Thursday, February 12, 2009

Black Thursday

Above the Law almost imploded today with a stream of steady negative layoff news. As of noon, Dechert, Bryan Cave, Goodwin Procter have all axed dozens of associates. Apparently, more layoff news is on the way.

I am sorry to say that anyone who is expecting an uptick in the temporary document review market this year is going to be sorely disappointed. Not only do we have to compete with dozens of highly qualified out of work former associates, but the floodgates opened by the ABA Indian legal outsourcing opinion will continue to suck out of the country any last remaining remnants of legal scrap work.


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Anonymous said...

Probably this year will continue to suck, but the economy is a funny (yet not so funny thing), so there is always a chance of a surprise. After all, we were surprised that it got this bad, this fast.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that thinks this is going to be your typical, run of the mill legal recession is delusional. The gig is up. Clients are no longer willing to pay $400 an hour for clueless first year associates and glorified document review monkeys from Cooley. Law schools are going to have to close and charge less, associates are going to have to earn less, and the golden age of law schools and leverage is officially over.

Anonymous said...

Massive slaughter just announced at Holland & Knight. 300 people? Today is like the 1929 stock market crash of legal jobs.

selling my jd said...

as an official glorified document monkey (re: the Connecticut kind), i wish the laid off associates well within the document review industry. the more that the truth is known than the better. personally, I am not sure I can click away when the weather gets nice this time around. before law school, i did not truly understand the concept of survival.

tip to the new arrivals: that tingling feeling in your wrist from clicking away that indicates nerve damage will go away after a couple of months

Anonymous said...

What's happening in the rest of the legal market shows that the economy is a much bigger problem than the outsourcing. And even the economists have been wrong in their predictions many times. If the economy improves, the associates will be back at biglaw and biglaw will stop taking those huge risks with the Indian sweatshops.

Anonymous said...

People revert to their usual behavior once a crisis ends. It is the economy that is behind the sudden disappearance of doc review from here. That was no coincidence.

Anonymous said...

You have to be delusional not to notice that attorneys are not the only ones out of work. When will the massive amounts of people who are on UE have jobs again? When the economy recovers.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of hearing that laid off Biglaw associates are a danger to lifer-coders. It false, because:

1. Big/Reputable agencies won't touch former BigLaw associates.

2. Former BigLaw associates won't risk the taint of doc review on their resume when they are up for re-hiring. Especially since subsequent hiring will be ultra-competitive.

The Indians are much more of a threat, don't you idiots realize that? Guess whose doing ALL the sub-prime doc review?

Anonymous said...

i want sub-prime document review.. i will eat curry... love bombay and new delhi...

Anonymous said...

Don't you realize that biglaw is not going to keep risking the Indian sweatshops when the economy improves? Do you really not get that they only took it all there because of the immediate crisis due to the credit cruch? The former biglaw associates aren't doing projects here; there aren't any for them to do. Even if they got any, top tier former biglaw associates would not settle into long-term careers as doc reviewers. The event that triggered the disappearance of our jobs was the economy going into free fall. You must have noticed that it is not just doc reviewers who have lost work since the economy crashed. You are living in a bubble if you don't think that the economy affects us.

Anonymous said...

Even the LPO hucksters get that a lot of biglaw will be out of India once our economy recovers. That's the only reason they spend such much time doing their stupid posts here.

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side guys, at least there's still pussy. And pussy is much better than doc review.

drdoc said...

The job market will suck. Get ready for a five year recession and a lost decade where we celebrate 1 % GDP growth as a success (second part of the sentence according to the economist).
When Obama went on the road to defend his stimulus, families who live in their car asked questions.

Survival mode is on.

Anonymous said...

And our clueless reps in Congress will only make it worse with more handouts for the rich.

Too bad, we're going to be stuck down in the well for a while.

Anonymous said...

Congress's solution is to patch up Sallie Mae so she can give out even more loans. Credit bubble part II.

Anonymous said...

They steadfastly refuse to address any of the real issues. Thus, their manipulations will only result in prolonging our misery and various bubbles e.g. housing, educational industry, ete etc etc.

What a disaster!

Anonymous said...

drdoc Nobody can be relied upon to know what's going to happen in the economy for the next 5 years. The economists have a hard enough time figuring out what's going to happen for 5 months.

Anonymous said...

Doc Review to $9 an hour!

Anonymous said...

Will code for curry!

Anonymous said...

3:52 I'll take it.

Trollop said...

No more talk of outsourcing! O.K., sober talk about outsourcing is allowed, but to use it as a punchline is disgusting and I'm sure everyone is getting tired of it.

I'm talking about posts that talk about a legitimate cause for concern--layoffs--and then play everyone's fears with a mention of outsourcing at the end--ZING!.

I'm also talking about posts about Sally Mae getting some pork from the bailout, and then the commenters turning to outsourcing.

Tom The Temp: please focus on real concerns and leave the "sky is falling" propaganda for the trolls. I'm sick of it.

Anonymous said...

Outsourcing is a major problem. Document review work is DEAD. Don't tell me that there are no cases or investigations going on. All the work is in India. It needs to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

The Layoff List

The Firms:
Akin Gump
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll
Bell Boyd & Lloyd
Bingham Mccutchen
Blank Rome
Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels
Bryan Cave
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
Cahill Gordon
Clifford Chance
Cooley Godward
Dewey & Leboeuf
Dickstein Shapiro
DLA Piper
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Duane Morris
Faegre & Benson
Fenwick & West
Fish & Richardson
Foley Hoag
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Goodwin Procter
Heller Ehrman
Hogan & Hartson
Holland & Knight
Hunton & Williams
Jenner & Block
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Kaye Scholer
Kirkland & Ellis
Loeb & Loeb
Luce Forward
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will
McKee Nelson
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy
Moore & Van Allen
Morgan & Finnegan
Morrison & Foerster
Nixon Peabody
O'Melveny & Myers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Patton Boggs
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Powell Goldstein
Proskauer Rose
Reed Smith
Ropes & Gray
Seyfarth Shaw
Shutts & Bowen
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
Synnestvedt & Lechner
Taylor Wessing
Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner
White & Case
Wilson Sonsini
Wolf Block

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about the biglaw layoffs. Welcome to the wonderful world of temping.

Anonymous said...

Obama will save us!

Anonymous said...

Don't fall for politicians, they will only break your heart.

Anonymous said...

Babu, back to work! Put the Curry down, that Curry is for closers!

Anonymous said...

Profits per Partner decrease by a mere 2% and their solution is to slaughter and ruin the lives of hundreds of associates and ship mountains of doc review work to Babu in India.

Lawyers under 35 really need a union.

Anonymous said...

I was third in my law school class at an Ivy League school in 2005 and now I'm mopping floors at a Del Taco in Pasadena, CA. They won't even let me behind the counter because I worked at Citigroup!

Anonymous said...

don't worry, Obama is ending the e-verify system so illegal immigrants can be hired more easily. You will soon be shitcanned from your janitorial job in favor of an illegal or half the wage.

Anonymous said...

are you ready for an invasion of the forum where the 0L's are planning to ruin their futures? Are you ready to puncture their dream futures that have been pumped up by law education industries propaganda lies?

Are you ready to go to war on Saturday and take some future law school tuition $$ from the law schools?

The invasion is on for this saturday:

Be here or be square:

What is best in life?

what is best in life?

Anonymous said...

Doc reviewers need to decide what they want to do in life. Do you really want to constantly worry about getting hired/canned, with lousy or no benefits, and no respect? Really, is this all you want out of life? This horrible economy should be a wake up call to search for something better.

Anonymous said...

12:10 I absolutely agree!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tell that to the LPos in India. When they are out of business, we'll talk about moving on.

You need to worry about your own career Babu.

Anonymous said...

dear 12:10 :

you speak the truth.. it is painful though.... maybe some curry will help me..

counting the minutes..

Anonymous said...

The LPO frauds are the ones whose days with biglaw are numbered. They know it too. That is why those frightened frauds keep watching and posting here. They know the shoddy crap put out by their sweatshops has a limited shelf life. It expires when our economy rebounds, maybe sooner considering how much their crap stinks.

Anonymous said...

Just being the lowest price doesn't mean much in the end, when the work product is so inferior and performed far out of the firm's control in a distant country, with different cultural expectations.

Anonymous said...

The first time a biglaw firm has to try to explain how using one of those LPO sweatshops was due diligence is the last time that firm takes the insane risk of doing that.

Anonymous said...

I would suspect that opposing parties would think they could be hiding something by using an "offshore" process firm. Much like Madoff and other fraudsters used offshore bank accounts, one can envision the hanky panky going on in these overseas data sweatshops.

With unlicensed, non-JD holding, non-native English speakers and dramatically different cultural values, it's clear that firms could be using these shops to "hide the ball". Who knows what goes on in these places.

Anonymous said...

An observation: The firing of associates is actually a good thing for contract attorneys. Remember- the survey done late last year (I am forgetting the name of the article) in which the general view was that they would move from associates to more contract attorneys.

Anonymous said...

3:06 they will hire the former associates on a contract basis to do the same work they did before. That is another reason that doc reviewers don't have to worry about the former associates as a real threat in terms of doc review jobs.

Anonymous said...


I stopped engaging in speculation. I know people here get off on it. I posted the information that I did to bring some continuity to what we are seeing. There was, in fact, an article saying that law firms maybe trimming associates to address the downturn. The article added that these law firms also going to ramp up contract attorneys. I do not know what this means other than one part of the article's claims it starting to come to fruition. thus, it maybe a good sign for those doing contract work. On some level- at the very least- it's a good sign regarding firms having able bodies around. But, we shall see. I don't know. Just making a small observation.

Anonymous said...

In the long run, top tier associates will be associates once again. They didn't go to top tier schools to be contract attorneys.

Anonymous said...

3:30 by contract work they didn't mean doc review. They meant other legal work will be done as contract work. The former associates, not doc reviewers, will have the required experience.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they'll start a top tier temp blog where LPO frauds could go to heckle them.

Anonymous said...


I have no idea what they meant. The articles did not specify, and, as I said, I don't feel the need to speculate.

Anonymous said...

You guys are arguing under the assumption that the quality of LPO work will always be inferior to what you domestic temps put out. I respectfully beg to differ. There is a real, actual possibility that LPO's quality could eventually exceed the quality of domestic work some time in the future. That possibility is a legitimate threat and concern that I notice being foolishly downplayed on this board. America's future generation won't have as easy of a time when they compete with the Indians like many of you think right now.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you mean the unlicensed, non-native English speaking, non-jd people?

ROFL, no we're not worried. It's just a cost cutting move, by shortsighted corporations.

Take your scare tactics and shove 'em.

Anonymous said...

5:37 is just a scared LPO fraud. We know that no actual doc reviewer is going to be praising those shoddy LPO sweatshops. By continuing to spend tons of time watching our board and posting their fake comments here, the LPO liars show their fear that biglaw won't stay with them. And biglaw won't stay with them. The unlawful practice of law and due diligence issues prevent the LPO sweatshops from being a realistic long-term solution for biglaw.

Anonymous said...

The LPO phonies don't fool anyone with their idiotic comments. Everybody knows it's them.

Anonymous said...

Like anyone uses foreign sweatshops because they care about the quality of the work. The lack of due diligence is going to lead to heavy sanctions and angry clients.

Anonymous said...

Guys, I know this might seem shocking and far fetched, but what if the whole outsourcing trend completely backfires? I mean, U.S. corporations outsource to cut costs so they can increase the amount of money their executives mean so they can offer products at a lower cost so more Americans who no longer have jobs can buy their products.

There is a threshold that has been crossed. Too many Americans have lost their jobs and are no longer buying much of ANYTHING. You can see it in the empty stores that are going out of business across the nation. The fact that these greedy executives were stupid enough to put some of their most confidential documents in the hands of unlicensed Indian attorneys only makes the whole situation more laughable than it already is. It sucks for us, but trust me when I say one of these outsourcing centers is going to BLOW UP a case and cause a huge award by producing a privileged smoking gun memo or not properly produce documents and cause a death penalty discovery sanction. When this inevitably happens, the era of outsourcing U.S. legal work will immediately end.

And we will have something to laugh at as we attempt to pay off our student loans. The companies are merely creating a legion of pissed off lawyers. It will come back to bite them when plaintiffs class action litigation comes back now that Democrats control the federal and most state governments...

Anonymous said...

7:25 is spot on. The backlash is brewing, no wonder the LPO hucksters are nervous, they know the gravy train is ending, fast.

Anonymous said...

Biglaw has sought to protect itself from malpractice claims arising out of the use of the LPO sweatshops by getting clients to sign what the firms hope to be ironclad consent and waiver agreements. How stupid is that? Who wants a relationship with a major corporate client to be reduced to saying, "Ha, ha you can't sue us, you signed a waiver." It won't protect those firms from losing clients or getting hit with major sanctions. It's questionable that it would even protect them from claims for the intentional malpractice that they are committing.

Anonymous said...

BIGLAW is also in a little bit of trouble at the moment. They're not laying off associates because they're making a bunch of money.

Anonymous said...

The work is so *Fabulous* that the law firms refuse to vouch for it. It says a lot about the quality of the work product (poor).

Once again, the same shortsighted companies that ruined our economy continue to compound the problem by exporting American jobs through outsourcing.

Anonymous said...

I guess there are some projects in NYC after all. They are just low paying and you have to be "in" with the recruiters.

They're going on all over town, but no one is talking because they're too afraid.

I guess the era of spilling your guts and whining on a blog are over. Everyone wants to keep that money flowing in.

Anonymous said...


If you say so.

Anonymous said...

9:44 is hallucinating or a liar.

Anonymous said...

5:37 - you must be another troll on some sleazy LPO's payroll. Sorry, but intimidation with a broken 7-11 accent just doesn't work for real English speaking Americans who understand the American legal systems and know how to read English. I bet you're now running in anger to the closest computer (shared by 150,000 other kids) in your slum community center in a failed attempt to study harder for American law. Sorry kid, you won't cut it and Biglaw can already smell your sh#t from way over here across the Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

9:44 how about some details? What agencies and firms? When did they start? Since the projects have disappeared, once and a while posters have claimed to know about secret projects but none of them has come up with any details that held up. Most often, the ones talking about secret projects shut up once they are asked for details.

I don't know of any projects and neither does anyone I know. Every doc reviewer I know is out of work.

Anonymous said...

Let's put it this way - you have to be really tight with the temp agency recruiters. They are going with their "A Team" coders.

Everyone else is out of work.

Anonymous said...

Let's put it this way 11:12, you're just shown that you're a liar. You are also boring.

Anonymous said...

I think that there must be a few projects here and there. It stands to reason.

But since there aren't any huge projects going on and the associates are doing the work that could be done on the small projects, my guess is that the work that is there is not much and generally sucks.

I have heard there are foreign language projects starting up and specific IP projects. This stands to reason, the firms don't have enough foreign language speakers nor do they have enough specialized IP people (Ph.D lifescience of EE/CE/BS CSCI). Also, the above groups of people would probably be working full time jobs in a good economy, so there are enough of them to temp at the moment.

Let's see what happens now that the stimulus has passed. I don't think any firm in their right mind would give the green light for any large projects until they saw whether it would pass or not. The agencies might get the go ahead for projects once the credit markets start to flow.

Anonymous said...

11:25 saying it stands to reason there must be projects is meaningless. If that is what you have to say, apparently you don't have any actual knowledge of a single project.

Anonymous said...

Again posters make claims about secret projects and can't come up with any details.

Anonymous said...

It's called blowing smoke

Anonymous said...


Why are you so interested in the projects that may or may not be ongoing? If the agencies haven't called you in, you're not going to get it by calling them 3 times a day.

Just keep applying to vacancies when they appear and send the agencies an email every couple of weeks. When things improve you'll probably land something.

In the meantime, get off your ass and volonteer to do something so you can put it on your resume.

Anonymous said...

The ratio of new foreign language project announcements to new English language projects (on most major sites including Craigslist and a lot of the agency sites) is something like 5:1, which suggests most of the major new English projects are going to India.

Some recently-sighted foreign language projects on Craigslist and on the email hotlines: Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Korean.

If the ratio of foreign-to-English announcements were 1:1, even that would suggest lots of projects going to India, because there is no way there's really an equal number of foreign language and English projects out there.

But the ratio is much higher, more like 5:1, which suggests that a very significant number of our new English-language projects are being siphoned off to India.

Obviously in India, you'll find very few people who speak languages like Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Korean, Japanese, etc. But in the US, many of these languages are represented with lots of speakers in big cities like NYC, DC and LA.

You may find a FEW people who speak Portuguese in India, because Portugal had a colony in India (Goa) where some people still speak the language.

I bet that 3-5 years ago, the ratio of foreign to English project announcements was more like 1:5 instead of 5:1.

What does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

and by the way.

I wouldn't tell everybody on the board if I did know about something. The agency would get like 50 calls from pissed off temps.

Anonymous said...

11:53 you sound like the same liar who was claiming to know about secret projects but of course could not come up with any details. Now you're becoming incoherent and defensive, but still no details. Not exactly a shock.

Anonymous said...


It tells you that the associates are doing the temp's work, not that they're outsorcing everything.

How hard do you think it would be to find attorneys or temps in Germany, Eastern Europe, Holland, Japan, etc (where the firm has an office) to do the doc. reviews. Not hard at all.

The more likely explanation is that the associates can't do the foreign language work, so they have to hire temps fluent in another language.

Also, you have to keep in mind that there aren't any big reviews going on. The blanket announcements are for big reviews (20+) or something specific. If it's some kind of English review that uses 30 attorneys, 20 of the associates at the firm no longer have anything better to do. They get the work and then the agencis provide 10 temps from their "A" list.

Anonymous said...

11:54 by the way you are sounding more like a liar with every post.

Anonymous said...

12:03 it sounds like you are totally speculating about everything you're saying. At best, you are guessing.

Anonymous said...

11:54 ads are not the same thing as project announcements. Even a lot of the foreign language ads are just for resume collection purposes. Also lots of times multiple agencies place ads for the same project because they plan to bid against each other if the project actually proceeds. Using numbers based up ads placed is not going to result in any accurate count of actual projects.

Anonymous said...

I'm speculating, but there is some basis in fact in my speculation.

Some temps are still working or the agencies would all be out of buisness. Also associates do occasionally do document review. There's a lack of work at the moment (despite what you hear about how great a firm is doing). Associates can do doc. review, but they can't do foreign language doc. review. Thus, my conclusion is that the associates are doing doc. review and some temps are still working. The foreign language guys or science guys are also still working or will be the first in line when the reviews start.

One other thing, if there's no work, whey do the agencies occasionally post on CL? They are obviously doing something or planning on doing something with the resumes.

Anonymous said...

12:21 now you're heaping speculation upon speculation. A lot of these agencies handle jobs other than doc review and are part of corporations that do staffing of non-legal positions.

De Novo had a CL ad on Friday and specified that they were looking for people who are not registered. They said anyone already registered should just update their availability. Agencies always look to register new people. That doesn't mean they have an actual project to staff.

Anonymous said...


They don't place the ads for foreing language so they can bid against each other. They place the ads because the agencey can't fill the positions.

When there's a review that needs 15 or so attorneys in DC and another that needs 15 or so attorneys in NYC, there aren't enough barred foreign language speakers (other than Spanish or French) to fill it. So the firm contacts every agency.

You have to keep in mind that most people don't want to permatemp, and most foreign language speakers are in higher demand than regular attorneys. So they get an offer from the firm for a staff attorney position or they get offered a job at some firm doing whatever.

That leaves only a few who are barred and can qualify for the foreign language jobs.

Anonymous said...

No 12:30, even with foreign language projects, agencies often place ads for projects that they do not have. Intact, most of those ads are not for actual projects they have to staff.

Anonymous said...

Doc review recruiters are very hard up for openings to fill and due to the lack of English jobs they are running after every foriegn language opportunity they see. There is a lot of resume collection without real jobs being done regarding foreign language projects.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they would bother collecting resumes if they never plan on using them?

One other thing when I see Japanese or Polish listings cirulated by almost every agency I assume they can't fill the position. Why else would they bother?

Anonymous said...

There are lingering projects from last year, etc. There are not many new projects.

Anonymous said...


Because it's what they do. Resume collecting, including in niches, is a part of the business. This is true even for some of the more technical projects. I would not make of it anything more than what it is.

Anonymous said...

12:59 if you are a doc reviewer, you should know that agencies constantly look for new people to register regardless of whether they have projects. This is not a new thing, it is part of their routine.

Anonymous said...

I meant 12:49, not 12:59

Anonymous said...

12:50 do you know of any details regarding any new projects?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Babu, I'll pass on your doc review services but I'll gladly take a slurpee! Do you have Sour Appple flavor?

Anonymous said...

Thought you guys might find this interesting.

It's a post from 2007 before the recession:

Luong Dong said...

No more slutt temps. Indian attorney sweatshops are just one big salami factory. What is a swanky associate to do?

Anonymous said...


What they really mean in that 2007 article is that major firms were experiencing a sort of spot shortage of Top 10-14 law school graduates.

At the peak of the economic expansion (which came immediately before the implosion in Sept. 2007), lots of recent graduates were going into non-traditional opportunities such as tech startups, finance careers, hedge funds, etc., instead of applying to largelaw firms. Some of this had to do with new grads hearing horror stories about major firms. So largelaw was experiencing a spot shortage of new associates.

This is typical for Kiplingers or other "insider" industry bulletins, which concentrate only exclusively on the top end of a given market, like law. Often they will talk only to top end industry people and then make generalizations based on that.

Anonymous said...

The agencies DO NOT make random announcements to solicit resumes for foreign language projects when they don't actually have a specific project or don't know about a project they want to bid on.

It would make no sense for them to just come out of the blue one day and put an ad on Craigslist or on their corporate site, say, asking for doc reviewers who speak fluent Dutch or Portuguese or Swedish.

These announcements aren't being done speculatively to collect resumes for potential future projects in those languages. They always refer to an ACTUAL PROJECT in that language.

On the other hand, MANY agencies (like LegalSource, HIRECounsel, etc.) make very regular announcements on Craigslist and their sites about vague, unspecified "anticipated" English-language projects, and this is being done much more to collect a good thick wad of resumes than anything else. It doesn't mean there are confirmed projects out there.

They're just looking for new resumes for potential new English projects because they know that some of the resumes they will have collected on file will be "stale" by the time a project materializes, and many of the reviewers will have gone on to permanent gigs somewhere. So they have to continually "refresh" their stockpile of resumes of people who have RECENTLY expressed interest in doc review.

But don't get the foreign language job ads confused with the English ones. When virtually any foreign language job is announced, it is a real one and it's not just a fake announcement to collect a stockpile of resumes.

Otherwise you'd see a standing announcement asking for resumes in each of these languages on their websites. But you don't see that - the most you see is standing announcements for English, often Spanish, and sometimes other common languages like French or German. (Even for the Spanish, French, or German ones, it almost always relates to a specific real project.)

Anonymous said...


"How hard do you think it would be to find attorneys or temps in Germany, Eastern Europe, Holland, Japan, etc (where the firm has an office) to do the doc. reviews. Not hard at all."

True, but since we know that we frequently see foreign-language doc review jobs being advertised in the US, then there must be a reason why at least some of these jobs are being done on US soil rather than in those foreign locations where all lawyers speak those languages and the pool is huge.

The reasons have to do with: (1) temp agencies know how to do large doc review projects -- they have it down to a science; (2) they have a physical facility where doc reviews can be done, plus computers and specialized software; (3) they have personnel who are trained specifically to coordinate and supervise these projects; (4) they may be located physically close to clients and law firms (we know this doesn't matter when work is offshored to India, but sometimes it does matter to clients) and (5) sometimes they want people who speak an "unusual" foreign language like Swedish, Korean, or Russian, but who have a good grasp of US legal concepts. (With the Indians, they may be working on more "fungible" projects, where ability to read English is comparatively more important than a strong knowledge of US law -- a pity, it's true, but it's just a cold, hard economic trade-off.)

Anonymous said...

I read the following post that I cut and pasted, in true lawyer like fashion, from above.....And I chuckle at the delusional nature of it:

Anonymous said...
Doc reviewers need to decide what they want to do in life. Do you really want to constantly worry about getting hired/canned, with lousy or no benefits, and no respect? Really, is this all you want out of life? This horrible economy should be a wake up call to search for something better.

12:10 PM

I say that its not just "Doc reviewers" that need to decide what they want to do in life. It's all legal lemmings beneath the rank of partner. Anyone who even remotely considers being a so-called "lawyer" needs to look at lawland's imminent demise for most who are not partners. Time to get into another business folks.

Anonymous said...


I don't think that typically there is an oversupply of attorneys. Right now is the exception. If there were the temp wages would be much lower in 2007. I mean in 2007, you could have no skills, a terrible resume, and land basically a six figure job doing doc. review in 2 weeks. And you could get fired from that job and find another in a short time.


On the contrary there are plenty of temp agencies and attorneys in western europe. The reason they do it here is because they need barred US attorneys to read the docs, or at least as many US barred attorneys as they can get.

Keep in mind that if they didn't need attorneys they'd farm the review out to one of the translation agencies.

Anonymous said...

There is still plenty of room for ambitious, intelligent, and self-motivated attorneys to get through this by taking on your own caseload. I have seen the rent on commercial real estate decrease. If there is nothing else to do, why not get together with a few other like-minded attorneys and start something???? It will take actual hard work. There is still money to be made.

Anonymous said...


As someone who's spent a huge amount of time in Europe (and have even handled an insurance defense depo in Budapest), I can say that I'm not too aware of any high-profile temp agencies in Europe.

That doesn't mean doc review and the temp attorneys don't exist over there, but the industry is very scattered and fragmented into firms that have a much different focus than in the US.

In the US, we have lots of companies that hold themselves out as solely, or primarily, providers of temporary attorneys for legal projects like doc review. The industry is quite clear cut and distinct, and you can easily find their websites.

In Europe legal temp work is kind of "hidden" and the firms which hire temp attorneys are often employment or placement firms which place attorneys as well as lots of other types of job applicants. There aren't firms like HIRECounsel, LegalSource, Ajilon, De Novo, which have a clear-cut reputation in the market of focusing on legal temps and doc review.

Part of this has to do with the fact that big firms based in Europe do either one of two things:
They either keep the work inside the firm and give it to associates, or when they do use outside labor, they DO NOT necessarily look for licensed attorneys to do it.

For instance, we recently had a 22 year-old poster on this board who boasted that he was hired for a long-term foreign language legal doc review project while traveling in London.

This guy was American and had no JD, and he was bragging about how high the pay was and words to the effect of, "anyone could do it" so it didn't really require a JD, even though it was clearly legal work, and arguably in some jurisdictions, the practice of law.

In Europe there are two big Euro-centric "mindsets" that cause firms to tend to either keep the work in-house, or farm it out to non-lawyers in a scattered, "hidden" temp labor market.

First, European law firms and companies in general are less disposed than American businesses to automatically outsource work to cut costs. I'm not saying Euro companies never do this, or that they aren't increasingly doing it. I'm just saying that outsourcing doc review (whether to offsite temp agencies or offshore LPOs) its not done on as huge or as knee-jerk a scale as in the USA.

The other major reason is that, if they actually do decide to farm it out to temps in Europe, then it's of the type that THEY don't consider require a law degree and a law license. They don't consider it in any sense the practice of law, and hence you have temp agencies hiring recent college-age people on backpacking holidays, as long as they seem to have some formal "uni" education, to do what we would consider legal document review requiring barred attorneys.

It's just a completely different mindset over there, and hence you don't have a clear, distinct "legal temp" labor market with firms that specialize only in this area.

Anonymous said...

11:11 Lately some agencies have started to do ads aimed only at resume for foreign languages because they don't have any English projects to staff.

Anonymous said...

The lack of English projects here has led agencies to try and sign up more foreign language reviewers. This is not the same as it always was, it's a reaction to the market. That is why some ads for foreign language reviews may now be just as bogus as those for English reviews. Delta now even claims to specialize in foreign language reviews. That is a claim they have made only since the English reviews disappeared.

Anonymous said...


Yes, I've noticed that, too, and that's a very bad sign. It means that work is coming in, but the English language category is being outsourced to India.

If no work was coming in at all, you wouldn't see the resume solicitation for foreign-language projects.

And let me repeat that the resume solicitation for foreign-language projects is for actual projects which have received go-ahead and are to be done in the USA.

For instance, they're taking resumes now for a Greek one in DC, and a couple of weeks ago it was a French one in Philly.

I'm qualified for Spanish and French, so I intend on doing this... it's just that the projects always seem to crop up somewhere where I'm not living.

I know there are networks around where temp attorneys rent out their houses/apartments to each other in various cities and are able to shuttle around more quickly.

Anyone know how good these groups are?

Anonymous said...


If you look carefully and investigate the ads for foreign language projects (actually call the agency), the vast majority of them do relate to actual, specific projects which are in the pipeline, not vague solicitation of resumes for future projects.

*Some* announcements of "major" languages like Spanish, French, and German, may occasionally be just resume collection, but I would still advise you to investigate by calling the agency.

But the ones where they're looking for fluent Greek, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, etc. speakers are legit.

If they were just collecting resumes, you'd see a generic ad simply listing a bunch of languages together and they'd try to collect vast amounts of resumes in one big sweep. But they're not doing that. You do see a lot of ads for "unusual" foreign languages cropping up in big cities like NYC/DC/LA, but the ads always come at irregular times and are solitary requests for just that language.

Anonymous said...

They actually do know how to write bogus ads that look like they are for specific projects. But I even apply when I see bogus looking English ad because I feel like I can't afford to pass anything up. Just in case.

Anonymous said...

I think that the use of phony ads has started to creep into the foreign language projects.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense for the agencies to sign up more foreign language reviewers now.

Anonymous said...


Soon we'll see ads like this:

Major international law firm based in London and Brussels seeks sixteen (16) attorneys fluent in the Xhosa language, for immediate intake interviews for document review project which will start on 14 July 2009 and last between 380 and 506 days. Project will be based in both NYC and DC, and the hourly rate for our attorneys will be $47.55, with optional overtime, free lunches courtesy of Wofgang Puck Catering, and three days of paid vacation accrued for every 30 days worked. This firm plans a major expansion in Paris, Frankfurt, and Dubai, and there is a chance for 6-12 of the attorneys on this project to be hired as full-time associates at a starting salary of between $135,000.00 and $172,000.00. Please email resumes to Mr. Fred Malanzwuja at,
or fax resume to 202-555-9390 before 12:00 noon next Friday, for immediate invitations to interview for this exciting project.

...and the ad will be totally fake, just to collect resumes that they will never use.

Anonymous said...

I still don't think outsorcing is the main problem.

Like 800 people were laid off by the firms Thurdsay. There must not be enough work to go around, so Ivy Leauge associates are doing doc. review at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Fake ads are used by legit agencies all the time. It doesn't mean they'll never use the resumes. It just means that they don't have the actual jobs when they place the ads. This is not news.

Anonymous said...

The main problem is the economy. That is why all those associates were laid off. If outsourcing was the main problem, we would be the only ones out of work.

Anonymous said...


No. If laid-off Ivy League associates were doing the doc review, they'd still have to go through the process of responding to ads and signing up with temp agencies. I don't know that these people are privy to any "insider info" about doc review projects that the rest of us aren't.

Those people don't want to do doc review anyway; most of them consider it beneath them. They can afford to sit it, collect unemployment, out and apply to other firms for permanent jobs as associates. There are enough firms out there that if they're laid off by Skadden & Arps, or Cravath or whatever, they'll be picked up by another lateral firm a notch below within a few months.

Most of these Ivy Leaguers from prestigious firms won't even consider going the doc review route unless they're actually living hand to mouth.

Anonymous said...

4:49 is right. The Ivy Leaguers aren't interested in replacing us. They will never forget where they went and accept being doc reviewers.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or am I seeing more and more English projects going to smaller cities like St. Louis, Kansas City, and even lots in places like Delaware.

Hourly rates would be significantly lower in these places. If a DR project in NYC or DC is going for $35-40/hour, rates in these cities will be more like $25-30/hour. In small cities like Columbia, SC (which I just saw in an ad) the work is probably going for even less.

If an agency doesn't want to deal with the inherent hassles of a long-distance relationship with an Indian LPO, more and more work can easily migrate to small US cities, and then "we" (doc reviewer attorneys in big cities) are still in the same boat.

Let's say an agency saves $30/hour using Indians, but it costs $10/hour to deal with Indian hassles and mistakes, pay for intercontinental telecom, etc. So maybe they're only saving $20/hour.

If they go from NYC to Little Rock, doc review costs may be reduced from $35/hour to $25/hour.

So they're only saving $10/hour compared to India.

For agencies that haven't started using India yet, they'll also save set-up and transactional costs by using US labor in a small market instead of Indians.

If work is being driven from law firms to temp agencies anyway, and the bad economy is a big driving factor, then the first pitstop on the outsourcing track may not be India, but places like Des Moines and Tulsa.

Anonymous said...

The way things are now they can get enough reviewers here who would take $25 an hour. I would.

Anonymous said...

The ivy league associates don't do doc. review in the temp sense (like us). Rather they do the work that would be given to the temps to keep thier billables up.

Anonymous said...

How come no one is complaining about the sweatshop conditions and lack of cars and meals anymore?


Trollop said...

I'm going to hang a shingle today! I'm so sick of the fearful twitterings about outsourcing, and I am going to be a lemming no longer! (I'm getting tired of that word also--the complacency should end now, moreso than when we complained about $30/hr., taxi service during the long shifts, and well-stocked breakrooms) The market is more in flux than ever, and I'd be stupid to sit around and complain now. Let's all do it--do something. This is to the commenter "sell my JD": You only want to sell it because you are taking someone else's word for the worth of your license (notice I did not say JD). Go out there and do something; that is what I am going to do. I am determined--resolved.

trollop said...

Unless "sell my JD" wants to sell because he couldn't pass the bar and is not licensed--then I can't really help him.

Sell my JD--thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Job Title: Legal Research / Litigation Lawyers
Job Date: 2009-01-27
Company: Pangea3
Job Location(s): Mumbai,IN
Description: Solicitors / LLMs / LLBs with 1-7 years of experience in legal research and drafting of briefs, memoranda and court filings. Our litigation team performs traditional non-court attendance based litigation services for US and European law firms and corporate counsels. These services include researching issues based on US law and drafting relevant briefs and memoranda and conversing with corporate in-house counsels or attorneys at law firms regarding the issues and the research. Candidates with experience in Westlaw or LexisNexis (databases) are preferred. Candidates should have excellent command over written and communication skills.

Anonymous said...


Job Description

The candidate should have a fair idea of
1) Drafting contracts
2) Research support,
3) Document review,
4) Westlaw,
5) Lexus Nexus.

Needs to be a LLB GRADUATE with good communication skills,comfortable with Microsoft Office,especially Microsoft Word.
FRESHERS are welcome, full support and training would be provided,comfortable timings: 9.30-6.00pm, interested candidates pls mail your CV to [HIDDEN TEXT]
About Company
Value consulting delivers professional services in the domains ranging from Business Processes consulting, Information technology, Executive search an Human resource consulting to the businesses from different industry verticals. Extensive network of professionals and internal capabilities developed at Value Consulting allows us to help our clients unravel the synergies in their value chain by identifying the right process, technology and resource.

Anonymous said...

So, prestigious white-shoe largelaw firms throughout recorded history had an obsessive preference for hiring associates with Ivy League degrees, so they could brag about their pedigrees and draw clients and justify charging more... relegating all other US law school graduates to the back of the bus...

EXCEPT when prestigious largelaw firms are packing their backroom legal sweatshops in India, with the warm bodies of lawyer/slaves, who toil in anonymity without having their names or presence announced on the firm's site...

So much for being picky and choosy about whom to hire. So much for the stuffy pomposity of American largelaw with their demand for Ivy and Top 10 and Order of the Coif and Law Review and Moot Court. So much for looking down your nose at graduates of state schools.

At the end of the day it really is about money, and projecting an artificially-crafted image to the world. Ivy League and Law Review really mean nothing, because behind the facade, brown-skinned guys with sandals and girls in saris are bicycling to gnat-infested, cholera-ridden sweatholes in Hyderabad and Bhopal and Bangalore.

Anonymous said...


Title: Attorney Review Associate - Legal Services Delivery:

Key Objective

To be a key team member for delivery of legal services, in particular Contracts Team ( review , drafting) to international law firms and corporate legal departments

Position Objectives and Expectations

· Participate in projects for international clients

· Reviewing large volumes of contracts

· Managing workflow to assure timely delivery of services clients

· Flexibility to work shifts if required

Personal Characteristics

· Good interpersonal skills

· Extremely high level of attention to detail

· Punctual and time-sensitive

· Strong analytical skills

· Good verbal and written English language communication skills

· Ability to communicate effectively with clients and managers

· Dedicated trustworthy and loyal

· Team player

· International perspective

· IT savy

· Mandatory experience in the Legal Profession with a law firm or in the legal Department of a large company.

· Preferred experience in the outsourcing industry ( IT/ ITES/ outsourcing) either in an LPO delivery role or in the legal dept

· Experience in Contract law

· Consistently Good academic record

Educational Requirements

Degree in Law (or equivalent)

Experience & Qualification

· Up to Two – Ten years prior relevant experience

· Experience of Contracts review dealing with International Clients is mandatory.

· Familiarity with legal databases is desired (WestLaw, LexisNexis)

· Must be skilled in MS Word and Excel


Powai, Mumbai, India but must be flexible to relocate nationally and internationally and may also be required to work out of client’s office.

Anonymous said...

"Candidates should have excellent command over written and communication skills."

How ironic

Anonymous said...

Last time I visited this website not too long ago you people whined about being shut out of the elitist circle, whine about "sweatshop" conditions, getting paid only $30/hr, meals and car allowances, etc. basically cry about not getting the things that you thought you were entitled to for whatever reason.

And suddenly the forum is on its way to become a Hate Watch contender.

When the economy tanked and you recognized that your real competition is overseas you have stooped down to launching heinous, despicable racist attacks on Indians, flaunting your expensive diploma mill JD and white skin as if they were certificates of entitlement and superiority. This is laughable. In the case of a "lifer", this is a certificate of failure if anything.

At the same time you also exhibit your inferiority complex by repeating over and over again on this blog that ivy league associates never have to resort to doing the low work that you're doing for survival. In reality you're dying to kiss their ass in the office again in the hopes of being promoted to associate.

No surprise why all ends of society shun you. If whining were a lucrative profession doc reviewers would be at the top of the game.

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

Anonymous said...

When the LPO trolls spend oh so much time on their trash talk here, you can bet it is because they know that biglaw will not stay with them. They literally have no other reason to be here pushing their shady scams. Behind the trash talk there is nothing but shoddy sweatshops. They can use all the pie in the sky ads they want; just like with shady land deals, it is all huckster-speak. They are nothing but scamming frauds.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love how the Cheap, used car salesman LPO guy cry "racism" at every chance.

Most of the attorneys that work temp are not even "white guys", as you imply. No it's largely African Americans who are losing the jobs to India.

You sad, racist blowhard, get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

How did all of those firms come to let go of so many associates on the same day? Did somethins similar happen with outsourcing? Did they decide together to outsource everything? Is there a small group of key people that all of biglaw is allowing to decide for them? If so, if one of them has a bad outsiotcing experience, will they all come back as quickly as they left?

Anonymous said...

Meant bad "outsourcing" experience. My iPod keeps autocorrecting incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

My guess is where this is all leading is that there will be:

1) More massive layoffs at largelaw, culminating in most of the big firms cutting half their associates

2) After that some firms will merge

Just like the big banks, law firms will shrink because their business base is shrinking. This means a whole lot more unemployed associates with prestige resumes out on the street. They'll all find jobs eventually, and most of them won't become temps, but it will hurt everyone down the food chain, including, of course, the temps.

When an Ivy Leaguer is laid off from a top firm, he and his cohorts will start applying to firms a notch down on the food chain, causing more competition there.

That means lots of the grads from lower Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools, who used to have an easy time getting hired by less prestigious largelaw firms, will now have to go fishing even further down the pecking order.

Eventually, yes, this will lead to more US attorneys out looking for temp work.

While US-based doc review work certainly isn't vanishing, a lot of it is going to India.

US temp lawyers will therefore get caught in the pincers of fewer available law firm jobs that they can compete for, and a stagnant doc review market.

Anonymous said...

We already caught in the vise grip. When the tide is high, there is overflow work.

Now with the freezing up of the banks (and a lot of the projects in NYC are Wall St related) it's an unprecedented meltdown.

We are in uncharted waters, this could be a global economic meltdown. At that point, the economy will essentially collapse and there will be massive contraction.

Our banks have failed, our country is masssively in debt and we no longer enough export goods or save enough money.

We are essentially doomed for several years, the real downward spiral is beginning. Hang onto whatever job you can get, it's going to be a hell ride.

Anonymous said...

Is associates' work being outsourced or is there really such a sudden decrease in demand?

Anonymous said...

10:33 several years is very hard to predict. Nobody should be shocked if this lasts for at least a year.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else thinking of going to grad school to get out of law completely? I am using this as an excuse to stop being a lawyer. Even while practicing 'real' law this never felt interesting. Yeah, I got a lot of debt. No, I am not sure that's an excuse to be miserable.

Anonymous said...


I second what you said. A contracting economy actually feeds off itself and gets worse, because contracting economic activity leads to more contracting economic activity, since there are fewer solvent counterparties to do business with. It's a downward spiral.

Obama's stimulus will help just a bit, but it won't be a firewall against the impending economic disaster, because only 150 billion of the stimulus hits the streets this year. 70% of it has to wait until 2010 to get spent.

You're right, peeps should hang on to whatever jobs they have because even the tried-and-true is gonna be the "fired from out-of-the-blue"....

People wanna see a Depression, they ain't seen nothing yet. The next 4-5 years are gonna make the Great Depression look like the Maury Povich Show.

Anonymous said...


I doubt its related to outsourcing. When in doubt about what's causing an event, always look for the simple answer. The trolls aside trying to screw with people of LPOs and people fears about their qualifications- the simple answer is that we are in the worse economic down since the Great Depression. That's the variable that's changed between now and fall 2008. but, people are afraid to admit it. It's easier I think to find some clear demon like LPOs than to say the economy is a piece of shit. I have friends who are not lawyers who are leaving NYC (some of them have lived here almost a decade) because they can't find work.

Anonymous said...

"people of LPO" should read "people about LPOs"

Anonymous said...

You guys are way too paranoid about outsorcing.

They're not firing associates to outsorce their work. They're firing them because there's not enough work. They'e also firing people from the M&A groups (large doc reviews) and finance groups (also large doc reviews).

I'm making contingnecy plans that involve escaping law for a few years and since I have experience sending out my resume everywhere that I can think of.

I suggest some of you do the same. The writings on the wall.

Anonymous said...


I have a buddy in Silicon Valley with an MBA from U of Michigan, plus three (yes, that's right, 3!) other master's degrees in technical fields from good schools including Carnegie Mellon, and apart from some very infrequent number crunching and consulting/contract work, he's been unemployed for almost 2 straight years.

I would definitely consider grad school in another subject (make it a technical one, like biochemistry or something energy-related, that you may be able to use with the law degree to do patent work later on)... but realize that just getting a new degree alone isn't going to save you... it's all what you do with it.

Anonymous said...

What is this???

No more bitching about not having limos?

Isn't everyone mad about the "SWEATSHOPS"??

Not anymore??

Anonymous said...

Right - the work is evaporating, not necessarily being offshored. Hence, laid off associates and staff, reduction in the need for "overflow" temps and LPOs.

These LPO guys wouldn't be here battling it out if they were really gaining traction. Either way, their ship has holes and will be the first to plunge into obscurity.

Anonymous said...

Oh- I agree with 1054 about the stimlus. it's not enough of GDP to change the economic outlook.

The Chinese are spending 20 percent or more of GDP on stmulus. The Aussies are spending 9 percent of GDP. Other countries are following suit. Remember our stimulus is not even creating direct spending. It's tax cuts which are per se theorectical spending. When FDR passed his stimulus in the 1930s- well, heres the breakdown:

FDR's plan

Tax Federal GNP Unemp.
Year Receipts Spending Growth Rate
---------------------------------------- ---------
1929 -- -- -- 3.2% < Hoover era, Great Depression begins
1930 4.2% 3.4% - 9.4% 8.7
1931 3.7 4.3 - 8.5 15.9
1932 2.9 7.0 -13.4 23.6
1933 3.5 8.1 - 2.1 24.9 < FDR, New Deal begins; contraction ends March
1934 4.9 10.8 + 7.7 21.7
1935 5.3 9.3 + 8.1 20.1
1936 5.1 10.6 +14.1 16.9
1937 6.2 8.7 + 5.0 14.3 < recession begins, May
1938 7.7 7.8 - 4.5 19.0 < recession ends, June
1939 7.2 10.4 + 7.9 17.2
1940 6.9 9.9
1941 7.7 12.1
1942 10.3 24.8
1943 13.7 44.8
1944 21.7 45.3
1945 21.3 43.7 tm#BackFirst100Days

We are not spending nearly enough for his plan to work. The best it will do is prevent a full own depression. So we will go the Japanese route- a recession that last 5 to 10 years. The so-called lost decade in Japan. This not even getting into the insolvent banks.

Anonymous said...


Dude, can't you see that even though outsourcing existed and grew before this recession, the recession is accelerating it massively?

Most litigation that was in the planning stages a few years ago will still proceed, and with Indian outsourcing, it can proceed at a big discount.

Firms and clients which wouldn't have chosen Indian doc review 5, 4, 3 years ago, are now choosing it.

So the recession thing and the outsourcing thing are no longer independent phenomena, they are now synergistic. The economic meltdown is actually feeding and driving more and more Indian outsourcing.

Outsourcing + Recession are now joined at the hip!


Anonymous said...

by the way- you can thank the random political blogs I lurk on for that info.

Anonymous said...

You might consider living somewhere cheap and learning a useful weird foreign language. Chinese or Japanese for example. There are way too many people that speak passable Spanish, French, and to some extent German.

There's still a demand for weird foreign language combined with law. At Legal Tech it became obvious they need foreign language speakers and its an inroad into government jobs. There's also less people around with fluency and a law degree than with an MS, MBA, or what the hell ever and a law degree.

Plus you can hang out in a country and date hot foreign babes while you're learning and its cheaper than going back to school.

Anonymous said...


What I see is that people are afraid of what you describe, and thus their fear trumps reality. No one has yet to provide any hard data on what you describe. I have just read anecdotes here. I am always suspicious of anecdotes as data. If you can link me to something showing hard numbers, then let's talk. Otherwise, I am going go for the same answer that hurting the rest of the economy rather than creating a special one for this part of the economy. It's just common sense to keep things simple. The reality is- it does not matter. Why? Because we aren't going to pay our creditors through speculation. The only thing we can do is to find a new way to make money since the old one, for whatever reason, is trying up. It's just practical. That's why I say I am looking to get out of law.

Anonymous said...


I might try Brazil and learn Portuguese. I already speak Spanish (lived in Puerto Rico). Then again, I might go to PR and take the bar exam there. Or move to Venezuela and be a lawyer for Chavez. Maybe get into energy law down there.

Anonymous said...

You are quite wrong. I sense a huge backlash on all of this slumdog outsourcing. Nothing against the Indian people, but Americans will be demanding their jobs back and quite frankly, outsourcing will be one of the first places that Congress and the Labor Unions will look.

These shaky outfits will be shut down soon, because the US + UK concerns will be under tremendous pressure to "shop at home", when both countries are at +10 or 20% unemployment.

Good luck with the cut rate, lower price argument when Americans are storming the gates of their local corporate HQ.

Outsourcing was always a bad idea, and one that will get even worse with time. It's part of the failed globalism strategies employed by the corporations to gut the unions and make the first world compete with the third for their livlihood.

It's an untenable model and one that has never worked, but succeeded only in lowering the living standards here in the USA.

Anonymous said...


Lay people normally don't equate recession with increased outsourcing because people focus on stores at the mall like Mervyn's and Circuit City going out of business, and other visible shit like that. Mervyn's and Circuit City certainly sell stuff imported from Asia, but they can't outsource their store employees. Neither can the Mom 'n Pop pizza joint or the local bar outsource its employees. So if those businesses shut down, people naturally attribute it to the recession.

But there are also less visible things that happen during a recession. Huge swaths of corporations in the business sector become much more cost-conscious. This may lead Taco Bell to use a more inferior grade of beef in its tacos, for instance, and most people never notice. This may cause Verizon Wireless to crack down on late payments after only 3 weeks, instead of 6 weeks, or other stuff like that. Unless you are really alert and mentally link them to the recession, changes like this might slip by you.

Outsourcing more doc review to India is a huge potential source of savings that corporations and law firms, driven by recessionary economics and the credit crunch, can take advantage of to reduce their debt exposure.

Lots of people here talk about outsourcing but don't specifically link it to the recession, because they don't see the linkage. Since outsourcing was, of course, here before the current recession, people still see the two as unrelated, but I am telling you that the current recession is accelerating outsourcing and driving it to a degree never seen before.

So it's a perfect storm -- a horrible almost depression-like economy, combined with a trend that has been around for a while but is now really skyrocketing precisely because of the bad economy.

Anonymous said...


Is that directed to me the guy thinking of going into another area other than law?

If so, you should know I don't disagree about outsourcing being stupid risk taking on the part of the American legal industry.

I also think their timing is bad. The one provision that survived in the stimulus was the 'Buy America' provision. Economic nationalism is on the rise. And the law firms pick now to go for outsourcing? It's just stupid on their part.

Although I agree, I am not sure that I want to put up with the industry in the long term. Do you? That's why I am thinking of changing.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, keep trumpeting the LPO tune. It's going to evaporate soon enough.

You clowns really must be in India. Otherwise you would be witnessing the shift to a planned, centralized economy in the US.

What's on tap for LPOs? protectionism, pro-American worker stuff. You just have no idea what you are talking about with your gleeful chatter about recessions aiding the LPO industry. This suspect assertion will only succeed in adding fuel to the fire.

You people are truly naive out of touch and have absolutely no idea what you are up against.

Enjoy your recession "boost", it will be short lived. I find it revolting that you would pass along such a disgraceful argument. You really must be India, because you have no idea how bad it is here and how angry people will become shortly.

Anonymous said...

"Fake ads are used by legit agencies all the time"

Agencies usually run by attorneys. Ethical?

Anonymous said...


And BTW, I'm the guy linking outsourcing to the recession. FYI, you should know that I also thoroughly despise outsourcing and wish it would end tomorrow. It's driven by pure greed and a total contempt for workers and their hard work, qualifications, and achievement.

But unlike you, I don't see this massive revolution that you see happening. Even during an almost Great Depression, I think that the majority of American people are essentially sheep, anesthetized by our corporate media into being complacent against corporate abuse.

So this great pitchfork rebellion that you see coming down the pike, will unfortunately not happen. (And, by the way, there is no labor union for temp attorneys and doc reviewers, so even if there were a labor rebellion, we'd only be very far off on the sidelines.)

Instead, the future of the United States may well be like what George Orwell wrote in "1984": "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

I don't necessarily think things will be like that all over the world, but in the USA, almost certainly, because as I said, our people are SHEEP.

Anonymous said...

It might not be stupid if the big firm is about to close its doors. They may know they're headed to bankruptcy court and want to squeeze as much money out of the firm before it has to close. In that case nobody cares about consequenses six months down the line.

The layoffs are only the announced layoff, things might be worse. They might be cutting bonuses and forcing the remaining associates to work 70 hour weeks. Of they're balance sheets might be so screwed up the partners know the place will close its doors in a few months.

A fair amount of big law firms were in trouble before September, now those firms are relly in trouble.

Anonymous said...

ROFL, yes all law firms in trouble will save their necks by sending their work to India.

I never realized it before, outsourcing is always the right answer! There's never a good time NOT to outsource. Where do I sign up, I cannot wait to work with unlicensed, non-native English speaking, non-JD holding "attorneys.

I have seen the light, it;s outsourcing, outsourcing, outsourcing!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Yes, I agree the American people are sheep. Most of the rest of the planet is seeing mass strikes and riots right now. What are we doing?

However, while I don't think there will be a "big uprising," outsourcing for law firms is coming at a bad time for their PR. I think that the "Buy American" provisions indicate there is a populist edge out there.

Now, do I think that means it will end in revolutionary changes? No. I simply think in heavily regulated industries like the law- it will make it difficult to export jobs as easily as one could otherwise.

Anonymous said...

We're not rioting because the US is not a bad place to live. Being poor in NYC sucks. Being poor in Africaa, China, or Eastern Europe means living in a delapitated building and working as a prostitute. Being poor in India means dropping dead in the middle of the street from Cholera or some other treatable disease the indians are too stupid to cure.

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Contract / Temp DAWY7077A Document Review Cheyenne, WY

Anonymous said...


Except that the places being discussed are also Great Britain, Germany and France. You need to put a check on the American exceptionalism by realizing we are indeed sheep. Whatever drove people in this country at one point to push themselves hard to achieve greatness is dying. I am not saying its impossible to achieve greatness again. but, it will require a seachange in the mentality. Even the notion that we are not "suffering that much" is the mindset of sheep. Why should we be suffering like this at all? i don't know about you- but my standard is not a third world country. Nor should it be. Nor is that the standard of the countries of Europe. They know enough to say 'enough." Us on the other hand- we say stupid shit like "at least we aren't dropping dead of Cholrea." What the hell kind of standard is that?

Anonymous said...

1218- what are the numbers representing in your post ?

Anonymous said...


Each alphanumeric is a link to a job description and contact info on

Anonymous said...


"Being poor in Africaa, China, or Eastern Europe means living in a delapitated building and working as a prostitute."

To open your eyes a bit, take the Amtrak Acela from NYC to DC sometime, and get a window seat during the daytime. If you start counting the dilapidated buildings that are likely to house prostitutes (at least some of the time), from Newark, through Philly, into Baltimore, and down to DC, you will have a number that rivals the digits in Obama's stimulus package.

Anonymous said...


You can blame Guiliani/Reagan Republicanism for this version of American prosperity: out of sight is out of mind. Remember all the laws to clean up the streets? This was so that people would not think about the decay of our society. Burnt out building maybe an eye sore, but at least they keep you real.

Anonymous said...


The "delapitated buidings" have plumbing, hot water, kitchens, and private bath rooms. We're not talking communal flats, public toilets, no hot water (or in some cases only one water source per housing complex), etc. Also there's not 20 people jammed in one room.

People are also given enough basic necessities. They have enough food and clothing. Maybe they don't have enough money for entertainment but they don't have to prostitute themselves to eat.

Anonymous said...


Again- are you seriously trying to argue in favor of the third world as the standard that an advanced country should want? If so, just say yes so that I can ignore you as a nutjob.

Anonymous said...


Don't know what "delapitated" buildings you're referring to, but the DILAPIDATED buildings I can see from the train window look something like these:

If you can put down the crack pipe and stop waving that oversized American flag in front of your eyes for a few seconds, maybe you'd realize this.

Anonymous said...


I'm just saying people aren't going to have violent riots here unless things get relly bad, and things won't get that bad.

The government controls the corporate excesses for the most part. The jerks that run the corportaions would think nothing of making everyone work 70 hours a week and only paying them a sustenence wage so they could get bigger bonuses. The government controls the economy enough so all that happens is it's hard to find a job for a year, or if you want money you have to take a lower paying job outside your field.

On that note, for the people thinking about getting out of law, its not exactly a bed of roses out there. Try being a financial analysist, working in retail, or in real estate sales at the moment.

Even in the recession proof fields like teaching or health care, it's not that great. There may be plenty of jobs, but the salaries are low and there's a lot of hassle involved.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like a lot of that stuff is abandoned or condemened. Where people are prohibited from living. That's why they board up the windows and doors.

Here's what I'm talking about

Maybe he just finished codeing at one of the indian LPOs.

Anonymous said...


I know that guy. He's just on break.

Anonymous said...

Here's a picture of a state of the art coding facility in Mumbai.

I think we have a lot to worry about guys.

Anonymous said...

Notice the state of the art communication lines in this LPO outsorcing facility. This will enable attoneys to supervise the coders remotely.

Anonymous said...


a) Governments control the things you describe in other countries too. Again, I think what explains it is that Americans are sheep. They are just smarter about how they see the private sector.

b) I know this is heresy, but I am not thinking of getting out of law due to money alone. Part of it is that I realize if I am not going to have wealth- then what's the point of putting up with this at all? If I am going to be poor, I should at least enjoy my day.

Anonymous said...

Notice how even at 1:13 a.m. and after the LPO hucksters still do their smoke and mirrors bit here. They gotta be worried if they have a round the clock public relations effort on this blog. They act like swindlers with real estate scams with their idiotic posts pretending to be us - a claim just as false as the rest of their smoke and mirrors games.

Anonymous said...

Yes, LPO fraudsters remain, pumping their services like a boiler room, offering a penny stock that went out of business 10 years ago.

Anonymous said...

instead of complaining about the state of doc review, why not leave the field and do something else? it's like some of you have a sense of entitlement/expect $$ to be handed to you. the lasw sucks anyway. i quit doc review last year and started my own business. sure, there's pain in the beginning (no paycheck, etc.) but it's now doing pretty well, considering the lousy economy. and more important, i'm no longer at the mercy of temp agencies and don't have to deal with the petty bs of it all.

find something else to do!!

Anonymous said...

Show me a business that one can start with no start up capital and mortgage sized monthly student loan payments. Other than being a call girl or a drug dealer, I can't think of any.

Anonymous said...

"Show me a business that one can start with no start up capital and mortgage sized monthly student loan payments. Other than being a call girl or a drug dealer, I can't think of any."

you must be kidding. this kind of mentality is pervasive with doc reviewers. if you really believe that there are no other options, you will be beholden to agencies and will be living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life. and when you reach retirement age, you'll have no savings.

Anonymous said...

I'm going full-bore into outsourcing. I'm joining up with an LPO, buying some of their private stock, and flying off to India to train some good, hardworkin' Brahmin attorneys in Bangalore! State of the art, baby!! High tech heaven!

Outsourcing is the way to go! I'm going whole hog, man!!! Got my ticket to Delhi, flyin' circumpolar out of O'Hare tomorrow morning!

Fire up that curry, Sanjay, and put some more of that shrimp masala on the barbie! Crank up the Ravi Shankar music!! Bollywood, here I come! NO REGRETS!!

Anonymous said...

Umm, they won't give you a visa. There are still tight restrictions on foreign lawyers in India.

Also, get your shots before you go or may end up too sick to click.

Anonymous said...


It was a joke. Did you follow the link?

Anonymous said...

12:25 PM, what are people supposed to do then? You cannot operate a business without startup capital. Everyone I've talked to who started up a firm said that it took 2-3 years for the firm to become profitable. And these are the people who made it happen. I'd also like to add that the previous generation of lawyers who graduated in the 70s and 80s didn't have anything close to the amount of debt today's graduates have.

How do you provide for yourself and your family during this transition period? How do you pay your $1000-$1500/month in loans? It's easy for you to advocate starting your own practice when you don't know other peoples' financial situations.

The only people who can afford to start their own firm without going bankrupt are those who are independently wealthy or who have low debt burdens. Otherwise, 11:54 AM is spot on correct about being a drug dealer or hooker.

Law school is a fraud on the middle class, and I hope the private TTTs crash and burn during this financial crisis. Lower tier state schools can stay around, since they generally don't crush their instate graduates with horrible debt.

Anonymous said...

Federal Government hiring Chicago, IL (Obama's and Rahm's town)collection law firm to begin suing students (with unpaid loans outstanding from 1980s)...add to this fact that recent stiumuls package added losts of money "earmarked" (though denied as such) for lenders like Sallie, lets see.. O likes Change? He is fraud. Kids can't payback their student loans in this economy, but he is now willing to sick collections on them.....fraud, comp[lete fraud

Anonymous said...

I know I'll be ridiculed for saying this, but if I had to take out loans to pay for law school, I would have never chosen to go to law school. My parents paid for 100% of my tuition. I have zero debt now, in fact, and keep up on my credit cards.

That said, I am not temping now, I'm working for a good firm and my job is as secure as could be possible in this shitty economy. I've only gotten interested in temping because I want to move to another city on the other side of the country, and while I'm looking for a permanent gig out there, I think temping is the way to go to keep the income flowing.

It's hard to sit here and listen to all these people talk about their massive student loans. While I do commiserate with these people, I really have to wonder WHY did they take out huge loans to go to law school in the first place? Pretty much anyone starting law school in the 90s or early 2000's could see the writing on the wall... All you had to do is a little bit of research. The law schools were putting out bad statistics... let's say, TOXIC statistics, like the toxic assets responsible for the credit crisis. They were LYING about percentages of grads employed in good jobs after graduation, etc. They were totally twisting their stats and it was obvious, and I knew it even then. Why didn't y'all see that?

Anonymous said...

The I told you so crap is just so tired. Go ahead trying to tell this 0Ls, and this is what you get...

Anonymous said...

There will probably be a culling of the ranks of the TTT schools. Meaning a lot of them might not survive. The thing that is driving this is that because of the strangulated credit markets, student loans will be a lot harder to get for lots more people for a long, long time.

I can definitely see a bunch of TTT grads coming together for a class action suit against their schools, based on fraudulent promotional and marketing campaigns, and misleading "statistics" about starting salaries and numbers of grads with job offers.

Let's put it this way, people have won big class actions based on LESS evidence than what exists there.

Anonymous said...


Actually, the 90s and 2000s would not have been a good time to get info. Lawyers are notorious technophobes.

Lawyers did not gain a start online until relatively late in the tech boom that we call the internet. Indeed, blogs (such as this) did not take off until 2002 or 2003. So, where would we have found this information?

You confuse the fact that the internet is so readily available now with what it was like in the 90s (virtually a libeterian geek waste land and not organized). One can say the same of the early part of this decade.

There was not a lot of information readily available until fairly recently.

How do I know this- I tested your theory by googling it to confirm what I knew anecdotally. I am not a 22 year old kid. So I have my life experience of the early days of the Internet to draw upon.

By the way, I don't believe you about either your parents or job. It's again my experience that people who are doing well in life do not seek out sites like this. Well, unless you are kind of fucked up in the head. That's always possible. Is there something emotionally wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

1:47-- I am with you. People go to law school for the wrong reasons and without thinking about the worst case scenario. I was told my 3 or 4 different people (ten years ago), that I should not go to law school if my sole interest was making a lot of money...unless I could do it without getting into debt. This recession is not hurting my family because as much as other people simply because I refused to put on too much debt.

Anonymous said...


Well, the truth of the matter is that I'm one of those spoiled kids whose dad was a rich doctor. He put a brother and sister of mine through med school and me through law school (I was the rebel...) My sister finished her internship and residency and never worked a single day as a doctor, because she married an anesthesiologist. My brother hates medicine and became a psychiatrist.

I have never done legal temping a single day of my life, but I'm fascinated by the whole culture and outsourcing thing. I realize that if I want to be mobile and change cities soon, I may very well have to resort to this. In fact, I'm a travel-holic and I'm also investigating temp doc review jobs in London.

Anyone know anything about doing doc review abroad?

Anonymous said...


BTW, all of what you said about this info not being disseminated and not on the internet in the 90s is bogus. Even if there weren't blogs about it then, the info was out there. I mean, all you had to do is scrutinize the USN&WR law school surveys, and you just KNEW that they weren't real, because when you asked around and did your own informal survey, people weren't getting as many high salaries or jobs as the US News survey indicated. It was obvious the whole thing was a bogus, well-coordinated marketing scam, where the law schools were actually COLLUDING with each other to disseminate fraudulent and falsified information. Just a little bit of healthy skepticism, combined with some research and keeping your eyes wide open, would have showed you that.

Anonymous said...


It was a joke. Did you follow the link?
No, sorry. I'm so tired of seeing the ads and other stupidity they post here, I didn't bother.

Thanks for the joke. That's more like it!

Anonymous said...


Temping for like 3 months and living abroad for 9 months works real well. You can get some screw around English teaching job while you're abroad or backpack some cheap countries. I've actually put more money into savings in the years I've been doing this, and got laid a lot more by hotter babes than I did when I was doing the career thing.

If you learn a language become more valuable when you get back. The problem is the recession. You run the risk of getting stuck in a situation where there's not amy temp work and you have no experience. However, this only happens rarely. Fortunataly, I've got big pile of money in the bank, no debt, and no how to live cheap. I can also do foreign language reviews and can do court interpretaion if need be. Actually, I'm probably in a better situation than the permatemps. There's still some foreign language temp work and once the economy picks up the language makes it way easier to find a permenant job or get promoted to a staff attorney position.

As far as temping abroad, you need a work visa or passport. The typical tourist visa won't work, but you can always get some kind of english teaching/scuba dive instructor/new age -- yoga instructor/look for a permenent job abroad kind of thing.

It's a great lifestyle if you're single, but make sure you keep money in savings and learn a useful language or qualify as a scuba-dive instructor. Send your parents plenty of post cards also because you might have to crash there for a few months when you get back.

As for the complainers about the law degree. There's no way I could enjoy this kind of lifestyle with an MBA or some kind of history degree.

Anonymous said...

People who graduated TTTs in the 70's and 80's had plenty of student loan debt for the time (remember inflation); a horrendous economy (although not a depression) and since there was no internet being used, there were no doc review jobs that TTT grads could get. Doc review was the only good thing that ever happened to TTT grads as a group. By good, I mean being able to earn $100,000 or more without starting a practice (which required finding the capital and spending a few years to build it up). Of course, there were TTT grads with wealthy families and connections who couldn't get into top tier schools. They did fine. They didn't have to try making it on their own.

Anonymous said...


I think there is something wrong with you. Why would you be at this site in particular if you are well off. More than likely you are yet another emotionally fucked up temp trying to get through the day in your own craziness. It's amusing to me as a fellow temp, but believe you? No - I think you are making shit up. People with real jobs aren't going to be here.

Anonymous said...


Actually it's not bogus. Like I said, I think you are a nutjob. So, whether you believe me or not is irrelevant. It's one of those conversations in which my point is easily proveable by anyone who wants to really know. They can google the subject like I did. See, I like testing things after having made that mistake early on of not having the ability to fully test what people said to me. Now, that I have a resource like the internet as it presently stands- I can test your claims. Like I said, however, you are a nutjob. Some sad person posting amongst temps to feel better about your sad life. It's kind of pathetic. But, please continue- I am bored, and thus you give me something to fuck with.

Anonymous said...

3:27 is exactly right.

Anonymous said...


Again i know you may enjoy making shit up. But there is the internets. The wage stagnation that makes the cost of going to law school not the equal of wages happened in the last 20 years. How do I know this? Because I was able to look that up. So, you go right ahead making shit up. I am just going to assume you are either a) some nutjob who does not get that everything you say can be looked up by googling it or b) some kid bored like I am. Either way, you aren't offering up much of a challenge in the things youa re making up. by the way- the cost of going to school only began to increase by twice the rate of inflation since the early 90s. This is also something that is now easy to look up. So when you talk about the 70s and 80s, to anyone who is curious enough to know the actual data- you come across as a nutjob. Let's at least make this interesting. Maybe pretend like the wage increases did occur or something, but to make blank statements that are easily proven false is just kind of getting boring.

Anonymous said...

3:35 I don't have to look it up on the internet, I was there.

Anonymous said...

340- If by "there" you mean a psych ward, I might believe that. As it is, I don't believe a word you say because I can look up your claims to determine whether you are wrong or right. this is something that was not possible before. I know for a fact that if I had these questions 10 years ago, I would have been hard pressed to find them.

Anonymous said...

3:50 I really don't know why you choose to be insulting. Of course law school costs more now but you could still build up quite a bit of debt at the time because there were no jobs around that paid well enough to make the payments and other living expenses. Defaulting meant paying thousands more in interest payments because payment schedules that would given would have lower payments that applied almost entirely to interest, not principal. So the actual amounts paid in the end were much higher than tuition. There were no good jobs, biglaw threw our resumes into the trash. Until doc review, TTT grads couldn't just graduate and earn $100,000 per year. Not without wealthy
parents or connections.

Anonymous said...


I'm not taking any particular side in this argument, but have you heard of a "library"?

Anonymous said...


Because being insulting is the proper response to your posts. If you are going to make shit up, the proper response is to not treat you seriously. Try basing your conversation in reality, and I will be happy to be more polite. How does that sound?

Anonymous said...


Okay, we're going into another period like that. Now, largelaw will throw our resumes into the trash (and I went to a Tier One school, but graduated at the 50th percentile mark.)

I imagine the market for law firm jobs is now moving inexorably into a period somewhat lihe the 70s... and it'll stay like that for a long, long time.

Best be gettin' your bell-bottomed pants on and start breakin' out them Cheech and Chong movies... it's gonna be a long, hard slog!

Anonymous said...

4:05 it sounds like you are either incapable of having an intelligent discussion or you are so childishly afraid of admitting you're wrong that all you can do is hide behind your insults.

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