Thursday, December 04, 2008

Down in the Data Mines



Check out the following article from the ABA Journal:

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/down_in_the_data_mines/


Speaking of the ABA, don't forget to vote for Temporary Attorney in the 2008 Blawg100 competition. Looks like we are in stiff competition against the Clerkship Notification blog. As someone on JDU so aptly noted,

"How the fuck is the 'Clerkship Notification Blog' ahead of Temporary Attorney? Who the fuck even cares about what judge some ivy league dickwad is going to be sucking off next term? It's almost insulting because it's as though a whole class of legal workers are being ignored and swept under the rug. I wouldn't be surprised if they rigged the "voting" to ensure that TemporaryAttorney doesn't win.

By voting TTT to the top, the plight of the vast majority of today's law grads will at least get some attention from the ABA. They would like to go on believing that the big issue of the day in the minds of recent law grads is who gets a judicial clerkship, but we have to show them just how bad today's legal job market really is.

FUCK THE ABA. Spread the message through as many of their own channels as possible!"


http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_2008/careers

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love these articles that explain a document review as if no one has ever heard of it. Totally silly stuff, I wish these idiots would stop outing themselves to rags like this, exposure only hurts us and does not help.

esb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Best article so far. This should put to rest the myths put forth by scum shysters like Joan King who mislead prospective students and later sell them into a miserable life of dead end indentured temp debt servitude.

esb said...

He forgot to mention how many people go "codal" as we call it in Chicago. The atty's who flip out, who throw tantrums, who don't know proper etiquette are abundant in this profession...though, I assume it's prevalent in many other professions as well.

Anonymous said...

You can only suffer so long doing this shit before going postal.

Anonymous said...

When are we putting together our union?

Anonymous said...

It's only a matter of time before this happens on a doc review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggpq5mRdxaY

Anonymous said...

Doc review is a good money maker, if you don't like it leave it to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

His experience doesn't sound so bad. Got to wear jeans and t-shirt, sounds kinda like the gig I'm on now except that we have windows. I think he pretty much got it right.

I love how the article has a poll and one of the options is "This is horrible! We should do something about this!" A lot of attorneys I know would love to get on a gig like that right now.

Vote for Tom!

Dylan Drummond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am a lowly paralegal who feels that temp attorneys should totally UNIONIZE. You guys get treated like crap!! Although many of you are highly educated, very smart and nice and have invested thousands in your education. I have worked at many of the major firms and seen what happens to you. It is truly a shame! Someone needs put the crappy temp agencies with their low-class ghetto lady recruiters in place!!

Anonymous said...

pfffffffffffffffft union.

Anonymous said...

Why does talking about what we do hurt us? I would think that exposing the real nature of our environments would lead to some improvement due to relative ignorance ot it.

And why do doc reviewers like to call projects: "gigs". Are we putting on a show?

Anonymous said...

Yes- the show you put on is the FREAK SHOW.

Anonymous said...

maybe going to law school is a mistake, but i guess the same could be said for going to college?

there are now more college grads looking for jobs than high school dropouts. http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/05/news/economy/degreed_workers/index.htm?postversion=2008120514

TROLLOP said...

The ABA was pretty straightforward on this one. Now we can't say that we are so invisible. Surely future potential students will surf the ABA and decide to take other options. Unless, of course, they decide to hide out from the bad job market in law school. If they actually study and don't smoke weed every day like we did, we'll never get a job. You know, the sober students who have GPA's above 3 will get all the jobs. We need a bailout from our loans.

Anonymous said...

What bemuses me as a law school drop-out turned cop, is that you guys think document review is "stressful," "mind-numbing" or "embarrassing." The only reason it feels that way to you is because the vast majority of you don't have any *real* life experience to compare it to. Have you ever had to handle a situation where someone was ejected from their car on the interstate? Ever had to deal with a maniac high on meth and your backup is several minutes away? And to top it off, you guys make incredible money just by clicking the mouse!

I will gladly trade my gun and my badge for your shitty office and mouse. Anyone want to take me up on this?

Anonymous said...

we are suppose to believe that a cop who dropped out of law school would be posting on this site?

Anonymous said...

The cop is right. TECHNICALLY, it is easy work. But when you figure in the lack of air, the mice, no bathroom breaks, cramped quarters it's like Rikers.

Robert said...

The cop is tight about conditions and such. They aren't as bad as some people's work conditions.

HOWEVER, the cop knows he'll have a job next week, and if he keeps doing a good job, he'll gain seniority and experience that will be actually meaningful in the job market.

Anonymous said...

The cop can also retire at 45. Most of us won't even be out of the hole with our debt at that point.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but does anyone believes a cop is spending his free time on Tom the Temp? If so, can I sell you some prime beach front property?

Carolyn Elefant said...

I know this is probably a really stupid question, but if you hate temp work so much, why don't you try to wean yourself off it? I understand the concept of debt - I had $70,000 in college/law school debt when I graduated in 1988, and I was employed for 5 years which enabled me to pay it down. Still, after I was laid off from my job and couldn't find other work, I started my own practice. I did some temp work in my early days but it was pretty flexible - and within a year weaned myself off of it entirely. Why work underneath large firm lawyers in the hopes someone will notice you, when you can go up against them in court and have them take notice that way? You have JDs - why subject yourself to this nonsense?

Anonymous said...

quitcher shillin'!

Anonymous said...

$70,000 Carolyn? Awww, that's cute. I have $170,000. That's why there will be no 'weaning' for me in the near future. I've sold my soul to the document review devil. I'm pretty sure I'm a lifer.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn-- looking at the job market now, does your suggestion make sense? Remember, the issue is not just in temp land, but with the overall economy. The problem is that school debt is too high, and the real wages for most are going down rather than up. It's not impossible to replicate what you did, but it takes a lot longer than you think, especially in a market like NYC. Yes, we could go to other markets, but then that creates the catch 22- those other markets pay less. Trust me. I've looked. The real problem is the systemic nature of our society. There are a lot of systemic failures going right now. We we are living through is the failure of 30 years of poorly crafted social structures coming home to bite all of us in the ass. It's no just temps. it's everyone. Hell, all you have to do is look at the front page of the NY Times to realize the flaw in your game plan.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn-- looking at the job market now, does your suggestion make sense? Remember, the issue is not just in temp land, but with the overall economy. The problem is that school debt is too high, and the real wages for most are going down rather than up. It's not impossible to replicate what you did, but it takes a lot longer than you think, especially in a market like NYC. Yes, we could go to other markets, but then that creates the catch 22- those other markets pay less. Trust me. I've looked. The real problem is the systemic nature of our society. There are a lot of systemic failures going right now. We we are living through is the failure of 30 years of poorly crafted social structures coming home to bite all of us in the ass. It's no just temps. it's everyone. Hell, all you have to do is look at the front page of the NY Times to realize the flaw in your game plan.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn - Also, you said that you were employed for five years before you tried any temping. Many temps don't have that kind of experience to fall back on. Doc Review experience is the same as no experience at all.

Anonymous said...

Finally someone has shone a light on what this is really all about--"Doc Review experience is the same as no experience at all." If you aren't one of the ones to graduate with a job in hand, there are few options out there besides doc review (unless of course you plan to default on your loans).

Projects will hire you with little to no experience, and in a saturated market with few available entry level associate positions, there isn't really a choice involved. Telling doc reviewers to get out if they don't like it is not something the vast majority of us can do. It's a hard thing to have gone through school and worked really hard, only to discover that you won't be able to participate in the career you were trained for.

Years can pass on some projects. The main difference between years on a doc review job and years on any other job is that the doc reviewer's status will never change. We will never earn any experience that will allow us to move up to another position- either there or anywhere else. No one wants to hire doc reviewers because it isn't "real" experience. That's a tough thing to hear especially when you know that there is essentially no difference between you and the Staff Attorney who is "supervising" you. Doc review requires a law degree, but it does not actually require you to use it.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Mary and Joseph, what a bunch of pathetic whiners! (most of you posting and even TTT).
You have a professional degree. Use it. Be a professional. Doc review time doesn't count for legal experience--do something that does. Volunteer with a legal aid group or act as a guardian ad litem.
Don't like reviewing docs? Don't. Open you own office. Switch careers. Go on welfare. Find a sugar daddy/mommy.
No one held a gun to your head to go to law school OR to get loans. You were all of age, arguably intelligent, and rational when you made the decision to go to law school and to pay for law school the way you did.
My projects have been great (generally). Air-conditioned offices, occasional free-food, funny personal emails in the documents, a shit-load of money for sitting and reading.
I agree with the cop--try working a job where the greatest work hazard isn't DVT.

Pussies. What a bunch of pussies.

Anonymous Contract Lawyer

Carolyn Elefant said...

Actually, $70,000 in debt from 1988 is about the equivalent of $130,000 today. I started as a GS11 at the government in 1988 earning $27,500 and today a GS 11 earns double that, so I'm assuming that my debt is also nearly double what is was today.

On the experience side, while I did have 5 years work experience, it was in a narrow practice area. All of the court appointed criminal work and civil that I did, I learned from scratch.

By the way, thank you for all being very polite in your comments. I do agree that there are systemic issues at stake here, and hopefully the economy will improve and make life easier for all of you.

Anonymous said...

"The Firm" pays you nothing, then bills the client or files a fee petition for



"The Firm" pays you next to nothing, then bills the client or files a fee petition for $500/hr. for your time. Maybe you like this.