Wednesday, April 23, 2008

White & Case



"Worked on a job at White & Case last week. Originally we were told in our interviews with the associate that it would be 2-3 weeks. Then on Monday, they came in and said that it needed to be done by Thursday. 4 days! We were given wrong directions, never shown how to properly code the system, and when someone accidentally went into the wrong documents, they didn't discover it until Friday. Total disaster!

The person who accidentally did the wrong docs, because of poor directions and incompetent feedback and planning on the part of the law firm, was told that she was not getting paid at all! On pay day, we were paid zilch, nothing! Payroll said none of our timesheets had been approved by W&C. Now supposedly they have, but we won't get paid until next week. I have been doing this for long enough and I have encountered a lot of underhanded things by agencies and firms, but never has a firm stooped this low."

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who was the agency?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, who is this agency? I know the Stepford Wives usually staff W & C.

Anonymous said...

I only thought Dine pulled this crap?

Anonymous said...

Strategic

Anonymous said...

The White & Case key contact who requested from the agency "x" number of temps for this project is in a very tough position. The W&C associates who have poor management and communication skills clearly, and the senior associates and Partners involved with this litigation should be the ones blocked from billing for the time. It is the law firm's incompetence, not the contract attorneys. The hiring staffing agency clearly got on the telephone with W&C's managing partner. At least they represented you (and themselves by probably threatening a law suit and going public). If W&C could have gotten away with it, in this down market, they would have. Now they have the dirty little job of telling their client what went wrong, but of course we all know they'll blame it on the temps. Still, they look bad in the client's eyes - some associate will hit the streets e.g. their chosen "fall" guy, bet it will be a woman.

Anonymous said...

In case you hadn't noticed, the legal temp market is bottoming out in NYC, new lows are reached daily.

It has become so unbearable to work on these hideous projects...this is one example of the many horrors.

I thought it was bad before, but it just keeps getting worse and worse. The latest trend is that most of The jobs are really super short term now, 1-2 weeks tops (of course they often say 2-3 months). Which seems to indicate a lot of the longer term work is now being done in India.

Aside from the craziness of an occasional McCarter type project, contract attorney work is clearly on the wane in NYC. It looks like long, hot brutal summer is ahead for those seeking work. Even those who get work will be subjected to this abusive, crass and vulgar treatment. So much for the "White Shoe" firm, sounds like shitlaw to me.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Treadwell is starting to make his mark on Strategic....

Anonymous said...

Yes, the "frankendizing" of Strategic is well under way.

Anonymous said...

White & Case had good subsidized cafeteria - yummmmmm.

Anonymous said...

White & Case has always been abusive to temps. Back in the late 90's there was a huge cattle call located in the basement of the bldg. There was no natural light and paper everywhere. People were crammed in. There was a paralegal who was African American in charge. He was about 6 ft. 6 and thought it was funny to bring a baseball bat down there to the basement. He liked to tell people they couldn't take a bathroom break.

Anonymous said...

Stop whining. Whine, whine, whine, whine. Woe is me. Stop temping if conditions are so abysmal. Get off your ass and find a job that is more agreeable to you. Stop the freakin sucky baby whining.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:32 - what a bunch of whiny C*NTS in here.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the blogger above about a long hot summer for temps, but also with the blogger who states W&C has always been at the bottom. I wonder how they survive, in the mid-1990s when M&A work was plenty, their associates NEVER really knew what they were doing. In fact, they'd have to turn to the contract attorneys too far often for my taste. I think it is a poorly managed firm from the top. It was always bad karma there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, so whiny, they actually want to get paid for the work they've done! How dare those uppity temps demand pay...what's next, demands for full time jobs and benefits? The nerve of those lowly temps!

Anonymous said...

These idiots who complain about "whiny" temps are not real temps and they have another agenda when they post their garbage. This site is a forum for airing grievances and exposing the shoddy practices of agencies and law firms, and it does have a positive impact on our working conditions. Agencies and law firms do not like to be embarassed because it affects their bottom line.

Anonymous said...

then don't hire them... if you don't want the temps and don't want to have the decency to treat people with respect, then don't bring them aboard... have your paralegals do it... these firms want it both ways... people do this type of work... with people comes personality ... the work is so boring it almost brings out personality...

don't hire temps if you don't want the hassle... if you bring them in, then deal with it..

Anonymous said...

I worked at w&c for 4 months and they were very nice and treated us as professionals. It was shocking.

Robert said...

It is probably not an attorney that makes these horrible decisions. What I've noticed by working in these firms is that there are plenty of support staff (paralegals, secretarys, payroll and accounting, facility managers) that make stupid, arbitrary decisions in order to mkae themselves more important than they really are. They figure they would "save" the firm by refusing to pay. I mean, even an attorney from Shit Bowl School of Law could see the ramifications of this. I am not knocking support staff, by the way...I am just saying that they go out of their way to save the day, out of a sense of insecurity..trust me, there are also attorneys with that same overestimated sense of self-importance as well. In any case, everyone deserves to be treated like humans.

Anonymous said...

What are people talking about? This sounds like a complete non-story. I dunno about the case of the one person they said they won't pay, but the rest of them clearly are getting paid, it's just coming a week late. It's not a big deal.

Anonymous said...

Just coming a week late? Ummmm, people have bills to pay.

Anonymous said...

You know W&C was going to eventually approve the time sheets. Otherwise they couldn't charge it back to the client at an inflated rate. Just had to have their childish little hissy-fit.

Anonymous said...

Sure, just humiliate the lowly temp whenever you can. It's the right and privilege of all biglaw employees.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we all have it wrong. I suspect the W&C Associates on the particular project, or the Associate assigned to manage the work for the contract attorneys, or (heaven forbid) the partner(s)with the duty to execute the "mission" did not clearly understand what was their mission at whatever stage of litigation the case existed when the contract attorney were hired. If an attorney doesn't understand the mission of their work, they oftentimes end up with work-product they can't use and/or work product that the client's GC finds unncessary and for which the client won't pay. It is not outside the possibility that it was the law firm associates who did not know what they were doing in terms of strategy - of the case. If they don't understand the case and the effective way to move from "x" to "y", they will conceptualize the task incorrectly, and then assign contract attorneys a goal that is irrelevant and a waste of time. There is no way that support staff have the authority or status to make a decision on whether or not a bill is paid. If an Associate is trying to hide the mistake from the partner, or the partner is sleazy enough to try to hide the problem from the client, they might stupidly try to hide it further by at least trying to get away with not paying the bill.....even if this isn't entirely accurate, from my experience it is close to the mark. Who ever gave orders that the contract attorneys do "x" just did not "get it" or understand the mission, and that fact was then acted out in the work the contract attorneys did do........no matter what, W&C should be embarassed.

Anonymous said...

4:38 PM

Contrary to your beliefs, I (the idiot who posted the "whining" comment) am indeed a temp. In fact, I've temped for going on 3 years now simply because I can't be assed to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Yes, temps get treated like temps. Quel surprise. My problem is that too many of my fellow temps have a victim complex as if they are not the authors of their own circumstances. If you are driven to complain every single day of your life about the living death you endure clicking away at a mouse and getting paid well to do so, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!! Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Well, you are reading this blog and posting too, idiot. Go back to your cave and click.

Anonymous said...

5:17pm I don't disagree with you, but I think there is a difference between whining all the time as some temps do and other temps who try to make our living conditons better by exposing the outrageous practices in the industry. I also agree that if you hate the business so much you should try and get out, but the fact of the matter is, it is difficult to that.

Kris said...

thanks gang for allowing me to be grateful for repeatedly failing the NY Bar.

Sometimes, the bad news is the good news.

I've sorted myself out in another jurisdiction. Thank you, Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I hope that those of us who have become so discouraged by many factors understand that there are trends working against them such that their complaining becomes irrelevant. The solution will be forced upon them and the rest of us. That is, growing trend (as in seen in permanent placement advertisements on a variety of on-line sites many sites not the "usual suspects", but rather difficult to find sites)that larger and medium law firms in NYC are just developing their own fleet of staff attorneys devoted solely to discovery e.g. cutting out staffing agencies. We are becoming irrelevant, therefore, why would there occur improvements in our "industry". Energy is ultimately being placed elsewhere to a level that will eliminate our need as contract attorneys. Wasting time by complaining.The handwriting is on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Well, there really aren't that many e-discovery/staff attorney type jobs out there. Sure, the big firms hire a few, but they always need temps too. The real issue is that the long term, reliable temp work is being shipped out to India.

The Posse list sent its estimates of the number of projects ongoing in NYC and DC. They estimated 54 in DC and 42 in NYC. Something is very wrong when there are more doc review projects happening in DC than in NYC. It's clear that the work is indeed drying up.

I think there will always be the short term stuff, 1-4 week projects, but this kind of work instability leads to crazy, stressed out temps and unbearable projects. Now that outsourcing is a solid alternative, firms can have the whole thing sent away and they don't have to deal with horrendous management issues, physical space for the reviewers, car service, meals, etc.

So you can basically forget becoming a document review attorney in NYC, unless you want to find a new job every few weeks. What's really sick is what is going to happen now to all the new TTT grads saddled with $100,000+ of crippling debt. Hopefully future attorneys will do more research and get better, more honest information from the law schools.

This time I believe the shit is really going to hit the fan. The legal industry is due for a long overdue correction and it won't be pretty.

Anonymous said...

4:51, Robert is right. At Hudson, the ironically named Luwisa Smart in payroll basically has free reign of the place. I think the higher-ups allow it because messing with her could lead to all kinds of "mistakes" being made in their paychecks, and who wants the hassle of fixing them all in order to get paid?

Anonymous said...

"Well, you are reading this blog and posting too, idiot. Go back to your cave and click.

6:37 PM"

Yes, Enlightened One, I AM reading this blog and posting. That was not the point of my anti-whining post. It's called boredom. I only recently found out about this site and I admit that it often amuses me enough to stop back every now and then. I also find the info on the temp 'market' somewhat interesting. I'm not saying that there aren't bad projects out there, because apparently, there are. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine when people victimize themselves by complaining constantly and not acting to improve their situations. I just fail to see how we are FORCED to do what we are doing. There are always other options out there. It's not easy. Nothing is. Which is why you have to become less inert and motivate yourself to seek out other opportunities. Difficult if you don't know what you want to do, I will admit.

Anonymous said...

Changes in the legal profession are well over-due. Forcing law schools to change is well over-due.
No matter how painful for either, change is inevitable, and both crises and change offers opportunity. One just needs to "accept" it, and go with it.

Anonymous said...

The temp at the Strategic/White & Case project is a morbidly obese lazy whiner. She complained about her commute, her bowels, her condo, etc. She coded less than a third of the docs that everyone else did. She was too busy eating and complaining to do any work.

Anonymous said...

re kris at 4.38

How did Roy Keane make it onto this blog.

Are you Irish?

Anonymous said...

Not paying you temps is a very bad business and legal decision (sec. 193 NY Labor)... if that actually happened.

Anonymous said...

Find your next legal job at:
www.joboholics.com
blog
chat
video training
video resume
and more.
FREE

Anonymous said...

7:15 We got paid, but we had to wait two weeks. The temp industry standard is one week.