Monday, December 01, 2008

Evelyn Louie: "Times Are Tough"

"I am working at De Novo right now. I feel very lucky to have a job. Evelyn came into our office last week to let us all know that times are tough and all new projects will be staffed at a $35 flat rate, as the market is so tight. Also, all other 'perks' like free lunch on Fridays have been cut.

Just an update for your site. It would be good to hear what other agencies are saying. The rumor at De Novo is that we maybe seeing some agencies fold.

Hope your employed!"

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she's doing a good job of manipulating you.

Anonymous said...

Did any of you have enough courage to ask does that mean the clients would be charged less? If not, there is no basis for $35 as a flat rate since each warm body will still be charged out to the client for at least $200/hr.

Anonymous said...

I agree. There is no way that the client or De Novo is taking a cut in their billing rate. Even if they were, I doubt she would tell you. Evelyn is merely using the "times are tough" speil to cut out lunches and reduce pay so she can keep more of the money for herself.

Anonymous said...

They are cutting back, quite simply, because they can. There is no marketplace for temps, as Mumbai has a growing percentage for first line stuff. People are happy to have jobs, at all now so they will not complain.

This blog should focus on sharing information, rather than complaining. All that resulted from the bitching was removal of the work to Mumbai.

Anonymous said...

"Hi, Evelyn Louie!"

Anonymous said...

As much as practicable make plans to leave the profession. It's been a respectable paycheck, but we're feeling the same squeeze blue collar workers started feeling back in the 80s when their jobs were being outsourced. It's nothing personal. The companies that employ us are just trying to maximize profit and as temps we have no market power. $35 per hr is becoming the new ceiling and "you should be happy to have a job," is the new mantra of the people who reluctantly sign our paychecks. We all spent a lot of money on a graduate degree to become very fungible labor with no bargaining power. Welcome to the new economy.

Anonymous said...

The agency and law firm middlemen have been gouging up our billing rates over the years. Our wages have remained stagnant, yet the middle men have been receiving an ever greater. The chickens have finally come home to roost.

Anonymous said...

The days are dark, the weather is dreary, the economy is in shambles, and I am about to lose my house.

Anonymous said...

Man times are tough. I am registered with 17 agencies in NYC and 2 in Boston and there is nothing out there, with the exception of the SWS/DiscoveryReady shit.

What I want to know is what are the folks doing at the high-volume agencies like Hudson and Lexolution? Aren't they suffering like us? You would think they would do something about the outsourcing to India, given that they lose out too. They have space rented out in NYC with no-one to fill that space and I don't believe they're at all involved in the outsourcing fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Everyone says "leave the law" but there's nowwhere to go...it's a disaster out there.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Hudson GLOBAL Resources is in no way involved in the outsourcing fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Hudson Global but I doubt Hudson legal is in India.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the $35.00 for now. The market should improve, it can't all be going to India. Once some of the rescue money spills out, things should pick up.

The recruiters have to be sitting there worrying too. Regardless, from what I understand, Evelyn Louie doesn't enjoy a great reputation. They black list people there. When it picks up again like last year, I won't be taking there calls.

Anonymous said...

If the firms has any sense, they'd hire the temps direct and make them sign a temp at will employment K. They could bypass the pigs like Evelyn Louie, and save a lot.

Anonymous said...

Law firms will never directly higher temps as a rule. There has always been the incentive directly hire us. Why? Because of two basic rule of economics: a) the more layers that you add, the more cost (cutting into profits); and b) the more inefficient the system for the purpose of management (cutting into profits in other ways like additional managers, processing of information,etc). Law firms know this. So, it's not about economics. It's about the way they become comfortable doing things. You may find more flexibility at small and midsized firms. Then again, maybe things will get so bad that big law will change. So here's hoping that some of these agencies do die off?

Anonymous said...

she said times are tough, bitches. she is making less $, so she gotta do what she gotta do. who cares about specific billing issues? she's getting by, and i suggest you do too. you commenters have a kindergarten idea of "fair"---pussies

Anonymous said...

So asking whether she is using the economy to pocket extra money from fearful temps is about fairness rather than business? That's a new one. You are either an idiot (most likely) or a troll agency. Either way, it's kind of sad you feel the need to post here. A child could see through what you wrote. Who were you trying to convince here?

Anonymous said...

I have my first group interview/test for a Document Review position tomorrow.

Can anybody shed some light on what type of test I will be taking, and what I may need to know?

Anonymous said...

A test? Are you interviewing with Barasso? Here is all you need to know: http://www.jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=25708

Anonymous said...

They give you a test on a pharma case. You look for privilege etc... I haven't heard any thing good about them, if it is Barasso.

Anonymous said...

nah, not Barasso. So basically it's just a bunch of documents that have communications between attorneys and clients and you have to mark them as privileged?

Anonymous said...

Aside from foreign language proficiency tests, I never had to take a test for one of these things. What a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

The test will involve you getting your knees and blowing the partner, associate or perhaps your agency contact. As long as you are willing to this on command, you will be fine.

Anonymous said...

You guys think you have it bad in the law, at least they pay you on time!

http://jobwhore.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Which firm is this giving the test? The bar exam wasn't enough. I'd love to see the moron who is giving the test.

Anonymous said...

"There is no explanation given, you are just shown the door. Hence the revolving door of people coming in and going out, fired after a month and half."

Anonymous said...

As for the person taking some kind of test, he/she sounds like a doc review newbie - so he/she may not be aware that the outfit in Westfield, NJ was bought out and is no longer known as Barasso Consulting - it has to be that job because nobody else is actively advertising and they are the only ones I've heard of who give you a test.

Anonymous said...

thanks for all the advice. They said it was a group interview/test for Deloitte, who I guess is the firm that acquired Barrasso.

This sounds like fun. So glad I went to law school.

Anonymous said...

I hope to god the ttt law schools get shut the fuck down for selling students a dream that no longer exists while putting them in debt for the next 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Does DeNovo even have any ongoing projects? Downtown or uptown? Lex is slow.

Anonymous said...

to the person going for a test at "Deloitte" - yes, that is definitely "The Company formerly known as Barasso" - unfortunately you will not get the benefits and perks of being an employee of Deloitte the huge accounting/management firm - it is only a subsidiary

Anonymous said...

business has been booming this week in NYC

Anonymous said...

10:18

As far as business is concerned, you have to remember that you are not paid to think--back to clickin! Your business error is mistaking her business for your business

PoppaSquat said...

For anyone who is interested... the movie Cadillac Records is coming soon. What does this have to do with temping? Well, the movie was filmed on the streets of Newark during the McCarter project. Anyone walking for Thai food for lunch was witness to Beyonce walking down the street filming scenes for the flick. Ah, the glamors of coding!

Anonymous said...

8:01: What agency doesn't blacklist people? If you suck or you are a liar you are getiing blacklisted. What is so unfair about that? Should agencies continue to work with sub-par candidates when there are plenty of other candidates that are a pleasure to work with? I'm sure De Novo will be really upset that you don't take their calls. Oh No! Only another 999 candidates to try.

Anonymous said...

Agencies also blacklist people that don't unconditionally suck up to them and do everything the law firm or the agency asks them to do. I once reported to my agency rep my concern regarding some ethically questionable behavior going on at my firm site. She informed me that she would address with her higher ups. Not only did she not address the issue, but a week later I was removed from the project and blacklisted. So be it. Putting my license on the line isn't worth it for some shitty temp job or some bottom feeding agency rep.

Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself 5:36-- it's not like that "license" has really provided you with a means to earn a living.

WAHHHH!!! The agencies owe me! WAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

DeNoway said...

Watch the Capra movie, It's a Wonderful Life and there you will see Evelyn Louie's mentor, Mr. Potter. Think twice before you believe anything coming out of this twisted soul less woman's mouth. Evelyn Louie has a disposition which would make Richard Nixon seem care free and an enemy's list that would make Richard Nixon's look short by comparison. Evelyn Louie and Rob Singer are the pariahs of the legal profession. Contract attorneys are taking a paycut so Louie can eat more and make her Big Ass even bigger than it already is. Evelyn Louie is simply an opportunistic disinformationalist.

Anonymous said...

oh no! no more free lunches?!? only $35 an hour?!? no full time benefits?!? instead of whining you are entitled to things, how about you suck it up and do whatever job they are paying you for. Or you know, get a real job. or maybe you can wait it out and your next job will come with a free pony.

Anonymous said...

Get a real job? HUH? You mean like, actually DO something besides click and complain I don't get a corporate jet?

Our real jobs are to blame everything on our law schools and agency recruiters.

Anonymous said...

Per diem lawyers for the state pays 250+ a day. State is getting rid of union lawyers and would prefer per diem folks, and, unlike the fuckers in the temp world, they actually do hire from the per diem ranks. Once you get on perm staff they have to kill you to get rid of you (no 4 a.m. calls firing you) & now BHO says he will pay your loans. Plus, most of the state per diem gigs permit you to have a practice on the side while you make the connections. Ain't for everyone, but hey....

an ex-temp.

Anonymous said...

But will the state also give us the lunches and cars we are ever so entitled to???

Anonymous said...

9:38-Nice Richard Nixon obsession.You don't seem too crazy or anything.

Anonymous said...

Good luck at the Barrasshole/Deloitte nightmare - good rule of thumb - the fatter your supervisor, the less you should trust them.

Anonymous said...

Staff Attorney for Paul Weiss gets killed by girdlfriend's ex boyfriend.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20081203_Lawyer_was_victim_of_murderous_jealousy__friends_say.html

Anonymous said...

Philalawyer's book is out. Even the guys will real jobs are depressed.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061349496?tag=tuckermaxcom-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=0061349496&creative=373489&camp=211189

Anonymous said...

As an agency recruiter, I can assure you folks a few things: The rates that are paid to the temp attorneys are almost ALWAYS set by the firm, not the agency. The commissions we earn (difference between the pay rate and bill rate), after factoring in FICA, FUDA, Workers comp, etc. really ain't all that great (thus, the need for volume placements); we pay temp attorneys on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and sometimes wait for up to 9 months or longer for the firms to pay us back, and there is constant negotiating with the firm with the overall bill, with significant reductions for large review projects. In addition, we (at least in my agency) have about a 10% rate of being stiffed for our fees by the law firm, usually due to problems with contract attorneys or their work product. In regards to the firms, especially the Plaintiff securities firms, there is a pretty substantial rate of matters being eventually dismissed, with prejudice, after the expensive discovery process The law firms take the hit on these matters (such as Milberg and the Bank of New York case in the early 2000's-firm invested about 10 million in actual fees in the case, including aver 6 million for dozens of contract attorneys, only to have the case tossed, with prejudice.

I mention these things just to give you a better perspective of the finances of these projects. When cases are tossed, the contract attorneys are not asked to return their hourly fees; when agencies are stiffed by law firms, again, contract attorneys are not asked to return their hourly fees. When firms, such as Thelen, suddenly go out of business and leave agencies with hundreds of thousands of uncollected fees that they paid to contract attorneys, it is the agency that takes the hit, not the contract attorneys.

There are lousey agencies out there that do not treat contract attornys with the respect and compassion that they deserve; then again, there are contract attorneys that are either screwballs with lousey work ethics, or have been temping a bit too long. My advice-do what you can to get out of this temp merrry-go-round, even if it means taking a grunt job doing civil litigation in either a plaintiff's or defense firm. You WILL get paid less than temping, but you will also be learning true substantive legal skills and, with lateral moves up the career rung, you will in the long run do much better than sticking with temp work (particularly doc review). I know that this is easy to say, not having $100K or more in Law School bills, but I have been doing this type of recruiting for a long time (after an equally long career as a litigation attorney). Temping is NOT a career, and you will be significantly happier with your life if you look at a temp job as an ends to a means, not something that continues with no end in site. Best of luck, guys, and remember, you are attorneys and legal professionals!!!

Anonymous said...

The only thing worse than document review is a stint in shitlaw. Those who have never set foot in shitlaw have no idea how good they have it. You get paid to put your head down and do nothing more than click. The minor bullshit that I have to put up with in doc review is nothing compared to never ending grinding hell and abuse that one has to put up with in shitlaw.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Shitlaw, doc review is a walk in the park compared to that. You have to factor in not only the money being better in doc review (Especially our foreign language contract attorney colleagues) but there is no STRESS at all. You can't put a price on having no stress; stress/anxiety/pressure leads to real physical and psychological problems.

When I was in Shitlaw I got so stressed out I started therapy and went on antidepressants, and I still had to leave it because it was so horribly stressful.

With all the shit doc review takes, it really isn't that bad to get paid well to read all day.

Trollop said...

5:53

Inspirational! You are correct! Thanks for sharing the perspective from above the basement--after scrounging with cochroaches I haven't seen the light of day until your post.

Anonymous said...

5:53- stop that talk at ONCE! We need to continue to blame the agencies for "stealing our pay" (lol) so don't tell us about all those particulars. Thanks.

If it wasn't for the agencies (and outsourcing) I've learned on this blog, we'd get paid SUPER HIGH hourly rates by the firms directly.

Please stop.

Anonymous said...

I read this board from time to time but this is only my first time commenting. I have to comment here because I have the privilege of having experienced both worlds that were discussed in the above comments: "shitlaw" and "doc review". I graduated from a local T2 NYC law school a few years ago and and worked as a temp between jobs at firms that downsized through no fault of my own (1 firm folded up shop when the client took their legal files in-house).
I worked for Hudson Legal on a big doc review gig that lasted several weeks, and was not treated badly and managed to make my mortgage payment.

I agree with the recruiter above - temping is a means to an end and not an end in itself. I worked doc review on various projects and I felt it was stressful because I had to BE at the site at a certain time, READ all this crap as quickly and efficiently as possible, and BE available on weekends with little notice. The stress of not knowing whether my project would end that same day or I would not get a paycheck for another week or month was nerve wracking to say the least!!

I now work in "shitlaw" (no fault ins defense) which many on JDU knock as a terrible area of law. However, compared to my doc review days, the stress is there but definitely not the same kind of stress. I make a good salary (over 70K), I am treated w/ respect (I manage my own caseload with minimal supervision including trying cases on a regular basis), and I get good benefits (medical/dental/vision, 401K w/ match, etc).

The downside is its a REAL job. But guess what? ANY job that is a REAL job involves stress! My best friend didn't graduate from college and earns $83K as an IT Supervisor for a major retail company. He works about 90 hours a week and his Blackberry is ALWAYS going off.

Whatever field you are in- whether law, medicine, computers, retail, etc..to get good $$ means to bust your ass working for it. Doc review is one of the VERY few legal fields where you can eke out a very reasonable salary for just pointing and clicking. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

If you make over 70K and are treated with respect in shitlaw, you are the exception, not the rule. I should know, I worked in both areas for several years. Both doc review and shitlaw are grinder mills where you never know if you are going to be employed from one day to the next.

Anonymous said...

Its called living in the real world. I have news for you. You are not entitled to anything, no one cares you have a law degree, and actually need to put in an honest effort to earn a pay check. I have been around this scene long enough to know that more then 50% of this industry are freeloaders who will do anything not to work. Stop bitching and actually do something.

Anonymous said...

Oh, do continue to enlighten us with your wisdom. Let me guess, when you were a child you walked five miles to school each day wearing no shoes in a blizzard.

Anonymous said...

The NY Post has a cover story on a staff atorrney who was killed by his dominatrix's ex-boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

The staff atty that got killed was a former temp at Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

No projects in NYC going on 6 weeks. I think I will go to tractor trailer school like Goose suggested in Top Gun...

Anonymous said...

Look people, you just need to accept your fate and then you will be at peace. 99% of us will never escape doc review or work in BigLaw.

Everything is a bell curve: there are the very smart, the very dumb, and then everyone else crammed in the middle, including most of us. Lots of people with graduate degrees have 130 IQs but very few are in the 160s. Its the same with looks, most people aren't that good looking, and very few people are strikingly beautiful, its just a fact of life.

This also applies to the law: very few people can get into an Ivy League law school and come out on top. And only those very few get into BigLaw and make partner. A few affirmative action cases may slip through (for associate positions) but that's a rarity.

Just accept reality and you won't be so miserable.

Anonymous said...

What Evelyn actually said was that De Novo would not staff any projects where their client proposed to pay contract attorneys LESS than $35 an hour. Rather than squeezing temps' pay, she seems to be attempting to establish a floor to the downward spiral of rates in a very tough market.

tempinfo.com said...

It doesn't matter, people will take anything at this point.

Anonymous said...

So, Evelyn is going to sacrifice business for the sake and well-being of her slaves?

Anonymous said...

Read this in CNN:

Temporary employment, including workers employed by temp agencies, fell by 100,700 jobs last month, the highest on records that go back to 1985. That could mean even more full-time payroll reductions to come, as employers often cut temporary workers before they begin cutting permanent staff.

Anonymous said...

The reaper is sharpening his scythe!

Anonymous said...

12:51

Why are you so obsessed with BIGLAW? There are other options.

Anonymous said...

12:51 - so glad that the oppressed douchebags like yourself are getting in because of affirmative action - seriously, some of you guys need to know that you may not get a job because YOU...SUCK (and not in a good way).

Anonymous said...

anything current on de novo?
esp. the financial district one?

i am thinking of removing attorney at law from resume, so maybe i can be hired anywhere.

however, as a licensed dog trainer (for my own dogs i used it)i could not even get hired to READ BOOKS to rich bitches dogs on camera. no experience. balderdash. did animal rescue 20 yrs.
life just sux.