Friday, January 23, 2009

Fight the Trolls



Tom, here is the link from the ABA article asking about this topic. They need our perspective. too many comments about how "buyer beware" or "if you can't get a job your and idiot and don't deserve one" lets give them our POV. I hate the ABA.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/are_you_a_victim_of_an_education_hoax/#comments

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

everyone is a victim.

Anonymous said...

TTT's...attack.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we are victims, but there is an issue of fraud.

The irony of "buyer beware" is that after a basic course in contract law everyone here should know that this concept is mostly dead. There is no such rule as far as pure common law concepts go. There are many kinds of issues that the law requires of parties to a contract including matters regarding misrepresentation, fraud, good will, acts of god, etc.

The question is always about who should assume the risk. Here, I don't have a clear answer. Sometimes I think it should be a societal burden because the reality is that education should not be a costly endeavor in an advanced country that wishes to keep its populance competitive with other countries.

I know this guy who says he is conservative, and yet, he moved to Europe because he has a duel citizenship with an EU country. That country almost entirely finance his education. He constantly whined to us about how America overtaxes, and how we should all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and yet, he was willing to go abroad to get a free education.

That's our society in a nutshell. No long term thought involved other than one's own interest.

Therefore, I think I will borrow a concept from Torts- can I hold both parties- the student and the legal industry at fault? Can I split the difference by saying that we should get to split our cost in half for half truths?


More over, can I do something un-American and suggest that for the future generations we try to set up an educational system that does not leave people in so much debt that it hinders future investment?

That's what I think this debt does. I know people who want to start businesses, but can not due to a mistake they made at 24.

Is this the best way for our society to be spending our money? Not on future potential businesses, but on servicing various debts (whether they are student loans, credit cards or overpriced mortgages)?

So, I don't have a simple answer. Just observations that tell me its complicated.

Anonymous said...

what is TTT thanks?

Anonymous said...

Why do or don't you feel you were a victim of an education hoax?
Part of the American Dream consists of bettering oneself through education. That is, that anyone through enough hard work and intelligence, can succeed in life. I feel like I am a victim of the American Dream. I have no one to blame except myself for that.
However, there is not a single entity that I blame more for my financial woes than my law school. The farce that the education that I bought with SallieMae's money would one day allow me to pay back SallieMae is just that! The 175K that my education cost me, (and yes I did graduate with honors from a 4th Tier, albeit top ranked specialty school) MIGHT be paid back by the time I retire. After consolidating my loans because I certainly could not afford to pay them on the 10 year plan with my 45K job in NYC, the total amount of my payments will be 3 times as much as I originally borrowed. Does this sound like the American Dream or an education that has enabled me to better my standard of living? Let me tell you that I never ate ramen on a daily basis until now. I blame the schools that led me to believe that I would be able to find adequate employment to enable me to pay those loans.
I blame my career services department for NEVER providing any guidance. I recently sent my resume to a partner and my career services. The person in career services made very minor edits, while the partner had actual substantive feedback! As if a partner as a law firm doesn't have so many more things to do than edit my resume! But the people who are supposed to specialize in knowing what law firms respond to, could have card less about doing their job!
For point of reference, I graduated in 2005, as did so many that went back to school after the .com bubble burst. Thus, I graduated in a heavily saturated market that has only gotten worse.
Also, for some perspective, please share how much debt you had a graduation and note your current salary.
At graduation I had approximately 175K in debt. My current salary as a quasi-staff attorney (I do a lot of document review, but am a staff member who is asked to do any manner of tasks that associates and partners do not want to do) is 52K + OT. I could have health benefits if I did not already have them through my spouse, a 2008 law school graduate facing the same financial woes. Hers are actually worse than mine, with 200K in debt and a public service position. Her private loans, pre-consolidation are more than her monthly salary! Ha! I have no sympathy for SallieMae or similar institutions.

Anonymous said...

TTT means third tier law school - commonly called a "toilet" - based on stupid US news & world report rankings

Anonymous said...

2 points, mostly reacting to an earlier post:

1. We're not going to win the fight against elitism by being elitist ourselves.

Many people in a previous post says Obama's stimulus plan would do nothing for us, because it was for people to fix bridges, etc. First, the whole concept of a stimulus is once these folks have jobs, the economic stability and the publicity that goes along with it creates other jobs. Second, should we really be looking down on unemployed people whose skill set is different than ours? Aren't we on their side? I was also offended by the comment that Gov. Paterson must be a bad guy because he wants to increase welfare benefits while unemployment isn't any higher than $405 a month. I don't think we need to be fighting against people on welfare. They are also not the enemy. And they don't make anywhere near $405/month.

2. Save the hate for outsourcing, not for Indians.

The problem with our loss of jobs is not the Indian people doing them, it's that companies are outsourcing and teh government should be making illegla or dis-incentivizing it as much as possible. There are tariffs on goods, why not labor? But an Indian person who takes the job is not evil, they are trying to get themselves out of poverty. We here in Tom the Temp land shouldn't let frustration turn into racism.

Personally I think telemarketing and doc review firms in India should be doing work for Indian customers and Indian law firms. If that were the law, it would give global corporations and incentive to lift all of India out of poverty, rather than give jobs to a small percentage of people to do the work produced by a more economically stable country.

Tracey in Hell's Kitchen said...

I meant $405/week, not a month.

Trollop said...

I think 4:11 did just that and gave us the 411. I feel sorry for the next commenter, lamenting his lost American "Dream." Things are tough right now, but in 5 years you'll be moving up to something lucrative, profiting above the loans, singing the praises of Aunt Sallie.

Anonymous said...

7:35

I hate the Indians who are doing the work, and I hate the Indians that are facilitating the outsorcing. I relly hate people like David Perla, who in my opinion should be disbarred for aiding and abeting the unauthorized practice of law.

The outsorcing to these companies is disgraceful and sooner (rather than later) will be stopped. There's plenty of case law for preventing the unauthorized practice of law. It was tried in the 80s with the will and trusts mills. It was tried again in the 90s with contracts and other legal documents, and now in the 2000s they're trying again. Mark my words -- sanctions will be high and someone will get disbarred. I hope it's David Perla.

I have a long career before me and I remember who's on pangea3's website. If I get any chance to screw them in the future I will. There's not going to be any amicable settlements, negotiations, or anything else. There will be a fight and I'm going to use every dirty trick in the book. The same goes for the Indians that have worked on this disgrace to the legal industry. And I'm sure a lot of other attorneys feel the same.

Anonymous said...

Amen 10:13, we will every legal tactic available to crush these lying swine!

2009 is the year that the toileteers pushback.

Anonymous said...

I think this whole situation makes a great basis for a music along the lines of "newsies." now some ambitious person on here will do all the hard work of producing it, and I will wait and sue you cause it's easier than producing it myself. by the way, you will all be happy to know that I was rejected from a job at starbucks. BECAUSE I AM OVERQUALIFIED! Take that you ttt haters.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks would be perfect for out of work contract attorneys. I swung by there today and I have never seen so many disgruntled, bitter people with chips on their shoulders.

Anonymous said...

The unemployment rate is 9.3 percent in CA. The unemployment rate in NY state is projected to be the highest in the country. Yet, we see post about a) minority groups and b) by crazy conservatives telling us that the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression is a matter of people whining and being bitter. I know this site is annymous, and thus, people feel they can say crazy shit. But, some of you people really do need to be committed and/or receive anti-psychotic medications. I got to wonder if you aren't already on these drugs when posting here.

Anonymous said...

Now, if you want a degree that is REALLY worth something:

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Jan12009/dheducation20081231109820.asp

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if peak started that last NYC project it was claiming it had or if there are any projects at all in nyc in English?

Anonymous said...

All the English speaking projects are in India. HTFH.

Anonymous said...

I am tried about talking about this. I was called a pessimist 8 years ago when I said, "this situation will not be getting any better till the ABA tightens the Law school entrance admissions." The ABA's attempt at stopping admissions at the Bar is short sighted. Once you have $100K in debt the average candidate will pound away at the Bar Exam till (s)he passes. They have no choice.

Anonymous said...

The situation was difficult, but now it is totally unmanageable. We have reached a breaking point. After the ABA opened the floodgates and allowed the outsourcing of American legal work, the whole fucking thing collapsed. You cannot have law schools charging 50K a year, when legal work can be shipped overseas for pennies on the dollar.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 significant projects coming to NYC (English) via Dewey LaBoeuf, and Cleary Gottlieb. Both subprime/mortgage related. Agencies not chosen yet. Bidding still going on.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... maybe I'll follow-up on the TTT that 12.19 mentioned.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I'm working on an English language project in NYC right now (through Update), and I know others who are working on projects in English here, too. True, the market has been hit hard, but will you STOP saying that ALL the jobs have gone to India? They simply haven't. Not yet, at any rate. I've been wanting somebody to give some stats about the % of doc review jobs being shipped to India, but so far nobody is able to do so. Not sure you'd be able to do that, anyway, as it would involve a lot of work asking for data from law firms and outsourcing firms (data they might not be willing to give you).

And will everyone please stop with the racism toward South Asians? I know outsourcing generates a LOT of resentment (as it should), but spewing forth ignorant racist tirades against Indians (which has been done for months by several posters to this blog) isn't going to help the situation.

Anonymous said...

2:25 did your project start recently? Are you being told it will be around for much longer? is it just a few reviewers?

Anonymous said...

I think most of the racist stuff has been posted by the same person. It's obvious from the ranting, bad diction, spelling and lack of logic. What puzzles me is how this person (supposedly) graduated from a law school.

Anonymous said...

The American Biglaw Association is to blame. Instead of fighting the unauthorized practice of law, it is promoting it.

Any more info on that Update project? Is it old? new? tiny? ending soon or staying around for moths?

Anonymous said...

make that, "staying around for months?"

Anonymous said...

It is sad work is being outsourced to India. The Indian people are nice...at least the U.S. ones I have met. Further, the Nigerians I have met on document review projects have been uniformly polite and professional.

The loud arrogant reviewers are always Americans.

Anonymous said...

3:34, that is just as bigotted as the racist rants. Nigerians and Indians are not all nice or all creeps, same with those born in the U.S. People are people.

Are there really other English projects here or just that Update one?

Anonymous said...

Re: Projects

My gut tells me there are several projects headed down the pike in the NYC area.

Re: Racists

I want to believe there is only one racist, but there may be a few. Sadly, bigots are a part of life. Rarely is there only one.

Re: Writing

Writing skills are like practicing any other skills in that if you do not use them, you may lose them. One of the reasons we should practice outside of document reviews (even if it's not enough to pay bills) is because it helps maintain critical skills like research and writing.

Anonymous said...

3:34 is not racist. He/she is correct. The foreignors tend to be classier.

Anonymous said...

4:46 that is prejudiced nonsense. I have been on projects with foreigners who had no class and should have been canned for their idiotic antics and failure to do any actual work. I can say the same for some of those born in the U.S., which you probably weren't. The idea that foreigners are inherently superior or inferior to those born here is total idiocy. Whatever you are, you are not a member of a master race.

How about more news we can use about projects?

Anonymous said...

2:25 What other English language projects?

Anonymous said...

Why do or don't you feel you were a victim of an education hoax?
Part of the American Dream consists of bettering oneself through education. That is, that anyone through enough hard work and intelligence, can succeed in life. I feel like I am a victim of the American Dream. I have no one to blame except myself for that.
However, there is not a single entity that I blame more for my financial woes than my law school. The farce that the education that I bought with SallieMae's money would one day allow me to pay back SallieMae is just that! The 175K that my education cost me, (and yes I did graduate with honors from a 4th Tier, albeit top ranked specialty school) MIGHT be paid back by the time I retire. After consolidating my loans because I certainly could not afford to pay them on the 10 year plan with my 45K job in NYC, the total amount of my payments will be 3 times as much as I originally borrowed. Does this sound like the American Dream or an education that has enabled me to better my standard of living? Let me tell you that I never ate ramen on a daily basis until now. I blame the schools that led me to believe that I would be able to find adequate employment to enable me to pay those loans.
I blame my career services department for NEVER providing any guidance. I recently sent my resume to a partner and my career services. The person in career services made very minor edits, while the partner had actual substantive feedback! As if a partner as a law firm doesn't have so many more things to do than edit my resume! But the people who are supposed to specialize in knowing what law firms respond to, could have card less about doing their job!
For point of reference, I graduated in 2005, as did so many that went back to school after the .com bubble burst. Thus, I graduated in a heavily saturated market that has only gotten worse.
Also, for some perspective, please share how much debt you had a graduation and note your current salary.
At graduation I had approximately 175K in debt. My current salary as a quasi-staff attorney (I do a lot of document review, but am a staff member who is asked to do any manner of tasks that associates and partners do not want to do) is 52K + OT. I could have health benefits if I did not already have them through my spouse, a 2008 law school graduate facing the same financial woes. Hers are actually worse than mine, with 200K in debt and a public service position. Her private loans, pre-consolidation are more than her monthly salary! Ha! I have no sympathy for SallieMae or similar institutions.

Anonymous said...

Look, I don't like a lot of whiners on this site, but there is a lot of misinformation by others.

The data is out there regarding determine the value of a law school over other opportunities versus the cost of attendance. The most cost effective degrees are first, associate degrees, and, second, bachelors. After that, it gets more dicey and specific.

The reality is that law is considered by many experts (strictly on a cost-benefit analysis) to be the only degree that the earning potential does not match it's cost. You are not going to earn appreciably more across the life time of your career by having attended law school on average than someone who got an associates degree. This is just a simply matter of averages regarding income you would have had if you had not gone to law school versus income you can expect to gain having gone to law school. The before law school number would not be zero, and the after law school numbers are not astronomically higher.

Here's a link to the average pay scale for lawyers:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2F_Lawyer/Salary

20 years out the average pay scale is 114,000. The starting average 57,122.


It's potentially higher, but not especially high given the debt, interest on the debt, fees, time lost, etc.

There are things that could be done to make the degree worth it. But, the law schools are, in fact, now just businesses. Not academic institutions.

Again, reality check:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8901797/

In the article it discusses whether the 3rd year is worth it or not.

Here is an Above the law Post about whether the law degree is worth it. People differ as to their views on the subject, but its not useful to pretend that its absolutely clear that it is worth it. The numbers do not favor this argument.

http://abovethelaw.com/2008/09/value_of_law_degree.php

The irony is that the numbers at Above the Law are obviously not true when one looks at the average income (they use median) of lawyers PLUS cost of living outside of practicing law. What they do not mention is that you also must be in specific places to earn the income levels that will justify the degree. To be in those specific places means you will have a higher cost of living. I am not strictly referencing NY here. Across the board, one is going to face wages that are not keeping up with cost of living in the U.S.

On this front, another commentor gets it right:

"I think this is a more interesting financial lesson:

If on my 18th birthday, my parents had stuck my college tutition (say $120k) in a trust earning 8%, it would be worth ~ $760k on my 40th birthday.

And if on my 22nd birthday, I had put the cost of law school (say $140k) in a trust earning 8%, it would be worth ~$480K on my 40th birthday.

Bottom line, if I avoided school and real work my entire life (and instead worked ski patrol in the winters and worked in a surf shop during the summers - i.e. an awesome life), I'd have $1.24 million in the bank at age 40.

Instead I went to an expensive college and law school, neither of which were top 10 schools. Now I work at a V50 firm in manhattan and, according to the surveys cited by Okamoto, earn an income in the top 10% for lawyers. After 3 years of practicing, I'm 29 and have about $150K in the bank and save ~50K a year. I have two to three more years of biglaw in me, before I'll have to go in house or switch to a smaller firm that pays a lot less. I won't make a bonus this year and expect bonuses in 2009 to be pretty shitty. Anyway, asuming I can keep making the same salary for the next 11 years doing a job I hate, when I turn 40 I'll have saved a grand total of $1.25 million in the bank (assuming my savings compound at 8%).

So if I'd skipped college and law school completely and spent the first 22 years of my adult life chilling and never saved a dime, I'd only be worth $100K less.

It makes the investment in education pretty hard to justify."

However, after saying all of this is said and done, it does not do us any good to wallow.

There is one poster on ATL who gets it right:

"Most law school students are above-average students who would on average do better than the average college grad even if they didn't go to law school, especially those pulling up the median. Moreover, while a legal career at a top firm is probably a better financial move than say being a physician, I doubt it is better on average than going to a top business school and then working for a big three consulting firms or investment banking (on average). Most people I know with just undergraduate degrees from Wharton make more than my jd's top five schools."

This is why the wallowing is not fruitful. You clearly have some potential even if you are in a sucky place right now. Or maybe you don't?

3:40 PM

Anonymous said...

2:25 What other English projects?

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I'm working on an English language project in NYC right now (through Update), and I know others who are working on projects in English here, too.
__________________________________
What other projects?

Anonymous said...

528

I am the person who wrote the comment you copied and pasted. There is a lot of information out there NOW. I capitlized "now" to make the point that this is precisely why people need to speak out about the problems. This is to ensure that others will not make the mistake of going into law going forward. Going forward does not address what happened previously.

For those previously having taken up the debt, they face separate issues from those presently considering attending law school.

The issue of whether we should stay stuck where we are due to misinformation is different from whether those who engaged in fraud should be liable. To put it quasi-legal terms, it's the difference between a breach of contract and mitigating damaged done by the breach of contract.

A lot of these things are specific, and are not one size fit all other than giving us a glimpse into the general environment.

This post from the link provided by Tom sums it up:

"When it comes to contract there are conflicting models in play in our society. One is the old school model where people stick to their word, even when changes in circumstance make that difficult. That model has been largely displaced. The other model exploits the legal premises of contract that: 1) there are generally not punitive or consequential damages for breach of contract; and, 2) contracts can be operatively “amended” by the conduct of the parties. Many of the posters have described encounters with this model. It begins some time after you are well into what looked, at the outset, like a fair and reasonable proposition. The counter-party playing this system will not start screwing with you until you have substantial time and effort invested in the arrangement (a/k/a, your “stake”). In Honest Story’s story, this was his 1L year. It is key to the scheme that you have established a sufficent “stake” that it is hard for you to just walk away and abandon your investment. Once the player of this system feels confident you have a substantial “stake,” the deal will start to change in small ways, then in more significant ways, always to your detriment. Each time you accept the change and stay, you have “amended” the arrangement to your detriment. The more you try to persevere and tough it out, the worse the situation will become. Eventually, the original proposition will be “amended” to the point that all the consideration you expected from the arrangement is gone, while what you have had to provide to the counter-party is multiplied several fold. The only way to escape this conclusion is to get out of the arrangment as soon as possible after it starts to change. This is difficult, because you will be unfairly screwed out of your initial investment. However, that is, at such point, your minimum damage, and represents the cost of having been drawn into an arrangement with a weasel. If you stay longer, trying to make the arrangement come out somehow, you will only be increasingly damaged as the scam progresses. It is imperative to understand that you have in fact lost your initial stake, and that the best you can do is to walk and so “cut your losses,” before you get to the end of the trail. The key is to get out with as much skin as you still can, and make some kind of a viable future. (Also, of course, you will want to be ready the next time you meet the same weasel in the forest)."

It does not deny that there is damange, but at each step to figure out how to mitigate and end further damage, if possible.

Anonymous said...

Also, there are three reasons why we want this information disseminated as much as possible:

a) Decreasing the number of graduates from law school increases demand for existing lawyers

b) To create the narrative for change within the existing industry (ie, treatment of contract attorneys can only work if its kept a secret).

c) For law schools to not manipulate their data, and thus reinforcing point a)

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

Where are our cars and meals??!!!

Trollop said...

6:36

You are right. We need to focus on point "b" as we branch out to systemic issues. When the economy was good, this blog primarily addressed "b." It was the golden year of the blog, but lets not thing that Anitas are gone.

Anonymous said...

We need to just find work. Complaining too much about working conditions just hastens the loss of jobs.

We're dealing with the global economy here. It's not the 1920s we're talking about.

I'm all for attempst at improving our lot, but the lack of professionalism is rather shocking at times.

Anonymous said...

Is there any action we can take to stop the unauthorized practice of law (esp. outsourcing) without being blacklisted or are we better of waiting for it to be seen as a failure when some major mess happens?

Anonymous said...

847

Your post is ironic because you expouse exactly the mentality of the 1920s and the laissez faire (keep your head down) views of that era.

Ironically, this world view lead to the 1930s or what we commonly call the Great Depression era, and, the subsequent transformation of America to a modern partial social democracy.

People like you never cease to amaze me. Did you realize that you were using a historical example that proves the opposite of what you advocate that we do?

You are right. You should keep your head down. People like you just get in the way.

Anonymous said...

8:47 I will be a bit more cordial in responding to your its not 1920s comment than the other poster, but really, in a lot of ways it is 1920s and 30s.
We have just gone through a few decades, starting with Nixon, and greatly accelerated with Bush the second, where new-deal era legislation has been rolled back, such as labor protections, such as banking and stock market regulations, even FDA regulations, and we are seeing exactly the same kind of abuses that happened before that legislation was enacted,(peanut butter anyone?) by the same quasi-fascist people who think that the government should be run by corporations.
It did not work before, it created a great depression and it did not work now either, the only question is if we can avoid another great depression and walk away with just a depression (read depression and not recession by the way)
Complaining about work conditions is not going to lead to job losses, what IS leading to job loss in our sector of the economy is that ABA and some agencies trying to do an end run around the law and illegally engaging in the practice of law by outsourcing our jobs, and the crappy economy, which was bought about by retarded economic policies.
The global economy is not the issue, its not that "now we have to compete with India for law jobs". The reality IS that sending these jobs to India is ILLEGAL, they can't be sent there in the first place.
The ONLY way to stop that is to prosecute those who are breaking the law and putting a stop to the criminal practice of practicing law without a license through outsourcing.

Anonymous said...

941

You are right about my not being cordial.

I just find posts like "keep your head down" frustrating because that's how this society and each of us personally got into this mess.

Trusting that the system works rather than realizing that it's broken. I do not understand how anyone can think we can just put our heads down, and the problems will all just magically go away.

Anonymous said...

10:21 any ideas on how we can do something to stop outsourcing without destroying our careers (really more like our chances of ever getting work again if there's ever any for us to get) by being blacklisted?

Anonymous said...

1030

Not really.

Most of the actions to be effective requires collective action, but this brings up the opposite issue. Most people who become lawyers are by nature and training risk adverse. Most Americans are.

Remember many got into law because they were told it was the safe and smart choice. In fact, how many people here were told when they had misgivings, "oh, but you are going to be a lawyer, and, therefore, you should stick it out"?

Collective action requires an initial risk. There's no way around that, but it's a bigger pay off too. Bigger risks mean bigger reward of greater bargaining power.

Anonymous said...

10:21 people do that because they are afraid and because they think that if things are rational, as long as they don't make someone mad, then maybe they will get by. Of course in this case its not true, criminals like the outsourcing agnecies only care about making cash, and not the law or anything else.
While I understand your frustration, the answer is not to beat on the weak, the answer is to build their confidence and show them and teach them to become strong. That is leadership. Anyone can whine but it takes a leader to show the way.
10:30 as for how to fight this, a lot of the agencies would be on our side because lets face it, if things get outsourced, they will be out of business as well, so I don't really think that blacklisting is so relevant in this case. Agencies do that when you don't play by their rules, but outsourcing also threatens them. If ever there was a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, this is it.

Anonymous said...

119

You make some really good points. I will strive to keep them in mind. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

1:19 aren't some agencies involved in outsourcing?

Anonymous said...

Although it hasn't been publicized, most agencies have explored the viability of outsourcing. Either they have looked into it themselves, or they have been searching around for LPO's that they could potentially partner up with. When they come around to your project (if you still have a project) with some cupcakes and a smile, just remember that.

SUE NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL said...

So far, no reply emails.

sue.new.york.law.school@gmail.com

If NYLS believes the ABA and US News screwed them by their accredidation standards and rankings, let NYLS join them as co-defendants or sue them on their own. Fact remains: NYLS published false employment statistics and does absolutely nothing to develop their Career Services department.

Anonymous said...

NYLS is busy trying to get its money back from Madoff. I love how NYLS jacks up tuition so that they can invest more of their money in risky hedge fund ponzi schemes.

Anonymous said...

English projects are the last straw,, i thought thai irdu korean BUT english shit now i will never get a coc review job

Anonymous said...

Barrasso outsources

http://www.sourcingmag.com/content/c061218a.asp

Anonymous said...

I read that woman's article - she isn't even an attorney...her link to her westfield office is invalid...does she have an office still?

Anonymous said...

Deloitte bought Barasso so she's with them now

Anonymous said...

Barrasso's new home

http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/employee_profile/0,1007,cid%253D194377,00.html

Anonymous said...

Barrasso's new home (link was a little long to cut and paste here for some reason). This is her page at D & T -

Meet Diane S. Barrasso, Ph.D.
Principal, Forensic & Dispute Services, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP


Diane Barrasso is a principal in the Forensic & Dispute practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (Deloitte FAS), and the national leader of the Document Review Services service line. She joined Deloitte FAS with the acquisition of Barrasso Consulting LLC, where she was founder and president.

In her role with Deloitte FAS, Diane continues to specialize in electronic and hard copy data collection and document review, allowing companies to organize files and respond more quickly and efficiently in the event of litigation.

Diane has been engaged in litigation support since 1989. Primarily focused on bringing leading practices to discovery management, she designs, implements and manages discovery from the beginning of the process to the support of the trial team. Diane has experience in the practice areas of product liability, intellectual property, antitrust, government investigation, bankruptcy and complex commercial litigation for prescription pharmaceuticals, over the counter medications, health care products, medical devices as well as other industries such as telecommunications and automotive.

During her years with Barrasso Consulting, Diane grew the company into a full-service litigation discovery firm with more than 175 attorney and paralegal specialists engaged in the process of litigation document collection and review. Specialized services included the engineering of large cases through the management of electronic repositories and electronic discovery procedures, with a focus on designing, managing and implementing cost-efficient processes without compromising the quality of work product.

Diane holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and an master of science in biology, both from Lehigh University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in microbiology from the Waksman Institute of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


Contact us for more information

Source: Deloitte LLP - United States (English)

Anonymous said...

Diane holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and an master of science in biology, both from Lehigh University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in microbiology from the Waksman Institute of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

WTF IS SHE DOING IN THIS LINE OF WORK?

Trollop said...

2:51

I'm sure you'll get all of the "coc" review as you can! Swallow, not spit!

Trollop said...

Sue NY,

No replies? I guess everybody is a little wary of the boy named Sue.

Trollop said...

These comments are now going nowhere, Tom, please give a new post about your recent experience with doc review. Do you still temp? Or are you just still sympathetic? I can't tell if you are also still temping by your posts.

Anonymous said...

Phd's of all colors are a dime a dozen, even in the hard sciences.

Anonymous said...

Is Trollop long for troll? Some of us are interested in discussing what's going on with outsourcing and if we can do anything to stop the unauthorized practice of law without getting blacklisted.

BTW are you working on a doc review project?

Anonymous said...

The jealousy around here is pathetic. Dissing a woman with a Phd in the sciences because they are "a dime a dozen"? Really? Where's yours?

You are a sad, sad, troll. Living in mommy's basement, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Actually a troll is more likely to be someone who sticks up for a non-attorney who is making $$$ by destroying our livelihoods through the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

Why would a brilliant woman like that need law school? So she can be like you? Blaming others for "destroying their livelihoods?

Some people know how to be sucessful. Other people like you, blame others for their gross failures.

Anonymous said...

Why are you here defending non-attorneys who are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, because you are a great success or because you are a troll? She is not brilliant, she is enriching herself from the unauthorized practice of law. That should be stopped.

Anonymous said...

The outsourcing of legal work to India where it is performed by non-attorneys is destroying our livelihood. That is a fact. It is an outrage that this obvious unauthorized practice of law is encouraged by the ABA, which should be defending the standards of our profession.

Anonymous said...

6:24

She must have gotten into the data managment buisness when it was accounting data. That's most likely the Deloitte connection. They're an accounting firm.

Legal document review is similar to having a bunch of accountants research accounting data, except they're using attorneys. There are other types of doc. review that don't require attorneys. I suspect this is the majority of what's outsorced. Any body with any intelligence knows that outsorcing is a time bomb. Patent outsourcing has been brought to a screaching halt, and there have been a few cases (Helmsey? and Qualcom) where the judge implied large sanctions would be applied if non-attorneys were performing the work.

Is Deloitte outsorcing actual legal work related to discovery requests?

Besides, you relly ought to do something for your career instead of trying to temp forever. Are you planning on temping for the next 25 years?

Anonymous said...

Here's the link for Qualcom (Cal. circuit).

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1199786735200

The Helmsley (DC circuit) or whatever is more on point. The judge specifically mentions that sanctions would be much higher if non-licensed attorenys were used.

I don't think New York has a case yet, but rest assured there will be one. Incidently, don't authorize perform any Q C on known batches of outsorced work or check off on anything you haven't read (batches of data). If you read Qualcom you'll see that several attorneys were brought before the ethics board. You don't want that to be you.

I think the reason that

Anonymous said...

Deloitte bought Barrasso only 1 year ago. Doc review is legal work. It is the giving of legal advice and the performance of legal analysis. That's why biglaw has billed our work out for hundreds of dollars per hour as legal work for years. If they want to deny that it is legal work, they have a lot of explaining to do about that. What anyone intends to do for the next 25 years is irrelevant. What is relevant is that outsourcing legal work is the unauthorized practice of law and should not be permitted.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the outsourcing is very widespread, otherwise almost every contract attorney in NYC wouldn't be out of work and unable to find a project.

Anonymous said...

Deloitte apparently bought Barrasso to get into the doc review outsourcing business. That is what Barrasso was doing, not accounting.

Anonymous said...

The reason attorneys can be professionally disciplined for improperly performing doc review is that it is legal work.

Anonymous said...

All you people do is bash Barrasso projects ad nauseam. As such, why do you care if they outsource? It's not somewhere you wanted to work anywhere, right?

Anonymous said...

Why are you coming here to defend Barrasso? How much do trolls get paid nowadays?

Anonymous said...

This is why I love this blog. Most of you have no clue about the business you are in. It doesn't matter what kind of degree you have to own and operate a doc review firm. Owning and operating a business is not the same as practicing law.

Also, as long as the ABA blesses it, there is no unauthorized practice of law. The people saying it is ok, are the same who make the rules about who is authorized and who isnt. It may not be fair, but unfortunately its the world we live in.

Anonymous said...

Trolls make more money than people on unemployment.

Anonymous said...

1143

Sadly, they probably don't get paid anything for trolling. That's the irony. They are doing the job of people who make money off of this for them without getting a dime. It's kind of pathetic when you think about it. Most of the trolls here are just people with unresolved psychological issues. Doc reviews attract a lot of people like this. Some just are crazy on the job. Others are just crazy.

Anonymous said...

11:14

There are small projects in NYC, but they're staffed by regulars. The problem is that credit to start large scale doc. reviews is frozen. The banks won't issue the money so everything that can be put on hold is on hold.

It's not so much that work is going to India, it's that there isn't much work at the moment.

I suspect the work that's done in India is A) subpar and B) stuff that paralegals would do in anticipation of legal action, not discovery related to an actual request for production.

That doesn't rule out that some scumbag is trying to get licensed attorneys to sign off on batches of documents sorted by non-attorneys. Some people will do anything to make a buck, and some people will do stupid things to make a buck. Anyone screwing around with this ought to know better, so if they get their license yanked they probably deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Actually the ABA cannot magically turn the unauthorized practice of law into proper conduct, it can only try to give cover.

Hiring non-attorneys and directing them to engage in the practice of law is the unauthorized practice of law.

Attorneys can be sued for malpractice for screwing up doc review. It is the practice of law.

Do the biglaw firms want to start giving out refunds for all the doc review they have billed out as legal work?

Anonymous said...

1150

I think you are probably right. I have been reading reports of multiple industries being affected by the frozen credit market. Doc reviews are only one. For example, industries as diverse as nonprofit organizations and automakers are affected by the down turn. It's funny (or sad) how much of our society runs on the ability to obtain credit.

Anonymous said...

11:14 what projects are you talking about? The regulars I know are out of work? Any specific projects you can identify?

Anonymous said...

11:44

You don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about.

All the ABA opinion did was give the green light to state bars to resolve the issue themselves. If you bother to read the NY or Florida opinions, you'll see that foreing attorneys are considered non-attorneys. No big surprise there.

If you're so smart, why don't you call Perla and tell him you want to sign off on batches of documents sorted by Indians. You might make some money for 3-4 months before your license is revoked.

Anonymous said...

I meant 11;50,not 11:14,what projects are you talking about? Specific projects not conjecture. The regulars I know are out of work.

Anonymous said...

11:44 thats not actually correct just because the ABA says so does not make it so. Last time I checked a state statute that is on the books still counts, that ABA can't waive a wand and make the law disappear.

Anonymous said...

11:50

I heard there's stuff at Viacom (I'd rather starve than work there) and skeleton crews on projects at S&C. I suspect there are small skeleton crews working on projects at most of the firms.

My guess is that the firms will staff a project with a skeleton crew so that a core of the contract attorneys are familar with the docs. That way they will be able to do QC when they get funding and staff up.

I think (but am not sure) that the client (or the firm in the case of large class actions) gets a loan to cover the cost of the doc. review. The agencies in turn get another loan from the firm or the bank to pay the attorneys their salary. They then collect from the firm a few months later. In other words there's not a direct transfer of liquid assets from one entity to the other. My guess is that the credit crisis is throwing a huge wrench in this and the firms are delaying the large scale reviews.

Anonymous said...

1149

I think like the other poster on the subject of credit crunch you are right.

I should point out, and the only thing I can add, is that is almost no chance that outsourcing is the culprit behind the slowdown in doc reviews. this crunch and the recession is world wide.

We here in America are suffering, but so are economic boom countries like China, countries of South Asia, countires of Europe etc.

Even prospective growth areas are being hit when you look at the drying of venture capital, loans to small businesses, etc.

I guess that I never fully appreciated how much , again, our economy and that of the world runs on credit.

It's a bit scary when you think about it.

Anonymous said...

sorry 1249 rather than 1149

Anonymous said...

1:30

Yeah the world's getting hit hard. You don't hear half of the bad news here. I moonlight as a court interpreter so I watch foreign news. There are riots in the baltics and Iceland. Russia's economy completly tanked. Germany's employment is the worst in decades. Latin America and Brazil are worse basket cases than they were. And developing markets in Asia, forget about it.

The only place that they might not notice it is India. That's beacuse it's already so poor there that people die in the streets of Delhi from dysentry, polio, and other weird diseases so the average person dosen't know or care that a crisis is happening.

People in somewhat civilized places (unlike Inida) get wiped out by this kind of stuff. In china people lost their jobs and entire savings and there's no real welfare system. Glad I live in the US where the worst that happens is I have to take a lower paying job and drink PBR in Queens instead of cocktails in Manhatten. And post on message boards because I don't have to work tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

will everyone please stop with the racism toward South Asians?

Oh please--South Asians are some of the most racist people on the planet. You just don't want to be judged by the same standards you apply to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

No attorney who is faced with disciplinary charges or a malpractice suit for screwing up a doc review project should try defending by claiming that doc review isn't practicing law.

Anonymous said...

Is there really an Update project still going on somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I think like the other poster on the subject of credit crunch you are right.

I should point out, and the only thing I can add, is that is almost no chance that outsourcing is the culprit behind the slowdown in doc reviews. this crunch and the recession is world wide.
___________________________________How long do you think they can hold off on the big projects?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a link to the ABA opinion?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a link but I know the ABA doesn't have a magic wand that can change the unauthorized practice of law into something that is ok

Anonymous said...

This was a post here on Barrasso half a year before Deloitte bought it
Diane Barrasso: Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold was a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is perhaps the most famous traitor in the history of the United States.
Meet Diane Barrasso. Diane Barasso, of Barasso Consulting, runs a notorious temporary sweatshop out in Westfield, New Jersey. Barrasso pays a benefitless wage well below market rate. Barrasso is able to offer such measly local wages by pitting heavily indebted recent American law graduates against cheap, overseas Indian labor.
http://www.barrassoconsulting.com/blog/PermaLink,guid,1a0c6e76-aec0-48b3-9ff6-e8ee4773d882.aspx
At a time when our country is on the brink of a financial catastrophe, where health insurance costs are skyrocketing, and where American taxpayers will soon be on the hook for millions in defaulted student loans, Barrasso is getting rich by helping "McJob" yet another American industry.

Anonymous said...

11:44 you are the clueless one. The ABA doesn't have the power to make the unauthorized practice of law legit

Anonymous said...

maybe biglaw firms are agreeing to limit the discovery to a few seach terms to cut the expenses to the clients

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that it's unauthorized practice of law. Every big firm in New York has tens if not hundreds of unadmitted first years working on doc review. They won't be admitted until at least February or March. There are also thousands of lawyers who move between states every year and start new jobs before they're admitted in the new jurisdiction. And it's certainly not unprecedented for an associate admitted in NJ to work on a case that eventually goes to trial in NY. I'm not ready to call any of these situations unauthorized practice of law. If you're supervised, that's probably enough. Logically, I have a hard time making a distinction for foreign attorneys (bad effect aside).

Anonymous said...

If you are admitted in one jurisdiction, that is very different. You could be waived in for a case. You can be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. Biglaw firms allowing unauthorized practice of law by anyone doesn't make it okay, but unadmitted law clerks can assist on briefs and motions. That doesn't mean drafting briefs and motions is not the practice of law. Having foreign non-attorneys who are not even attending a U.S. law school perform doc review is the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

1243 & 1252

a) Big law can not agree alone to limit the scope of discovery. There are the minor issues (sarcasm) of the judge and opposing counsel to address. I think it is more likely as has been posted they can't afford to do discovery. That's a separate issue from whether cases still require them to do it.

b) How many times has this issue been covered regarding authorized practice of law? It's clearly considered under the rules of ethics and by the courts to be an aspect of practicing law. Part of the problem is that many of you have never practiced law. Discovery related doc reviews (most of the large scale doc reviews) are at the lower end of the practice of law, but still practicing law.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
why is it illegal practice of law (non-U.S. licnsed Indian worker doing New York Law case) and what is the difference between this and a lawyer in New York working on a California case?
Well there a lot of reasons why this is not the same scenario, but it is a good question to ask. Here are a few reasons why it is illegal.
A New York Attorney working on a California case in fact may be practing law illegally unless they fall into a "safe harbor" provision.
California tends to be pretty tough on this issue, more so than other states, but in any event, if a lawyer who works on a case in a state that said attorney is not admitted to, that can usually be found to be within a safe harbor provision.
Those provisions typically tend to rely on the fact that said attorney is admitted in another U.S. state, whose bar can sanction and discipline that attorney for conduct in the state where they are not admitted, and that said attorney must comply with profession rules of conduct and ethics, and in addition are generally bound by the same federal rules that all attorneys admitted in a U.S. jurisdiction are bound by.
Indian workers are not bound by those same rules of professional conduct, or bar sanctions, and thus they can not practice law in the U.S. as they are out of these safe harbor provisions.
In addition they are also not bound by federal rules either. Either way, this alone rules Indian workers out from law practice in the U.S.
As a side note, there are a whole number of areas of law where it is simply illegal to even send documents pertaining to the case out of the country.
For instance, anything involving a "duel use" technology getting sent abroad to India can subject the sender to provisions of anti-export laws, as well as the updated Patriot Act, this also includes patent disputes and pharma cases and anything else that could relate to ever expanding U.S. security issues.
Second, foreign lawyers can not practice here unless either 1) they came from a common law country and sat for and passed a U.S. bar exam or 2) they are "seconded" as an employee of a law frim.
An out sourcing agency IS NOT a law firm. As such since they have not passed a U.S. bar exam or work as an employee of a U.S. law firm, this practice is illegal on these grounds as well.
There a many more reasons why this is not legal but those are a couple of the easy ones.
___________________________________This is an answer posted on an earlier thread that is worth repeating

Anonymous said...

Decent arguments, but I'm still not totally sold. I think unauthorized practice of law is a somewhat high bar. If it wasn't, they'd have to shut every law school legal clinic in the country. I think supervision is the key.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't matter if you are sold.

Anonymous said...

"a) Big law can not agree alone to limit the scope of discovery. There are the minor issues (sarcasm) of the judge and opposing counsel to address. I think it is more likely as has been posted they can't afford to do discovery. That's a separate issue from whether cases still require them to do it. "
___________________________________
hey 1:08 while I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, I have heard associates overseeing doc reviews talk about discovery orders being crafted to limit time and expense - obviously the two sides agree ahead of time and get a judge to sign it - but you're also correct about cost - so it's multiple factors - also don't forget that as the software gets more sophisticated in terms of searching and sorting, the need for massive numbers of reviewers goes down

Anonymous said...

215

Believe what you want.

Anonymous said...

Yes this has bbeen asked and answered again and again. Foreign non-attorneys are not comparable.

Anonymous said...

208

Shorter version of your posts: I remain convinced that the earth is flat, and I am not sold on the idea that the earth is round. Please convince me.

Anonymous said...

Software is totally insufficient for doc review because many search terms aren't even known before humans review the docs. Also people often do not speak in search terms. Relying on software can lead to huge malpractice problems.

Anonymous said...

12:43

I think they can do so by agreeing to certain arbitration clauses. The arbitration court can then limit the discovery process. The law firms won't simply agree between themselves, they need a judegement. They can also file continuences in the courts for about 3-4 months.


11:09

There's a set period of time to confirm (I think a year) the judgement of the arbitration court or motion to vacate (a month or so) after which it becomes difficult to get around it, so they can probably delay until the confirmation date. That's assuming that the arbitration court limited the amount of discovery. There may be other ways to limit discovery.

12:52

There's nothing wrong with letting non-attorneys pre-code the documents or write a motion, but a licensed attorney has to look them over and agree with the call or edit the motion.

Scumbags like Perla or some of the other agencies try to convince licensed attorneys to QC batches of documents and make the call based on the test sample. This won't work and is the unauthorized practice of law. I hope they pull his license and the rest of people that work at Pangea's licenses. Anytime I have the chance to make their lives as difficult as possible in court or screw them on a deal, I'm going to do so.

Also doc. review is used to evaluate first years and summer associates. The firms are smart enough to put hot docs or questionable docs in the batches (They do it on regular doc reviews also). Lazy associates won't read the docs and dumber ones won't ask questions about the questionable docs. By the way, the same thing happens with the temps, which is why the ones that do a good job get offers for litigation assistants and why long term temping looks bad on the resume.


1:21
Read the 2006 New York opinion on outsorcing. It will answer your questions. Ignore the ABA opinion, it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

If a judge approves the agreement can there be malpractice?

Anonymous said...

2:08

According to the 2006 New York opinion, a hightened degree of supervision is required for outsorced work. The supervison requirement is also why they stick everybody in an office and have an associate occasionally check up on them.

Anonymous said...

2:49 what opinion? Where's the link?

Anonymous said...

Whose 2006 NY opinion?

Anonymous said...

I think supervision is the key.

Supervision is the key if the parties being supervised have at least some American legal training. We are talking about people who would be nothing more than paralegals here, if that--so how can you possibly justify outsourcing work to them that would have to be done by at least a J.D., and more typically a licensed attorney, within the U.S.?

Anonymous said...

Here's the link for the city bar opinion.

http://www.abcny.org/Ethics/eth2006.htm

Note:
(a) rigorously supervises the non-lawyer, so as to avoid aiding the non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law and to ensure that the non-lawyer’s work contributes to the lawyer’s competent representation of the client.

Rigorous supervision not reasonable supervision is required.

Anonymous said...

hey 2:46 - you're right that long-term temping looks bad on a resume but not because you are a mediocre or bad reviewer - it means you couldn't find suitable full-time employment - what makes you think the work of individual temps is being heavily scrutinized in large-scale reviews - obviously the associates have to QC for mistakes but you're implying that associates and partners routinely sit around evaluating individual temps for permanent positions - most of the time, when the project is over - everybody goes home and you hope to get called back - how many temps do you actually know who parlayed temping into a full-time staff attorney? from what I can tell they are few and far between and often are the result of good timing (i.e. being around when the firm happens to decide to hire a few staff people) - if this was your personal experience, then that's great, but don't make blanket statements full of falsehood

Anonymous said...

The bar association does not have a magic wand that allows it to legalize the unauthorized practice of law. Do you have any decision anywhere in any U.S court that backs up what you're saying? Obviously not. There isn't any, not one.

Anonymous said...

The bar association cannot change or make law.

Also, the idea that there is any rigorous supervision of these foreign projects is a joke. The reviewers are not even capable of understanding the documents and having some U.S attorney sleep in the back and sign off on the make-believe review they are doing doesn't come close to even meeting the ethical standard the city bar has decided to apply to disciplinary proceedings.

Anonymous said...

3:57

S&C routinely offers fulltime positions to temps. Other firms do the same, especially if it's a niche field.


3:58

There's plenty of case law. Look up unauthorized practice of law on Lexis.

Anonymous said...

There's no case law, that is why you don't cite any.

Anonymous said...

being hired as a staff attorney to do document reviews is not a viable path. it's one step above contract attorney in that it creates the illusion (if not the reality) of stability. but substaintively provides no greater career advancement.

Anonymous said...

3:57

I think they're scrutanized because it's very easy to do. All the data from the work done is on the computer. So, it's easy enought to track accuracy and quantity of work done. To determine accuracy, the firms insert the same questionable docs into everyone's batches and see what the results are. Smart reviewer will catch all the test docs. Have you ever noticed that some docs just don't fit in the batch and that people will discuss the same weird docuements they get.


If you talk to permatemps they'll tell you that they've had offers from the firms but declined since they can make more money temping.

Anonymous said...

Even the bar association opinion recognizes that doc review is the practice of law. It specifies that the "rigorous supervision" standard is intended to prevent the unauthorized practice of law. The lack of any actual rigorous supervision on the foreign projects makes it clear that even under the bar assoc ethics standards, the unauthorized practice of law is exactly what is involved. And of course the bar association has no power to make law.

Anonymous said...

Using test documents is nothing like rigorous supervision of the review of actual documents.

Also the bar assoc doesn't have a magic wand

Anonymous said...

4:23 the docs being in the computer does not make it easy check accuracy. The documents actually have to be looked at by humans not computers. That test document idea is a joke. The nature of the docs being reviewed isn't even understood until they are opened and looked at by humans. You can't check the accuracy of the review of docs you have never seen by slipping in test docs.

Anonymous said...

If doc review wasn't the practice of law the bar association wouldn't be applying a standard of rigorous supervision to it regarding their disciplinary proceedings. Non-lawyers can have a technical role in a doc review project like loading assignments, the foreign non-lawyers performing doc review on these outsourced projects are performing the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

The supervison requirement is also why they stick everybody in an office and have an associate occasionally check up on them.

2:49 PM
___________________
Sticking everyone in a room and having an associate occasionally "check up on them" is nowhere near rigorous supervision, so they are committing the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

probably what will stop the outsourcing is that this incredibly shoddy practice will lead to a major bungle and the idea that there was any due diligence used will be laughed at as major sanctions are handed out and malpractice papers are served

Anonymous said...

We are also not discussing the language differences. Even knowing official English is not the same as being a) a naitive speaker and b) more specifically a naitive speaker in the U.S. There's no way around that one. It's the equivalent of expecting American lawyers to go to Japan, and handle questions of Japanese law in documents written in Japanese. It's a lot to ask even under the best conditions.

Anonymous said...

Sticking everyone in a room and having an associate occasionally "check up on them" is nowhere near rigorous supervision, so they are committing the unauthorized practice of law.
___________________________________

It isn't unauthorized practice of law if they people being supervised are all lawyers, as they are here.

Anonymous said...

5;28, 2;49 spoke of outsourced work. Sticking foreign non-attorneys in a room and have an attorney occasionally "check up on them" is not rigorous supervision. They are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

t isn't unauthorized practice of law if they people being supervised are all lawyers, as they are here.

5:28 PM
_________________________
Right, if the people being supervised were all lawyers there would be no unauthorized practice of law issue. Thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Point 1: Someone already made the point, per the Ethics Opinion referred to previously, that foreign attorneys who are not licensed here are not considered attorneys. If you read the opinion it says that having foreign "attorneys" (Non-attorneys for US purpose) review documents is not the unauthorized practice of law if they are properly supervised by US attorneys up to the level required by the opinion.

Point 2: I agree that there is unauthorized practice of law going on on most of these document reviews because the US law firms do not meet the requirements with regard to the proper amount of supervision. But this is not only with regard to the work being done overseas. There is no way that, for example, 4 supervising associates here in the US can review the work of 150 (US attorneys) document reviewers within the time constrictions given by courts for discovery.

Additionally, the problem of inadequate supervision is compounded with regard to foreign language document review projects. There, the supervising attorneys often don't even speak the foreign language and there is no way that they could even claim to have independently supervised the work that was done. They depend on document reviewers that have been tested for their language proficiency by the legal placement agencies. These proficiency tests can be taken from your home (meaning a friend could take it for you)and the tests are not appropriate or tailored to the specialized language you would encounter on a specific document review assignment. More often than not people with only an American high school level of language proficiency are reading the documents.

Anonymous said...

6:40 reviewers who are U.S. attorneys are authorized to practice law.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a safe bet that none of the foreign language projects meet the rigorous supervision requirement so all of them are in the business of the unauthorized practice of law.

Trollop said...

I don't think anybody is really talking about which projects are going on. Everybody's getting greedy, calling each other trolls, paranoid. Trollop is my surname. I should start posting as Anonymous.

Here's the ABA statement from the summer. We'll never know how much is really outsourced or how it affects our market.

http://www.abanet.org/abanet/media/release/news_release.cfm?releaseid=435

Anonymous said...

hey 4:23 - I've been doing doc review unfortunately for 3 years and in three different cities and never heard of a single person turning down a staff position - yes I recognize that you COULD make more in one year temping assuming you have constant assignments - but everyone I've ever talked to would cut off their left arm and give up a few bucks for the stability and most important, the benefits - hey 4:21,nobody said staff attorney was a path to the penthouse at Cravath, Sullivan or Dewey, but it is a "regular" job

Anonymous said...

Although the ABA loves dismantling our profession to screw us out of our ability to earn a living, I would think it's really likely that there isn't any foreign language project that comes close to the level of supervision required and what they are doing is the unauthorized practice of law for that very reason.

Anonymous said...

Non-attorneys in India are supposedly reviewing docs but they aren't even capable of understanding them. That doesn't meet the standards for the practice of law in any U.S. jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

ok. so now that we have hashed and rehashed the arguments, someone tell me where the picket line is. i have nothing else to do.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile in the real world:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01262009/news/nationalnews/just_plane_despicable_152033.htm

This is why this country is screwed. We got a class of wealthy that's eatting cake while Rome burns, and an idiot apologist class that does not quite get that they are just suffering from an economic version of Stockholm's Syndrome.

The article by the way points out how one of the investment banks we donated our tax dollars to is using that money to buy corporate plane.

This is our society, and this is how fucked up our system is. This is why doc rev land is the way it is. It's just a microcosm of the greater disease.

Anonymous said...

If Perla is engaging in the unautorized practice of law, someone should file an ethics complaint against him. You do not need court sanctions first.

Anonymous said...

"file an ethics complaint?"

This blog isn't for action, it's just for whining.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone get called back by deloitte today, after the interview/test?

Just wondering if I missed the boat.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know there was a boat. Was that a NJ project?

Anonymous said...

Good luck trying to leave the temp world. Chek ou this article about $70,000 job cuts.

Anonymous said...

Sorry here is the article.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/26/news/economy/job_cuts/index.htm

Anonymous said...

the link doesn't work

Anonymous said...

Year of the Ox - Happy New Year
The Spartan influence of the Ox will be a constantly cracking whip over our heads. Better to apply oneself diligently than waste time arguing with the authorities. They will prevail, as the year of the Ox favors discipline.

Anonymous said...

you all need to watch some Joel Osteen. Then make some signs and go march. Then drink some starbucks and say hi to the guy behind the counter cause that will be me.

Anonymous said...

I bet even Starbuck's jobs are hard to come by now...anyone applied recently?

Anonymous said...

The picket idea is outdated

Anonymous said...

Temp attorneys are more like "Picketts Charge" than picketing.

Anonymous said...

Picketing is so last century. People no longer protest by hanging out in the public square and handing out pamphlets. Everyone bitches in cyberspace.

Now, striking is a different story.

Anonymous said...

don't we need jobs before we can go on strike?

Anonymous said...

actually that number for today was 75,000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/business/economy/27layoffs.html?hp

They expected more, and it's not just domestic. This is a world wide recession.

We can thank 30 years of laissez faire economics for this. The chickens are coming home to roost. Basically, a repetition of 30 years of the same policies that lead to the Great Depression.

Oh, and they are claiming that these numbers are the tip of the iceberg.

I had lunch with this person today because I am job hunting (crazy me), and she said they were basically cutting everything they can to prevent any further job cuts, but they don't know in her company (which actually did okay last year) they will be able to continue with the credit crunch and the economic gifts left us by deregulation.

On the bright side, re regulation means more work for us.

Anonymous said...

So now you people are HOPING to go back to work in the sweatshops? I don't get it. Isn't this blog dedicated to how bad it is there?

Anonymous said...

1255

The only interesting thing you said is that you don't get it.

I think that will be the epitaph on your grave stone one day.

"Here lies random troll online. He didn't get it."

Anonymous said...

Well, there's a job in NY starting... at $25 for admitted attorneys... DEFLATE THE RATE!

Pay Rate: $25 to $30 per hour
Job Order Number: 02940-118537


Requirements: Admitted and in good standing with the New York State Bar.


Description: Long Island Company seeks attorneys admitted in New York
State to assist in a document review assignment. Previous document review
experience is a plus.

Apply for this job now or contact our branch office for additional
information:


New York Midtown
245 Park Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10167-2501
Phone: 212.557.7878
Fax: 212.973.1030

Email: new.york.midtown@roberthalflegal.com

Anonymous said...

Here lies an ugly troll, his goal in life was to make others miserable.

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes this blog fails to praise those in the industry who are doing the right thing. Sandrene Ryan at Denovo gets my utmost respect. As long as you do a good job for her, she will call you about work. She is a straight shooter and always very cordial on the phone. She is one of the best in the doc review biz.

Anonymous said...

105

I believe Long Island always has had lower rates than the city. This is not based on deflating the rate.

Anonymous said...

205

There are nice people on the agency side, but those people normally burn out given the nature of the industry. I have met quite a few nice people. But, I also noticed they don't stay for long.

Anonymous said...

Is it warm in the sweatshop? cause my feet are cold :(

Anonymous said...

HIRECounsel is the worst. Don't work with Denise Asnes or Joe Funaro unless you absolutely have to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am a recently canned BIGLAW corporate attorney who formerly thought this blogger was a douche and now realize that all law firm partners should have their nutsacks forcibly extracted from their smarmy, dysfunctional scrotums.

This is a singularly miserable profession from top to bottom. My only joy is that I had seven plus years to squirrel away what few shekels I could before being shown the door. I am frankly amazed I lasted that long.

Forgive my grammar as mykeyboard sticks as I write this as I have been sitting at home for 2 months daytrading and masturbating while my wife works. I was recently even called for a staff attorney position at a BIGLAW firm. Oh joy.

I too never should have gone to law school or to college, for that matter. I could have been saving money from the age of 18 and owned several residential real estate properties as do my friends.

School is a complete and utter waste of time for anyone who has even the slightest intellect.

I feel for all of you as if you have not figured it out yet, New York City is fucked for the foreseeable future.

Anonymous said...

5:40 here. Oh yeah, and I graduated with honors and was on the Law Review. Fucking bully for me.

No one is safe.

Anonymous said...

At least you had a good job. Most of us here are the dregs, unemployable losers who have to scrape and grovel like day laborers for temp work.

Anonymous said...

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/106493/Top-Paying-Companies

Company hiring. new attorneys = $160k

Anonymous said...

6:18. 5:40 here. I am appreciatve I had those miserable jobs for 7 years, trust me.

For posterity, I went to a Tier 2 School in the evenings andi never treated temps poorly. Never. I pretty much despised all of the pompous Ivy and Tier 1 douches who generally shared the same elitist attitudes. Many of them are feeling this too as many of them spent every dime they made and are now suking up $405 per week on UE like the rest of us.

Good story, when I was dragged into the NYS Unemployment Office on the mandatory meeting, i ws amazed by (a) the packed conference room and (b) the perceived caliber of folks in attendance.

They pulled mot ofthe well dressed youngish to 30s aged white guys into a separate conference room and told us we could go home, while the rest of the original crowd met with employment officers. Apparently all of our group had checked off that we didnt need any help finding a job (more likely we didnt want any). I asked on guy next to me, "you a lawyer too", fscetiously mind you. Yes, he says and then 2 or 3 guys behind us say, "us too".

Point-The place was packed with lawyers...and i bankers.

If its any consolation, I highly doubt that these temp agencies are going to hire ex-BIGLAWyers over traditional temp workers b/c ex-BIGLAWyers still carry with them their arrogance and refusa to do this type of work, to their own detriment I add.

glta,

Anonymous said...

6:18 is right, temp agencies don't like ex-BigLaw associates, for three reasons:

1. They think the work is below them and so they won't care about their work product.

2. It taints their otherwise spectacular resume. (unless they hide it.)

3. They will bail out on a project once they get a permanent job, which odds are, they eventually will get. (unlike the permatemps who have stopped looking)

Anonymous said...

Fired biglaw lawyers are overqualified for document review work. Nobody wants to hire someone who looks down upon the work, or who will leave as soon as the economy picks up.

Anonymous said...

How useful can this blog be when 90% of the posts are by "Anonymous", and the posts aren't even dated?

There is absolutely no sense of community on this blog. It seems to be just a bunch of angry, underemployed and underqualified lawyers venting about their plight, in typically rushed and harried "BigLaw" fashion.

Unless this blog starts implementing mandatory registration, with monikers for each poster, this "community" of temporary lawyers will never evolve into a potent force.

Instead, this blog is serving only as a "bathroom wall" where people throw up semi-coherent gripes and rants.

Also, with a few notable exceptions, the legal analysis of what constitutes a qualified attorney, and what constitutes the unlicensed practice of law, is half-assed. Many comments here betray poor English usage (like the ever-present substitution of "your" for "you're"), which bespeaks people who probably should never have gone to law school in the first place.

And the comments are almost impossible to follow, because 90% of people post anonymously. None of this is conducive to the building of an intelligent, powerful force which can hope to fight the abuses of BigLaw, outsourcing, and litigation support industry contractors, and the degeneration of the legal profession in the US.

In seeking expedience, quick-and-easy answers, and emotional outbursts over clear, coherent and productive dialogue, many of the participants here show that they themselves are in large part contributing to the demise of this profession.

Signed,

JT

Anonymous said...

Anonymous doesn't like anonymous posts. This blog doesn't have a registration requirement because that would be the end of it, as anonymous JT knows.

Anonymous said...

I suspect ex-BIGLAWyers are not palatable to the tempworld chieftains for fear of possible reprisals from existing contacts of those ex-BIGLAWyers as well as the perceived inability to tool on said ex-BIGLAWyers.

Anonymous said...

Can you claim unemployment for past weeks off? Say I was off from Dec. 15 to Jan 2. I then worked three days and got laid off. I filed for my time since Jan. 2 and got approved. However, the woman from UI said I couldn't get unemployment for the week Dec. 15 to Jan. 2. I remember hearing from a temp that you could claim for past time off.

Anonymous said...

4:37 In order to claim unemployment you have to certify that you are ready, willing and able to work and looking for work and have not refused any work. I think the Unemployment office is leery of people who claim that met the criteria but just didn't file. However, I know a lot of people who filed but then had to call the 1-888 number only to find out that it was constantly busy.

Anonymous said...

I have had my name on a bathroom wall too many times to remember. If we have to choose a name, I want to be Mr. Green.

Anonymous said...

3:10

They're overqualified, but the agencies and firms are smart enough to treat them well. 5 years down the road, some of these people will be making decesions about who to hire, or working in BIGLAW again. If the agencies or firms treat them well, they've made a friend. If they jerk them around, they've made an enemy who can decide to hire everyone that doesn't work for the agency that jerked them around, or in the case of a firm, hit below the belt in a future litigation.

The people working at the firms (who make the hiring decesions) went to the same school as these people. An NYU partner will hire NYU grads. They could care less about whether they've completed X number of projects in X years of temping.

So, they'll hire BIGLAW droupouts, and they'll keep them on the project and make them an offer when the economy picks up. The permatemps
they could care less about.






3:49

Anonymous is a relly good idea. The agencies know about this and are smart enough to read it from time to time. If you start bashing one of them or temping in general, they'll find a way not to submit your resume. Assuming they know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows why we have to post anonymously. Let's move on and not waste time being baited by a troll.

Anonymous said...

Life is good.

Anonymous said...

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/27/news/economy/state_unemployment/index.htm?postversion=2009012715

NY State's unemployment insurance fund is insolvent.

Anonymous said...

Not anymore. The unemployment fund will soon be obtaining an infusion of money from the federal government. The House just passed the stimulus package. The Senate will pass it next week. The funny thing is that this package passed without a single vote from the GOP. Apparently we have enough money to bail out the banks and to pay for infrastructure in Iraq, but not enough money to help our mainstreet economy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.orcatec.com/whitepapers/37/trends-in-ediscovery-2008

This article list trends in the e-discovery/document review world. It seems judges are getting a lot more comfortable with having next generation software programs weed out the junk. The software companies are getting better at creating searches that are actually effective. Our jobs are being replaced by IT people who can create, run and manage searches. The pay per click mass doc review model is dead.

Anonymous said...

Where do we go from here? What jobs are you guys looking at outside of doc review? I see a lot of ads for litigation support managers.

Anonymous said...

This:

http://www.orcatec.com/whitepapers/37/trends-in-ediscovery-2008

is from a biased source. I am not saying its wrong or right,but it's not something I would read as gospel.

Anonymous said...

7:54 is an obvious troll posting a paper from a company that sells the junkwar he or she is pushing. Software searches can't adequately weed out anything because until humans review the docs many of the search terms that should be used aren't even known. Who hasn't been on a project where software searches have been like a bad joke? Way too much is missed by the searches and way too much that is garbage is taken in by them. Besides which people often do not write in search terms. That is why every doc review project is a work in progress that is changed over and over again as the human reviewers see what's actually there.

Anonymous said...

meant "junkware"

Anonymous said...

7:54 here

I am not a troll. I a veteran doc reviewer who is seriously trying to figure out what the hell happened to the doc review world. I was continously employed for three years (less than three weeks off in three years) until the end of 2008 when the market turned to shit. I really want to know -- is the new software programs, outsourcing, too many attorneys, or just the crappy economy? Why is there no work? And why are the projects so short?

Anonymous said...

"The pay per click mass doc review model is dead."

There never was a pay per click model. The model was by the billable hour, squeeze as many bodies into a room and bill the client per coder, by the hour.

Firms need to do this for their own use of the material as well as for the client. Searches are getting better and maybe the documents will be autocoded.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother pretending your'e not a troll. That junk paper you're pushing says it all. Vendors constantly over-promise for the crap they sell. There is no substitute for actually looking at the docs because they cannot be understood until humans review them. Any doc reviewer should know that.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the tech argument is that it's not true.

They can not produce a program yet or in the forseeable future that will do what the article describes.

Anyone having been on any recent document reviews can attest to the fact that the programs are often over and under inclusive.

They create as many problems as they solve. In order for the programs to truly replace doc reviewers they woul have to understand natural language rather than simply look for search terms.

Do you know how impossible that is , technically speaking, that is right now?

That's why I said you shouldn't listen to people who biased in favor of their own product. It may work on a lot of non savvy tech people, but their argument should be thought of in the context of the world we already exist in regarding databases and information management.

Or, if you prefer, think about it this way- have you heard of any program that can understand the English language as well or as close to what human's can do?

Maybe they are saying there are acceptable risks that they and courts are willing to take. But, I wonder how wide spread this acceptance is. This is like the discussion here about outsourcing.

Everyone talks about it , but no one can give concrete numbers outside anecdotes.

However, this all being said, you should be looking for real work regardless of what happens with this. These jobs we do are not real. They are stop gap measures, and always were meant to be stop gap measures.

Anonymous said...

The credit crunch is probably the reason for the lack of work. Law firms are getting rid of associates because the economy sucks. It's not the software, it's the economy.

Anonymous said...

935

Agreed. I think some of the posters here live in a bubble. We have a world wide recession that's destroying small and large businesses. I have friends losing their job in every business you can imagine. Yet, people here continue to be so self absorbed that they think these things are strictly related to the legal industry.

Anonymous said...

It's not like everything is great in the rest of the economy but doc review jobs are disappearing. Jobs are being lost in every sector.

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