Friday, December 12, 2008

Is The Reaper Visiting The Staffing Agencies?

"Tom,

Can you post the following question:

Hi. I’m doing a story about contract attorneys for the National Law Journal and was wondering if anyone has heard of any staffing agencies that have closed in recent months or weeks.

Thank you,

Julie Kay
Florida Bureau Chief
National Law Journal
954-468-2622
julie.kay@incisivemedia.com"

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are doing quite well. They all have their Mumbai branches, and they are all making tons of money off of their Indian plantations.

Anonymous said...

No doubt about it, the larger ones with clickmonkeys around the world ride out the downturn. After all, the legal work needs to be done. But now instead of having licensed American do the work, they've chosen to send it to unlicensed foreigners.

It's a disgrace, but these slumlord agencies will have just enough review going on in NYC to say that they are doing business here, while actually sending the bulk of the work overseas.

I'm so glad I went to law school!

Anonymous said...

I love how all these big legal publications are suddenly discovering that contract attorneys exist...

Anonymous said...

Off Topic Question:

For those of y'all contract attorneys who have to file your own taxes (instead of having the agency pay it for you), do you use someone like H&R Block or do it yourself? I am just wondering if its worth getting someone else to do it for you especially if you have law school loans that can be used as a tax deduction. Does anyone know how much a firm like H&R Block charges for doing taxes for a contract employee?

Anonymous said...

Have an accountant do it. Preferably a highly skilled professional, but HR Block will do. They can usually save you money.

Anonymous said...

After all, the legal work needs to be done.

If there's no legal work to be done, how is having clickmonkeys in Mumbai going to help an agency ride out the downturn? I presume you mean that this is hastened the transfer of what work there is overseas, but if the work has simply diminished, being able to get it done for litte or nothing isn't going to save many of these agencies.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.law-scribe.com/2008/12/lawscribe-announces-mcle-accreditation.html

Now you can earn MCLE credits for outsourced coursework. Unbelievable, and they want us to bailout the car companies? How about making outsourcing illegal before we help these guys out.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.law-scribe.com/2008/12/lawscribe-announces-mcle-accreditation.html

Now you can earn MCLE credits for outsourced coursework. Unbelievable, and they want us to bailout the car companies? How about making outsourcing illegal before we help these guys out.

Anonymous said...

Why would you want legal outsourcing to be outlawed? I thought no one likes working in the firm sweatshops here. I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

It seems the projects are returning to NYC..check out Craig's List.

Anonymous said...

More news from India, yet another reason to scuttle outsourcing to the third world.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=081212201016.knmswvgh&show_article=1

Anonymous said...

Yes, new projects will start to trickle in as the new year starts up.

Litigation is countercyclical. This was inevitable. The problem here is fear. Not reality. Thus the staffing agencies will push for lower rates because they know there are a lot of scared temps.

As for agencies closing, that's not a surprise if they did. the reality is that there are too many of them. While this market is large, there is no justification for this many temp agencies in one market.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons there are so many of these agencies is the cheap cost of running them compared to other businesses. You just need an office and contacts.

Anonymous said...

It's also why solo practice (and law in general) is so profitable.

Anonymous said...

3:09**

I think you need more than an office and "contacts" to open an agency or any personnel business. YOU NEED MONEY TO PAYROLL PEOPLE. There's lag time btwn when your employees need to get paid, and when the firms will pay you. They are billed monthly or even less frequently.

You need insurance of all sorts, a receptionist, space to meet with candidates... the list goes on.

So now you are a failure in law AND in business, 3:09. Please shoot yourself.

Anonymous said...

Who's Anita?

Anonymous said...

LOL, 917 is funny. Here's what I see.

The cost about which 917 whines are the cost that any business would incur, and for temp agencies they are minimal.

Practically speaking, only so many of the agency have wide spread contacts at law firms and there are only so many law firms. Outbidding each other by keeping contract attorney pricing artificially low can only work so long. Thus the fall out. Outsourcing won't help this by the way. The pie is not big enough.

Think of this way. It's Econ 101 by analogy. There are just too many attorneys. This reduces the price we charge. Now, there are too many agencies. So they are going to be impacted by their numbers.

So what are their costs compared to other companies? Not many.

There are no exployee benefits that you would find in other professional services companies. Employee benefits are defined here as anything in which the employer financially contributes.

I do not count situation in which they make it so hard to get the benefit that the practical effect is virtually no one obtains the benefit.

What are their other expenses? Staff agents are often paid primarily on low base salary plus commission. They just one step removed from being as fungible as we are.

What about temp attorney pay? The agency's cost related to contract attorneys is based directly on how many temps each project requires. Thus, there is no greater cost than what the law firm will eventually pay.

The best argument for which 917 can whine is a delay in payment. Not that they will not get paid.

Covering the cost while waiting to be paid by law firms is account receivables. He or she can argue that accounts waiting to be paid are not the same as paid account. Except unless one is working out of the back of their car, that's not the way businesses are run.

Account receivables are an asset of the company for which I am guessing they get a line of credit.

There are other things I could mention. But honestly, this was just a way to blow off steam. Back to my real work.

Anonymous said...

I heard it from a good source that there was a major skirmish between Hudson and Kelly for the patent doc review gig. Apparently Hudson underbid Kelly at the last minute, after the resumes had been submitted. Kelly then had to call everyone and make something up about the project being pushed back. My source says that Hudson cut their OT price for Viacom, the client, to get the business. Kelly wouldn't go that low and they lost the business.

Hudson has been getting resumes all weekend and is still starting on Monday.

It's getting tough out there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about your info. Not that I have any intelligence to contradict it, but ads are starting to reappear, if Craigslist can be used as a yardstick. Also, Hudson would have to cut its pay to the temps, many of whom would take that with Kelly's better working conditions, but money is all Hudson can offer.

Anonymous said...

Most of us would rather work for Kelly rather than some filthy Hudson dump. But beggars can't be choosers!

Anonymous said...

136

Are we suppose to believe that agencies were not undercutting each other even in the "good times"?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they were. Not sure what your point is.

Anonymous said...

You said,"It's getting tough out there" after discussing Hudson undercutting Kelly.

You linked typical agency sales practices to the crappy economy. Agenies undercutting each other have nothing to do with how tough the economy is. So, I tend to agree with 2:07.

Anonymous said...

How many people are due to be on this patent thing? I smell another Hudson disaster.

Anonymous said...

It's tough out there for everyone, you are immune to the recession. Good for you.

You don't think it's tough on Kelly to lose the business? You don't think it sucks for the temps that wanted to work for Kelly but are now out of luck.

I guess you're rich and things aren't for you. For everyone else, these are tough times.

I didn't realize there people like you that don't read/watch the news.

Anonymous said...

Hudson pulled this stunt with the Vioxx project. They are ruthless. I bet the other agencies are going to work extra hard to pull people off that project whenever they can.

Anonymous said...

who the hell works on their projects?

Anonymous said...

Interesting; in DC I was on a long-term project working for Hudson and they phased us out and phased in another agency. At first the other agency was paying less but had to scuttle that plan when they figured out how pissed off their workers were when they found that out. My guess is that they settled for smaller margins than Hudson. Not that this makes me shocked that Hudson does this to other agencies when they get the chance.

Anonymous said...

Who's Anita?

Anonymous said...

934

I am is logical. The economy is bad. Hudson taking away business from Kelly has nothing to do with the economy being bad. You link to unconnected pieces of information because the Hudson practice you describe has nothing to do with the state of the economy. You admit to that. They do it in a good economy. So does Kelly. I also have seen other doc reviews posted on Craiglist. I am not rich. Just logical, and, therefore, not given to linking unconnected pieces of information just to feed fear.

Anonymous said...

Jeez. Have you fuckers nothing else to do than to sit around and try and figure out how agencies do business? Who cares! Or are you still of the mind that if not for the existance of agencies the S&Cs of the world would hire you and payroll you directly per diem??

Anonymous said...

LOL@"I am is logical."

Anonymous said...

Its been confirmed that doc review is in fact alive and well in India with the help of U.S. attorneys training them no less. They're even doing the sub-prime work that we would be doing now.

Holy shit we're toast.

http://www.theposselist.com/?p=3073

Anonymous said...

Scrooged! 20 to 30 temps just got laid off by a big law firm downtown. Bah humbug.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what an agency's typical markup is? How much room do they have to "under-bid" each other?

Anonymous said...

Who's Anita?

Anonymous said...

do a piece on closing some law schools, lies about employment opportunities, lack of any fucking mentoring whatsoever, utter dog eat dog dog
fuck you established attorneys have for those entering the profession , unless they are their own offspring. Truly disaspointef by peofession. I'd have rather sold aluminum siding doormto door. Got to go pay for some Cle now. And then pay bar fees, loans and pray I can stay in my parents basement one more night because not like I can just to another state and practice there without another bar and huge expenses.

Asshole said...

I'm sure your parents have long planned for you to stay in the basement for an extended time.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why the hell is it we have to pay Bar Dues adn CLE and the ABA and the rest of the profession just ships stuff off to other countries. WTF!

Anonymous said...

maybe a shakeout of the temp agencies would be a good thing for temps.

Anonymous said...

Sure! It will be great! Skadden will be calling us up and hiring us direcly! NOT.

Anonymous said...

Um, 12:05 you may want to read the Posse List article above: it says that firms will be directly hiring temps in 2009, bypassing the agencies because it costs less.

Anonymous said...

Why would the staffing agencies close?? When you hire 60 attorneys for a few days tell them the project is indefinite- the agencies STILL make a profit.. Instead of simply hiring 10 attorneys to do work over a few weeks, the agencies max out their profit and all the attorneys get is a "heartfelt" apology... The agencies won't be closing any time soon.

Anonymous said...

What is this woman talking about? No agencies are closing! In fact, in NYC, it's just the opposite. In NYC, more agencies are opening! What's the deal with this latest one - "Vinmar Staffing?"

Anonymous said...

Someone should do a story on that awful, cheap, filthy "workspace" HireCounsel has on 33rd and Madison. It makes Lexolution's space on 40th and Madison seem like the penthouse suite at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Anonymous said...

Law Firms would be so much better off hiring good temps directly. So many are put off by the agencies behavious they leave, leaving only the scum behind.

If law firms hired temps directly I betcha they would get a higher quality and more would stay long-term

Anonymous said...

Who's Anita?

Anonymous said...

"More would stay long term?" Are you kidding me? It's TEMP work, not a PERM job. You aren't supposed to stay so long. No one cares if you leave, there's plenty more of you ass-clowns to fill in.

Anonymous said...

Vimmar Staffing? They pretend that they're differnt, but it's just the same bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Carrie Cheskin is one evil fucking bitch

Anonymous said...

Vinmar -- which assholes name starts with Vin

Anonymous said...

All time low: Providus offering $26/hr in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

2:09: If you don't like it, don't take it. It really is that simple.

Anonymous said...

"Vinmar" Staffing: sound like shady Indians to me. Where is this "supposed" project with "lots" of overtime? In the back of a dirty Indian restaurant? Or maybe the address they provide is JFK airport and they fly you to India.

Well at least "Delta Force" legal offers a free survival knife if you work more than 60 hours and good benefits including free underwater demolition training.

Anonymous said...

The Vinmer gig is at a prestigious firm in Midtown. 12hr days, meals, car service, etc. Its real, they are real, too bad you missed the boat, again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr. Vinmer, nice website by the way. Maybe someday you will be as big as Hudson Legal, NOT.

Anonymous said...

work is work, can't complain!

Anonymous said...

The Law Firms and the business community would be wise to use the current economic downturn to rid themselves of the Bernard Madoff like Ponzi schemers preying on the profession and the wages of attorneys. If the law firms were to set up a system to bypass the Evelyn Louie's of this world and hire contract attorneys directly for short and long term projects, the need to outsource legal work overseas would dissipate. More real jobs could be kept in New York City.

Anonymous said...

Vinmar? Google Kim Shamsky and enjoy the fun times reading various stories about her and her former ball player ex-husband. Vinmar has been around for some time. Just not so much in the legal realm. Quite colorful.

Anonymous said...

For the Doc Reviewers who have been at this game for a while and don't mind answering a personal question, what was your yearly income in 2007 versus 2008?

Anonymous said...

$84K in 2007 and $89K in 2008.