Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Train Has Left The Station

Is it the crappy economy, or is the evaporation of document review work the result of outsourcing? If outsourcing is the answer, don't expect these jobs to come back anytime soon.

"Boston-based Forrester Research estimates the current value of legal work shipped overseas at $80 million; that amount is expected to grow to $4 billion in India alone by 2015."

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/tusker-group-grows-increased-legal/story.aspx?guid=%7B08BEA988-5D8E-45E7-8356-14DA270ABA93%7D&dist=msr_1

304 comments:

1 – 200 of 304   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I'm not a litigator, but can't the ABA issue and advisory that out of country document review renders evidence inadmissible?

That would protect high paying jobs forsure Mr.Obama.

Anonymous said...

It started happening a little over a year ago. I remember some horrible troll posting and saying, "just you wait you uppity temps, wait until we send all of the work to India".

They weren't kidding. I hope those pigs can sleep at night. Perhaps their jobs have been exported too.

As lowly, temps we are the first to feel the pinch of the collapsing economy and exporting of much of our work.

Welcome to the Global Economy, boy does it suck!

Anonymous said...

If they can export doc review, why not export secretarial coverage, word processing, IT (even moreso) and, eventually, the Associateship.

Doc review is the frontline of this battle.

Anonymous said...

All I can say about this article is holy shit, its finally sinking in, it really is going on in India. I never
thought it would really happen; I never thought corporations would sink that low. The article reads like a really bad dream. They're not hiding it anymore.

I guess the days of reading emails all day for 40 bucks an hour, banging "office hot" temps and naughty paralegals and riding in limos is officially over.

Time to fill out that Starbucks application. Hopefully the local ones will have some hot chicks working there.

Anonymous said...

this is cyclical. law school apps are down. when the economy eventually turns, there will be a deficiency of bodies and a hiring spree will occur a la late 1990s, early to mid 2000s.

Anonymous said...

Better start learning languages like Dutch, Russian, and Italian that few Indian attorneys speak!

JT

Anonymous said...

Law school apps are down, but the law schools are still cranking out the same numbers of grads, since they don't shrink class sizes according to the economy or the number of apps.

Simply put, the jobs lost to India are NEVER coming back unless US contract attorneys mount a legal challenge in US courts. Being attorneys, this should be a no-brainer and a slam dunk issue tor us. And yet, we sit around and whine like a bunch of 7th grade kids in detention!

JT

Anonymous said...

What is the core legal issue here which militates that a document sorted must have been sorted by a US-trained lawyer rather than a foreign lawyer.

There is a core legal issue(s) that hasn't really been clealry articulated yet.

That issue must be the basis of a class action.

JT

Anonymous said...

For all of their "expansion" there is a direct contraction here. We are out of work because of these people. Make no mistake, doc review is still being done on all of these projects, just not by attorneys in NYC.

For every Japanese or Chinese review, their a matching English language review. Where is it? Try India.

Anonymous said...

There is never going to a shortage of doc review attorneys. There is always a false shortage of gilded associates, while the 90% that make up the rest of the graduating law school classes, struggle.

Law is a shit profession, don't expect any improvement.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how successful the outsourcing will be. In the early 2000s, there was a big scare of outsourcing in the IT sector. But big companies found out that IT outsourcing isn't really profitable (too many errors/inefficiencies/incompetencies). Hence, those jobs have come back to the US. I think, or hope, the same will be said in a couple years for legal outsourcing.

Anonymous said...

Question: why did they make this a job for barred attorneys anyway? Why was it never offered to people with PhDs or Masters? Or highly trained paralegals?

Why aren't US paralegals doing it now, at $13/hour? Why weren't US paralegals offered this stuff a decade ago, and why did it not become paralegal work then?

What about the job ever necessitated a licensed lawyer do it?

Is it just back-end demand from clients that "licensed attorneys" do this work? So the big firms can bill it out as associate work?

If they are billing clients at associate scale based on the work of Indian unlicensed pseudo-lawyers, isn't that fraud?

I think billing, and billing fraud, is driving this thing.

It's not just low wages, but the wage differential.

Anonymous said...

Question: why did they make this a job for barred attorneys anyway? Why was it never offered to people with PhDs or Masters? Or highly trained paralegals?

Why aren't US paralegals doing it now, at $13/hour? Why weren't US paralegals offered this stuff a decade ago, and why did it not become paralegal work then?

What about the job ever necessitated a licensed lawyer do it?

Is it just back-end demand from clients that "licensed attorneys" do this work? So the big firms can bill it out as associate work?

If they are billing clients at associate scale based on the work of Indian unlicensed pseudo-lawyers, isn't that fraud?

I think billing, and billing fraud, is driving this thing.

It's not just low wages, but the wage differential.

JT

Anonymous said...

Vendors advertise foreign language jobs heavily because these lawyers are very hard to get in a crunch.

They don't always advertise English jobs because the bigger vendors like HIRECounsel already have a stable of hundreds of CAs they can call on at any time.

That's the main reason you see fewer English jobs advertised in comparison to foreign language jobs.

That said, *some* of the paucity in English project announcements these days probably does have something to do with more jobs going to India.

When a law firm bills its clients for doc review, is it a lump sum these days, or do they bill it hourly?

If they're billing hourly at US associate rates, or using any kind of hybrid billing structure (mixed hourly + lump sum) that implies the work is being done by "lawyers", then they may have a little problem... called "fraud".

JT

Anonymous said...

That article looks like a press release, not real reporting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Marketwatch is basically press releases. Some of it is corporate hype, but based on a real and growing trend.

JT

Anonymous said...

It's even labelled as a press release.It's just an ad by and for Tusker Group.

Anonymous said...

Another way to put it is that this is outsourcing propaganda by an outsourcer.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry. In 2012, When the Annunaki return from Planet X, there will be a huge upsurge in the need for doc review.....Immigration, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

This article is as trustworthy as the rosy picture of search software in the vendors' white papers. It can't be trusted to give a true picture of what is going on. It would not include dissatisfied clients who have run away or those who would never risk their clients' highly sensitive papers with foreign non-lawyers with no real understanding of English. The numbers in the article can't be trusted either. It's not that outsourcing isn't a problem at all,it's just that an industry-manufactured item like this does not give any kind of an objective picture. We don't know any more than we did before we read it, other than it is there.

Anonymous said...

You're right, the article is a press release and therefore hype. Still, there's a growing outsourcing trend out there that we ignore at our our peril. It should neither be over-exaggerated nor dismissed as insignificant.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in two law firms who used outsourcing. One was before law school (pre 2002) at an IP firm and they had just started the platform. THe other was after law school and they were using outsourcing to do lease abstracts. I don't know about the first firm, but I know that the second firm had NUMEROUS problems with the quality of work. Don't worry my doc review friends, our jobs will be here to stay!

Anonymous said...

Will someone who knows about how law firms bill clients for document review please explain it?

Do they bill DR out as associate work? Even when it's outsourced to India?

Do they represent that DR is being done by "lawyers"?

Do the clients want to hear this?

Is it a deal breaker if firms can't tell clients that "attorneys" did the DR?

If work is represented as having been done by lawyers, and it's not, are their admissibility problems (my gut feeling is probably no, since that issue doesn't bear upon the authenticity and relevance of the evidence, only its "quality", and that is something counsel has to worry about, not the court)...?

Can anyone shed some light here on something that's really relevant??

Anonymous said...

If doc reviewers *are* sorting for relevance, can a batch of documents be summarily held inadmissible if a significant number of them are found to be not relevant?

What is the downside risk of not using lawyers who can understand how to apply legal tests like relevance?

Cannot a smart non-lawyer (eg, an MA, MS, PhD., highly-trained paralegal, or even a college student) be trained to do just the same thing?

Wasn't the thing that was initially driving this thing the CLIENTS' strong preference for work done by attorneys (rather than paralegals), and the firms' representing that it was being done by attorneys, so they can bill clients accordingly?

Isn't Indian outsourcing an example of "reverse billing creep" whereby firms are still representing that DR is done by associates, but in fact it's being outsourced to low-wage workers?

If they're using Indian *lawyers* as opposed to smart, educated US or Indian *non-lawyers*, this suggests that the firms are still representing to clients that DR is being done by lawyers, which means it is still important to clients.

If the term "lawyers" or "attorneys" is being bandied about in proposals, bids, contracts, negotiations, and billing, isn't it *fraud* if those lawyers are not licensed in a US jurisdiction?

If I'm not mistaken, US courts have *repeatedly* defined "lawyer" and "attorney" as a person licensed and in good standing in a US jurisdiction. It is even state specific, as a California lawyer who is unbarred in Florida cannot practice law there, except on a FL court's granting of a pro hac vice waiver.

Aren't the firms playing fast and loose with the terms "lawyer" and "attorney", and misrepresenting who is doing the work to clients?

Wouldn't a client who lost a big case where counsel used outsourced Indian "lawyers" have standing to sue on a theory of misrepresentation and fraud?

Could not US contract attorneys enter the case on the plaintiffs' side with an amicus brief?

In addition to, or laying the groundwork for, a later class action lawsuit on behalf of all contract attorneys in a jurisdiction who have been passed up for jobs given to Indian "attorneys"?

Some things to think about....

Anonymous said...

In short, what is the *legal risk* of a large number of mistakes?

Worst case scenario: what if you have a bunch of high school sophomores do the work?

You'd expect to have a high number of mistakes, right?

Is the risk just that it makes document handling more unwieldy and inefficient for counsel, having to deal with a lot of irrelevant docs, or is there a clear-cut legal risk of the court finding out and holding huge swaths of evidence inadmissible?

Anonymous said...

who is going to put their name on a complaint?

Anonymous said...

Legitimate question. Would have to be ex-contract attorneys who no longer want to do the job, who feel they've been screwed out of a living, and have moved on... on behalf of their buds, the current CAs.

Anonymous said...

Aggrieved US contract lawyers could also be mentioned as John Does.

Anonymous said...

without someone actually willing to be a complainant it's just talk

Anonymous said...

1251

Longer version of 1259's post:

Lawyers are in the business of limiting risks. Cost is of less concern because that's our function. If you are going to limit risk it's going to cost you time and money. The lawyers involved with this can play these games right now because they are mostly dealing with greed.

However, what you describe regarding practice is probably malpractice. My gut instinct is that short sighted risk taking will harm the lawyers involved due to their duties as attorneys.

The first time something goes wrong those same clients that were happy for the cost savings will sue the firm that engaged in these practices. No matter what they agree to now, and no matter how "ironclad" any agreements seem.

Everyone is happy with a business deal until they are not. Then the shit hits the fan. For the client, this is ill advised practice because they subject themselves to risk regarding the underlying litigated claim. For the firm, it's ill advised because of the real risk of malpractice.

However, all this being said- it's completely irrelevant.


We should all use this as a chance to push ourselves toward something more sustaintable. I know I am.

Anonymous said...

The setup of this blog is not conducive to people actually organizing. There are better ways of getting people together and still preserving anonymity on the net... like MeetUp.

Still, this blog is good as a sounding board for issues.

Anonymous said...

I still would like to know how firms have been billing clients.

It's not really the outsourcing vendors who are driving this. They are just parasites swarming to market demand.

What's driving this is the law firms who hire the DR vendors, and the law firms' clients. They're always looking for ways to do things on the cheap.

But when economizing crosses the line over into unethical practice (like billing fraud or the employment of unlicensed people under false pretenses), that actually becomes fodder for a lawsuit, or worse, crimes for prosecution by a state AG.

Why not call this to the attention of a state AG?

I've been away from DC for a long time. Did Dave Catania ever get the DC state AG bill passed?

What about the NY and CA AGs?

Anonymous said...

How hard would it be for a troll to get into a meet-up or any other organized attempt at action?

Anonymous said...

Subpoena billing statements from the firms. See if they are referring to outsourced labor as "attorneys" or "associates". Subpoena the partners who negotiate the contracts with clients. How are they representing these services?

Anonymous said...

You mean just a troll, or a mole or plant from a BL firm using offshore "attorneys"?

Anonymous said...

Aren't state AGs usually the pawns of biglaw firms who give big campaign contributions?

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily. Some state AGs are real do-gooders. Many are looking for acclaim and a notch on their belt.

spaces said...

Off-shore outsourcing isn't our only problem.

I've been involved with bidding on document review work from the point of view of the service provider who would directly employ and supervise the contractors who would do the review. From what I've seen, nothing goes offshore without the client's (corporation's) explicit consent, usually in the contract. Often the on-shore / off-shore desires of the client will be expressed in the client's request for a proposal to do the work.

Of course, wanting stuff to stay on-shore doesn't mean the corporation doesn't want the work done as cheaply as possible.

The trend I see lately on the defense side for projects that stay on-shore is per-page billing, rather than hourly billing. The client and provider agree on a per-page price that includes everything from gather up to production of responsive documents, as well as a first-level privilege review. Rather than a profiting from a set % of our hourly rates as the temp agencies traditionally do, firms working under these types of arrangements have the opportunity to realize 100% of their savings as profit. IOW, if they can get us to work for $5/hour less, that's $5/hour pure profit for them.

To my mind, per-page pricing of on-shore projects is significantly responsible the downward push in our rates, as well as the increase in the number of paralegal and "other paraprofessional / legal coder" reviews (where your $12-$15 per hour high school / associates degree person does the first line review, and an attorney comes in for QC / supervision / privilege review).

Anonymous said...

in ny state at least, the AG is a stepping stone office in the recent past.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that notion of the state AG as a do-gooder is wishful thinking. That is a pose they like to assume but they don't get to be AGs by actually being do-gooders.

Anonymous said...

You mean just a troll, or a mole or plant from a BL firm using offshore "attorneys"?
____________________________
1:23 either one.

Anonymous said...

curry is good over here !! use my law school diploma as toilet paper though...

Anonymous said...

9:31 Actually, we're more or less last. Law firms started exporting secretarial coverage, word processing, IT, etc.several years ago. This is kind of India 2.0

Anonymous said...

There appeared an article yesterday about the demise of several leading e-disovery shops e.g. the outfits hired to actually download the e-discovery docs etc.....the stuff contract attorneys ultimately review. Today, the WSJ wrote about the BigLaw firms wherein partners now are being asked to throw in from their own pockets $100,000, and prior non-equity partners now face being flipped to equity partners merely to allow the firm drag $100,000 from their personal pockets (partners having to beg for low interest loans from bankers to cover their share)......just how long do you think many of these firms can survive under these conditions. Translation: either the contract work load will increase bc/ of fewer firms, who themselves were forced to rid of associate ranks in light of todays WSJ story, or the outsourcing will escalate merely bc/ these firms have no economic choice. Have we forgotten....law firms are businesses, not an extension of law school. When someone's money is on the table, they only will do what is in their economic best interest. If it is cost effective to outsource, it will be done. If it is cost effective to settle a case, it will be done. No one is in business merely to give associates jobs.

Anonymous said...

9:55

Agreed. You just have to find a way to ride out the recession. People are losing their job in every industry (not just legal) and in other contries as well (not just the US).


10:11

From what I've heard foreign language projects keep getting canelled and they put less attorneys on them. The wages are also dropping.

Anonymous said...

156

Are you retarded? Do you think this conversation regarding malpractice is a discussion about "law school." Wall Street is a biz too, and now several wall street firms are out of business because they did not appreciate the issue of risk. More than that we are in all likelihood about to quietly nationalize our banking industry in the U.S. because no one addressed the issue of risk to the tune of several trillion dollars. My point: don't condescend. You come across as retarded. The law firms are businesses, but businesses can not do whatever they want without consequence. Here, that consequence is that law firms are also a part of a greater legal system. That's what we ae discussing. God, I wish some of you would grow up a bit. These simply minded posts are over the top sometime.

Anonymous said...

It's not just a matter of riding out the current recession.

After this recession, the portion of jobs lost to India because of firms economizing now, will *not* come back.

Once that segment of the market is lost, it will stay lost.

The pace of offshoring has likely increased now, because of financial pressures during the current crisis.

But Indian outsoucing won't stop when the recession's over. In fact, it may continue at the current clip, as more and more firms realize savings and outsourcing firms grow and can wield bigger economies of scale.

drdoc said...

Foreign language doc review. A couple of years ago I was paid 60 $ /hour. Now it is 50 $ and the agency keeps telling me about the competition.

Old Timers tell me that the rates for normal doc review have come down as well. Maybe, someone can become a supervisor in Bangalore (at a salary adjusted to living expenses in India of course).

Anonymous said...

until someone can provide me with links that provide real data on percentages and numerical breakdown, I am going to start ignoring these posts about the sky is falling.

I am looking for a job outside of this stuff because I need to get out of this. But the arguments here are not based on any actual knowledge. Just random guesses derived from the same kind of fear that says "oh, the project maybe about the end" just because a temp agency representative shows up on the assignment.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/2:49. This is Darwinism at its best. You either survive in this legal field or don't. And if the trend in salaries are going down, then it's obviously not a field that is high in demand anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well, there may be some hope. They are trying to put a "no outsourcing" clause in the stimulus package.

The question of course, is will it apply to professional services.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2009/01/protectionism-d.html

Anonymous said...

Indian outsoucing won't stop when the recession's over. In fact, it may continue at the current clip, as more and more firms realize savings and outsourcing firms grow and can wield bigger economies of scale.
______________________
One big screw-up and lots may come back. Also saying it is a good deal for law firms is kind of troll-like. It is extremely reckless and short-sighted for any firm to get involved with the use of foreign non-attorneys who are not really fluent in English to handle these docs.

Anonymous said...

My old firm sent work overseas and there were mistakes. I don't know if they use them anymore. They sent leases to be abstracted overseas. The Indian workers screwed stuff up royally, so that we had to redo it. The client was billed half price for the Indian workers, but full price for the associates who had to finish up the work. For every loan deal (which included lease abstracting services) there was a cap of $10k, $15k or so depending on the size of the loan. So it wasn't malpractice or fraudulent per se.

Anonymous said...

Right, but remember, that these very same greedy corporations are the ones that got us into this economic pickle, by virtue of their shortsighted, greedy, thinking.

In truth, the only solution for us to a legislative one. These are the same greedy pigs that wrecked our economy, they won't switch back because they work quality is poor, they just want to know if they will get their bonus so they can buy the TriBeCa penthouse apartment. They only get that by slashing costs and pumping up their departmental bottom line. Babu is just fine for these baby boomer assholes.

Anonymous said...

Legislators are not going to do anything for us except maybe extend UE some more. There is no good press to be had in battling for contract attorneys and they pretty much always have strong biglaw ties.

Anonymous said...

CNBC just had a report on at about 2:30 on companies that are making money in the recession. Clutch Legal Group was highlighted.

There profits for November and December were up 50% this year from last.

The Indian prick spokesman said something interesting however. He stated that there is a tremendous amount of SEC investigation work in the pipeline. Of course, he expects to benefit.

Supposedly, they said the Harvard Business School did a case study on this business model last month.

They said Clutch has 200 attorneys in the U.S. and 100 in India.

It sounds like there is work out there...it just is only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time buying anything an agency says to a reporter.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time buying anything an agency says to anyone.

Anonymous said...

3:05

But they *are* fluent in English. Indian law is based on British common law, and I believe a requirement to study law in India is to speak fluent English. The national language is Hindi, and there are a lot of other languages in India, but English is deeply-embedded as a historical lingua franca, especially among the educated classes and castes. Don't let the accent fool you, these people are fluent.

Are we here to gloss over reality, or to discuss reality without wearing blinders?

The longer we make excuses and try to spin things unrealistically in our favor, the longer we'll postpone dealing with the problem of outsourcing in a truly effective manner.

I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

There is a core legal issue(s) that hasn't really been clealry articulated yet.

Huh? The issue has been clearly articulated, repeatedly--what does or does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law, and how does the same work for the same clients require a U.S. licensed attorney here, but does not require a U.S. licensed attorney if done in India? Confusion on the legal issue isn't the problem here.

Anonymous said...

You're just playing games troll. We all know they are not actually fluent in English. As has been said over and over again, you only have to do an online chat for tech help from a supposedly able to understand English Indians for a few minutes to know how little they actually understand.

Anonymous said...

The sensitive, high level, often jargon-laden docs reviewed in projects are well beyond the very superficial English understood by these foreign non-lawyers.

Anonymous said...

http://endofesq.com/?p=915#comments

Interesting article. The author adds credence to the argument that law firms are taking the position that getting the best e-discovery software program exempts them from liability. We are caught between a trifecta of a bad economy, new software and outsourcing. Who is going to Legal Tech on Monday and Tuesday?

Anonymous said...

3:05 you aren't just saying, you're a fake pushing vendors' drivel.

Anonymous said...

I meant 3:59, not 3:05

Anonymous said...

407

No, we re caught by folks trying to rationalize their behavior. The more they talk , the more I am convinced this is a mini subprime market mentality in the making. Just because they say it, does not mean its true. 2 years ago you could not convince the vast bulk of wall street or main street that america would be heading toward one of worse economic collapses since the great depression. the point is don't confuse their short term rationalization with what the fall out might look like a year from now.

Anonymous said...

3:39 - have you ever tried to speak with one of those illiterate idiots in a call center? They have only a ridimentary, if that, grasp of English.

You're a retard.

Anonymous said...

Trade shows with vendors selling stuff probably aren't the best place to hear anything but their sales talk.

Anonymous said...

http://www.legaltechshow.com/r5/cob_page.asp?category_id=54587&initial_file=cob_page-ltech.asp

Legal Tech is $625 for a one day pass and over a $1000 dollars for the two day thing. I don't many temps that have that kind of cash to throw around. The list of sponsors shows that there are major consulting companies (KPMG, etc.) involved in this. They wouldn't be wasting their money if they weren't already making huge money off this. Update Legal got bought out by a private equity firm a few years back. They wouldn't be in this field if they didn't think that there was huge money in it. We are getting replaced by IT software guys and consultants and coders in Mumbai. The days of being a six figure click monkey are over. Where do we go from here? I've been applying for insurance defense jobs and other shitlaw jobs and getting no response.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing new about vendors selling at trade shows. Selling is what they're all about.

The associates being fired are not being replaced by software. The legal industry is facing the worst climate it has had in a very longtime.

We are not the only ones out of work.

Anonymous said...

You can go into the exhibit hall for free. Just scroll down to "exhibit hall and keynote $0".

No need to be shut out. Just show up with a stack of resumes and hit chat up people at the booths. We might as well waste their time, their incompetence has sent us home without work many, many times.

https://secure.lawcatalog.com/almevents/almevents_registration.cfm?seminarid=1185&pregister=1

Anonymous said...

Directed to "156" who seems to think anyone delivering a dose of reality either is being "retarded" or a word similar to arrogant. From your reaction, it seems to me that you enjoy complaining, feeling victimized, and merely crying like a child. The fact is you have a law degree with which you can do anything, such as even considering opening your own practice or doing per diem work (court appearances).....try being a business person for yourself and applying some entrepreneurial skills and viewpoint....frankly, you are your own business person. Stop relying on other organizations and people for your future welfare...that is called "entitlement".....I think it is you who are a bit arrogant. You are only licensed to do something in the "world of work"...we are not annointed to do anything else, that is for the priesthood. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Right, by your logic every person that has been laid or is otherwise jobless has to blame themeselves. They should just get over it and start their own business, it's so easy to find capital right now. Being a solo is even easier, golly, you just to compete with every other TTT JD scrounging for a living.

I know, I know, we should just get over it. That's what they told Tom Joad too, you evil bastard.

Anonymous said...

you know the definition of insanity is thinking the same way repeatedly regardless of context or circumstances. I think after 30 years of conservative dogma there are some people are mentality insane. They are no longer capable of understanding, for example, that a world wide recession means everyone is hurting right now. Indeed, while we are spending less than 1 percent of GDP on this recession and sholving our way out, China is spending around 10 to 20 times that percentage of gdp. Other countries are doing whatever it takes. We still have a bunch of nutballs acting like its the late 80s, and we are living in the world of the film "wall street."

Anonymous said...

6:23

It's not that hard to make money soloing. There's plenty of legal work that needs to be done and people are willing to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

6:49 - right. Are you a solo? I would guess not. Ask any solo, the hard part is finding clients that can pay (and will pay). Not to mention learning wade through the yahoos want to waste your time.

I will just dismisss your comments as either just plain stupid or a flame. No solos think their jobs are easy. In fact, they will tell you the opposite. The difficult aspect is, of course, finding a consistent flow of clients.

You have no idea what your talking about.

Anonymous said...

So this blog went from complaining about the "horrific" conditions of the temp jobs, to complaining you can no longer get these sweatshop jobs?

The name of the blog should change, then. It should be the "We Are Dying To Work in the Sweatshops Edition".

Pick a side!

Anonymous said...

No 7:25, it went from complaining about inhumane treatment and stagnant wages in sweatshops to having these same jobs exported, to create lower paid sweatshops in the third world.

Kind of like what these asshole companies have done with every other product that used to be made in the USA. If the American worker is so bad, why does the world's economy depend upon our credit and spending habits?

Anonymous said...

"Ask any solo, the hard part is finding clients that can pay (and will pay)."

They have this thing called a referral service. There's also a niffty invention called the "yellow pages" where you can advertise yourself.

"Not to mention learning wade through the yahoos want to waste your time."

There's another thing called an escrow account. Besides, you have to practice on someone, if they don't want to pay full price and you want to learn how to do something, it's not such a bad thing.

Or, you could wait till the economy improves and temp for the next 15 years or so.

Anonymous said...

http://ralphlosey.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/hasharticleloseycorrected.pdf

This article shows why temp assignments are getting shorter and even becoming non-existent. The Courts have been ruling that firms are required to hash documents and then produce them in native format. This avoids the need for scanning, tiffing and helps prevent document dumps. With the file in native format, such as Excel format, you can easily search in Excel to quickly find out for example how many sales a company made to a particular client in a particular quarter. The days of "hide the ball" in dump full of documents are gone. This cuts out the need for a lot of docs to be reviewed. It also forces both sides to cooperate more.

Anonymous said...

"You're just playing games troll. We all know they are not actually fluent in English. As has been said over and over again, you only have to do an online chat for tech help from a supposedly able to understand English Indians for a few minutes to know how little they actually understand."

Why is anyone who contravenes the conventional wisdom here, or steps outside of it by one millimeter immediately branded a "troll"?

So much for democracy on this board. You may want to enforce a herd mentality here, but some of us have had more exposure to the world than a cubicle.

The answer, of course, is because THE BONEHEADS WHO ANSWER THE PHONE FOR TECH SUPPORT (FROM NETWORK SOLUTIONS OR WHATEVER COMPANY) ARE *NOT* INDIAN ATTORNEYS, THEY ARE JUST RANK-AND-FILE INDIANS.

Have you ever been to India? Have you ever dealt with Indian attorneys? I have. The vast majority of Indian attorneys and Pakistani attorneys can speak and write in polished English, albeit with strong and sometimes incomprehensible accents.

Got that? There is a vast gulf between attorneys and laypeople in India, in terms of their English-language skills. The legal profession in India has deep historic roots in British common law, a legacy of when India was firmly ensconced in the British Empire. Fluency in English is considered a big part of being an attorney in India.

Stop trying to berate these people. They are just swarming to where the money is. It's not Indian lawyers or outsourcing contractors who are the enemies of temp lawyers in the US, it's AMERICAN BIG LAW FIRMS which are engaged in unethical, scurrilous, fraudulent and larcenous practices..

Anonymous said...

Righ, I see all of the Indian "attorneys" magically have a better command of English than call center schmos.

Another poorly constructed argument from an Indian toileteer.

Anonymous said...

"They have this thing called a referral service. There's also a niffty invention called the "yellow pages" where you can advertise yourself."

Right and they work like magic! That's you see solos wearing worn out shoes and ripped shirts. In your lawyer paradise, you just run a yellow pages ad and *poof* instant practice! Wow it's just so easy!

Have you seen how many attys are in the yellow pages? Once again more empty words from another outsourcing apologist.

You must realize that we are just getting started around here and will never, ever give up. We want US legal work brought back to our shores, where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

9:11 you are being called a troll because that is what you are. It is no secret that these non-attorney Indians have no better understanding of English than those at the call centers. They learn by the same methods. They are completely unfamiliar with the nuances of the English language and the context in which it is used. They are simply not competent to review documents that require a sophisticated understanding of English including a firm grasp of practical English.

No one here who is not a troll is really in the mood for your nonsensical trollspeak.

Anonymous said...

I've been an avid reader of this blog and have to say that JT at 10:32 nailed it on the head.

I'm a graduate of a first-tier law school and have performed doc review for the last 4-5 years. I am registered with most NYC agencies and haven't been able to find anything for months.

While doing the work I always thought "why the hell do you even need to be an attorney for this anyway?" The average college grad, with computer skills. and a modicum of instruction could easily do this.

That said, the ABA owes a duty to those who went to law school, went in debt, took the bar, and maintain their bar fees. IT is a professional organization that should protect the interests of its members.

Its also true that doc review work is over. Sure, there will be a smattering of it here and there, but most of us who have relied on this as a stable source of income should just find something else to do - probably outside of law. I've been looking for permanent law jobs in both the private and public sectors and have found that years of temp work mark you as someone who has no real experience and people look askance on anyone who has spent a significant amount of time doing it. They think we're lazy, unambitious, etc. I've even had interviewers come close to telling me that - or at least implying it.

Anonymous said...

9:11 you have been to India, dealt with Indian attorneys and come here pretending that Indian non-attorneys (non because not admitted in the U.S.) are attorneys who have a sophisticated understanding of English. And you wonder why you get called "troll." Give us a break.

Anonymous said...

9:11 you have been to India, dealt with Indian "attorneys" and come here pretending that Indian non-attorneys (non because not admitted in the U.S.) are attorneys who have a sophisticated understanding of English. And you wonder why you get called "troll." Give us a break.

Anonymous said...

I believe there are investigations and shareholder suits in the pipeline that haven't hit yet.

There will be work here despite the Indian outsourcing, even though Clutch Legal was highlighted yesterday on CNBC.

We need some patience until the projects start. In the long run, leaving this field entirely is not a bad idea. I heard of 3 document reviewers who were considering nursing school.

Anonymous said...

9:02 said: "I'm a graduate of a first-tier law school and have performed doc review for the last 4-5 years."

Did you graduate at the bottom of your class or were you married to living in NYC? It would seem to me that even a marginal student having graduated from a top tier school in the early 00s could at least get a full time job in some geographiz region in this country.

Today is a different story. If these kids don't have a job lined up by third year, they are fucked for the next 1-2 years.

Anonymous said...

8:22 PM, good point. Efficiency drives everything.

I got my BA in economics 20 years ago, and decided not to go to law school. I saw the the future even then. The thing about understanding economics is that it makes you aware of how little control you have over your life. I am not angry, but rather I am sad. The world has become a money grubbing dump. You lawyers are all the latest, along with many others, victims of this change. Here are the basic rules I now live by:

Rule # 1: Rules, and laws etc. REALLY, REALLY MATTER until there is lots of money to be made by making them REALLY, REALLY NOT MATTER!!!!! Outsourcing is an example of this.

Rule # 2: ALWAYS refer to rule # 1!!!!!

45 years of life experience distilled into two bite size nuggets of wisdom.

Now that you all have access to these 'nuggets', I do not want to see anymore questions about outsourcing been 'legal' (pardon the pun). As long as there is enough profit in something, it will be legal.

Anonymous said...

12:35, No matter what you would like to see, outsourcing to foreign non-lawyers who do not understand the docs they are reviewing does not meet the rigorous supervision requirement and is the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

"As long as there is enough profit in something, it will be legal."

Spoken like a true outsourcer! You must be from India, with your craven greed, lack of respect for the rule of law and poor command of the English language.

Anonymous said...

Most Americans don't have the English language skills to practically comprehend most American legal documents--any Indian attorney with those skills will come here, spend a year getting an LL.M, and earn some real money. He isn't going to stay in India making $2 an hour.

Anonymous said...

Foreign non-lawyers are not attorneys. Unless you've lived and breathed English here, you do not have the understanding of English necessary to understand the docs. How obvious is it that nobody outsources doc review because they are looking for high quality work. They know that they are sending it to a sweatshop where the workers are not fluent in English and can't understand the technical corporate docs. They don't care because who else will do it for $5 an hour or less? That is insanely reckless.

Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you but the BIGLAW Associates who draft trhe transaction documents in the first place do not understand them either.

Anonymous said...

They have found themselves newer slaves in India to replace the old ones in the states.

Anonymous said...

2:27 If U.S. attorneys have a hard time with them just think how ridiculous it is to pretend that a foreign non-lawyer who has never been here can even begin to understand them. At least when there's a major screw-up it looks a whole lot more like due diligence when the review is done by attorneys in the U.S. Sending it to an Indian sweat shop is just asking to be hit with major sanctions.

Anonymous said...

9:02

"They think we're lazy, unambitious, etc. I've even had interviewers come close to telling me that - or at least implying it."

The interviewers are trying to give you a hint. They want you to take the temp stuff off the resume. Find a way to cover it up or at least say that you were doing something for the last year.

You're right that long term temping implies a problem employee. And from what I've seen a good percentage of the temps fall into this catagory.


12:35

What you fail to relize is there is also quite a bit of money to be made sueing the pants off someone for unauthorized practice of law or taking a law firm to the cleaners for malpractice.

Anonymous said...

"Will someone who knows about how law firms bill clients for document review please explain it?"

THAT IS A BROAD QUESTION TO ANSWER, SO I WILL MOVE ON TO THE NEXT...

"Do they bill DR out as associate work? Even when it's outsourced to India?"

CONTRACT ATTORNEYS ARE NOT BILLED OUT AT THE SAME LEVEL AS ASSOCIATES (EXCEPT IN A FEW INSTANCES AND THOSE FIRMS ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE). DESPITE WHAT YOUR COLLEAGUES MY CLAIM (OR WANT TO THINK) YOU'RE NOT BILLED OUT AT ASSOCIATE LEVELS, IN THE U.S. OR IN INDIA

Do they represent that DR is being done by "lawyers"?

THE CORPORATIONS ARE AWARE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AHEAD OF TIME AND IN MANY CASES REQUEST OFFSHORE REVIEW DUE TO THE CHEAPER NATURE OF IT.

Do the clients want to hear this?

Is it a deal breaker if firms can't tell clients that "attorneys" did the DR?

IN MOST CASES THE DR TEAM IN INDIA ARE ATTORNEYS WITH INDIAN (OR OTHER NON-US) DEGREES IN LAW.

If work is represented as having been done by lawyers, and it's not, are their admissibility problems (my gut feeling is probably no, since that issue doesn't bear upon the authenticity and relevance of the evidence, only its "quality", and that is something counsel has to worry about, not the court)...?

THERE ARE NO ADMISSIBILITY PROBLEMS, BUT THERE COULD BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR ANY FIRM, WHETHER IT BE SANCTIONS, OR ON THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL REVOCATION/SUSPENSION OF LICENSES.

Can anyone shed some light here on something that's really relevant??

Anonymous said...

2:51,

The only people with standing to sue are clients and the government. I can't imagine that any law firm is going to use temps, whether in the U.S. or India, without a bulletproof consent (and possible release) from the client. It's also hard to imagine that the law firm wouldn't require indemnification and evidence of some appropriate level of malpractice insurance by whatever outsourcing agency they hire.

The odds of the government bringing any kind of action against an outsourcing company are low. As a practical matter, the case would be a nightmare for any prosecutor, if for no other reason than the discovery involved. (Are they going to request the records from every doc that's gone through the outsourcing firm? Can you imagine the objections from every client and firm that's ever used the outsourcing agency? Even if the discovery requests were successful, the prosecutor would have 20 million documents to go through). Nevermind the logistical challenges if all the witnesses are in India.

Now, a prosecutor might be willing to get into this really ugly fight if the practice was clearly illegal. But from a prosecutors standpoint, the best law firms in the country think outsourcing is legal, the legal and compliance departments of the world's largest corporations think outsourcing is legal, the American Bar Association thinks outsourcing is legal, and the malpractice insurers think outsourcing is legal. Oh, and on top of all that, the "victims" of unauthorized practice are the corporations who went out of their way to hire these outsourcing companies with full disclosure of the fact that non-US attorney's would be reviewing the documents.

Now, you could potentially have some legal ethics committee issue a pronouncement on the issue, but that's not going to result in a payout for anyone.

Anonymous said...

We do not think, we know that contact attorneys' work has been billed out by law firms for hundreds of dollars an hours. More than once, we have see the bills.

Outsourcing to foreign non-lawyers who cannot understand what they are supposedly reviewing is considered the unauthorized practice of law. It does not meet the rigorous supervision standard necessary to avoid that. It doesn't meet any applicable standard.

Good luck with the idea that in the event of a disaster a client would not try suing, consent form or not.

Courts have hit firms up for very severe sanctions for discovery violations. To give the other side the ammunition of having the work done by foreign non-attorneys for $5 an hour is just asking for it.

Trollop said...

12:35 is right. It is a tough pill to swallow, but true. In order for the trend to meaningfully change, that remains to be seen. As soon as outsourcing is determined to be too costly, it will come back here full force. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll like what we see then. Time to look elsewhere for the paycheck. It may seem like a "perfect storm" of too many law grads, horrible economy, the McDonaldization of law, and outsourcing of DR, but I think we can blame corporate greed for everything.

Anonymous said...

"As long as there is enough profit in something, it will be legal."

12:25 - I agree with your overall assessment -- very sober and realistic.

But I can't agree totally with the categorical statement above.

Narcotrafficking is highly profitable, but still thoroughly illegal.

The fact that some countries may blithely look the other way when it's being done doesn't make it any less illegal, even in those countries.

Anonymous said...

12:35, No matter what you would like to see, outsourcing to foreign non-lawyers who do not understand the docs they are reviewing does not meet the rigorous supervision requirement and is the unauthorized practice of law.

Anonymous said...

1:07 says:

"No matter what you would like to see, outsourcing to foreign non-lawyers who do not understand the docs they are reviewing does not meet the rigorous supervision requirement and is the unauthorized practice of law."

Okay, since you have come to that conclusion, have you filed a complaint with a state bar? Have you tried to organize temp lawyers to file an ethics complaint with state bar counsel anywhere? Have you looked into filing a lawsuit against any of the violators, or offered to represent any aggrieved clients in a malpractice or fraud action?

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion, but it seems there are far too many people here who are very adamant about their beliefs even to the point where they attack other posters for diverging even slightly from the party line here, and yet these very same people have not taken one iota of concrete action.

It's shit or get off the pot time.

Anonymous said...

The trolls are out in full force today. They squeal like stuck pigs every time it is pointed out that having doc review done in offshore sweatshops by semi-slaves who have no idea what they are looking at is the unauthorized practice of law because it just does not pass muster for rigorous supervision. Clients and firms have been slapped silly with discovery sanctions lots of time and outsourcing is just asking to be slapped real hard.

Anonymous said...

New York will be eliminating their Cannons of Professional Responsibility and will be implementing the American Bar Association's Rules of Professional Responsibility. ABA's (biglaw partners) outsourcing rules become the law of New York in April. Good luck with your "ethical" complaint. You are all pwned.

Anonymous said...

Not wanting to put your name on a complaint that would result in being blacklisted has nothing to do with the truth of the matter. Many valid claims are not made because those who are most injured by the conduct can least afford to openly complain about it.

Anonymous said...

5:47 as much as a troll outsourcing pusher like you would like it to be otherwise, outsourcing doc review to foreign non-attorneys who can not begin to grasp the technical documents they are reviewing doesn't meet any standard of conduct for attorneys.

Anonymous said...

"The odds of the government bringing any kind of action against an outsourcing company are low."

Well times are a changin', Rahul. GW Bush is no longer in office. Sheriff Obama is going to be more aggressive in protecting American workers' rights. Laissez Faire (do you know what that means, Rahul?) hasn't worked and we're going into a more controlled economy for the next 4 or 8 years.

Enjoy the last gasps of your pseudo empire of greed, you soul sucking pig!

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aaYAL3D_ah6c&refer=home

Anonymous said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?
pid=20601070&sid=aaYAL3D_ah6c&refer=home

Anonymous said...

6:00 I have a feeling that fighting for contract attorneys against the biglaw firms who gave him tons of campaign contributions is not on Obama's to do list and won't be. Just a feeling.

Anonymous said...

Politicians are not going to fight our battles for us. We have nothing to offer them. No money. No great press opps. This is reality.

Anonymous said...

Reality? If you keep pushing people, you may just get the French Revolution.

Anonymous said...

I wish it was different but we are not the kind of cause that any politician is going to adopt.

Anonymous said...

We don't need the French Revolution, a healthy economy is what we really need.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the people who foam at the mouth so furiously about not wanting to put their name on a complaint, also seem to be the ones complaining that temp work is drying up?

If you've got so much extra time on your hands now, and your once sure source of livelihood is almost dead, to the point where you're attacking "trolls" twelve times a day on a temporary attorneys blog, then why not get out there and do something constructive?

What do you have to lose? Temp work that's already been shipped to India?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you do it? Oh that's right, you wouldn't. You're a troll.

Anonymous said...

I don't do it because I have other sources of income and I am in negotiations with an IT outsourcing firm in India (which has never done legal work before) to set up the US end when they go into DR work later this year. Haven't decided if I want to do it yet because some of it will entail training Indian "attorneys", who I am not convinced are qualified to do this work.

By the way, I'm not a troll.

No, really, I'm not.

Hell no, I ain't.

I am MOS DEF not a friggin' troll, aaiight?

Just exactly what part of "I am not a troll" don't you understand?

ME. NO. TROLL.

Anonymous said...

There's also this, from today's NY Times...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/business/30hours.html?_r=1&ref=business

This trend will definitely affect firm's willingness to use US doc review attorneys, and clients' willingness to pay for them.

It will only increase the trend to outsource this labor.

Anonymous said...

You're negotiating for business training Indian non-attorneys for an outsourcer, but you're not a troll? Huh?

Anonymous said...

7:20 there doesn't seem to be much to this story, it sounds just a one-person crusade not being taken up by anyone and unlikely to have any effect on outsourcing. Was it a slow news day or does that attorney just have a friend at the times willing to give him free publicity, or both?

Anonymous said...

Okay, we need a concise, clear-cut, logically-flowing, non-facetious, one-sentence board definition of what constitutes a "troll" here.

Just so's we know.

Anonymous said...

7:05 You're negotiating for business training Indian non-attorneys for an outsourcer, but you're not a troll? Huh?

Anonymous said...

7:25 when you become King or Queen you can make all the rules you want. But if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck . . .

Anonymous said...

We're discussing possible names for the outsourcing firm... these are rapidly nearing the top of our list...

1) The Legal Mercenaries, Inc.
2) See No Evil, Ltd.
3) Swami's Hitmen, LLC
4) GiantSuckingSound.com

Anonymous said...

And I forgot Macaca Solutions International, which is number 4 with a bullet.

Anonymous said...

The French Revolution comment is about how history works out if you push people to hard. It's a coment about that history. Not contract attorneys.

The trolls here and in our society think that they can keep pushing and pushing and pushing. That everyone will just take it. But that's not the weight of human history. Eventually, people just take it out on those who are in control (and sadly on some groups who are not in control).

It's not about what individuals won't. It's not a comment about contract attorneys want either. It was about societies and the lesson of history, and how they work. Someone mentoned dealing with reality. It's just this is the deeper reality. Our society is headed that way.

You push to hard and things go boom. That's what happens. The reason why FDR, for example, choose the modern welfare state is that the alternative during the Great Depression was communism.

We are facing a Depression right now (ie, steel production is down by 50 percent since late last year, 100,000 jobs lose per week, etc), and, the alternative will not be that people will just shut up and take it.

It's that as a society things will go pretty dark if the middle class is squeezed too hard. The middle class protects society from instability.

So, each time some troll gets on here bullshiting, they should realize that things can go either way regardless of what temp attorneys do. So, I was commenting on the deeper historical reality of all of this laissez faire bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Okay 7:36 but would you be willing to sign a complaint?

Anonymous said...

Only the attorney(s) representing the plaintiffs would have to sign. If the complaint is on behalf of US attorneys put out of work by firms acting fraudulently, a huge class of co-plaintiffs could be named as John Does I-M or something.

If the attorneys are witnesses to be called in a malpractice suit filed by a client which lost a case because of Indian temps, then the witnesses names' could be redacted from the public copies of the pleadings, by order of the court, to protect their anonymity and preserve their employability.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the names would stay secret? Would you risk it knowing that some temp might turn you in to get in good with the agencies in the hope of escaping unemployment? Do you really think they agencies couldn't get a spy to find out who was involved? Any attempt to keep the names secret probably would be doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...

"Do you really think the names would stay secret?"

Yes. Give me a coherent and logical argument why they wouldn't be.

"Would you risk it knowing that some temp might turn you in to get in good with the agencies in the hope of escaping unemployment?"

Just don't talk to other temps about it.

"Do you really think they agencies couldn't get a spy to find out who was involved?"

It's actually cheaper and easier for them to just fight the lawsuit than set up an elaborate spying scam just to freeze out a few traitorous employees.

Let's say they do freeze those people out. What are they going to bribe those unemployed temps into withdrawing their names from the suit in return for giving them back their jobs, which have already been largely shipped off to India?

"Any attempt to keep the names secret probably would be doomed to failure."

You assert that, but haven't even used a single brain cell to argue "Why?"

So much for the legal profession in this country, if we can't even argue (or don't care to argue) the points we're trying to make.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it would take an elaborate spy system for them to find out who was involved. If you are not worried about it, then get then ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

801

It's about fear.

Anonymous said...

meant "get the ball rolling"

Anonymous said...

741

I find your comment confusing since I am talking about the society and history in general. I have no idea what you are talking about regarding signing a complaint.

Anonymous said...

8:10 There can't be much of a revolution if no one will take any concrete action to fight their battles. Do you intend to do anything other than talk about society in general?

Anonymous said...

816

I see.

You are slow.

I did not realize I was dealing with someone mentaly impaired. I keep this simple so that you can understand:

I am talking about the general society and where things are headed. Not temp attorneys. What temp attorneys do is irrelevant.

We are a symptom of a greater society. Thus, my point being that it does not matter what contract attorneys do.

Why? Because the greater society is going to change.

The pressures are pushing us toward that direction just like it pushed FDR. I really do not know how to make this simpler for you.

We are moving toward what someone else called a controlled state rather than (oh, lord I am trying to find a word for you to understand, but I will try to use the phrase) laissez faire economics.

If you still persist after this post in being simple minded, I will simply ignore your next post.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but, I did forget to add one point:

One practical example of this change was announced already this week with a lot of heavy regulation of industries headed down the pike by Obama and the federal government. This is example of how things are going to change regardless of what temp attorneys do if you want a practical example. This is happening because the alternative is again something more extreme.

Anonymous said...

8:23 you don't have to be insulting, just because you don't intend to do anything but talk. You are waiting for some great mass uprising of anybody but you to do something to change things. Got it.

Anonymous said...

8:25 I wouldn't put a lot of money on much of that stuff really happening. If anything is passed, it is likely to be filled with loopholes. Politicians love having it both ways - pretending to so something so they can please the public but actually building in so many loopholes that their contributors are not upset.

Anonymous said...

Obama has targeted outsourcing in his several of speeches. The ABA cannot protect these sleazy firms from federal and state law.

Remember, contract attorneys are disproportionately URMs and they make up a large chunk of Obama's constituency. To dismiss out of hand that the govt might take action is unwise. David Perla and his boyz should do so at their own peril.

Sow your seeds now guys, looks like the outsourcing gravy train will be grinding to a halt.

In fact, let's draft a group letter and send it to Obama. Tom, will you send it on behalf of the temp community?

Anonymous said...

Obama is not going to do anything to help contract attorneys. We aren't even on his radar screen when he talks about outsourcing. Just look at his contributions and look at how much biglaw firms gave him. He is not going to pick us over them.

Anonymous said...

Why not just send a letter to Santa Claus?

Anonymous said...

827

I am not waiting for a "revolution." I was making a historical analogy. I am curious- when you read the analogy, "Let them eat cake"do you literally take that to mean someone should eat cake?

I have said is that pressures are pushing for change in a society like this regardless of what contract attorneys do. That's just the reality that one gets by reading a newspaper, understanding history and following the policies being proposed.

835

I doubt there will be many meaningful loopholes on this since it's bringing a lot of transactions into the existing system rather than creating new ones. Several banks have already choosen to restructure under tougher regulations in anticipation of these changes.

I also doubt it because the mood in Congress and the American people does not favor loopholes.

But, look at it this way, if there are, that means a lot more legal work either way.

Anonymous said...

858

I realize in your contractors mind or troll (which ever you are) that Santa Claus is how this must all seem, but like I said. I am not making a controversial statement if you look at some of the policies being proposed. Maybe you need to get off this blog sometimes, do a little research, etc.

Anonymous said...

9:00 You are very naive.

Anonymous said...

another quick structural change:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_Free_Choice_Act

(and no, again I am not talking about doc reviewers)

Anonymous said...

It just shows you the mindset of these sleazy LPO hucksters. They are the worst of used car salesmen shills. They think they can just shout us all down and tell to find a new job and that will drive us away from our work.

Wrong!

We have worked too long and hard to become attorneys to allow some unlicensed, non-native English speakers to take away our jobs.

They are just blustering and puffind and have no depth or education or intellignence. They are just greedy and stupid. This worked under Bush, but won't fly under the administration.

As the prior poster mentioned, It's seismic shift to the left. If were an outsourcer right now, I would be very very scared.

No wonder they are reduced to shouting down temps on a blog. Not only the dishonest, they're really really dumb.

Anonymous said...

Politicians are not heroes. They just play them on TV.

Anonymous said...

This administration is just another bunch of greedy politicians pretending to be doing one thing while they are really doing another, namely enriching themselves. Never heard the phrase, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?" Why do you think it has been repeated so many times? While it would be really nice to have a hero or two, politics is no place to find them. Or haven't you noticed?

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming. Did you hear what Obama said about CEOs today?

Be afraid outsourcers, be very afraid.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a seismic shift to the left happening, but it's not gonna affect legal temp work, document review, or LPOs. These companies are here to stay, UNLESS American temp attorneys mount a massive, concerted action, and that is highly doubtful...

The whole world we inhabit here is a backwater of a backwater. Obama's anti-outsourcing pronouncements won't affect our industry, because he's talking mainly about manufacturing, and anyway, Obama is not a hard-core leftist anti-outsourcing labor rights guy, Obama is a moderate liberal. Light years more liberal than what preceded him, but still, as much as I like the guy, he's not gonna go to bat for people who inhabit an unknown backwater. He's got too much on his plate and this industry will NEVER be on his radar screen. Guaranteed.

To really understand what happened in this industry, you have to comprehend that it's a classic case of "reverse billing creep":

This work never HAD to be done by attorneys. The only reason it ever was done by US licensed attorneys is because at first, BL firms needed to inspire confidence in their clients by telling them:

"...And, don't worry, all these documents will be reviewed by our bright associate attorneys... Harvard, Yale, and Stanford graduates, mainly."

As time went by, and clients pushed firms to bid down the cost of work, this gradually became:

"...And don't worry, all these documents will be reviewed by bright licensed attorneys, graduates of great schools like NYU, Boston College, George Washington University, Catholic University..."

Meaning temporary attorneys who were not associates with their firm, and therefore came cheaper. But the firms still were able to call them "attorneys" mainly because they wanted to bill the work out at associate or near-associate rates...

Then it became...

"And don't worry, all these documents will be reviewed by attorneys..."

Notice, they are still calling them "attorneys" but have left out any implication that they're American or that they're licensed.

And this will probably creep still further, until they feel confident that they can leave out the word "attorneys" altogether, and hire Indians who never attended a day of law school, at even lower hourly rates than the Indian law school grads.

This is not just a fantasy I've cooked up, this is economic reality.

As someone brightly mentioned here, it's an economic law that all rules and regulations must REALLY REALLY REALLY be obeyed, until you can make great profits from not obeying them, at which point they must REALLY REALLY REALLY not be obeyed.

Anonymous said...

If you think politicians are heroes, you are dreaming.

Anonymous said...

it's not about politicians being heros. It's about them playing to their audience. If the audience were on the right, then they would be. Because the audience is moving to the left (including the great majority of Republicans) the politician is moving. I don't think policians are better. I just think they want to stay in office. Hence, the shift. FDR was not big hero either. He was just responding to his times and the voters he had to address. The same right now.

Anonymous said...

The bar would not require rigorous supervision by admitted attorneys to prevent unauthorized practice of law if this was not legal work. As has been said repeatedly having foreign non-lawyers who do not understand the documents do the work is the unauthorized practice of law for that very reason. It is an ethical violation in every U.S. jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

932

Everything you say is true until it's not. There are points where that system breaks down. This is one of those moments. We are in a world recession. Every country in the industrialized world is moving left. They don't have a choice.

This is the point. I really am not making a point about doc review at all. Just about the general direction of what's happening. That the mentality that people are describing here- the one of out and out greed is dying down. So, it's not like its going to matter what do reviewers do. It's going to change regardless.

Not because of altruism, but because of the fact it's done so much damage that there is no other choice.

For example, I believe within weeks (or months) they will nationalize the banks here not because they want to do this (clearly they don't because the Sec of Treas is right of center and so is Obama's economic team) but because banks are deteriorating so fast that the normal rules of the game (even the unwritten one's about pretending to follow rules but then not following) will not work.

In other words, what do you do when everything is going to shit?

Anonymous said...

You have to look beyond the surface. Legislation is written with gaping loopholes all the time. Politicians fool the public by passing bills that do not do what they purport to do. Attorneys should know enough about the legislative process to understand that.

Anonymous said...

The banks are not going to be nationalized. That would lead to an economic panic that would make things even worse.

Greed is not going away. It is human nature. Politicians are motivated by narcissism and greed. It is what makes them tick.

Anonymous said...

945

My point is not about what politicians will pretend to do, but what they will be forced to do. There's the obvious surface (oh this is what they promise), there is your surface (this is what they mean), and then there is the underlying trump card (this is what reality forces them to do.) I am talking about that last element.

Anonymous said...

951

Many of you just don't get it yet. The choice will between nationalizing it (without calling it that like they did with AIG) or collapse of the system because of insolvency. The banks are already insolvent if you look at the numbers they are putting out there versus the debt for which they can't determine the value.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/business/economy/31econ.html?_r=1&hp

Another reality check for why things can not be business as usual. We have not experience anything like this is our adult working lives (well most of us).

Anonymous said...

It is not going to happen. Wall street would really collapse in seconds if the banks were nationalized.

As for what reality forcing the changes you talk about, that is just wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

9:53 It is not going to happen. Wall street would really collapse in seconds if the banks were nationalized.

As for what reality forcing the changes you talk about, that is just wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

We have already defacto nationalized the banks. Check out Bank of American and Citi, both are essentially owned by the American taxpayer. No one is saying this out loud, but read up on it. It's already happened.

Anonymous said...

Politicians giving up greed? Oh sure, that's happening.

Anonymous said...

9:51

You are right about the imminent nationalization of the banks and other changes.

The point is that, as someone mentioned, greed will still exist. Indeed, in a shit economy, a different form of greed called "penny pinching" and "miserliness" will be even more prevalent than before, spurring even more outsourcing.

Because this industry is such a backwater, it will be ignored and any anti-outsourcing rebellion that grips society won't really affect us. The BL firms will still feel the pinch (look at that NYTimes article today), and downward pressure on billing rates will still exist just as much, if not become even more exacerbated.

No laws will ever be passed banning legal outsourcing in the absence of a concerted, massive campaign by those affected, and from the tenor of the rhetoric and inane, pointless whining and non-productive navel-gazing I've seen on this and other sites, that's not gonna happen anytime soon, if ever.

So, my take is that "we" are doomed. Yes, there will still be temp DR jobs lingering around for maybe 5 years down the pike, but they will gradually grow fewer and fewer, as more and more work is outsourced to India.

So I say, you best learn a language that virtually nobody speaks in India (I have mastered two), and just hope for the best.

Meanwhile, make plans to "Exit, Stage Left", as SnagglePuss or someone used to say.

Anonymous said...

The claim that the banks have been nationalized already is just silly.

Anonymous said...

My ideal of dreaming is not the collapse of our banking system or the economic crisis in which we find ourselves as a planet. People are rioting in other countries right now. Did you even know that?

If you think of that as a "dream" or a "goal" that I want, then you don't understand my post, and I am wasting my time. Part of the problem is you have never lived through a depression, and, therefore, unless you are a student of history, a lot of this is something for which you have no ability to register how this is different. That link I provided you should have clued you in to the problem. Which, is how I see it- a problem. I am not hopeful about politicians, but I do think they like to stay in office.

It's been fun to see if I could get you out of your self centered view of the world. But, honestly, I need to get back to real work research now.

Anonymous said...

Wrong - the next wave will be protectionist legislation. It will be considered un-American to outsource. For many, it already is, but it will be mainstreamed and more media (besides Dobbs) will focus on it.

We are reaching the "Tipping Back" point, where the American worker (us) gets a more level playing field. Didn't you listen to Obama and Biden today?

Wake up guys, your party is over! Enjoy the last days of your Bollywoood paradise, the curtain is coming down soon.

It will soon be considered very very "out" to outsource.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the banks will be nationalized is a joke. That isn't imminent except in the minds of the hopelessly naive and easily deceived.

Anonymous said...

10:05 you are only a student of history in your own mind. You haven't even got a clue.

Anonymous said...

So 10:06, you listen to politicians and believe them. Speaking of clueless.

Anonymous said...

10:06

I totally *agree* with you that there will be protectionist legislation. Lots of it.

Only problem is, it won't affect us. It will affect the manufacturing sector. You know, the workers who have big unions and union lobbyists?

When they do pass anti-outsourcing legislation, it will be very industry-specific, not an across-the-board ban.

Precisely since litigation support and legal temp work is a backwater of a backwater, it won't be even remotely on anyone's radar screen, and no legislation will be passed to ban it.

Anonymous said...

10:11 & 10:12 - what time is it in Bangalore?

Anonymous said...

1002

I am not waiting around for this shit to end. I am the first to admit that no one should look at doc reviews as a career. This is true regardless of the economy.

I am on some level not talking about document reivews. I am just addressing economic reality in a way that the "it's all about greed" does not. There are limits to greed as anything else. I do not pretend to know how that will work itself out. Just the notion that greed is the end-all, be-all, is not always true because like anything circumstances dictate.

I have begun to work toward another career because I have a technical degree. I've been focusing on that in the last few months. Coming here keeps me on my toes about why I need to stay motivated to implement the personal changes.

1001

You are right about Bank of America. That's one that I've been reading about too.

1002

It's not about giving up on greed. You seem to think politicians and people have super human abilities to do anything they want without regard to reality. They can do a lot, but they are sitll limited by what they can do.

Anonymous said...

I find all these post funny- they already nationalize AIG and several other banks. So what are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

I agree, pretty funny. They must be in India or something.

Anonymous said...

10:15 I don't think so, but if you want to declare the entire banking industry nationalized go ahead and do that.

Anonymous said...

I am not declaring anything. that'ss the funny part. That's what's already happening. Again, what do you think AIG was about? Just curious , because several of you keep saying "that's impossible." "that's a dream" and other things, but real life already disagrees with your thought processes. For the record, I would not want nationalization because that's a sign of how bad things have gotten . Not how good. Do you understand this is not idealogical belief? it's what's happening already bit by bit?

Anonymous said...

10:14 the problem with your attempts at analysis is that you seem to have no experience in or understanding of the reality of politics. If you dug into the bowels of politics you would understand how things actually work and how greed won't just go away because you think the times call for it. You simply declare that what you would like to see happen inevitably will happen. The world is not like that.

Anonymous said...

Again AIG. Put up or shut.

Anonymous said...

10:14

"1002

It's not about giving up on greed. You seem to think politicians and people have super human abilities to do anything they want without regard to reality. They can do a lot, but they are sitll limited by what they can do."

Who said anything about "giving up on greed"? I sure didn't in my post. I'm not even sure I understand what you're referring to.

While just about everything you are talking about, vis-a-vis your political and macro-economic analysis of where our society is headed, is correct, what in the name of Sweet Fancy Moses does any of that have to do with legal outsourcing, DR, and LPOs?

I submit that it has nothing to do with our industry, because it won't affect the current trend of gradual outsourcing of almost all BL's legal process work to venues outside the US.

So, even after we've sat here and digested all your arguments and insight, we're still in the same situation, the work's still steadily going away, the trend isn't slowing, and it won't unless massive action is taken by those directly affected, and it really looks like that is not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

10:22 You sound like a teenager who is convinced of his own omniscience. You apparently have zero grasp of politics or economics. But if you want to declare that the banks are being nationalized, maybe you should check to see if anyone has told them that.

Anonymous said...

1031

If you think of doc review as your industry, that sums a lot. My industry is not doc reviews, but the legal industry, and whether that industry will contract or grow over the next few years. That's why what's happening with the rest of society matters. Yours, however, seem to be whether you will be able to continue doing doc reviews forever. Is that really your goal?

Anonymous said...

10:31 you are right. We don't need theory, we need jobs.

Anonymous said...

1035

I am going to assume you have no answer regarding AIG and the other already nationalized financial institutions. I will let your lack of actual response to AIG, therefore, speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is. We also want to put sleazebags like you of business. How's the weather in Mumbai today?

Find your own work, you illiterate slob.

Anonymous said...

1037

You are on a random blog chatting at roughly 1030 at night. If you wanted a job, you would be on a different site. This site is not dedicated to you finding a job, but, instead, discussing the state of the legal industry. So, you think you may want to start thinking about what to do next.

Anonymous said...

They have no answer, because they are just stupid, chattering, shills for the LPO industry. They aren't really able to keep up on what's going on in the USA. They are just one note horns, blowing the same tired sound, again and again.

I cannot even begin to imagine how colossally messed up those doc reviews in India are.

Anonymous said...

10:31 I meant that you are right about just needing jobs. That silliness trying to pass as economic theory here is pointless. We need to focus on our own situation.

Anonymous said...

Yeap- discussing nationalizing banks, the overall economy regarding legal jobs and jobs in general, etc is my way of tricking you. I am all for paranoia, but the truth is I am just bored while doing research.

Anonymous said...

Again, you are on a blog at 1045 at night discussing generalized issues about the industry- this is not your "own situation." If someone were mentioning a specific doc review or another job opportunity, your argument might make more sense. In context, in a post about the industry, it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

10:36

Actually, I've never done any doc review or any of this shit at all. I was just considering it as a bridge between other jobs, one as counsel for an internet startup which went belly-up in 11/08, and the next job probably in some industry tangentially associated with the law, lobbying or public policy.

When I say "this industry" or "our industry", I mean that of most of the people posting here, i.e., the subject of this blog.

After having investigated DR, I first learned one could make decent enough money doing it between permanent gigs, and I got excited. You mean they pay you $35-45/hour to sit in a room and click on a computer all day? With the potential of making near six-figures?

After my dotcom gig ended I actually discussed starting an LPO with one of our Indian IT vendors, and I still might go in with them on that.

But in the midst of all that, I became fascinated by this whole thing as a phenomenon, and actually thought about doing it for a few months.

Now having read this blog, I see the dark side of it, and how it's probably realistic to say this work is going to dry up for most people over the next 5 years, as Indiasourcing only grows.

What I also find fascinating is that so many of the attorneys being directly affected by this whole thing do so much whining, hand-wringing, complaining and attacking one another, and precious little actual organizing. Which does not say too much for the fighting spirit of the American worker in general, or many in the legal profession in particular.

Anonymous said...

10:38 I think you sinking into some kind of pathetic level of self-deception now. The banking industry is not being nationalized. If you don't believe me, ask the banks. They should know. Last I checked, they are under the impression that what you're saying just isn't so.

Anonymous said...

Good go ahead and start your LPO. I will gleefully watch as you lose every penny invested. You are too late to this party, the Bollywood outsourced legal work is closing down!

Only a fool would invest in India right now. It's third world, crowded, gutter country on the verge of nuclear war. Steet clear!

Anonymous said...

10:44 you are going into the business of outsourcing our work. Do you understand why we do not consider you a trustworthy source of information. What you are doing makes you the enemy, with a vested interest in seeing that we have no work. You are not someone whose advice we want.

Anonymous said...

The odd thing about several of you is that you keep saying that this is "self deception" and then you offer no real proof that I am wrong. Again, AIG. Explain it. What do you expect the banks (or the government) to tell you? "Our bank/s are insolvent." Some of you make me chuckle. Good luck getting that out of them.

I don't consider outsourcing document reviews to be a nother aspect of the other industry. It's just the same thing with different workers. I meant looking at what other potential growth areas maybe out there rather than looking solely at where one is now. I hope to remain cryptic, but whatever, I am still not giving anything away.

Anonymous said...

10:37 Like we aren't checking the job sites thousands of times a day. Unfortunately clicking on them doesn't make work magically appear. We have found that we can actually click on job sites many,many times and post too. Isn't that amazing.

Anonymous said...

Look 10:55 why don't you ask Obama. Maybe you'll believe him when he tells you that the banking industry has not been nationalized and isn't going to be. Or you can just chuckle yourself to sleep in your own little world. Whichever you prefer.

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