Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sometimes It's Necessary To Jump Ship



I wholeheartedly disagree with the following blog posting:

http://www.myattorneyblog.com/it-might-be-tempting-but-its-never-a-good-idea-to-jump-ship/

Sadly, for one's own economic survival, it's oftentimes necessary to jump off a sinking sweatshop. Two weeks ago, David King stood in front of the McCarter/Hudson project on a Friday afternoon claiming that there was more work to be done, and then turned around and axed everyone over the weekend via a cowardly email. To add insult to injury, in order to avoid having to hear from the angry masses, rumor has it that certain Hudson recruiters went off on vacation the following week. Are these the kind of people that you owe your loyalty to?

As someone so aptly put it,

"Unfortunately, loyalty in the contract attorney business means mostly loyalty to yourself. It’s your survival that you should care about because most of the agencies and firms could care less about you. I think most contract attorneys learn that very early on."

Many of the people that screwed Hudson over and left McCarter early are now comfortably working on other projects. Those who were loyal and stayed on are now scrambling for work in a recessionary job market. This is the nature of the beast.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

hudson and allan cohen can suck the dilznik.

Anonymous said...

Heh, still worth avoiding Hudson at all costs and only deal with other agencies....throw "your" business to other agencies just to drive them out of the market.......there are enough out there that you do not have to do business with them period.

Anonymous said...

I bailed when I felt I was being treated as a Wal-Mart employee considering I have other options to this shit (none of which are anyone else's business) & if I wanted to be demeaned, I can just become a stripper or prostitute & make much better money. Even panhandling might be preferable to some job sites I've heard about.

Anonymous said...

It's true, much better to jump ship. Of course there's no guarantee the project you jump to won't be a step down.

I jumped ship off the McCarter project for a supposed 2 month gig that had a great, above market rate. The only problem was that the agency called me (and a bunch of others) after day 2 saying the project was over...so then I had to start scrambling again...it's a never ending cycle, like a hamster stuck in the rotating wheel, chasing crumbs...

Anonymous said...

look out after number one in the jungle.... but your document reputation sometime is all you have in this business.... as weak as that might be...

close the law schools.. tell the truth.... OT for everybody...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the most infuriating thing is when the Temp agencies chastize or blacklist us for "jumping ship". So let me see if I understand this: you can fire us whenever you damn well please, looking out for your best interests without consequences, but when we look out for our interests and leave early we get blacklisted?

I get that I'm a temporary employee. I understand you are free to hire and fire at will. But the fact that we are temporary employees is a two way street. You can't get mad when we choose to leave; that's our right. You are supposed to be an honest business, just factor the turnover into your business plan and shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

"I get that I'm a temporary employee. I understand you are free to hire and fire at will. But the fact that we are temporary employees is a two way street. You can't get mad when we choose to leave; that's our right. You are supposed to be an honest business, just factor the turnover into your business plan and shut the fuck up." 12:11Am

When I did computer consulting, it was the same thing. They want the master servant relationship of a full time employee, not the duties that come with it. I have to be honest when I say I thought they would not pull any antics with attorneys. Attorneys are supposed to be a tough educated bunch that took not shit. I was wrong. Contract firms managed to accomplish in a decade what took them 20 years to do in the computer field.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they have control over us because they control the money. For these poor sods graduating from the bottom of their Toilet law schools with triple digit debt, they have no choice but sit there and click. These are the modern day indentured servants, forced to work off their crippling debt before they can be free to pursue a career of their own choosing. So as long as we have this indentured class, there is no real unionizing or work action to be had. These people need the money too much.

Sanka said...

I work in DC but I have found that DC blog to be worthless.

It is not informative. It seems to be written by a temp recruiter.

www.jdunderground.com seems much more interesting.

Also, the perverse use of the word "bail" is bizarrely prevalent in the DC area. It's a colloquial term that, as used, makes no sense in the normal or the legal world.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a_zaPzOgg.oc

"Sallie Mae Chief Executive Officer Albert Lord said in a conference call today with analysts ``We are literally in daily deliberations about how much further we can go.'' "


No government bailouts for Sallie Mae! In the last couple of years, that company has reaped millions in profits, Al Lord was able to build himself a fancy golf course, and those snakes have single-handedly created a generation of indentured servants. And now they want a government bailout?

Anonymous said...

I think with Citibank's announcement today of 9,000 losing jobs, combined with Bear Stearns expected 7,000, AT&T's 4,500, and Merrill Lynch's @ 4,000 (probably with more to come), added to the fact we all know what is going down in the law firms with associates, their cutting summer programs, and delaying arrival of the September class of new hires - the handwriting is on the wall.....litigation departments are not being beefed up, Milbank allegedly cut their staff attorneys......this contract attorneys game stuff will be impacted- time to go to a government job, or go with a small firm.......things are changing...creative destruction theory of economics also is hitting this profession...change is imminent. We need to figure out a new approach.

Anonymous said...

My one fervent wish is that some of these rude recruiters lose their jobs too...and wind up on a doc review project. Oh man, that would be so sweet.

Anonymous said...

If anyone out there was in sales prior to lawschool, know there is a booming market for attrneys with sales skills, selling everything from e-discovery tools to court reporting - most of em over 100 k base. I know a bunch of great recruiters, so inquiries welcome - that's how I got out.....

Anonymous said...

Some of these recruiters are downright nasty. It's like receiving a late night call from a pervert. They call you at all hours of the day, block their #'s, are very evasive about who they are and what they are calling about, and start to breath heavy when they find out that they might be able to snatch you up for one of their sweatshops.

Anonymous said...

1:36 - so true, so funny, yet so sad.

Anonymous said...

If people don't "jump ship" at bad projects, things will never get better.

The only time we won concessions at 2 Logan was when a bunch of people quit.

There is a reason they never set up an Internet cafe or haven't given us a raise in 20 months.

It's because everyone with a pulse has left, and all that are left are compliant fucktards like Mary Fran and Steve M.

Anonymous said...

allan cohen is a fkin snake.

Anonymous said...

and you are a jumpin jackass.

Hudson is a great agency and Allan Cohen is the best.

Anonymous said...

This one y'all might wanna take a look at...strange that it's taking place on a law school campus...law students beware ur being outsourced....

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/centers/gcl/outsource/

Anonymous said...

This country is going right into the toilet.

Anonymous said...

strange, for all of the debate on this topic so far, still think the first poster's post was the most on point.

Hudson and Alan Cohen can, in fact, "suck the dilznik"...well said sir!

Anonymous said...

And now in Haiku
An Ode To Hudson Legal:

Hudson sucks dilz-nik
Like cheap, trashy, Newark whore
Power to the temps!

Anonymous said...

Um... temps have no power. That's why you all keep getting abused at the same frozen hourly rate of 35/hr max.

Anonymous said...

9:10, ROFL! 180.

Anonymous said...

is it true that PA has stated that document review is not the practice of law ???

anybody have that ethics opinion anywhere ???

Anonymous said...

Well, I am here to tell you this is something that I was very interesting to read to say the least, it was sent to me by a friend and like you I have had some bad conditions as well that I would like to share. . The horror and suffering for a mere 50 dollars an hour, roach invested work spaces and yes in this day and age should be addressed as a health concern/hazard for this there is no doubts about that! To be given your walking paper via email also is wrong and cowardly act and showing lack of respect to you all. But you’re all a bunch of whining spoiled people who really don’t know how good you have it, no it is not the office of the DA on Law and Order, not the office with the big windows over looking the New York sky line and your not published in the article in Law Review with your name in big letters “Lawyer Wins Big Case!” It may not be steady work and at times you find yourself asking why the hell I became a lawyer in the first place? Myself like you attended law school, graduated top 10 percent in my class, took the bar like you did and wanted the fancy job like we all did but there were in short supply as I am sure you all know. I don’t consider my placement much better than yours and most would call me a foul for choosing what I did but I would not have changed it at all. For the record I am sadden to see what our profession has come down to and from what I have been told I am glade in a way that I am not faced with it, although I do wish I was in a funny sort of way.

My office is in a tent, sometimes a Hum V or even a air-conditioned hut, my employer/agency doesn’t give me big money nor do they really care what happens to us out here, the hours that we do would make your head spin. Roaches, they are prayed on by far worse things that you can’t begin to imagine such as scorpions which is a milder of what I sleep, eat and eat with here. I don’t wear a suite, a wear amour which adds 60 pounds of weight to my body, along with being hot during the day and cold at night. My basic meal for most of my days is a Meal Ready to Eat other wise known to people in my profession as a MRE and we have no microwaves to heat them up to that nice toasty um um good when we are out of the office. When I go out to plead a case the end result can be one of 2 ways we win and we go home, we loose we don’t. Yes, I am a lawyer and a soldier as well heck call me a Street Judge, jury and at time I carry out sentences hoping I did not prosecute the wrong person! My law office is 101st Airborne Division G Company JAG Officer located in beautiful down town Iraq, when I am not out strolling thru Central Park or looking for a Starbucks. So the next time you have to sit in a basement, maybe it is dirty, maybe there is a bug or two, when you have a nice meal and a Starbucks coffee think about my office and the cases I see everyday it will truly give you perspective. If not, come out to my temp agency, I have a lot of work to do!!!!! My apologies for getting on a soap box and I do wish you well, remember us because we will not forget you, that’s why my soldiers and I plead our case for you at home every day.

Anonymous said...

10:11-- You finished in the top 10 percent of your class?!? In what country? Your writing is horrible!

Anonymous said...

dear iraq lawyer:

are you hiring paralegals... i am barred attorney.. but certainly interesting in any full time position...

- sincerely,
one of millions with a jd

Anonymous said...

Wow, even the top 10% has to now to slum it out over in Iraq. This profession has become quite a toilet. Flush, flush!!

Anonymous said...

Did 10:10 admit to executing innocent people?

Anonymous said...

10:10 is a flame.

(1) Law Review articles don't have headlines like "Lawyer Wins Big Case." Law Review articles discuss academic topics, perhaps in the context of a case or cases. The purpose of a law review article is often to discuss theory, not the tabloid court case of the day.

(2) The "mere 50 dollars an hour" comment doesn't make sense. Nobody claimed to make that much base pay. It's possible generally only with OT or special projects involving technical expertise or foreign languages.

(3) "Myself like you attended law school, graduated top 10 percent in my class" - The vast majority of graduates who graduated in the top 10% of their class will not be document review contractors.

if 10:10 was really a JAG officer with good academic creditials, I don't think we'd see these mistakes. 10:10 is likely a non-lawyer looking for a flame.

Anonymous said...

I'll give 10:10 the benefit of the doubt and say he truly is a JAG officer. The spelling mistakes could be just mere mistakes typing on a tiny blackberry or whatever in the middle of the heat somewhere or in the darkness or whatever. and the entry was extra long, so typing fast in a super-long entry does create spelling mistakes.

But, dude, you kinda over-do it with your conditions. I have no doubt that it is harsh being stationed in Iraq, but I wonder about whether some of your statements are misleading.

Your office being an air-conditioned tent/hut or a HUM-V is pretty much on par with every other military officer serving there, if not better. unless you're a colonel or general, your conditions are pretty standard. No doubt your conditions are superior to the enlisted men who serve alongside you.

Yea, MREs don't get popped into a microwave. But the last time I had an MRE (several years ago) there were these things called "boilers" included in the package. Chemical mixes that heat your food. You make it sound like you eat frozen meat for dinner. come on now.

I'm also damn certain that you feel a lot more pride in your work than an average doc coder. You also get to see the product of your work. Jag officers aren't the only ones who hope they don't prosecute the wrong people. Stateside civilian prosecutors face similar dilemmas.

So yea, chill out for a second. You chose your profession of being a soldier and prosecutor hybrid. All the annoyances you face were well-known to you before you signed up. For contract attorneys, their conditions were totally unknown until their first contract job. When they complain, it's because their conditions fell far below their imaginations. Your conditions, Mr. Jag officer, are harsh, but also completely known before you dove in.

Good luck out there. Be safe.

Anonymous said...

Give the person a break....assuming he/she is being honest about the fact of being in Iraq and with JAG.

There is no doubt in my mind that if JAG did not place an age limitation on its program, there would be many, many others signing up to join. It would be far more interesting, although life threatening, then sitting in an office as an Associate or Senior Associate merely reviewing documents like us. Plus, one could pay off their student loans more quickly without having to endure the "big firm" game. How many doc reviewers wouldn't jump? JAG has offices in sites other than Iraq, it is better than sitting in the basement of S&C or McCarter...Plus, he does have a point, we aren't being shot at or risking never coming home.

Anonymous said...

If you want to jump ship all you have to do is consult one of your Nigerian colleagues on how to do it without burning a bridge. They will come up with a family tragedy story or some freak of nature as an excuse in a second. Or else they will educate you on working two project at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they can always be counted for these tricks. Double billing is second nature to them. Lying routinely on timesheets is a national right. They come to this country not to contribute, but to pilfer connive and deceive. It's no wonder the vast majority of the phishing schemes originate there, it's a culture of thievery.

I always watched with amazement when they would bill out for 12 hours each day, while actually working about 3. The bulk of the day was spent shopping, surfing the Internet and discussing low rent celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Yet the agencies continue to foist these criminals upon the other temps, co-workers and clients. It's hard to believe the Fortune 100 go for this crap, no wonder the jobs are being sent to India now.

Anonymous said...

I jumped ship from a V 50 firm only to get a two day gig at Denovo. The market sucks guys and gals. It's click until you cry or die.

Anonymous said...

It's looking more and more like this is the year of the big shift to India, leaving us NYC contract attorneys hitting the skids. Thanks corporate America!

Anonymous said...

You can't fire the Nigerians. They are a close knit gang of contract attorneys and will get together and scream racism if you call them out.

Anonymous said...

But you have to give it to the Nigerians. At the McCarter Project they heard the words "production date" and knew what to do. They all left soon after the date came while the rest of us listened to the stories about all the work that was to come. You know they are all working while everyone else hunts for some work.

Anonymous said...

Please, a lot of us left it was obvious the project was slowing down. They left because the hours were cut and they could no longer bill 15 hour days while actually working for 4.

Any retard on the planet could tell that the project was ending...I'm not "giving them" anything, although that's exactly what those grifters want.

Anonymous said...

I say go ahead and call them out, these days crying racism over a temp job is crying wolf...try and get the firms and agencies to hire you after that.

Anonymous said...

Sure, many expected the project to end. But the Nigerians had the timing and you can be sure they are all on another project. The ads for temp jobs has dried up since the axing. There are no jobs for all who were let go. Sure, one or two will come here and let us know they are working, but the vast majority did not see the ax coming and are now jobless. Obviously they are better at working the system. Unfortunately, many at the McCarter project were first timers or new grads and just didn't know how things work. If I heard once, I heard it multiple times from my fellow coders, "Why would they say there is work if there is none coming?" Maybe those of us who are not Nigerian need to stick together like they do- teach the new guys and set them straight. Just turning them on to this blog is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

all of you have my sympathy. the doc review thing is a hard one. I was lucky enough to escape to the criminal side about a year ago. Things are much nicer here.

Anonymous said...

(cont.)

what's the billable hour thing you all keep talking about?

Anonymous said...

Hudson pawned, Nigerians rock!

Anonymous said...

So which agencies use the Nigerian crews the most? After encountering them on a Hudson gig, I want to try to steer clear as best as I can.

Anonymous said...

Who are all these bitter folks calling Nigerians out? How dare you??? You meet one or two Nigerians and then you decide that we all act the same way??? How do you feel when folks go around calling out "Ugly Americans" just because they met several??
Most of us are older folks who have spouses and children and we work hard. We bill and we work. We don't come to gossip and hang out in the kitchen 'jawing' all the time. We especially do not go on the internet looking for Kerdashian (sp?). We have our priorities straight. If you didn't see the writing on the wall, what with the ME lawyers drilling "March 15th deadline" into our heads, then that's your bad luck. Don't blame someone for having the foresight to leave. If I were you, I'd quit trolling Tom the Temp and go sign up for unemployment. As for me and mine, we are on another project, earning $ and sending it to our extended families back home. Seriously. And for those who want to steer clear, then go right ahead. We won't notice. Gosh, the stupidity of some of you is enough to make my head spin!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with one of the posts above. That "MyAttorneyBlog" guy is either a recruiter or someone in the PR department of a recruiting agency. It's been my experience that if you jump, the agency might be angry with you for a month or so, but if another project comes along, you're back to being just as good as any other contract zombie. They dpn't care about loyalty. All they care about is filling seats and clicking documents.

Anonymous said...

You may be right. It's also interesting to note that "MyAttorneyBlog" guy promotes another site on one of his blogs:

"Our friend Gabe Acevedo, over at Gabe’s Guide forwarded this article to me earlier today. Gabe’s Guide is a brand new blog that focuses on trends in contract staffing and a behind-the-scenes look at which staffing agencies are staffing the juiciest projects."

Apparently, this Gabe guy works for delta group.
http://jdwired.com/

I am tired of recruiters giving seminars and writing articles on the "benefits" of being a contract attorney. Like they know what it's like to work crazy hours with no benefits in tiny closets with egomanical bosses and sick coworkers hacking next to you all day.

Anonymous said...

Not all Nigerians are scammers, but the vast majority of those that I have worked with in the temp world bill a lot of hours and do very little work. They disappear for hours doing their own personal business, like going to court etc. Some will try to do two projects at the same time. They do jump ship a lot giving the agency some baloney excuse. The most egregious offenders, like the double biller who tries to sell you real estate, do give the others a bad name. The overall attitude seems to be do whatever you can get away with, and you are a stupid American if you are an honest, conscentious worker. The temp world is ripe for this mentality given the way agencies and law firms treat temp attorneys. And there is no lack of slackers and scammers in the overall pool of temp attorneys be they Nigerian or not. The issue is that when you are a relatively small easily recognizable group it doesn't take that many bad apples to screw it up for everybody else in the group. However, agencies generally just care about the short term bottom line which is how many hours you bill, and most Nigerians are "hard working" in that sense.

Anonymous said...

I blame it on the agencies. They could easily weed out the bad apples, if they wanted to. The fact of the matter is that the people who they consider "hard working" are those that simply bill the greatest amount of hours. I was once on a project and the lady next to me hardly did any work, chatted on the phone, snuck off to court, and did half the number of documents and those that she did do were probably all screwed up because she didn't even read them. To my surprise, I was the one who was given a reprimand by my agency because I was only billing 59 hours a week. The more you work in this industry, the more disgusted you become.

Anonymous said...

yes, it's really just a scam and a fiction for billing purposes. It seems insane that they can't develop a decent program to scan and filter out the documents in a more manageable way than most of these firms. The irrelevant crap I've seen is enough to bury an elephant. The ridiculous Sandbox antics of most temp attys makes me embarassed to be classified as such. I've endeavored to be honest and professional, but these qualities are not useful to an agency or law firm. The above post was correct, most hours wins, hands down. The shameful dishonesty and outright lying I've seen by Nigerians and others are shocking, but largely ignored.

The firms always pay lip service to curtailing fraud and as the fraud is gradually revealed, more and more retarded and punitive rules are applied to all attorneys. Thus at the end of the day, the only incentive for honesty is your own propriety.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never thought I'd see educated people actually writing that Nigerians as a whole appear to bill a lot of hours and do very little work. That is wrong on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

"Not all Nigerians are scammers, but the vast majority of those that I have worked with in the temp world bill a lot of hours and do very little work". What is wrong with a factual statement based on observation and experience? Just because you are educated does not mean you have to close your eyes to the reality around you for the sake of political correctness. I believe it is high time to expose these scammers and the agencies that place them. I would invite other people who are experienced temps to weigh in on this.

Anonymous said...

I've seen it first hand, what sets them apart from the other scammers on projects (and there are many) is the work as a team to defraud the agencies and firms. They are also utterly brazen and act as if it's their right to defraud us hapless Americans.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, the Nigerians are Americans.

Don't you have a cross to burn somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I have worked with a nigerian woman for 3 plus years and have nothing but positive things to say about her. She is smart, dedicated to hard work, dilligent and personable. Stop with the BS stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

Staffing agencies' personnel regularly monitor this site......

Anonymous said...

How many people believe 9:02pm's post above? Three years temp job, smart, dedicated etc?

Anonymous said...

Well, Nigerians are famous for brazenly lying, what's to stop them from fabricating stories on this board?

Hard to imagine a three year temp gig sitting next to the same person...hmmmm maybe you are right.

Anonymous said...

There are projects that last for years. 9:02 PM's story is not out of the realm of possibility.

Anonymous said...

The same way that it's not out of the realm of possibility that as a doc reviewer I may end up as partner one day. And I may receive millions if I forward a check in order to release that Nigerian money which is lying in escrow in Switzerland!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I just sent my $10,000 dollar wire to the wonderful Nigerian Barrister who notified me of my inheritance. My distant relative, filthy rich, died in a plane crash in Nigeria. Now, ten years later these kind hearted souls in Nigeria have finally tracked me down, the rightful heir.

I can't wait to get my $10,000,000. And to think I only had to send $10,000 to Nigeria to get this money. They are such sweet and kind people.

Kris said...

10.11 gets nil points for conciseness.

I've been a temp and if one does not look out for himself first, no other fckuer will.

I'd told a few to shove it. The recruiters are shameless and will call you again regardless. Then the question is, do you really need that sh&t in your life?

I stopped returning their calls and have so far lived to work another day.

Kris said...

BTW, Nigerians themselves will tell you the country is rife with corruption.

Anonymous said...

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with the following:
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5.Occupation

whosfoolingwho said...

Sentiments aside, on the McCarter project, the Nigerians worked equally as hard as anyone else. And they played equally as hard as anyone else. Why all this uncalled for fascination with the Nigerians? Is it because over 90% of them jumped off a sinking ship for for a sleekier vessel? I think the lesson to take home here is the importance of solidarity in numbers.

Anonymous said...

yawn...enough of this dreary topic. Good luck to all on the SS Temptanic, Nigerians and others.

Please stop your flames now.

Anonymous said...

The Nigerians are clearly the SMARTEST people on the project because they understand that their work is a scam, whereas many posters to this borads seems to believe that DocRev is a job of some kind.

So, just continue to work your ass off while I and my African friends smoke weed, gossip, pad our hours, and earn twice what you do.

Suckers