Temp Life at Some of America's Most Notorious Legal Sweatshops
Tom:Is the market dead or have I been blacklisted? No one is calling except for two week project that only go one day.What do you guys do while waiting for the next gig?
What city are you in?The wages have flattened out, but unlike last summer and fall there seem to be quite a few projects going on right now. Maybe all the litigation from the subprime fall out has started?
Yes, 1:33, I have heard that someone that goes by the name of anonymous *has* been blacklisted.
My sources tell me that in NYC currently, the market is extremely flat if not falling, until the new round of litigation against BODs begins, and until the SEC finishes its investigations re subprime. I'll put money on potential defendants settling, demanding arbitraiton or claims, or many things merely being swept under the carpet....times are lean. Defendants don't necesarily have the cash flow for litigation, and most GCs are cutting out out-side counsel or negotiating structured fee agreements in advance. That translates to low contract attorney wages, as recently seen int he DC market with Howery and Simon leading the way...count your blessings if you have a long-term gig, and do nothing but save and be frugal.........surprises still around the corner that do not bode well for we mere reviewers. That, of course means some agencies willbe drive out of business or consolidating, and maybe some of those voted the sleasiest will see karma come around.
5:38pm with all due respect, your sources must be smoking something. There are projects everywhere in NYC. Even lowballer Peak is offering 35 at time and a half for a long term project, which is still below market rate, but is an improvement for Peak. They know that temps are in demand so they upped their rate. I haven't seen it this busy in NYC this year for a long time.
throw some Kelly recruiters on there will, perhaps some of those from Chicago.
How come Peak is never mentioned as being slimy on here? It kind of is IMHO.
For associates, times are tough. For mere document review, companies are balking at associate billing rates. For contract attorneys, at least in NYC, business is booming. The huge Newark project is on-going, S & C is hopping, Clutch, and Peak are staffing.
There are literally dozens of projects sprouting up in NYC, with more work on the horizon. Soon we'll all be digging into the subprime mess, which if you get on the right project, could last for years.Here's to CDO's and the idiot Ivy League MBA's they have now provided us toilet lawyers with work for the next three years. Cheers!
What you are saying above about dozens of projects is NOT what I've been hearing from inside attorneys.......yes, there are some, but that is not the norm, and these are not 2-4 years guaranteed projects, with the exception of Newark and the pharmaceutical actions......A colleague of mine inside a Fortune 50 is regularly getting calls from several very "name" agencies, begging for work, and admitting that despite the ads the agencies are putting on-line, they have very very little work.....the above blogs must be written by someone with a staffing agency.
There is currently a calm in NYC, but the litigation storm is coming. At my firm, we are in a holding pattern on a number of things, many of which will heat up by the end of summer, if not before. Times are tough, but, hang in there...it won't last forever.
Agencies are always begging for work, that is how they make money.There are MANY projects going on in NYC. I had to turn down several projects this week. If you went to a decent school, are admitted in NYC, and have a track record of doing good work, you shouldn't have a problem.
I hate to come off as a public defender (defending people who may or may not deserve to be defended), but in my limited interactions with her, Julie seemd to be genuinely nice. And when comparing the two Hudson girls, Julie seemed a little more personable than her colleague, who seemed more business focused.
Things are OKAY in NY. I've seen it busier, but I've also seen it completely dead and we are much closer to the busier times than the dead times. Most of the project right now are rather short term ones. I personally have been on three two week or shorted projects recently, but these are often the best kinds in terms of job conditions. The long term projects offer way more overtime potential, but to each his own. The slowdown in law is on the transactional side. Litigation is humming along just fine. Doc review is all litigation related so the slowdown in transactional work should have zero impact on us temps. I cant wait until the subprime litigation begins because the emails promise to be entertaining. Loan brokers are dumbs and dumbs always have the best email.
When are we striking?
As someone who has worked with and voted for Julie, I don't think most people are saying she isn't nice. Bitchiest recruiter (in Philly anyway) would go to someone like Denise Asnes from HIRECounsel. We are saying she is sleazy. She is nice to your face while she lies through her teeth. In her defense, I will say that I suspect that most of the problems can be traced to her boss Ed Caulfield and the whole Hudson team. She's just the public face.
Is Denise Asnes the old Denise Fischler?
are we striking OR NOT?!!!!!!???
I also like Julie and Lauren. Neither of them have ever lied to me. I am curious as to what lies you were told.
I have to defend Julie Dailey as well. I don't know what experiences everyone else may or may not have had with her, but she's never been anything other than a sweetheart to me. What exactly are your complaints about her? I am sure you realize that most of the stuff that gets handed down does not come from her, right? Personally, I give her a lot of credit for putting up with a bunch on whiney babies all the time. I realize we're all lawyers, but that doesn't mean we all have to get our panties in a wad and demand our "rights" every time we don't like a new Hudson policy. Hell, I don't have the patience to put with the crap that Julie deals with. Give her a break!
I heard that the McCarter Project is over. Is that true? Anybody?
Yep, I hear that it's fin.
I heard that they are just out on strike. Stickin it to the man! Yeah!
9:46, you go to far. The agencies are our employers. When the law firms such as Dechert and McCarter abuse their authority, the agencies should be looking out for our interests. I realize it's a balancing act because they also have contracts with the law firms, but they never ever ever take the contract attorney's side.I don't know who you are (which I guess is fair since you don't know who I am), but I always had a problem with people like you who became apologists for the law firms. I'm not saying all firms are bad-- I've had good experiences too. But the good experiences were never on Hudson projects. The way you insult contract attorneys by calling them "whiney babies" demanding "rights" is offensive considering most of the whiney babies that I had to deal with were the people in charge.Is it "whiney" to ask for clean bathrooms? Is it "whiney" to ask to be treated like a professional and not like untrustworthy children? Is it "whiney" to ask for your first raise in over 18 months? You might be one of the lemmings who is satisfied with whatever the firms and agencies give you, but some of us believe you should question authority when you get screwed.
How do you know if the agencies never take the temps side? So you work in an agency? There's no telling how much worse things would be if it was just the greedy firms making the calls.Do you work for an agency?
Power to the People!
10:37, how right you are! Simon wanted everyone to code naked at 2 Logan, but Julie said that wouldn't be acceptable. Are YOU a Hudson employee?The truth is that Simon would have liked for us to be treated better (in some ways), but Hudson were the ones who refused to spend any money to make the working conditions better. All that Hudson cares about is making money, and you are an idiot if you don't realize that.
Well, I've always had a problem with whiners like you who like to blame everyone else for their problems. I'm no apologist for anyone. I've worked for big law firms and NOT as a contract attorney. I've always worked for the government (clean bathrooms are a luxury there too). Truth is, you a generally treated a hell of a lot better on the whole on these projects. Yes, contract work is mindless and you have a tendancy to feel like a brainless monkey; but it's a pretty nice way to make 6 figures and not be stressed out of your mind. My suggestion to you, as you seem upset because you feel powerless in your life, is to build a small practice area on the side. That should give you something to focus on other than demanding your rights from Julie Dailey, who by the way, has nothing to do with your situation other than giving you a job!
Huge news from newark: McCarter cut their temp staff down to about 75 people. King had assured everyone that they "weren't going anywhere" and not to worry. However, the project was stopped at 5PM yesterday with no weekend hours. People started receiving calls and emails telling them either they were terminated or to report monday at 9AM.
any word on Philly? I hear they are cutting everyone in Philly as well. anybody know anything?
11:22- what a HYPOCRITE you are. All Hudson cares about is making money??? And you are temping to make the world a better place? Correct me if I'm wrong but you are only in it for the CASH. Tell us otherwise so we can laugh at you.
To say that litigation departments are gearing up is rather speculative.......hang in there doesn't help pay the rent now. If what is considered "busy" are many short-term projects, combined with the overall contract attorney work being flat to calm, the problem is that there many more people competing for a rather small pie of short-terms assignments. This doesn't sound to me at all like business is even flat or calm, from the viewpoint of the contract attorney..... When litigation begins trickle down in late August, the firms have manynew hires, and with constrained fees for those contract attorneys that will be hired, it will be back to $22 an hour with no OT - I do not think that is something to "wait for"......we are better off just finding perm jobs, if even government or small firm.....it is a sucker's game to hang in there......in an overall slowing economy with unemployment rising.....trickle down to temp in a rising unemployment environment does not at all translate to future jobs.........just fewer short-term, with much lower pay.
This is what I love about this board-- the hate and bile!First of all, I don't hold the temp agencies or the law schools or anyone else responsible for my situation. I was the one who foolishly chose to go to law school. I was the one who blew off law school and did no work there. I was the one who made some bad career choices and ended up here.Second, to imply that I am greedy because I want to pay my bills is just risible. Of course the only reason I am doing this is to make money, but I barely pay my bills temping. The only people making a lot are working on the big pharmaceutical reviews and billing 80 hours a week.Third, I still think my "whining" is valid. I AM grateful when one of these agencies finds me a job. My complaint is that after they find me the job, they continue to take 1/3 of the money I make, and what do I get in return? As an alumnus of 2 Logan, I can tell you that it wasn't much. People tended to blame the problems there on Simon and company, but many if not most of them can be traced back to Hudson's unwillingness to cut into its huge profits.I've also worked on smaller projects, and I can tell you that the employers get frustrated with the practices of these agencies. With the advent of craigslist and other options, some of the firms are realizing they don't need the agencies, and they are more of a pain than they are worth.I don't quite understand your anger (or your incorrect assumptions about me), but the reality is that I work for my money-- even if it is "brainless monkey" work-- and the agencies do not. Feel free to attack me-- I guess I was asking for it by calling you an "idiot"-- mea culpa-- but at least do it accurately, please.
Read that a few people have mentioned the Newark project. Well, hate to break it to you, but make sure you have your welcoming mat down, because about 200 + contract lawyers just got fired this weekend, and they are saying the project is winding up...remember there are 800 of us.
Worse news...they've started calling people on the Philly project and giving them the bad news too. Not sure exactly how many people in Philly are getting the axe. I hear tht they are laying off at least 100-150 people in Philly. From what I hear, they are getting rid of the people that have been there for the least amount of time and keeping most of the older people.
It makes sense the project is being scaled back, the only reason to have that many attorneys is to meet a deadline. No reason for a review to really have more than 50 - 100 tops. The fact that they had so many before just worked to shorten the project.It's okay, I got my money out of this one, so it worked as well as can be expected.
"Ditching an assignment before it is over is a sure fire way of getting on the staffing agency and law firm’s bad side and could and likely will result in you becoming permanently banned from working with them ever again. Many contract attorneys like to overlap their projects seamlessly and may try to jump ship before it is over to catch the next project before it sails. Once again, don’t do it."Great advice, my attorney blog guy. Now, I will be competing for work with over 800 other people! The agencies are going to rape us, and those that got out before the axe fell are sitting comfortable in their new gigs.
NOTE TO ANYONE WHO THINKS THEIR VOTE COUNTS: IT DOESN'T. TOM IS CONTROLLING THE NUMBERSI like the idea of letting people know who the bad recruiters (or agencies) are out there but you should be ashamed of yourself Tom for making people believe they are actually voting. I see you are controlling the numbers and this is nothing other than a reflection of your own personal beliefs, not a result of votes from the people.
The best way to get out of an assignment is to call your agency and discuss it. If you originally agreed to a 2 month commitment and its now 4 months into a project, they will usually agree that you've fulfilled your obligation. Don't just quit and not at least send a professional e-mail explaining your situation to the agency. More times than not, they won't black list you. Of course if you just walk off with no explanation, don't fulfill your commitment or have no good reason for leaving, you will likely get blackballed from further work. And you can see why, they won't be able to rely on your for future assignments. Another postive factor is that a great many temp attorneys are otherwise unemployable, so if you prove to be above average (and handle yourself professionally), they will most likely want to hire you again. Make contacts at the agency, befriend the recruiters, rather than view them as threatening. Only work with the best agencies, and avoid the bottom of the barrel used car salesmen and women.Sure scumbags like Krowitz will always blacklist you, but who cares about him anyway.Better to leave a project a week too early than a week too late.
Anyone that stayed on at Newark when it was clear that it was winding down IS JUST DUMB!
Why can we vote for only Philly/NYC people? Namita should be on that list!
WAHHH! The agencies are taking "our" money! Boo hoo hoo.If you could make your own money, you wouldn't NEED them, you umemployable dickhead.
3:18, I'm done with you. I am more than willing to have an intelligent conversation with you about the agencies and why I think they take advantage of us. If all you are interested in doing is being nasty and using ad hominem attacks, I have better things to do. Go back to feeling superior and looking down on us whining crybabies who simply ask to be treated as professionals. What is it about the Internet that brings out the worst in people?
Be treated as "professionals". Excuse me, but professionals don't have "sleezy recruiter polls". My firm has only become less inclined to hire people who have "contract atty" on their resume since coming upon this blog.
4:14-- it's a sleAzy recruiter poll-- not a sleEzy recruiter poll. I wouldn't hire someone who couldn't spell "sleazy" either.
temp attorneys are not professionals and are not attorneys either. you are temporary paralegals.
Thanks, 4:31. When you get a real job that means something, you get the peons to spell check/proofread for you. Thanks for being my little bitch. Now bend down and shine my shoes!! NOW!
If we are temporary paralegals why do we make twice as much as any biglaw para and why do you have to be admitted to the bar to do this job?
I know - FIRSTHAND - how scummy Julie Dailey is. But, trust me, Ed Caulfield is not the problem, it is Mark Zamsky. He (Mark) calls the shots and is so sleazy that it makes my skin crawl. Julie just follows orders, which doesnt make it "right," but she has no spine and she lies through her teeth ALL THE TIME, and smiles when she makes people squirm. Thats the truth. Lauren is also a scumbag too, but she is little more silent in her scumminess, and - as someone wrote somewhere in a different post, she does have the best legs for a recruiter!!!!
Lauren is a hottie ;-)
Isn't Julie Dailey in Philly? If so, there should be one winner for Philly (Dailey) and a winner for NYC (Krowitz).
This whole McCarter fiasco allowed Dailey to make an Obamaesque run for the nomination. On the whole, I think Krowitz would make a better candidate.
San Francisco (Namita)!
Julie by a landslide - awesome...
and what about Peak? How come they are not considered scum again?
You guys, I honestly like dealing with Julie Daley. I got dicked around a bit before I was put on a certain project and she was very honest about it. Dou yoy think she makes the decisions about these things? She's just making a living and dealing with the total nut jobs in the temp world.
8:50-- Don't be such a fucking ass kisser!
8:50, she may not make the decisions, but she is still the one who wont stand up for what is "right." She certainly has a smile on her face whenever she delivers bad news too - I have seen it.
allan cohen is a coward and perpetuates the stereotype
is julie dailey the former julie suckberger? sorry if I spelled it wrong, if its the same person, my vote is for her
a. cohen pees sitting down
Denise Asnes has issues with hiring. I will not call her names. She has to assert power with her job. Leave her be. What goes around, comes around. That is just life.
Awesome tips! Thanks so much!
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