Monday, February 23, 2009

Desperate Households



"Tom,

Given the fact that there is currently no work out there, can you do a story on how people are surviving this thing economically? I used to be able to string together a modest living on document review, but aside from a one week project that I was able to pull down last month, I haven't been able to find anything since last September. How are we supposed to survive on a measley $400 a week in unemployment? My credit cards are quickly becoming maxed out, and I shudder to think that any day now the bank may catch on and try to reduce my credit limit. What then? I can honestly say that I am just one day away from scouting out food kitchens. God knows how I will be able to dig myself out of this credit hole once this is all over. Don't even get me started on my student loans. With accruing interest, I am underwater and probably now owe more than I ever borrowed. I could never have dreamed in a million years that things would be this bad."

148 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just interviewed for an attorney job at Schwartz and Perry. Get this. It pays $100 a day with NO benefits. Basically, when you include the cost of commuting into midtown Manhattan, meals, and dry cleaning, it's a pro bono job. People are hurting. The market's down another 100 points right now. I have no ideas for the future; only fears.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.law-scribe.com/2009_02_01_archive.html

But Outsourcing advocates continue to brag about how cheap it is. How revolting. When is the middle class going to stand up and assert their rights?

It's disgraceful.

Alex said...

LPO Conference today in NYC, anyone going?

http://www.americanconference.com/LPO.htm

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I voted for CHANGE that I can believe in. WTF is going on here? http://twitter.com/docreview

Anonymous said...

The good thing is that apparently some are taking heed of th eperils of matriculating to law school: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/40018787.html

And I trust that this will not get better over the long run and will, in fact, get much worse. The original post is so sad but even more sadly, not shocking. I know way too many people in this situation who have one of the highest degrees in the land (and the consequent debt) but are getting zero to the lowest pay for a professional. It sucks for all of us in this profession when there are people suffering like this.

Anonymous said...

They offered 100/day? Seriously? Not as in a couple of hours work, but come in for the whole day?

Anonymous said...

Get real losers. You DUG that grave, now lay in it. You didn't spend 1 ounce of effort looking for jobs in law school, and now you're paying the price.

What has that louse in the post even tried to do? All I hear is bitching and moaning. Have they even looked at jobs past temping? Are they actively looking for perm positions in toilet law? Are they looking for jobs in areas of the nation that are growing or just the decimated and depressed NYC legal market? People, get a grip. Jobs don't COME to you, even temp jobs. All I hear here are a bunch of babies and bitchers who do nothing but "woe is me."

And don't even get *me* started on student loans. If you're OUT OF WORK, DEFER your student loans. Without those, $400/wk should be plenty to get you by. Even private lenders are willing to negotiate monthly payments, and I have had much success calling and saying "I can't pay my $1000 bill this month. But I CAN pay $200" and they have worked with me. If you're out of work and not looking for jobs, you should have more than enough time to set up these types of negotiations.

Move back home. For christ sake, I don't know THAT many lawyers whose actual FAMILIES live in Manhatten. You're not TRAPPED there. Move home. Or, at the very least, find 3-4 other temps and get a 2br together. I don't understand why you people think you're entitled to midtown apartments, it's ludicrous. Where are your parents? You know, the ones who TOLD YOU to go to law school in the first place as a "good career choice"? Move back there. I know plenty of 27-32+ year old lawyers who live at home to be able to make loan payments and survive. Sure, it's shameful, but it's LESS shameful than going to DEBTORS PRISON (aka defaulting).

With loans and living expenses taken care of, you can make it in this tough time. It's what people do. Tom the Temp is clearly not going to hold your hand through this economic crisis, so let's get it together, stop the bitching, and START being more proactive around here. I mean, really, what good is CONSTANTLY mentioning the outsourcing of temping to India? It's not going to help the losers get another job or survive.

Anonymous said...

it was a hundred a day, 8 hours a day. and Einstein 225, read my post b4 u blather. id be commuting into midtown, ie i dont live ther. but honestly trolls like u arent worth my time anyway, which is pathetic considering my times only worth $12.50 an hour!

Anonymous said...

That's crazy that they wanted an attorney at that rate. After taxes, you would be making around 400 per week. Depending on how number of dependents that's below the poverty line.

supernikita said...

Thanks for the update on the job market. I am currently doc reviewing and have been kept on for months on weekly extensions.

I think I am going to take a teaching job in China. They pay about 1000$ per month, but at least your expenses are very low.

Anonymous said...

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/
homepage/40018787.html

Great article.

"One reason applications might be off nationally, Dennis said, is that potential students have many more sources of information about the job market, notably Web sites and blogs, and that has generated a steady drumbeat of bad news.

Some lawyers and consultants to the legal industry say this downturn is the worst they have seen. And there are employment statistics to back that up. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year ending in January show total employment in the legal industry declined about 1 percent. In past recessions, employment stayed flat or rose slightly before skyrocketing as recovery took hold."

Anonymous said...

More than ever, this is the most depressing legal blog on my Google Reader. Basically, the long and short of it is that you people are totally fucked.

That this kind of work ever existed in the first place is somewhat of a fluke, and that it has been around for so long isn't good, because it got you deeper in debt by making you think that you're entitled to a higher standard of living than a TTT law degree should provide you.

If you're unemployed now (and especially if you're still employed), now is the time to start working on your exit plans. This work is gone for the foreseeable future, and when the economy finally does pick up, you'll find that your jobs will be in India already.

Anonymous said...

225, you are an ass hat. Did it ever to occur to you that the person in the posting may in fact be deferring his/her loans? Deferring doesn't stop the interest from piling up.

Anonymous said...

Can you suggest some exit plans, or are you just going to continue to chime in and say that we are all fucked, which is something that we know already?

Aside from doc review, what is a heavily indebted JD to do? Shitlaw is paying less than unemployment, we are "overqualified" for paralegal work, and most other industries are laying people off, not hiring on people with degrees and skill sets totally unrelated to the job at hand.

Anonymous said...

423, is that ALL you can argue about? Not paying and having interest "pile up" for 6 months at a time (up to 3 years) is nothing compared to defaulting.

Stop bitching and moaning and saying that there is absolutely nothing that can be done in your situations save come on here and bitch and moan more. Don't use the 6 months on UE and loan deferment (however unsavory recapitalizing interest may be) to stop you from crawling out of the hole you dug yourself into. Use it as an opportunity to put yourself out there, and as 422 put it so nicely, develop an exit strategy.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone take these idiots seriously when they come here to insult us as though they are great successes and yet they seem to have endless time to post on a blog for temps and a great desire to spend their time that way?

Anonymous said...

433, complaining about student loans and the astronomical costs of law school in this economy is something that is worth bitching about, unless of course, you are a law school administrator troll who is worried about plummeting application levels.

A new graduate deferring for just one year, can add over 10,000 to his/her principle. That money is capitalized and the interest is compounded.

Anonymous said...

No, it's hard to take any of YOU people seriously. Many of us that still "troll" this board started in temping and still know many people who are concerned about exit strategies and their futures, or who are currently sitting around on UE without taking an active role in doing anything. Sometimes it seems like trying to help actually causes more of a "woe is me" attitude. I thought the point of this board was to provide help throughout the legal community, not hate?

It's not up to Tom the Temp or the rest of us to drum up exit strategies for all of you. Hopefully, the re-capitalization issue and outsourcing issue have made it quite clear that doc review is going by the wayside, at least as far as American law is concerned.

People have mentioned attempting to paralegal, but being overqualified. This is not true and at least one of my friends was picked up as an associate after moving from a paralegal role. If you market yourself correctly, then you can get in without much hassle. I encourage people to try other legal employment routes including attempting to transplant to another state if they're unattached. If you're looking at this going "none of these are viable options," then do your own brainstorming and post your thoughts. These negative, defeatist attitudes do nothing, and no, in this economy, there's no easy answer. Moving home with mom and dad is never an easy answer for many people, but sometimes it's the right choice. Taking a lesser-paying job and further deferring some loans is also not easy, but it's the right choice. Negotiating with your lenders is tough. It's all tough. Nothing gets handed to you, and that is what people on this blog expect, especially from the TTT.

Anonymous said...

The sun will come up tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

It is just stupid to believe that anyone who is a great big success is going to spend all this time on a doc review board. Why would they have all this time to spend here?They are called trolls because they are trolls.

Anonymous said...

Yep caught another friggin troll.

Anonymous said...

I think people do wallow too much here.

However, I also think there are a lot of trolls who get off on kicking people while they are down. This is just the reality of reading the responses. They aren't just responses, but vitriol. Most of it angery screeds. I can say that people are wallowing with out falling into rants. So, why can't they?

These trolls also so get off on pretending they are something they are not. How do I know this for certain? I don't. It's just the gut check of knowing that this many so-called associates or sucessful people would not hang out here. I don't know who many of you are in real life, but I do know reality. In reality, people with time on their hands to waste here aren't doing much else.

Anonymous said...

So what if people are wallowing in self-pity and despair on an anonymous message board? In the real world in workplaces and at the job interview, you can't show the slightest hint of negativity, or you will immediately be dinged in this economy. I think it is healthy that people are expressing themselves and not bottling up their fear and anger. I hope when someone ultimately snaps that troll winds up in the line of fire.

Anonymous said...

the problem with wallowing is that it does not just stay in one place. it spills over. can you honestly say that your emotions don't affect you other places? forget job interviews- just in life in general?

Anonymous said...

We are not the ones who screwed up. We didn't cause banks to fail. We didn't mess up the economy. Our jobs are gone and we are on ue through the fault of morons who get huge compensation for screwing up. We are supposed to be in a good mood? We don't need hateful attacks from trolls who pretend to be wounded and only trying to help when they are exposed as trolls.

Anonymous said...

Except I am not attacking you. I agreed that some peo here are attacking you. What you don't like is that I don't agree with you 100 percent. Disagreement is not attacking.

Anonymous said...

6:09 who even said that post was aimed at you? Are you the troll?

Anonymous said...

It would be useful if you say who you are responding rather than expecting others to know. I assumed from your choice of wording that you were referencing my post about people wallowing a little too much, but that does not excuse others coming here to troll. If you were not, then you should point out, like others do to whom you are referring.

Anonymous said...

6:27 It said in the post, "We don't need hateful attacks from trolls who pretend to be wounded and only trying to help when they are exposed as trolls." It was aimed at the troll. Unless you are the troll, it was not talking about you.

Anonymous said...

Get real losers. You DUG that grave, now lay in it. You didn't spend 1 ounce of effort looking for jobs in law school, and now you're paying the price.

What has that louse in the post even tried to do? All I hear is bitching and moaning. Have they even looked at jobs past temping? Are they actively looking for perm positions in toilet law? Are they looking for jobs in areas of the nation that are growing or just the decimated and depressed NYC legal market? People, get a grip. Jobs don't COME to you, even temp jobs. All I hear here are a bunch of babies and bitchers who do nothing but "woe is me."

And don't even get *me* started on student loans. If you're OUT OF WORK, DEFER your student loans. Without those, $400/wk should be plenty to get you by. Even private lenders are willing to negotiate monthly payments, and I have had much success calling and saying "I can't pay my $1000 bill this month. But I CAN pay $200" and they have worked with me. If you're out of work and not looking for jobs, you should have more than enough time to set up these types of negotiations.

Move back home. For christ sake, I don't know THAT many lawyers whose actual FAMILIES live in Manhatten. You're not TRAPPED there. Move home. Or, at the very least, find 3-4 other temps and get a 2br together. I don't understand why you people think you're entitled to midtown apartments, it's ludicrous. Where are your parents? You know, the ones who TOLD YOU to go to law school in the first place as a "good career choice"? Move back there. I know plenty of 27-32+ year old lawyers who live at home to be able to make loan payments and survive. Sure, it's shameful, but it's LESS shameful than going to DEBTORS PRISON (aka defaulting).

With loans and living expenses taken care of, you can make it in this tough time. It's what people do. Tom the Temp is clearly not going to hold your hand through this economic crisis, so let's get it together, stop the bitching, and START being more proactive around here. I mean, really, what good is CONSTANTLY mentioning the outsourcing of temping to India? It's not going to help the losers get another job or survive.

"HI JOAN KING"

Anonymous said...

Speaking of trolls . . .

Anonymous said...

Bitter trolls try to feel superior by attacking because they are total losers.

Anonymous said...

Bitter trolls are better than you sacks of worthless TTT shits.

Anonymous said...

604 writes:
"We are not the ones who screwed up. We didn't cause banks to fail. We didn't mess up the economy. Our jobs are gone and we are on ue through the fault of morons who get huge compensation for screwing up."

Wa-a-a-ahhhh!!!
Yes, you did screw up by not having a plan B. Or if this was plan B, for not formulating a plan C. You screwed up any number of other ways. I screwed up by going to law school when I was young and stupid and overwhelmed. I screwed up by not planning a career trajectory and instead followed whatever I was interested in. That's why I'm doing doc review.
And if things get too crappy and uncertain doing doc review I will do something else.
What are you DOING to improve your situation besides pissing and moaning? Volunteer and make connections. Get a second job at McDonalds. Get a 3rd job at Barnes and Noble.
I have students in my class who have come to America from other places and I am humiliated by the drive, ambition, and perserverence (spelling) they show compared to most Americans.
Now please excuse me while I go have happy hour oysters and prepare for tomorrow's bar exam.
http//anonymouscontractlawyer.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

If you want to prove that you are a wacko troll, don't worry, we already got that. If you want to prove you're better than anyone, that's never happening.

Anonymous said...

9:04 you've already been at happy hour too long if you actually think anyone is going to believe you are anything other than a mental case and a total fake.

Anonymous said...

If you can even get a shitlaw job (a big "if" since even those crappy ID/PI places have slowed down a great deal in recent years) the pay will likely be 45 K or less. Even living in Queens or NJ in a share makes the salary unliviable if you have loans.

There is a misconception on here that rents become drastically cheaper outside Manhattan island. Not true. A decent place even in a pretty shitty area of Jersey City (like Journal Sq for instance) will still run you 700-800/month for a studio or small One BR, and a really crappy share place might be had for about 600. Any less than that and you'll be in a VERY dangerous area or in a place that is literally uninhabitable.

40 K a year in shitlaw is about 620 a week take home. A weeks pay goes to rent, a week to loans (for most of us at least that much LOL) about another 300-400 month for food, $80 for a metrocard, and another $300 for health bennies (since most shitlaw does not pay healthcare).

No matter how you slice it the picture is utterly gruesome. What's worse is that slaving away trying to gain "experience" in shitty, dying areas like ID & PI isn't likely to lead anywhere. The soft tissue auto cases that used to settle for 10-20 K now settle for zilch. The insurance carriers have been slaughtered in the stock market (most of them held tons of bank stock) and they will only fight harder and longer over the petty cases in the coming years.

Couple that with the almost comical over-saturation of the industry (one lawyer in NY State for every 120 people- that's a fact) and the state wanting to open 3 NEW LAW SCHOOLS, well; you see where this is going.

Whatever shitlaw "experience" one gets will lead only to other shitty jobs in shitty small firms. Reaching 100 K or anything close to it in the coming years is astronomically unlikely. The economics of the industry simply don't allow for financial success any longer.

But for most law school was, and is, a tragic, life altering mistake. It ruins one life almost as much as a cancer diagnosis or car accident. The debt crushes one's ability to change careers, the bar limits one geographically, and the comical saturation level makes earning power and leverage impossible. Fact is, most lawyers earn pretty shitty incomes and things are getting shitter each year. It is very hard to argue otherwise, but plenty of the Kool-Aid drinkers will anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mental cases like 9:04 meltdown before our eyes as they delude themselves into thinking anyone is going to believe that they are leading successful lives, and living it up, although they have nothing better to for then spend hours ranting and raving here.

Anonymous said...

they have nothing better to do than spend hours ranting and raving here.

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys are babies. I grew up in a upper middle class house. Big colonial in NJ, house at the shore and one in Florida. I realize I can't afford what my father provided. The times are different. That was in the seventies.

I rented a furnished room in NJ to get by. If I have to work at a fucking deli to eat, I'll do it. Things will improve. A career change may be necessary. Get tough and make it happen.

Anonymous said...

9:46 there is something lacking in you if you have nothing better to do than insult the unemployed during a depression. If any of your story is true, it sounds like you are just a warped spoiled brat. You did nothing. Your daddy paid for everything for you. Lots of people here did not have that luxury. Grow up and get some perspective.

Anonymous said...

http://www.xtranormal.com/
watch?e=20090223221521105

Anonymous said...

The situation is tough as hell. I have posted extensively on numerous forums how teachers have it so much better than lawyers as far as job security, quality of life, pensions, stress, vacation time, etc... yet are ironicaly "less educated" than JDs.

By the way how did you get the interview at schwartz and perry? It is mind boggling and unacceptable that a firm would offer 100 an hour. That is less than many MTA workers and substitute teachers make.

Anonymous said...

just heard it went down to $93.99 a day. Any takers?

Come on you can steal sugar packets from coffee shops, ketchup and mayo from delis. So that is one meal a day.

U can sleep on the street near the job to cut commuting cost a few days a week. I mean it is almost spring so enjoy the parks!

You can wash up on many a starbuck's restroom. Not to mention wash your clothes in the sink.

Stop your whining!!!!!!!!!! Bunch a babies what you expect to get to eat every day of the week, live somewhere relatively safe indoors and wear clean clothes more than once a week because you went to law school?

Just get a second and third job to work while you getting experience at the law job and move up! Come on get creative, collect cans to recycle, sell your blood, enlist in the military. U can do it!

I think all the unemployed coders should protest at a law school for a few days and call the media. Have a degree burning, that might scare some of the soon to be victims straight. Wait but then those hapless souls will be competing with us for collecting cans. Hey idea, bar card can get you in places where you could collect cans that street people can't get into. See it was worth it. I'll be pushing a shopping cart around the law library soon.

Anonymous said...

Schwartz and Perry deals with employment law.

12:13 is pulling your leg.

That's actually pretty funny, I was having a real bad day until I saw that and it cheered me up.

Anonymous said...

Why does the fact they deal with employment law matter? Do you somehow think that means they aren't capable of screwing people over for this reason?

Anonymous said...

Here's Monty Python's take on people who fantasise about how they "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYtYBI6eZ3E

Anonymous said...

How long till you dumb fucks waiting for the job fairy to come until you have to sell your computers to pay for food and shelter?

Where will you voice your "complaints" about those sweatshops/agencies (now golden to you- ha) you wish would hire you NOW? Hmm?

Anonymous said...

HAhahahah you wannabe-elitist rejects are digging your own holes by simply being your true, slimy subhuman selves and by honestly speaking out what's on your mind. By making a failed career move and then attempting to fix it by playing the entitlement card. Add failed attempts to unionize, file complaints (and you call yourselves lawyers!) and organize protests to this growing, embarassing epic fail list. It's pathetic and funny at the same time.

Most of you are in dire need of a complete mental and physical overhaul. I don't know what it takes, the military is often the answer. Maybe send you on a mission in Darfur will help or drop you off in the wilderness to learn survival skills.

Anonymous said...

The good thing about the economic decline is that it will flush out overpaid, entitled whiners with no talent (except for the finger- pointing and ass kissing talent maybe) like you. Your human character is deplorable at best and your mere existance is a hinderance to human progress and evolution. It is not a coincidence that you are being fucked over from all ends of society from the biglaw partners and the ABA all the way to ambitious, hard working Indian slum kids and it is not a coincidence that no one will hire you for shit. But rather, you are getting exactly what you actually deserve in life. The high rate they paid you for your low skill monkey work in previous years was an unjustified bubble that finally burst. I can hardly even think of any other profession that employs useless people with no real skills and grossly overpays them the way these toilet review temp jobs do.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part is how this blog was a forum to complain about lack of perks like catered meals, and now all of these losers complain how they want those VERY jobs back!

Complaining about offshoring? Check at this blog a year or so ago, it was all about how you didn't get enough limos! Now you'd crawl to those Anita projects on your bloodied knees.

My, my...how fast the tide turned. Don't hear any bitching about lack of air conditioning nowadays, do we?

STILL PLANNING ON "AVOIDING" CERTAIN LAW FIRMS AND AGENCIES NOW???

Guess not.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna guess this is the same pathetic mental case ranting and raving all day and night. No matter how much he rants on to try and make feel better about himself, it will not help him. The more he goes on and on the more obvious it is that he has some kind of severe psychological disorder or maybe he just couldn't ever manage to pass the bar and is boiling over with bitterness at those who have. Really, this over the top anger must come from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Trolls abound now on the message boards. The Dean of Admissions at Drexel was trolling on the TLS board tonight. Applications are plummeting at the schools, work is drying up at the agencies and firms. Guess we aren't the only desperate people anymore.

Let the troll blather on if it makes himself feel better.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much he rants on to try and feel better about himself, it will not help him.

Anonymous said...

Very true, trolls are abounding and it is best to let them blather on. Eventually, they just tire themselves out.

Anonymous said...

Things will get better. It just takes time. It's only been bad since September. Given time the situation will improve. Everybody is worried and hurting at the moment (except for teachers and nurses).

Besides this and next month are probably the worst it will get.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you guys read this:

Ellington Credit Fund, Ltd. v. Select Portfolio Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 274483 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2009)

You might find it very very interesting. It explains one of the reasons that doc. review has stopped. And no it doesn't relate to oursorcing. I also have a feeling it won't "stay" that way.

Anonymous said...

yes 1:27 I am still avoiding certain agencies and firms, and it seems that you probably work for one of them and now because the economy is bad, you think you can kick down on people and that you are getting off on it. Certain agencies and firms have such a problem and I won't deal with them, ever. Some things are not for sale.
That issue is one of the things that makes certain agencies and firms worth avoiding. Face it 1:27 you do not have power over any one and you seem to be pretty delusional and angry about that fact.
I work for firms and agencies who treat me decently, I voted with my feet.

Anonymous said...

Shit, I made about $90/day substitute teaching in suburban northern Virginia before I went to law school!

Anonymous said...

Have any of you guys read this:

Ellington Credit Fund, Ltd. v. Select Portfolio Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 274483 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2009)

You might find it very very interesting. It explains one of the reasons that doc. review has stopped. And no it doesn't relate to oursorcing. I also have a feeling it won't "stay" that way.



--------------------




summary????

Anonymous said...

4:29 The Ellington case was more about document retention policy than why doc review has stopped, yes? I just read the case. Did I get that wrong?

Anonymous said...

June 2006 - Temp agency recruiters banging on my doors, with limos parked outside, all wanting to escort me to THEIR "exclusive" doc review project. One recruiter tells me that Wolfgang Puck himself will be catering their free lunches. Another tells me that every other week we'll be flying to Dubai for "discussions" with their client. Another brags about his competitive $47.50/hour rates and free gym membership.

June 2009 - An army of unemployed, malnourished doc reviewers dressed in rags and carrying sticks riots outside of HIRECounsel headquarters in DC, demanding food. Federal troops are called in with fire hoses to disperse crowd. 1300 attorneys arrested.

Anonymous said...

wow, this blogs a total joke now

Anonymous said...

way to spell, its "this blog is a total joke" stupid

Anonymous said...

no, you're stupid

Anonymous said...

Way to spell. It's "it's "this blog is a total joke." stupid" stupid.

Anonymous said...

I got the interview form Craigslist for Schwartz and Perry. I wouldn't have named the firm, but the offer was so insulting I felt they deserved it. The sad thing is they'll probably find someone who doesn't qualify for UE anymore to take it. Oh well, you get what you pay for...

Anonymous said...

Some clown made the following assertion without details.

"People have mentioned attempting to paralegal, but being overqualified. This is not true and at least one of my friends was picked up as an associate after moving from a paralegal role."

I call definite flame on this troll. When people say they are overqualified for paralegal, they mean that they are already barred attorneys applying for paralegal jobs out of desperation, and they will not get hired. I've started to see paralegal job postings lately that expressly state "Resumes from JD's will not be accepted". Now it's possible that a college kid got a job as a paralegal, later went to law school and then got "promoted" by the same firm to associate - that does happen every once in a while. But generally, the troll does not understand the job market for JD's.

Anonymous said...

I can confirm the first commenter's statements regarding S&P. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

One career option = legal sales and marketing. From deposition services to E-discovery vendors to in-house marketing departments to "for profit" CLE production firms, to lexis/westlaw/bloomberg, etc. The business is booming.

Just a thought - that's how I made my exit and it is going quite well.

Anonymous said...

TROLL, how DARE you encourage us to enter fields that AREN'T doc review. You must get pleasure out of telling us how GREAT your non-coding life is. I can't imagine why you'd EVER want to spend ANY time on here. TROLL!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know of a well known, prestigious firm in NY where maybe more than half of the paralegal staff had JD's. Every now and then the "para-JD's" even get to do doc review. They get paid around 52k +OT plus permanent benefits, frequent overseas travel for work etc. A dream job, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to answer the question that was posed?

Anonymous said...

I am watching CNN, looking at and listening to a female journalist with a British accent advising that the US economy sucks right now--she works for CNN/America--something is wrong with this picture--especially if there are American journalists on the unemployment lines.

Anonymous said...

I am all for America first, but the last post makes no sense. When examining the global economic recession it's a little hard to focus on solely America will reporting about it. So why would they not have a foreign bureau involved in the process? This is not the case where we are talking about outsourcing of services or manufacture, but the inclusion in a situation where they are suppose to be included.

Anonymous said...

Helpful suggestion to original blogger on "how to make ends meet"....Aside from doc review work, other option includes per diem work. There is an underground network in Manhattan metro area that hires attorneys to make court appearances, take and defend depositions, undertake motion practice, settlement conferenes, jury selection, mediations and arbitrations. You are in court every day, before judges every day, and negotiating with opposing counsel regularly. The major benefit is that at a minimum who hone skills that many associates at BigLaw rarely use. In the end, it may lay the groundwork for one day opening your own small shop or go into business with a few other attorneys - but of course, you would do so not in Manhattan ultimately, but rather on LI or upstate. Rules of evidence, oral advocacy skills used in summary judgment motions, and taking and defending depositions pays. Many of these per diem "networks" are utilized by law firm and attorneys, on both sides, for insurance actions and claims etc. Call around, you'll get a phone number to call.

Anonymous said...

PAID TIME OFF/BONUS HOUR PAY IN NYS

Having accrued a total of over 3000 hours billed at a NYC legal temp agency over a couple of years, and having inquired about PTO pay owed, I was informed that I only accrued 2 bonus PTO days that were apparently paid when accrued (without my asking for the same). This does not sound right to me. Can anybody out there please let me know whether this sounds market?

Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Make ends meat as a freelance chimp.

Trollop said...

Hey,

I don't think the commenters on this board were very nice to the "Anonymous Contract Lawyer." I've read her blog for a few months now, and I can tell you that she is neither trying to be a troll or be mean. She also teaches adjunct classes in communications or composition or something. In other words, she isn't afraid to move to where jobs are, her prespective is uplifting, and she is experiencing "de-professionalization" in the fields of education and the law.

Simply put: she is working hard to get by, and hopefully she will inherit a reasonable wage from the worst generation in American history (boomers) in whichever field she chooses, when the day comes.

Why do you have to assume everyone is a troll? Because her attitude isn't horrible? Because of my last name?

Anonymous said...

The language for PTO is very specific regarding each agency.

Many will require that the work that you have done for them to be, for example, continous so virtually no one will qualify.

Anonymous said...

Agency PTO is a scam. If you are eligible for it, you have to constantly harass them for it, and they usually structure it in such a way that most people won't ever be eligible for it. If you make an issue of it, they will put you on the blacklist.

Anonymous said...

I've worked for Hudson and although it wasn't the best experience, I will say that their PTO deal was better than others. (for example, Kelly or Update).

That being said, they did have a "only two PTOs" limit per pay period. Basically, the lesson was this: take the PTO immediately as they accrue. Some people (myself included) tried to hold off to take the PTO until their next planned raise, only to get laid off days before the raise was to take effect. For those that accrued more than two PTO days, they risked getting screwed. The only way to get anything beyond the two PTO days was to somehow get back onto a Hudson gig later in the year and claim it then. Once the end of the year comes, I believe you're re-booted back to zero.

So for the person who banked PTOs over "a couple of years" I don't think that's possible. My best guess is this: at the end of the year, after not having requested any of your PTOs, the secretary might've actually done you a favor and pushed the max PTOs on you without you even asking so that you wouldn't lose them as you got re-booted to zero for the next year.

Anonymous said...

506

call around to where- can you give me some direction about what you mean because saying call without any direction (even a cryptic clue to whom) doesn't really mean much.

Jonathan said...

Dont' worry the media Elite like Charlie Rose had an interview with John Mack of Merrill Lynch on how we can get out of this crisis! You know, the one he helped cause and walked away with millions. Not one hardball question from Charlie Rose.

Anonymous said...

well your first mistake was listening to charlie rose expecting challenging questions. I like his show, but it's not hardcore journalism.

Jonathan said...

There is no moral imperative to pay back your student loans anymore. Frankly, with the government rewarding bank failure, incompetence, stupidity, fraud and crime....why the hell should you pay back your debt.

Anonymous said...

John Mack is from Morgan Stanley, not Merrill Lynch. Charlie Rose and John Mack are friends and hang out at the same Upper East Side cocktail parties. What did you expect?

Anonymous said...

That fat slut of a secretary at Hudson, Luisa Smart, would never do anyone a favor on purpose. It must've been an accident!

Anonymous said...

Re: Student loans

That may become moot. Like with mortgages, they were securizing student loans. But, the conversation that no one is having is that they having a problem valuing the loans due to the downturn, and thus, eventually we may see the same problem with student loans that we saw with mortgage securization:

The inability of people to pay due to loss of jobs combined with the inability to determine the value of the securities created from the underlying debt.

Like with the receivership and purchase of common stocks for banks (de facto nationalization), no one is talking about it openly. Not sure what will happen with this. Maybe people will pay, or maybe not. As was pointed out on Above the Law, the problem with this debt is that it's not just lawyers who theorectically maybe able to pay, but others such as creative degrees where there is no chance at all of repayment.

Anonymous said...

Trollop-thanks for having my back!
1. original question--you may need to move to support yourself and/or your family. Guess what, your ancestors did the same thing. things sucked a$$ in the old world, they moved to the new. No land left in the east coast, they moved west (or moved across the Asian land bridge, or traveled with Leif Erickson, or shipped across with the Egyptians. Not touching the slavery thing).
Switch careers. Nursing. Hell, I'd go back for a nursing degree in a second. May still do so. Teaching. Sales. What good is the education you received in college and law school if you can't apply it to other areas? Think selling paper to a business is much different than selling a motion to a judge?
2. What is up with thinking that all so-called "trolls" are the same person? You are pulling on blinders to the fact that not everyone is a whiny baby, and these people who are not whiny babies are going to take the jobs from you.
3. what's up with thinking that all so-called "trolls" are men?

Really, though, I hope all the whiners and defeatists about the good old days being gone stay just as impotent as they are now. Actually, I don't need to hope so. Those of you who think you were entitled to a job because you went to law school, who think that someone giving you a law degree was the worst thing ever (as bad as fucking cancer? Yeah, I what a tool thing to say)--you're really sad and pathetic and a waste of skin.
Not everyone here is a pathetic gas bag, those of you who are and just flap in the wind about the next injustice you will be forced to suffer--well, have fun with your lives.
I just finished the first day of a 3 day bar. Feeling good, don't care if some think I'm mental or living a lie. I know if I pass, great! If a fail, and I choose to, I will take the bar again and pass.
If I don't, I will get a job or 2 or three to do what I need to do.

Anonymous said...

1107

I do believe here wallow, but I also believe their are quite a bit of you who like kicking others while they are down. I also think you aren't very positive as you claim since your post was a lot of put downs. Truly positive people would not be posting what you write. I also believe people need to look for solutions, but let's be realistic that positive thinking alone is not enough of a solution. It took 30 years of conservative thought to get us in this mess (starting with sunshine himself- Morning in America- Ronald Reagan). It will take quite sometime to get out of it. in other words, there is a middle ground between what you put out and what others here out. It's called doing what's necessary without pretending like the world is easy or that to mention the difficulties is per se a bad thing. The first step to changing anything is to know what it is you are addressing. Your way has the same danger of the wallowers. It's not reality either.

Anonymous said...

11:35

The lying ReThugliKKKons shitted on this country, and now we're gonna shit on the lying ReThugliKKKons until they and the Bush Crime Family suffocate and die of asphyxiation. Let 'em die a very painful and humiliating death, and let everyone of their drooling retarded supporters share in the public humiliation of abject failure.

In China, they would have been marched through the streets wearing Dunce Caps, and that's what should be happening here.

I hope they eat shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of their pitiful lives, and then die without a burial.

Anonymous said...

I heard they are using crappy software instead of lawyers to filter through voluminous documents using keyword searches. That is going backfire...no human interaction - just let the computers do all the e-discovery analysis.

I wonder how many privileged documents will be produced and I wonder how many relevant documents will be buried by the computers. Interesting to see if this concept plays out...

Anonymous said...

I heard they are using crappy lawyers instead of software to filter through voluminous documents using keyword searches. That is going backfire...no human interaction - just let the lawyers do all the e-discovery analysis.

I wonder how many privileged documents will be produced and I wonder how many relevant documents will be buried by the lawyers. Interesting to see if this concept plays out...

Anonymous said...

"Doc Review Tomorrow"

The docs will come back
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be work in Manhattan!

Just thinkin' about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh, Hudson WILL call me back!

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!

Anonymous said...

If I wish to click again
Will I have to move to Michigan?

Anonymous said...

On the PTO tip...Ive had absolutely no problems redeeming my PTO days from Update and Legal Options. Yeah you have to work a lot of hours to get them but in my experience I've asked for them and received them with no problems.

Anonymous said...

those lamenting the state of doc review need to reassess your lives. i worked several gigs (then moved on something better) and what i noticed about many of my fellow coders was laziness and a lack of ambition. worse, it was clear that these people were envious of those who (like me) who paid off their loans and owned property. it's like many of you want the rest of the world to be saddled with debt and miserable like you. newsflash: no one forced you to take on massive debt. and no one is going to get you out of it but you. it's not easy, but whining about it and being jealous/catty of those who are successful is only hurting you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Massive debt to attend law school is one of the BIGGEST mistakes one can ever make. I am glad to see that word is getting out, and law school applications are plummeting.

Anonymous said...

12:39 by now no one should be falling for your garbage. If you were successful you wouldn't have time to spend here. What you are is the same idiot loser pretender troll who for some reason spends all of his time here.

Anonymous said...

Look, work will return. We should all start to relax and have a good attitude when we return to work.

Keep calling your recruiters, keep plugging away and keep your fingers crossed!

Has anyone heard back from the Plaintiff's Gig on Craig's List earlier this week?

Anonymous said...

I got a call from an "unknown number" at 9:30 this morning. If you don't bring the phone into the crapper with you and miss the call, you will be passed over. Things are that bad.

Anonymous said...

12:54 thanks for reinforcing my point about envy. i am successful and don't care what you believe. i have leisure time to browse the internet because i am no longer a slave to billing long hours. you are unemployed and should not be the one wasting time on this blog. sorry, but not everyone expects money to be handed to them in life. some of us are smart about it and plan ahead. where has being jealous gotten you? yeah, that's what i thought. nowhere but hating others.

Anonymous said...

oooh...look 12:39 owns property, im so envious!

Anonymous said...

I wished I owned property in this economy. I would love to have seen my net worth drop like a rock.

Anonymous said...

12:39, I TOTALLY agree with you, and what was more apparent were the doc review "lifers" on each project who wanted nothing more than to see anybody who enters doc review stay with them in the doc review trenches for their entire career. Any and all conversation related to doing something outside of doc review was frequently met with the same disdain and laziness that 12:54 is obviously suffering from.

This is not a For us, By us board. It's an open forum where, clearly, several people outside your preciously popping coding bubble have been viewing and commenting. It's up to the coders and the law profession at large to take whatever is said here constructively. Obviously, there are some people who are so caught up in their own bitterness, they attempt to undercut any advice given here.

The world may have handed you a JD in exchange for a few loan contracts signed by you. The world will not hand you a job and it's time to figure things out now that doc review has all but dried up.

Anonymous said...

How's Debevoise?

Anonymous said...

i am successful and don't care what you believe.

If you don't care what people here believe, why are you here?

Anonymous said...

WTF??
Anonymous said...
How's Debevoise?

1:22 PM

Anonymous said...

12:55

I agree. Sooner or later things will get back to normal. It's easy to lose one's sense of perspective. 6 months ago it was easy to find work, and 3 months before that it was very easy to find work. 3 months before that the agencies were calling people and trying to get them to jump projects.

What we're experincing is a huge contraction of the economy and it's affecting everyone, not just temps. Everyone is feeling it from the solos to the partners at the firms. Even in health care and teaching (unless you can teach Math) it's getting difficult to find entry level positions at the moment.

Things will enventually improve. I give it six more months, with this and next month being the worst.

Anonymous said...

From Above The Law: Dechert will lay off 10 staff attorneys today.
http://twitter.com/docreview

Anonymous said...

This PTO business should be eliminated immediately. I was instituted when there was a need to attract temps. Now there are too many unemployables-- no need to entice them.

Besides, what hourly employees get 'free money'? I pay my babysitter by the HOUR. She doesn't get NOR EXPECT, paid days?! WTF. Same thing with my kids SAT tutor. He tutors, we pay. We don't give him DAYS of money after he tutors 400 hours! It's absurd.

With money being so tight these days those PTOs will disapear at any moment. It's bad business for the agencies as that free money gives them no benefit. The loser temps look to steal, cheat, lie, and spread feces at project sites regardless- PTO or not.

Anonymous said...

So in your tiny mind, sick days and vacation time are "theft," 4:12? You sound like a massive ass.

Anonymous said...

4:12, a massive ass, or a sleazy temp recruiter.

Anonymous said...

I am watching Oprah and she is doing a story on all the homeless tent cities that are popping up in California. We ARE heading into a depression.

Anonymous said...

With that attitude no wonder you attract temporary workers that look to steal, cheat, lie, and spread feces at project sites. You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Exactly 1:51. Are we really supposed to believe that someone who actually is successful is going to be watching this blog all day and posting, "I am too successful"?

Anonymous said...

1:19 trolls like you who do multiple comments pretending you are different people to bolster your trolling obviously can and do come here but the purpose of this blog is for doc reviewers to discuss doc review. If you are not a doc reviewer and spend tons of time watching every post on this blog and seem to have nothing else to do (plus an intense interest in every word that is posted here), than you are not some great success and you are very likely a troll.

Anonymous said...

3L fear...

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/02/the-view-fro-29.html#more

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in working as a Document Review Contract Attorney and would like to register our office, please send us your resume. Previous document review experience and bar admission are required. Candidates must be available to work at least 40 hours per week. Compensation of $15 per hour plus possible overtime.

Anonymous said...

4:12

you are utterly ridiculous.

People who work actual jobs (not after-school part-time jobs like a tutor) get paid for days even if they don't work. It's called reality.

Even places like Wal-Mart (which is notorious for cutting costs) will pay you for Christmas and other holidays even if you do not actually work on that day. If you do, then you get paid double. What planet are you on where people who work full-time jobs only get paid for every hour they work but no vacation days? PTO is flexible holiday pay.

Anonymous said...

5:56- you forget temp attys DO NOT work full time jobs... what do you interpret the word "temp" to mean????

They are hourly TEMPORARY employees. They can qualify for the agency paid holidays. They should take away the other PTO days since you still hate them and the firms the same, whether they have these programs or not.

Face it: you have no job. you have no PROSPECTS of a job as evidenced by the chirping on this blog and the economics of doc review clicking. PTO? please.

Trollop said...

1:09
I think the unknown number was "Girls gone wild" trying to do their best, offering you more coaxed, titilating vacation footage. Help yourself, help them, just order a bunch of DVDs for $9.99. Obama's gonna bail you out of your loans, he's good for it.

Was anyone else glad to hear President Obama say he's going to take away some outsourcing tax breaks? Tom, your perspective (eliminating tax breaks, not GGW)?

Anonymous said...

1:22 - what about Debevoise?

Anonymous said...

Did a little bit of research on the job market for lawyers:

Here's what I found:
Median salary:$60,000
Employment: 761,000
No. of attorneys 1,143,358+
No. of law school graduates per year: 40,000

This is a complete mess.

By comparison:
Computer Scientists and databse Admin.

Median Salary:$64,600
Employment: 542,000
No. of c. scientists and databse admin: depends on degree. Note that some people with a 2 year degree are employed in these jobs.
No. of graduates with BS CSCI per year 8,021 EE and CE probabaly add another 10,000 giving 18,000

Much better career prospects. And you don't have to incur the debt from law school. The only down side is you don't get to hang out in school for 3 more years.

Anonymous said...

6:26, I'm the original 5:56

lol. you are pretty hilarious.

what do i interpret "temp" to mean? It means a temporary full-time job, as opposed to a permanent full-time job.

How do I arrive at full-time versus part-time? By the hours you work. If you work 40 (or more) hours in a week, then you are full-time. If you work significantly less than 40 (which a tutor probably does) then you are part-time. If you are a tutor who is working more than 40 a week, then I would consider you a full-time tutor and deserving of some type of either PTO (vacation) or holiday pay. Or both.

I will slightly agree with you on one note, some agencies do pay you holiday pay. That's good. But some agencies do the PTO thing in lieu of holidays (like, they don't pay you for Christmas. Update did this). PTO is like a floating holiday to them. Which is fine, whatever way they wanna do it.

Lastly, it's hilarious you assume I have "no job and no prospects of a job." In fact, I am working a full-time. (yes, that's right.) It's not in the legal field which kinda makes my law degree superfluous, but I do NOT miss the old temping days.

Anonymous said...

12:57 if you are working full-time and don't miss "the old temping days" why come here at 12:57 a.m.?

Anonymous said...

12:57

I do it because I'm curious as to how the environment is now. i used to be a temp (from Jan 2006 til late last year) and I still care about this kinda stuff. There were some things that were positive experiences (mostly the friends I made there) and the money was good at times. But I wouldn't go back to it. I don't come necessarily argue with people, but I commiserate with my fellow law grads. Some people I know are still temps, and they're good people.

Anonymous said...

My last post, I meant to say that I was the original 12:57

Anonymous said...

Anybody believe this?

http://tinyurl.com/cfe8pz

Anonymous said...

Re PTO

PTO grows out of the claim by the agency that they provide benefits. Not the classification of whether one is a perm or temp. Any argument about what a temp should expect versus a permanet employee is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Do you get PTO if you work at the USPTO?

Anonymous said...

That was funny in a 7th grade kind of way.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the current rates for foreign language doc reviews in New York? Those seem to be the only ones available at the moment. Also, is Dutch a difficult language to learn?

Anonymous said...

In today's working world, every job is a temporary one.

Anonymous said...

There are very few European language doc reviews in New York right now, and you're better off learning German (2nd largest exporter in the world and a scientific powerhouse...), and then picking up Dutch later.

Anonymous said...

12:57

You said you're not temping anymore- just curious- was it hard to get offers from firms (if that's where you're working) after doc reviewing for 2 years?

Anonymous said...

3:50

Who cares how hard it would be to get a job with a firm after 2 years. Send your resumes out anyway.

Also, if you're after a firm job start doing volunteer legal stuff. You'd be surprised at how quickly that stuff starts to snowball. You can also list it instead of the typical temp resume of a few months here, a few months there, etc.

12:42

The trick is to learn enough to pass the agency test.

Anonymous said...

Can you point me to place where one can potentially volunteer? I have tried to volunteer at many places, and have been denied.

Anonymous said...

Apply to all the internship positions you see on Craig's list. Check with the volonteer lawyer associations. Your law school must also have some connections with pro-bono work. Also volunteer at non-legal orginizations. For example, the red cross. You can also apply to non-legal temp agencies to try and land somthing.

Instead of sitting around doing nothing and not getting paid, you can at least get some experience so that you can get paid.

Anonymous said...

I'm a staff attorney at a large law firm and the amount of document review work available has just collapsed. There has been very little available starting a year ago and especially over the last 6 months. Unfortunately, I think this may be a permanent change in the industry as there just aren't many corporate clients left that have the money to fund large doc review projects. The good news is the student debt situation is so bleak that there may be some kind of national debt amnesty for students.

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday there was a doc review call in DC for a 7 day project requiring 18 barred attorneys who are fluent in the Hargeisa dialect of Somali. There were 7,400 applications, and a riot broke out in front of the agency's offices between speakers of the Mogadishu and Hargeisa dialects. The Mogadishu-speakers demanded that they be considered for the job, too.

The two dialects differ mainly in pronunciation of two vowels and the use of the category of words for dried agricultural products like straw and products made of straw, i.e., "basket".

And I heard the subject matter of the project had absolutely nothing to do with straw, it was about international shipping.

Nine people were killed and 405 people arrested in the riot. And 95% of the attorneys were Caucasian US citizens.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there law firms with dedicated document review departments - i.e., that have attorneys on staff who do document review only for that firm?

Anonymous said...

I don't think document review has been killed by outsourcing, onsourcing, or technology. I think it's dead because the clients don't want to/can't spend the money on it now. It'll pick up again.

Anonymous said...

well, some of the work is in Inda, for sure. None should be there. They haved hired salesmen to steal our work and ship it abroad.

Traitorous bastards!

Anonymous said...

suk my cock losers

Anonymous said...

I saw a link to this page in an ATL comment. Needless to say, I feel terrible for anyone who is in the author's position. As much as an associate at a large law firm can "feel your pain," I do. I hope the best for all of you and will keep you in my prayers. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts associate. And be careful. Keep your job almost no matter what. There are plenty of former associates who are temping now, and probably a few partners who are even thinking about it.