at how poorly managed this project has been. You'd think Hudson would know how to run one of these after Vioxx across the street.

For months, we barely had any work. We watched movies and played board games.

Then all this work had to get done, and they just started hiring any warm body they could find. They even have the people who worked on Vioxx at 2 Logan (as well as a bunch of Dechert associates) working on the case even though they haven't really been trained.

It's all about quantity and not quality. I don't think anyone is even QCing the work anymore.

If AZ is reading this board, you should know you are being hosed.

If Plaintiffs are reading this board, know that there is no logic or consistency to the way documents are being coded. Who knows what is being withheld or being produced?

Me? I'm laughing my way to the bank. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you but none of the team leaders are deciding the coding...it comes from way above their pumped up temp heads. They just read it out for the masses, like marble mouthed robots.

People like Omar and Purithema are borderline employable as grocery check out clerks and wouldn't last a day as staff attorney (or a paralegal for that matter) at any big nyc firm . They get off on telling people to put their cell phones down (like Jack Lemmon's coffee in Glengary Glen Ross) while they sit around and chat on their phones all day. It's what you call retarded.

Just make your money and get out, ignore the thuggish team leads, as best you can.

Anonymous said...

big cut at 100 mulberry, maybe 60 attorneys have been let go. All of the 6th floor. Anyone have any info?

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that people were sent home from the Philly office at 5 p.m. due to lack of documents. They are supposed to check their e-mail on Sunday to find out what happens next.

It is unclear if this is a typical workflow fuckup by FTI (the tech guys) or if more people will be let go on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

How about 90 mulberry? did they get the axe too? Or was it only the non-hudson temps that were disposed of?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone here get axed by Hudson today? There was a mass email sent this morning firing people.

Anonymous said...

As far as i know, all agencies cut people, including Hudson. In NJ, everyone will be moving into 90 Mulberry and 100, will no longer have temp attorneys in it. Everyone was fired except team leads, QCs, and a few good Hudson coders.

What is really strange about the firing is the fact that they had a whole computer room set up on Monday morning on the 6th floor. About 40 new computers, and desks, which took the whole weekend to set up. Then,d they fire everyone a few days after everything gets set up. Basically they just wanted to charge the client for more stuff. We barely did any work on the 6th floor because of the lack of documents. We just did a lot of chill and bill.

Anonymous said...

Fucking scumbag thieves (Hudson) said this project would last 4 to 6 months and send a fucking email when axing everyone. Pussies can't even call people.

David King and Vlad (The impaler) claimed that there was plenty of work....

I should have jumped ship a month ago.

Now the market is going to be flooded with us loser coders.

Well the good news is we're done commuting to that fucking hell hole called Newark and done with McCarter & English, the laughing stock of big law firms.

Anonymous said...

Limp dicks, not pussies please.

Anonymous said...

lol! I was asked to stay on the project. I take my mean comments from yesterday back.

Anonymous said...

King said last week there were hundreds of thousands of documents. what a lying sack of shit. People turned down other work based on the fucking lies told by Hudson. Hudson blows

anonymous said...

saturated market sucks- but no cunt of a team lead or gestapo is fine with me-

Auto Accident Attorney Houston, Texas said...

Nice post. But the commenters have sucked it.