Friday, March 13, 2009

Document Review To $17 An Hour

Let us thank the American Bar Association for giving the green light late last year to allow the corporations and corrupt TARP receiving banking institutions to ship our jobs overseas. Mumbai wages have arrived in NYC.

"Document Review Attorneys (Midtown)
Reply to:
Date: 2009-03-13, 8:39PM EDT

Midtown V100 law firm seeking admitted Document Review Attorneys for a 1-2 month project scheduled to begin March 23rd. Must have previous large scale discovery experience. Experience with Concordance a plus. $17 an hour. No OT expected at this time, but that may change as the project progresses.

Must be admitted and in good standing in at least one state.

* Compensation: $17 an hour
* This is a contract job.
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests."


Anonymous said...

Time to kill myself.

Anonymous said...

I think we can safely put to rest any doubt that much of the work is being performed in India.

Anonymous said...

You can only safely put it to rest if you are illogical person who jumps to conclusions and ignores the state of the economy. How many associates at big firms were fired this week? Several hundred. What is the undemployment rate in the general population? 8.1 and rising. What is the state of the credit markets? Still frozen. What evidence have you brought? None outside of propaganda articles by outsourcers selling their services. If you think you have proven your argument, that says a lot about your abilities as an attorney.

Anonymous said...

Associates fired from biglaw are not going to be doing scut work for $17 an hour. It's called severance, look it up.

Anonymous said...

Wake up, it's gutting our profession. If you don't get it now, I feel sory for you. We are watching our profession evaporate.

Anonymous said...

Is There A Duty To Propose Legal Process Outsourcing?
by Mark Ross
Taking into account the harsh economic climate, the mood at ACI’s recent LPO summit was relatively upbeat. Having attended several LPO conferences over the last three years, it was particularly refreshing to witness several client case studies from leading firms and corporations, including, Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie and Accenture.

On day two of the event, Maria McMahon from Baker McKenzie expertly navigated the maze pertaining to a large scale document review project, currently being undertaken offshore. Maria’s final slide contained a table highlighting the benefits of a well managed offshore document review project. She identified the benefits by comparing offshore to a domestic based solution. Her conclusion was that for first pass document review, measured across four metrics, namely, quality, learning curve, productivity and cost, offshore LPO scored extremely favorably on cost, was comparable in terms of productivity and quality, and with a marginally slower learning curve. Ok, hold that thought, and I’ll come back to this in one moment.

In my humble opinion however, clearly the most thought provoking, defining moment, of the conference, came when a question was raised, and a discussion ensued, during the Q&A session that immediately followed the Ethics of Outsourcing panel. The question raised, was whether there is a valid argument, that a U.S. law firm is now compelled, or even under a duty to at the very least inform their clients of the “offshore” option for document review?

Let’s revert back to the Baker McKenzie “experience”, and the conclusions reached, namely, that offshore review is significantly more cost-competitive and also comparable in terms of productivity and quality. If one doesn’t inform a client that conducting first pass document review offshore is an option, how does this sit with one’s ethical obligation set out in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct at Rule 1.5?

(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses.

Is it reasonable to assume that billing anything approaching AmLaw 200 junior associate hourly rates for first pass document review could be deemed to be “an unreasonable fee”?

While writing this post, I reflect back on the San Diego Bar Association Opinion and a post I wrote in April 2007. I commented at the time that the Opinion discusses the concept of a client’s “reasonable expectation”, as to whether the work would be performed in-house within a law firm, or outsourced. Click here for the full post. Where I felt the San Diego Opinion fell short was in failing to consider that “reasonable expectations” change over time. I commented:

“The Opinion only really considers the here and the now. A client’s “reasonable expectations” are not static, immovable, and unchanging over time. The legal industry now operates in a global marketplace and clients are evermore sophisticated and accepting of the concept of globalization. A client’s reasonable expectations today will be vastly different tomorrow. Soon, a client’s only “reasonable expectation” will be that the quality and confidentiality of the work-product is maintained by whoever completes it, wherever he or she may be. In fact, I would go as far to say that we are not far from the day when a client’s reasonable expectations will be that work-product should be outsourced to the most efficient and cost-effective provider!”

Almost two years have passed since I wrote this piece. Taking into consideration the debate I reference above from the ACI conference, I wonder if we are closer to reaching that “tipping point” day. If one stops for a moment to consider the potential wider reverberations here, the implications for both the legal profession and the growth of LPO are tremendous. I generally don’t formally solicit comment on my blog, but I would be delighted to hear your views on this point.

Anonymous said...

"Time to kill myself."

No, it's time to leave NYC and start thinking differently about your career.

"We are watching our profession evaporate."

Maybe biglaw is evaporating, but if the only thing doc reviewers can envision doing with a JD is working in a big firm, then they'll be crippled by their attitude whether the doc review gigs go to India or not.

Anonymous said...


The examples (as in plural) were a rebutal about the conclusions one can REASONABLY draw in our economy. I notice you ignore the other examples- the 8.1 percent unemployment and rising and the credit freeze. I wonder why?

Your arguing outsourcing is the culprit is like arguing that a lit match in an ash tray on the 35th Floor is the culprit for a fire that started on the 5th floor.

That match may cause a fire one day, but your pointing to smoke and fire coming from the elevator shaft does not prove what you claim it does. Deflation is happening througout our economy. That's the big fear if you read the economic blogs on this. This is why the conservative argument that we face inflation from the stimulus is a joke.

I have a friend works in another industry. They are paying people less right now too. Is that also outsourcing?

In other words, pointing out the fire and smoke does not prove the match from the ashtray is causing the fire It's just the thing in front of you.

I am convinced of one thing from visiting this site- some of you would prefer it to be an understandable thing like outsourcing than the more troubling idea that it's the entire economy. Others would like to follow some weird throw back to laissez faire roughed individualism to explain things. It's a lot harder to deal with the complicated mess that's reality.

Anonymous said...

$17 an hour is a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

Author: yankees4life
Time: March 13, 2009 - 6:29 pm

look at this 2 posts down

Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-03-13, 5:20PM EDT

College grads needed for temporary legal assistant projects at top law firms in Manhattan. Must have a BA and be flexible for long hours and OT, including weekends. Previous experience in the legal field is not required. No unadmitted JD's at this time please.

Please email resumes to the address above.

Compensation: $15 - $18/hour and great opportunity for overtime pay!


Anonymous said...

Are you sure the $17 an hour thing isn't a joke?Every so often someone posts something crazy on Craig's list.

Regarding outsorcing, I'm glad I didn't pay back my loans because I'm not giving them a dime if this outsorcing nonsense continues. That being said I don't think it will. The risk is too high, especially for medical (Heppa), international (EU safe harbors violations), or technical (EAR).

Keep in mind that nobody ever said anything about what it is that they're outsorcing. It may not be a document review in response to a litigation request, in which case, they can have whoever they damn well please review it.

By the way, there are things you can do with a JD and bar admission besides mindlessly review docs.

Anonymous said...

One other thing to consider, Clifford Chance and Baker McKenzie are multinational firms. They might not be outsorcing US cases. I see nothing wrong with sending some crap that's happening in the UK to India. It might even be easier to do since they share a similar legal system. One other thing to consider, there wouldn't be any foreign language doc. reviews if they could outsource everything since they'd use their office in Denmark or Korea to do the work.

I can't see Baker and Clifford doing something crazy like outsorcing US cases to India, but maybe they're desperate.

It's easy to draw false conclusions from Ross's blog. If you were looking for temp work in IT or any other field, you'd be in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is that the posting is a fake, and in a few days some clown will post on ATL and brag that he/she got "over 500 resumes."

C'mon, the rates have dropped from 35-40/hr in NYC down to 30-33 an hour, but $17 for admitted? Seems very unlikely (though possible, I hate to admit.)

Consider this scary thought: it is 680 a week gross. ($17 X 40)

If this were a one year job you'd earn 35,360 total for 52 weeks at 40 hours a week.

Cmon kids, how many 35 K FULL-TIME ASSOCIATE shitjobs pop up per week on craigslist. The entry level pay at most small firms and solos in NYC is 35-40 K. and they don't pay health insurance either. Considered that way, this really isn't much out of line with the industry.

I see the small amount of doc review that remains in NYC this year dropping to the high $20s an hour and projects being tiny and hard to get on to. anyone who made a living as a coder the past 3-5 years is now totally fucked.

Anonymous said...

I'd be careful about applying to that job. Somehow I think it's a "teaser" ad to see how many attorneys are willing to work for that wage. If they receive enough resumes to staff a project, then it can be used as a selling point to bargain with clients.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so surprised. Unless you are one of the agency pet poodles, there has been NO work since last September. Even though unemployment benefits have been extended, there are many people out there who are worried about them eventually running out.

Anonymous said...

HEY TEENZ! Come be a Qualified Junior Lawyer (QJL) and look at cool documents on a screen while you ZAP 'em with your super joystick!!

Call 1-888-TEENLAWYERZ now, and earn up to $25 an hour!!


DeNouveau Legal, the nation's preeminent temporary legal placement firm, announces a 6 month document review project for NY licensed attorneys only.

Register on our website and join our multinational team of legal professionals in the brave new globalized milieu the "permanent temporary" attorney. Enhance your competitive calibre in an atmosphere of professionalism and exclusive collegiality.

We at DeNouveau work with the nation's top law firms and pay our document review teams a globally-competitive rate of $12.40/hour.

Anonymous said...

So, which job to choose? This highly lucrative document review, or the associate position at the Law Office of Eli Gottesdiener?

Anonymous said...

Did any of you guys actually bother to listen to Ross's webinar?

The LPO thing doesn't seem that serious to me. It sounds like it's mainly paralegal junk and unlicensed JD crap. It also just started a few months ago. It'll probably finish a few months from now also.

He mentioned the USPTO's reminder, but didn't have time to address it (despite the fact it was listed as one of the topics he would cover), probably because they know it's a real problem. I think patent outsorcing is dead in the water.

Oh yeah, the firm that outsorced saved a whopping $350,000 !?!?? A savings of 350,000 and the risk of getting nailed for unauthorinzed practice of law and hit with sanctions for screwing up a discovery. Crazy.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on the lawscribe site in the careers section:

2. Position: Language Coach/Trainer


Enhancing the communication skills of employees.

Training the employees on correct usage of grammar.

What the fuck is happening to the legal profession!!? The whole world is off it's rocker.

Anonymous said...

You guys are total losers... Doc Review is retard work, and can easily be done by a monkey... you all have been very overpaid all these years for your monkey work... Grow up, and get a real job. You should be grateful that you are not getting minimum wage which is really all doc rev is worth. BTW AGs job is just as retarded, if not more so!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No one is stopping you 9:37 You useless fuck.

Anonymous said...

10:57 - What's the matter, get laid off? Feeling insecure now, gotta dump on the temps? You sound like a real bum, glad you're unemployed.

Anonymous said...

For those who were arguing that foreign language reviews are operating only on "skeleton crews" or are often canceled, show me the evidence.

The only reason they sometimes have what you call skeleton crews is because it's hard to find people who are fluent in Danish, Algerian Arabic, etc. and so they won't be able to pack a room with these people. Consequently, they want the few attorneys they can find to work lots of OT:

Providus is seeking attorneys for a document review to begin immediately.

MUST be fluent in Arabic, preferably Algerian Arabic and French, have
prior electronic privilege and relevancy review experience and hold an
active bar license in good standing from any state.

Project is located in downtown Houston. 50 – 75 hours per week and good
pay rate. Please apply online at and
reference Job Arabic/French ATTY – EDR.

Anonymous said...

what I want to know is- how the hell are people getting short-term projects? All these people are popping up on blogs saying how they're in these midtown projects. I haven't heard of any work since September. Who are these agencies hiring? What kind of qualifications?

And how the hell do you become an agency darling to begin with if you're a woman? (no, I'm not swinging that way, even for a project).

Anonymous said...

Regarding the alleged preferential treatment by female recruiters for hot young male lawyers in Manhattan, is there any actual sexual quid pro quo, or is it just casual flirting?

I'm serious about this question -- it would be interesting to know from a sociological standpoint.

Anonymous said...


Even if it is casual flirting, from a psychological point, the recruiter has already made, albeit subconscious choice, to favor the hot young male.

For example:

I don't want to sound high on myself, but I'm a pretty good looking woman- been asked to model here and there. Say I walk into Update or whatever with another prospective doc reviewer who's a hot young male.

The recruiter is a straight woman. She talks to me, and then she talks to the male. I'm obviously not flirting with her- the most will be, she likes my outfit. The male (assuming he's straight) is probably flirting with her. She's a woman, so obviously she's loving this.

When the time comes to call people for a project that has limited candidate, whom do you think she's going to call. The attractive woman whose dress she happened to like, or the really hot male, whom she remembers well bc of the flirting? And whom she's probably very eager to see again, as he'll probably come over personally to hand in time sheets to her. I'm guessing the latter.

Anonymous said...


Maybe the economy is starting to recover slightly. They'll place their A-listers first and then post ads when they need other people.

Like you said, there seems to be some talk on the boards about short term projects in midtown and there was a posting for some kind of securites relted thing a week ago.

Maybe they'll be an upturn in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...


You become an agency darling by maxing out the hours and not jumping projects. When you make money, they make money. When you leave a project, they lose money.

For what it's worth the smart recruiters know this and pick people accordingly. They want to hire someone who's not a nutcase, but also want someone who will have difficulty finding permenant employment (they interview which cuts into the hours, and leave when they find permenant work or a higher paying gig).

Anonymous said...


Guess it can only be a few days between time sheets and bed sheets...

Anonymous said...


You forgot to add that it does not matter if you do the work on the projects or not. So long as you sit there for whatever maximum hours is all that counts. That plus they must like you- and then the rules becomes more flexible still. So A-list here means you are a deadender. Someone with no other ambition other than coding for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

A new book out:

"The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History - and How We Can Fight Back"

The issue of student loan debt is making its way into the culture.

Ofter this link to read about the book:

Anonymous said...

I found this part in a review at Amazon interesting:

"Some of the actions of our government include making student loans the only loans available that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, allowing the loan companies and guarantee companies to own the collection agencies, which provides to them an incentive to allow (and push) the student to default, being able to attach Social Security retirement and disability income for repayment, allowing interest rates to be as high as 29.9% and a host of other goodies. "

We really have been sold into indentitured servitude structurally. Over the years I had my run in with Sallie Mae over deferments, and this explains some of that to me.

Anonymous said...

The notion that the "hot young males" are getting the work is beyond absurd. Have you EVER worked on a project in NYC?

The only "hot young males" are the associates and they are so effete and effiminate as to appear gay. If you are attractive and have a career, no need to temp.

The temps are older, fat, largely female (yes a majority female on most projects) and African (Nigerian) or African American.

Pull your head out of your butt, there is no sex with the temps. The hot recruiters may have to service a partner now and then, but temps are powerless bodies, mouthbreathers. If they had anything going for them, they would have a perm job. Maybe a hot female temp will service a partner to get a job, but that's it.

There are no "hot young temp guys". Ridiclous.

Anonymous said...

2:42 said

"temps are powerless bodies, mouthbreathers. If they had anything going for them, they would have a perm job."

So I take it you're not a temp and not interested in temping.

Why are you here, then, unless you work for an agency and you're just hatin' on temps?

Or worse, do you work for an LPO?

Anonymous said...

2:01 is dead on: it doesn't matter what your work is like, as long as you're a human billing machine. That's why the Nigerians are A listers, every last one of them.

They work the maximum time allowed every time, every project, no exceptions.

They do tend to jump ship when its boom times but the agencies don't care because they're black. And no one seems to care when they document a .5 hour lunch on the time sheet but actually take 2 hours to conduct their side business or go shopping on 5th Avenue.

Anonymous said...


My comment was not an excuse for your racist crap. Racial background has nothing to do with this.

Anonymous said...

2:42 is FULL OF SHIT and never temp'd a day in his life. There are very good looking people on every project, they're just a great minority e.g. 1-10 temps.

Anonymous said...

3:01 was simply making a factual comment. Nigerians are the agencies best friend because they will lie and cheat to max out the hours. I can't even tell you how many times I have sat next to a Nigerian who has literally fallen asleep. Nigerians are scammers, every last one of them. Gone for hours at a time, yet they are always there at the end of the night--pretending to work. Watch one next time, you will be amazed at these con artists.

Anonymous said...

2:09 PM has it absolutely correct. The interests of business conservatives and high minded liberals have created an environment where new law grads are essentially wage-slaves to the student loan companies.

The businessmen wanted money to meet their quarterly profit goals, hence the exclusion of student loans from bankruptcy protection.

The liberals wanted everyone to have access to education funding, and therefore supported cheap and easy lending for tuition.

The universities wanted money in order to fund their operations and build prestige. Law schools, combined with cheap loans, are the perfect revenue generator for a university: low overhead, and easy financing from customers.

This madness has to stop. The tremendous amount of debt people incur is probably a major reason that the document review industry is so abusive. The firms and agencies treat document reviewers like garbage because they know we have no other choice but to work in their offices.

I am paying down my loans as quickly as possible. The sooner I can detach myself from the loan company scumbags, the sooner I can disown this disgrace of a profession.

Anonymous said...


You are racist. I am not interested in what you have to say. My comments here are for those who are no conservative racists with a sense of entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yeah ALLLLLLL Nigerians are cheats. every last one of them. You ignoramus. I think you are probably a fat guy, and not so attractive. You probably live with your mother.

Anonymous said...


Jesse Jackson of all people has started to sound the alarms about this. It's not a surprise given that this disproportionately affects students of color.

Indeed, Obama was only able to repay his loans recently because of his book sales. Before, as a State Senator who went to Harvard Law- he was not able to do so.

There is a growing movement (at least on the left) through orgs like Democracy Now to address these issues. That the problem with our system is not education, but the cost of education. Part of the issue is that education under neoliberal/conservative laissez faire doctrines has become a commodity like buying a Rolex.

States, even for state funded schools, are paying less and less for the cost of education, and pushing that cost onto the consumer as tuition. So, although there are state based schools- we pay for it both as tax payers, and then again as students or parents with student. Then we pay for it a third time with the crazy structure of the laws for student loans.

I could see an argument for making the subsidized interest on the loans non dischargeable, but I don't undersand how some amount is not subject to the same bankruptcy laws that credit card debt is. But thena gain, they have been trying to limit bankruptcy laws in this country for a long time. Recently the cram down legislation for using bankruptcy provisions to address restructuring mortgages, for example, had a lot of fierce resistance from both Democrats and Republicans. Because the idealogy of America is money.

If you look at even community colleges, the cost are moving towards being insane.

Here in NY state, I am taking a 4 credit course this semester to move way from doing doc reviews to another career- it's costing me out of pocket 1200 bucks. I am instate. That's insane.

Anonymous said...

Anyone here defending the scamming, cheating, unscrupulous Nigerians must be a Nigerian. We all know they are scum but are afraid to say it in the open.

Look at Nigeria for Christ sake, its the most corrupt nation on earth, which has contributed absolutely nothing to the human race.

Anonymous said...

"If this were a one year job you'd earn 35,360 total for 52 weeks at 40 hours a week.

"Cmon kids, how many 35 K FULL-TIME ASSOCIATE shitjobs pop up per week on craigslist."

Good point, but it leaves something out: most full-time associates aren't going to be working 40-hour weeks, even at that salary. They're going to be working 50+ hours.

Then again, unlike a doc reviewer, an associate has opportunity for advancement, so it's kind of a wash.

I was a salaried associate for several years before I started working for myself, and one of the best things about being my own boss, apart from the obvious, is the direct relationship between how many hours I work and how much I make.

Of course, if there's no hourly work available, then you're just screwed.

Anonymous said...

Nigerians work hard, do not heckle temp agencies, or try to oranize racist and highly self-entitled interney "movements" against alleged sweatshops. You people got what you deserved - that's why the law firms interested in protecting their brand are shifting jobs overseas and employing Nigerians domestically.

Anonymous said...

Nigeria may be the most corrupt country on earth, and the home of infamous international scams, but the majority of the people are hardworking and serious. Nigerians know what true hardship is, and that's what makes them such strong and dedicated workers.

Anonymous said...

DC Summer Records clerk job, lifting boxes, pays more than the temp attorney position cited at the top of this post:

From DC Craigslist, 3/13/09:


A federal contractor needs temporary records clerks to work a 40 per week between the hours of 9 am to 5:30 pm in Washington, DC and in Fairfax, VA. We are looking for smart individuals, who can multi-task, work as a member of a team, understand quickly, and who will follow instructions. To qualify you must have one year of college or two years of work experience in an office environment. The job will end on September 30, 2009. You must arrive on time and have few absences.

$15.94 + $3.24 per hour in lieu of benefits = $19.18 per hour

REQUIRED: US Citizenship, apply for Government Security Clearance (paperwork goes back 7 years + a fingerprint check), and review of credit report (no delinquent debts). Work can begin after the fingerprint and credit check are completed.

JOB DESCRIPTON: You must be able to lift 30 lb boxes, understand numerical and reverse chronological sequencing and have the ability to organize and accomplish work in an accurate, responsible, and professional manner. In addition to filing, you will box closed cases for off-site storage, shift file sections on the shelves, add file sections to the database, generate labels for new sections, check files in/out and re-shelve returned files.
Computer experience is required for data entry into an automated tracking system, add, delete, update, modify, and correct tracking records.

Anonymous said...

"They do tend to jump ship when its boom times but the agencies don't care because they're black. And no one seems to care when they document a .5 hour lunch on the time sheet but actually take 2 hours to conduct their side business or go shopping on 5th Avenue."

Yes they take full advantage. They call each up and take 2-3 hour shopping spree lunches then go back bill .5. I've seen that many times. They don't care, it is literally how they do business.

They have the best of both worlds, no JD (just shitty undergrad) then when they get here they can ride the AA train all the way to the bank. They are happy to take chump whitey for all s/he's worth.

It's pretty funny. Personally, I don't care it's the fatcat partners' $$. But when they get busted. we all lose privileges, have projects shortened, due to their habit of breaking every possible rule.

I really don't blame them, they're third world culture is filled with corruption, lies and deceit. It's stanard operating procedure.

If the firms don't give a poop, why should I?

Anonymous said...

"Nigerians work hard"


Anonymous said...

The Nigerian scamming was rampant on the infamous McCarter Newark project.

I saw one Nigerian maybe 4-5 times a day for 2.5 months. I never saw him once at his computer terminal. He was either in the hall or the break room conducting his side business all day.

There was a rumor that several of the Nigerians on that project were on another project at the same time and double billing.

I saw several of them disappear for 2-3 or even 4 hour lunches, every day. They would come back with bags full of crap from their shopping sprees.

This scene would have been a prosecutor's jackpot. (theft by deception, fraud etc....)

The number of White, Latino-American, Arab-American, African-American and Asian-Americans people doing any of these things: 0.

Anonymous said...

I bet there won't be any nigerians on the shitty $17 per hour gig.

Anonymous said...

I am Nicholas Nbuemba from Lagos. I resent your remarks!!

Anonymous said...

For the first tume ever, I'm going to write on this blog. I am Nigerian and we are not all scammers. All of you making these comnments about Nigerians must be racist; I'm sure of it. There are dishonest people all over the world. Stop pointing at us and look at America also. There are scammers in your own backyard. I can't tell you how many people have been scammed in America by Americans!!! You all need to stop using this blog to perpetuate hatred in any form. Lets use this blog for something more meaningful like exchanging ideas and letting each other know what's happening in the job market. Enough of this nonsense!!!!

Anonymous said...


Don't waste your time. They are just going to spew more racist bullshit.

Anonymous said...

What is the definition of a "skeleton crew"? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

The biggest scam artists are the white guys - look at Bernie Madoff and this huckster Stanford just in the last month, not to mention the hundreds of finacial services executives taking fifty million dollar bonuses while their companies failed. When white guys scam, they do serious damage on a world scale.

Trying to associate the ills of Nigeria with the cadres of Nigerian doc reviewers is ludicrous. Nigerian immigrants are, on average, highly educated and overperform in various professions in this country.

To target them is just plain racist.

Anonymous said...

Bernie Madoff never worked temp...he dropped out of Brooklyn Law School.

Anonymous said...


I can't thank you enough for the comments below. You are absolutely right. Majority of Nigerians are over achievers. They are very well educated and are contributing in meaningful ways in their communities. We all need to stop pointing to anyone or any ethnic group or race as a favored group in the doc review world. Just keep calling your agencies and it would work out for you. I know I don't have a job now and I'm nigerian. I know at least 15 nigerian doc reviewers without jobs. Our American colleagues have jobs and we are not envying them. I think you just have to keep calling and emailing the agencies. If you clicked with a particular reviewer than keep calling that person. All that nonsense about the female recruiters calling the attractive male doc reviewers should stop also. We are lawyers and we need to start acting and writing like intelligent people. I think a lot of people have become paranoid as a result of the lack of jobs.

Anonymous said...


Skelton crew:

"Once a company realizes it is going out of business, it retains a dozen-or-so employees who must sell off assets or settle unfinished business before the doors are shut for good."

Curtesy of

In doc review parlance, it's when a doc review is winding down, but they retain a small percentage of the doc reviewers for mop up like priv logs or other projects. In reality, like the word "fired," the phrase is misused by doc reviewers because as you can see the word is actually meant to be used in a different context that assumes a previously permanent situation, whether it is the business (for the skelton crew) or exployment (for those claiming they were "fired).

Anonymous said...


I am not disparaging doc reviewers in my last post. I am seeking to point out that the idea of permanent employment is part of the problem that leaves people depend on going from project to project. To the extent that language and behavior makes one act like these are real jobs is the degree to which one can become stuck by realizing that one should always be looking for a means to get out of doing doc reviews.

Anonymous said...

From: Moses Odiaka []

My name is Mr.Moses Odiaka.I work in the credit and accounts department of
Union Bank of NigeriaPlc,Lagos, Nigeria. I write you in respect of a
foreign customer with a Domicilliary account. His name is Engineer Manfred
Becker. He was among those who died in a plane crash here in Nigeria
during the reign of late General Sani Abacha.

Since the demise of this our customer, Engineer Manfred Becker, who was an
oil merchant/contractor, I have kept a close watch of the deposit records
and accounts and since then nobody has come to claim the money in this a/c
as next of kin to the late Engineer. He had only $18.5mllion in his a/c
and the a/c is coded. It is only an insider that could produce the code or
password of the deposit particulars. As it stands now,there is nobody in
that position to produce the needed information other than my very self
considering my position in the bank.

Based on the reason that nobody has come forward to claim the deposit as
next of kin, I hereby ask for your co operation in using your name as the
next of kin to the deceased to send these funds out to a foreign offshore
bank a/c for mutual sharing between myself and you. At this point I am the
only one with the information because I have removed the deposit file from
the safe.By so doing, what is required is to send an aplication laying
claims of the deposit on your name as next of kin to the late Engineer. I
will need your full name and address telephone/fax number,company or
residential, also your bank name and account,where the money will be
transfer into.

Finally i want you to understand that the request for a foreigner as the
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and for that reason alone a local cannot represent as next of kin. When
you contact me, then we shall discuss on how the money will be split
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europe for a six months course,you can reach me on this number for further
discussion 0031 623 866 723.Kindly send your reply to my private email
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Trusting to hear from you,

I remain Respectfully yours,

Mr Moses Odiaka. or
(0031 623 866 723)

Anonymous said...

9:48 - correctamundo! We are all out of work.

Anonymous said...

10:05 So what are you trying to prove by posting the above? I guess you are not going to stop bugging nigerians, you've got nothing better to do.

Anonymous said...

If you are an ugly Butta Bitch like that Tina whore, you can work with Alex___ he likes them skanky, EVIDENTLY

Anonymous said...

Re: other things you can do with a law degree. People say this, but I would like to know - exactly what? What career? Resources always say things like,, "parlay your bank industry experience into balh blah blah." which is great if you didn't go right from undergrad to law school. Somehow I don't think I can parlay my server experience into anything - except being a server with a JD.

Anonymous said...


A lot of jobs on the fringes of law, for which a law degree is not mandatory but perhaps helpful, are often denied to attorneys because people don't like the idea of working or competing with lawyers. So outside of the legal profession, there is often active employment discrimination against people with law degrees.

Anonymous said...

My cousin in Italy graduated from the most prestigious law school at the top university in the country ("La Sapienza" in Rome), and never got licensed. After law school, he started out in a junior position at a TV network in Milan and now 7 years later, he's a senior producer of Italian reality shows.

It would be much harder to do this in the States; they'd be asking you, "Why did you quit law?" and saying things like "You're overqualified for this job", overlooking the fact that a JD has nothing to do with a TV job and might even mean a person is more mature or has more knowledge of things like contracts, business negotiations, etc.

Non-lawyers don't want to compete with JDs for non-law jobs, and will do everything they can to push us out of what they consider "their" domain, by casting aspersions on our abilities, knowledge, experience, or by implying our academic background is too narrow or specialized, or that we're somehow "overqualified".

Anonymous said...

Blind submissions are a waste of time when you are changing careers. I am trying to find another career right now. The problem is that many of you want your law degree to be a magic key to the what you want to do. It doesn't work like that for anyone. Even if you had the best grades and schools, people are going to want to know why this person is shifting careers? When you think about it, this makes sense. It's a question I would ask. Would you? That means finding ways to build personal contacts. It's not impossible to do. But, it does require work. It's not going to happen overnight.

Anonymous said...


What are ou talking about? Over half of all JDs do not practice law, and those people are not all doing doc reviews. They are working in other careers. These all sound like excuses to not even try. And, by the way, some of these people in the U.S. , if you ever read sites like Huffington Post end up in the media. Again, the difference is a) they were willing to take the lumps of starting off in a new career and b) they stuck it out and built the right relationships. There's no magic trick that a law degree provides to every career.

Anonymous said...

Those posts arguing strenuously against any possibility of outsourcing being one factor seem disingenuous. If it is not a significant factor right now, there is clear trend in that direction. It is imbecilic to wait for any more evidence to take some action, like writing your congressman or focusing media attention on this issue. Weakening the legal profession through outsourcing legal work that should be done by licensed attorneys undermines a fundimental pillar of American Society. Outsourcing needs to be stopped now, there is no reason to wait for any more evidence, there is enough already to take action.
pillar of American society.

Anonymous said...


The problem here is your reading comprehension skills. The posts to which you are referring have never said that outsourcing is not occuring.

They have questioned the hyperbole of you and others here who conclude that the source of the present economic situation for contract attorneys is related to outsourcing rather than the near Depression we are facing across the globe.

Rather than responding to that criticism of your hyperbole (assuming you are the same poster), you have completely changed the subject, which I remind you started with Tom's post about wages for a doc review here in the NY, and followed by the second post stating:

"I think we can safely put to rest any doubt that much of the work is being performed in India.

9:42 PM"

A complete non-sequitur giving the economic reality of the economy in general. If you want to argue, that we need to address outsourcing because in the future it may have an impact on the level we are seeing from the general economy, I doubt many, if any, would question your argument. It's the illogical claims that we are facing current economic issues because of outsourcing rather than the general economy, which makes others questions you and other over the top posters.

Anonymous said...

"undermines a fundimental pillar of American Society."

Unfortunately that pillar has been crushed under the weight of big corporations, the puppet master BigLaw firms & the whore of those firms, the (so called) American Bar Association.

Anonymous said...


I've mentioned this before.

If outsourcing was not affecting the doc review employment market to some substantial degree, then we wouldn't see such a significant disparity between new ads for foreign-language doc review projects and new ads for English-language ones.

Many of the agencies have realized that they can outsource the shit out of English-language projects, but are keeping foreign-language projects inside the US.

As I've mentioned, looking at DC Craigslist alone over the past 4 weeks or so, we've seen announcements of doc review projects in Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Greek, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Russian, Korean, Algerian Arabic, etc.

They don't outsource these projects to India because they know that there are almost no attorneys in India who are fluent in such a wide variety of languages, but in NYC and DC, they can be found in numbers sufficient enough to staff a project.

This kind of gives the lie to those who attribute the dearth of doc review projects to the RECESSION, doesn't it?

I'm not saying that the financial crash and credit crunch has nothing to do with the doc review slowdown, but to attribute it solely to that factor, while ignoring or minimizing the impact of outsourcing, is bullshit.

How could there be all these foreign language document review projects sprouting up all over the place, like weeds in a garden after a strong rain, while in the very same cities, there are almost no new large-scale projects being announced or advertised, and anecdotal scuttlebutt from regular temps says English project work has almost completely dried up?

When I pointed this discrepancy out a few days ago, someone shot back saying that the foreign-language projects are all very small, using skeleton crews, and are often canceled.

To that person: First of all, can you prove it? Do you actually answer all these foreign-language doc review ads and accept the jobs? How else would you know that they're so small or are being canceled?

Also, so what if they're small or often canceled? The fact is that the foreign language jobs have proliferated, and it doesn't really matter how many people are needed to staff each project. The point is that foreign language projects are actually being scheduled for NYC, DC, and other cities (there was a big French one announced in Philly a few weeks back.)

Where are the corresponding English language projects?????

One would have to reasonably suspect that, say, random English projects would outnumber random Korean or random Polish doc review projects by a factor of about 10 or 20 to 1, simply because most international companies do most of their business in English, especially their international communication.

It's only when a collection of documents all produced by foreign nationals (usually for a foreign-based company), all written in their native language, must be coded and separated, that a foreign-language doc review becomes necessary.

One would therefore expect that announcements of new English-language doc review projects on US shores would FAR exceed announcements of foreign-language projects, if outsourcing were NOT a factor.

But the opposite seems true. Announcements of foreign-language projects, when taken collectively, actually now far exceed those of projects in English.

The economy cannot be blamed for this, as the economy would affect ALL doc reviews in ALL languages equally.

Therefore, it has to be either outsourcing, or "farmsourcing", or a combination of the two.

I believe it is exactly that. It's a combination of Indian outsourcing and farmsourcing.

And, for Indian outsourcing, it's a silent, insidious disease, because the average US-side temp can only INFER its existence (if he or she is smart) from circumstantial evidence, and not verify its existence outright by seeing specific proof, because the employment ads and the actual work take place on the other side of the planet, by agencies, firms, companies, and people we never see or talk to.

Anonymous said...

One more thing on farmsourcing -

I actually cannot think of a valid argument against it. If the work is being done in the USA, by actual JD-holding, barred attorneys, then it's impossible to make any argument against it, unless you just don't like hicks and rednecks, or small town people, which is yet another form of bigotry for you to set on the shelf along with your other bigotries against African-Americans, Nigerians, Indians, etc.

If you don't like the fact that doc review jobs are being "shipped" from Manhattan to Des Moines, IA and Knoxville, TN, then fuck you -- get out of your privileged comfort zone with the glamourati and the beautiful people in that self-important bubble of "Sex And The City", Wall Street, and the Tavern On The Green, and move to one of these smaller cities and await the next doc review project there, or take the bar there and open up a small law office.

Anonymous said...

It's a leap, to say the least that this is due to outsourcing. First, 17 an hour is still greater than what Indian clickers make. Two, don't read too much into the fact that you are seeing more ads for foreign lang reviews than English ones. Muc of this is due to the fact that the firms don't need contract attorneys to do the English lang work now, because they have staff attorneys and associates who need work and are doing them. Also, many firms already have their hard core contractors on hand and the projects they have get filled by them so there is no need for agencies to waste $$$$ and hurt their budgets by advertising for them. Third, this is an employers market, floaded with many attorneys of all talents looking for work. This will necessarily drive down wages.

Anonymous said...


The different wage rates we see in the US are a separate (but related) issue to outsourcing, and neither prove nor disprove the existence or the rate of increase of outsourcing.

Plus which, the particular "ad" which prompted this thread (i.e., a "project" set to commence in NYC paying $17/hour) is likely a hoax.

That doesn't mean that whenever you see a doc review ad for JDs or even licensed attorneys for around that rate ($17-19/hour), it is a hoax. Some of 'em are very real, but an astute observer will notice that those egregiously low rates tend only to appear in small markets well outside of NYC, DC, LA, etc.

I think this particular ad was a hoax simply because it connected an egregiously-low pay rate ($17) to Manhattan, which so far, I've never seen before. So far I've never seen anything REMOTELY like that for an NYC or DC ad, particularly when they're asking for barred attorneys.

Remember, it takes only $25 to run an employment ad on Craigslist. People spend $25 to run fake ads all the time, just to see what the competition is like in fields they're applying for.

Anonymous said...

3:29 isn't credible because his or her assertions are mostly conjecture. The reality is that foreign language document review has plunged also since the end of 2008. I have friends who speak 3-6 languages and have not worked in months.

There has not been a real German language project since November 2008 and German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and is an economic and scientific powerhouse. Think of how many German companies operate in the United States. (HSBC, Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Bayer and all the Swiss pharma companies.)

The only language that has truly kept chugging along during the recession is Japanese, because of the massive Sony litigation.

Anonymous said...

The egos of lawyers. To think that you, and you alone, are unaffected by the greatest downturn since the Great Depression is ego at its finest. You can see this on other legal blogs too. You have big firm partners claiming that they are firing people due to performance rather than the economic crisis. On other blogs, you have lawyers pretending the economy is going just fine. You got people here claiming their lives are in upheaval due to outsourcing rather than the economic crisis. The egos of lawyers- whether partners in big law firms or doc reviewers- are amazing.

Anonymous said...


I completely agree with you. But can you think of a concrete list of people to write to?

Anonymous said...


right because you aren't 239 talking to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I will address the fraudluent assertaion that staffing agencies favor attractive male coders over attractive female coders.

First off, I am male and I realistically assess myself as being relatively attractive. Not hot but way way better than 95% of the males that one is likely to encounter in templand.

That's just the way it is. Deal with it.

Most guys in temp land are not attractive at all. Most are schlubby pussies. Period. And most are social retards. Most could not dream of getting laid by a hot chick if their lives depended on it. Their lack of attractiveness and posession of a penile digit are MAJOR reasons that they are in temp land in the first place. Its often why they are not associates.

Most of the good looking guys are associates or at least staff attorneys in biglaw. Most are at least metro sexual or flat out gay.

It is rare to encounter an attractive male in lawland who is a manly man without homoistic tendencies. Or momma's boy tendencies. Or other major defects. In fact, the ones who are attractive, manly men and on the ball are usually higher level associates or partners. And their breed is dying out soon to be exterminated by white and jewish women and their white gay male allies.

It is extremely rare that I meet any male on a document review project who I would want to be. Most are geeks at best. Some are really nice guys but women and THE MAN who controls lawland do not respect nice geeks or schlubs. Its rare that I meet a coder male who's ass I could not kick or who's chick (if he could get one) I could not take if I decided to put in the effort. Most women on temp projects, attractive or not, do not give most of those geeks the time of day. Often, many of those women look at me (who is only relatively attractive) like I am Brad Pitt or something. Compared to most of those geeks, I am Brad Pitt. And that's sad.

There are a few more decent looking women on projects than men. Usually minority. That's why they are there. Because they may be cute but they are no Halle Berrys. THE MAN don't like em too dark or too thick. Or too militant or afro-centric.

Most women on doc reviews are not that attractive and have weight issues, age issues and MAJOR PERSONALITY ISSUES.

It is RARE TO SEE TRULY HOT chicks on projects. When there is one it usually becomes very apparent that they are either cunty beyatches with major personality issues or they are some of the truly nicest, gullible people on earth you should all know by now...(if you don't you are a fool)..... extremely nice, in lawland, DOES NOT CUT IT! The hot nice females are often engaged or recently married and have save the world virtues. They tend to be biglaw refugees and firees. They tend not to stay too long on doc review because they get jobs in not for profit or government due to biglaw pedigree or because they got married and went on honeymoon.

Some erroneously think that getting a job in shitlaw will provide them with careers.

The cunty hot chicks on projects are just contantly annoyed. They knash teeth. They look at all guy temps as beneath them. As though, they themselves (the cunty hot chick) are somehow biglaw partners and are not temps. They barely acknowledge the non-hot females at all.

I would imagine that a female recruiter must be pleasant with a semi-attractive guy because he is such a rarity. In fact I have experienced some of this. Although some were cunty towards me.

I would imagine that same recruiter would be somewhat beyatchy to a hot female temp (especially the cunty entitlement hot female temps) because its like "how the fuck did this hot beyatch wind up in temp land?...There has to be something wrong...Shouldn't she be blowing some partner in biglaw during lunch or after hours? Why the hell is she here and why does she act as though she is better than me?" "Fuck her, I think I will put that one nice, cute guy on the project...He won't bail out on the project like the cunty hot beyatch".

Face it, any hot white, jewish, asian or indian chick (or gay guy for that matter...) that is on a temp project is either a real cunty beyatch or a sappy Mother friggin Theresa, gullible, save the world type who lacks the shark like tendencies needed to be in law. Seriously defective for them to have fallen into temp land because everyone knows (or should know or admit) that if you are a hot white, jewish, asian or indian chick in law, the world is yours if you even just pretend to be willing to put out.

The very rare, nice disposition, somewhat intelligent, hot chick does not stick around in templand for long. They get perm jobs.

The guys are permanent wage slaves and peons.

Anonymous said...

It's not that we don't think this recession affects us, the truth is that litigation increases in times like these. I know, I was turning down work in the last recession.

But something else is going on here. Our jobs, our careers, our profession, the life that we sacrificed for are leaving. Our profession is being obliterated, piece by piece.

Eventually the defintion of lawyer will be reduced to the point of being meaningless. People will use legalzoom type software for basic tasks (incopration, wills, etc). Grunt work will be shipped off to the foreign countries (even moreso than today). The rote, repetitive tasks will be done via computer. Law firms will merge with consulting companies, who essentially do attorney work anyway.

Only lawyers with a true expertise - litigation, certain complex transactional work, tax, etc. will survive.

The average Joe attorney will cease to exist, except perhaps for 1 or 2 bottom feeders per town. They will have a poor reputation, as sleazy ambulance chasing bums.

The irony of course, is that the ABA keeps opening new law schools as the industry continues to contract.

So the law industry continues to exist, perpetuating itself with each new crop of applicants. Each year tuition is raised, as the opportunities for all but the very very top of the class, are disappearing.

What seems strange is why cannot Americans do the English language work, and "outsource" the foreign language work to countries where that language is spoken?

Our culture our profession are upside down. Common sense and decency have been defeated, leaving only emptiness and craven greed.

Anonymous said...

4:08 - stfu nimrod

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Thanks 6:40 for providing the evidence that validates the point that I was making. Your response is exactly the same response one gets whether it's a partner, associate, staff attorney or contract attorney. It's the whole profession that's the problem.

Anonymous said...


Litigation is not always recession proof. It depends on what type of recession and what type of litigation. If it's a structural recession like we are experiencing now, then litigation is not as much a safe haven because people need credit to litigate. Types of litigation also matter. Some are more conducive to big law firms (the firms sustaining doc reviews), and some are not. Even those cases that are, if large firms have idle associates (which they do given the lay offs), then you need contract attorneys less. The last recession by the way was cyclical rather than structural. Right now, we are in a structural recession. The scary part is that under a structural recession some jobs may never come back because the deflation of the economy is lasting (think Japan in the 1990s).

Anonymous said...

cyclical=normal ebb and flow of the economy when demand reduces after periods of growth

structural=fundamentals of the economy are not sound. ie, frozen credit markets, impossible to address issue through interest rates because they already at zero, etc.

the later is much more dangerous and long lasting because there is no clear way of out it. this is why you read economists saying the recession could last 1 to 5 years.

Anonymous said...

7:01 - you are proving my point. We are undergoing systemic change to our profession.

We are gutting our job base in law, IT and others in favor outsourced garbage. It's a disgrace!

We invented the computer in the USA, we cannot hire our own people to program them? Preposterous.

We need to cut off outsourcing of all work at the knees. Period!

Anonymous said...

during the last recession I knew a laid off associate from a top 10-15 firm who had to take $25/hr temp work. it just so happens it was in a good growing area (not document review) and there was some hope of a full-time position in 6-12 months. when we were hiring document review attys it was like $22-$24/hr and they only cost a few more per hour than temp paralegals.

Anonymous said...

You must be at Paul Weiss. They alway paid below market.

Anonymous said...

as for whether it is unethical not to advise your client to outsource document review to India...any client with a biglaw matter that needs a big document review project has sophisticated counsel who is likely going to push in the direction of this work being performed by temps anyway. it is absurd to think that the law firm needs to educate them on this obvious issue.

honestly, at $17-$25 an hour for laid off JDs (or unemployed law grads) I have a tough time believing that it is THAT much more cost effective to send this stuff to India. yes, at $300-$400 an hour it is, but most firms haven't been using junior associates for first cut doc review in BIG cases for a long time. It's a different thing when you're talking about a few boxes of documents.

Anonymous said...

You must be at Paul Weiss. They alway paid below market.

I thought they delegated this stuff to $85K a year staff attorneys? Do they have those staff attorneys supervising teams of $20/hour temp attys?

The Paul Weiss position always seemed to be an absurdity the way they claimed they only wanted the brightest of the bright for this P.O.S. position where you can get screamed at by a bunch of arrogant S.O.B. Paul Weiss attorneys. Why not just work for the government at that salary?

Anonymous said...

The PW staff attorneys would just poop all over the temps, to salve their feelings of inadequacy after being slammed by the associates and partners. Temp para $17 per hour, temp attys $22.

But they were always the cheapest, other paid $35 or $40. They probably just outsourced it all, Citigroup is one of the biggest exporters of American jobs via outsourcing.

Anonymous said...


So, what is the point of your complex diatribe? Some of it may be true, but most of it is just anecdotal observations and pointless stereotypes.

If you look at the bios on most biglaw websites, a good 90% of people -- from grizzled old partners to young associates of either sex -- are very far from hot.

Anonymous said...

If you are an ugly Butta Bitch like that Tina whore, you can work with Alex___ he likes them skanky, EVIDENTLY

Anonymous said...

Paul Weiss was a scam. They were billing their clients at attorney rates and then turning around and paying the JD's who actually did the work out at paralegal rates.

Anonymous said...

I admit I have been out of this loop for about 5 years. Things sound a lot worse now. After not making partner at biglaw, I went into government, make about $100K, good benefits, etc. About 1/3 of what I would have been making had I been able to stay in biglaw as a super senior associate. Tough to live on in the city, but pretty safe. Luckily my wafe makes about the same, so we can sort of pay the bills. Happen to be working this weekend, but not usually. Actually, a number of temps at my old firm managed to turn that experience into long-term project staff atty positions and then got more permanent employment in government or elsewhere afterward. But that was 5+ years ago, seems like it's terrible now.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed 6:31's post. Thanks for putting on your sociologist hat.

I agree with most of what he said. Generally most men and women in doc review are below average looking.

That makes me and the poster a complete anomaly.

I dated the hottest girl in my college (a 9), and I dated the hottest girl in my law school, who happened to be a former stripper (another 9). I've been on 10 projects and the number of really good looking girls: 3. Thats 3 out of 200.

Bottom line is doc review isn't the place to date women. Guys, focus on your work and forget about the women.

Anonymous said...


"I dated the hottest girl in my college (a 9), and I dated the hottest girl in my law school, who happened to be a former stripper (another 9)."

Yes, but now you are living with a 49 year-old Lithuanian hooker named Irma, who bears a striking resemblance to her pet ferret.

Anonymous said...

Ya but she gives great head.

Anonymous said...

U.S. Legal Work Booms in India
New Outsourcing Industry Is Growing 60 Percent Annually
Aashish Sharma, left, a young Indian lawyer, called his job working remotely for U.S. law firms "a happy career move."
Aashish Sharma, left, a young Indian lawyer, called his job working remotely for U.S. law firms "a happy career move." (By Rama Lakshmi -- The Washington Post)
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By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, May 11, 2008; Page A20

GURGAON, India -- When Aashish Sharma graduated from law school two years ago, his father had visions of seeing him argue in an Indian court and eventually become an honorable judge.

Instead, Sharma, 25, now sits all day in front of a computer in a plush, air-conditioned suburban office doing litigation research and drafting legal contracts for U.S. companies and law firms. He is part of a booming new outsourcing industry in India that employs thousands of English-speaking lawyers such as him to do legal work at a small fraction of the cost of hiring American lawyers.

"It is much better than going to court in India and dealing with all kinds of rough people. Working in legal outsourcing is a happy career move for me, although my father does not fully understand what I am doing here after my education in Indian law," said Sharma, who began working in February for an outsourcing company called Quatrro. "I am getting valuable exposure to the American judicial system, corporate law and their way of working."

Legal process outsourcing is being called the next big thing in Indian business. It marks India's climb up the chain of outsourcing jobs -- from low-end, back-office service functions in call centers to high-value, skilled legal work.

In the past three years, the legal outsourcing industry here has grown about 60 percent annually. According to a report by research firm ValueNotes, the industry will employ about 24,000 people and earn revenue of $640 million by 2010.

Indian workers who once helped with legal transcription now offer services that include research, litigation support, document discovery and review, drafting of contracts and patent writing. The industry offers an attractive career path for many of the 300,000 Indians who enroll in law schools every year. India and the United States share a common-law legal system rooted in Britain's, and both conduct proceedings in English.

The explosion of opportunity here was triggered by what are known as "e-discovery laws," a set of U.S. regulations established in 2006 to govern the storage and management of electronic data for federal court actions. Overnight, the volume of information to be stored, archived, filtered and reviewed for litigation swelled. But there were not enough affordable lawyers or paralegals to do the work in the United States.

"The new e-discovery rules sent American companies scurrying all over the place. Neither the corporates nor the law firms in America are geared to do this kind of work at short notice. And that is where the Indian players come in. We can bring together a large number of skilled lawyers in no time at all and at one-fifth the cost," said Srinivas Pingali, executive vice president at Quatrro, which also offers technical support, credit card fraud management, consumer research and architectural services for American clients, among other work.

Pingali said that the economic slowdown in the United States has not hurt his company's business. In fact, legal work related to bankruptcies has increased.

Because of the sensitive nature of legal work, Indian outsourcing companies have tried to allay the concerns about confidentiality. They have installed closed-circuit televisions, network safeguards and hack-proof servers.

Many outsourcing companies in India already have those security measures in place because they have been handling the credit card and banking operations of global companies for more than a decade. Industry members say that outsourcing of legal work to India is a natural next step.

"Ninety percent of a lawyer's work is legal research and drafting, and all this can now be offshored to India," said Russell Smith, who worked in a Manhattan law firm called SmithDehn before moving to India to set up an outsourcing company in 2006. "A large portion of our fees in the U.S. is because of office rent. It is often a big decision to hire one attorney in the U.S. In India, we can hire 10 at a time and train them all at once."

Anonymous said...

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U.S. Legal Work Booms in India
Aashish Sharma, left, a young Indian lawyer, called his job working remotely for U.S. law firms "a happy career move."
Aashish Sharma, left, a young Indian lawyer, called his job working remotely for U.S. law firms "a happy career move." (By Rama Lakshmi -- The Washington Post)
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Smith's Indian company, SDD Global Solutions, handled much of the legal work for the film "Borat." Other clients include the Washington-based firm Appleton & Associates and U.S. movie studios and television networks.

"My people in India can do everything from here, except sign the opinion letter and appear in an American court," he said.

Smith's Indian office recently researched and drafted the motion papers for the dismissal of a libel case against the producers of HBO's "Da Ali G Show." Smith said that if it had not been for the cheaper option of outsourcing, the producers would have settled.

For many law graduates, the contrast between the Indian and American judicial systems comes as a surprise. India's overburdened courts, with 13 judges for every 1 million people, are characterized by backlogs and delays.

Sharma, the Quatrro employee, said he was fascinated by the speed of proceedings and judgments in the American system.

Indian employees have to undergo rigorous training in U.S. legal and judicial practices before they can take on projects. But lawyers with experience in the United States say there are challenges in training Indians.

"They write in flowery, British-style English," said Kunoor Chopra, who came to India to set up the offshore legal support firm LawScribe in 2004 after working for Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles. "It is almost like an unlearning process. They have to be retrained to write in crisp, short sentences. A licensed attorney from California comes to train all my new employees in contract writing, review and research."

Meanwhile, Sharma said he learns something new every day doing legal work for Americans.

"I have learned so many new words," he said. "I keep on standby. Recently, I had to look up the word 'esquire.' I always thought it meant a respectable gentleman. But in America, it means an attorney."

Anonymous said...

Dolan Media Company
Dolan Media Newswire Story

Subject: Commentary: Legal process outsourcing: new threat or new opportunity?
Pub: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Author: Stephen Seckler
Issue Date: 03/02/2009 Word Count: 51

Commentary: Legal process outsourcing: new threat or new opportunity?
by Stephen Seckler
Dolan Media Newswires

BOSTON, MA -- While the legal profession is in a deep recession at the moment, the good news is that it is only a matter of time before the demand for legal services regains its footing. But as the practice of law comes back to life, there is a new threat lurking around the corner: legal process outsourcing, or LPO.

Sending work to a lower-cost jurisdiction

LPO, simply put, involves sending legal work to a lower-cost jurisdiction. Right now, India seems to be the principal beneficiary of this practice, though there are LPO companies doing work in Israel, South Africa and the Philippines.

While law firms have grown accustomed to sending large document review projects to outside vendors or hiring temp agencies that can supply contract lawyers, the vendors that provide these services have mainly been here in the United States.

Using an LPO service, some very large corporations have been saving a bundle. Rather than paying associates at American law firms, the early adopters of LPO, which have included Microsoft, Dupont and General Motors, have turned to India where there is a large pool of highly educated law school graduates who have studied common law and have a strong command of the English language.

While the majority of LPO work is "low value" (e.g., large document review projects), some LPO vendors are beginning to do more "high value" work including drafting contracts and patent applications.

Law firms have been much slower to adopt the practice of outsourcing to LPO firms; but given the potential for cost savings (roughly 50 percent by some estimates), corporate counsel will eventually begin demanding it.

Beyond cost savings

Using an LPO service can reduce turnaround time. Because of the time difference, work can be done overnight in India. In addition, LPO provides a ready supply of labor for large projects. Law firms and corporate law departments can have the resources they need without having to keep large numbers of associates on the payroll.

Right now, it is estimated that LPO companies generate about $250 million annually. The number is small compared to technology outsourcing, which is already up to $40 billion. But Forrester Research, at technology and market research company, projects that the industry will generate $4 billion by 2015.

Criticism of LPO

As you might imagine, there are many critics of LPO. The concerns range from quality of work to outrage that this amounts to the unauthorized practice of law. Other criticism revolves around maintaining confidentiality and data security, having no recourse if an Indian lawyer violates an ethical rule and avoiding conflicts of interest.

Much of the criticism is unwarranted. Lawyers in the U.S. may naturally feel threatened by competition. But lawyers trained at Indian law schools are well-equipped to handle due diligence projects and document review.

With proper training, they can also handle more complex drafting projects. What is important is how well the outsourcing attorney supervises the work. Having an excellent project manager on the ground in India is also crucial.

Proper supervision is important whether the work is being done by an associate at the law firm, a contract attorney hired to work at the firm, a lawyer or paralegal working for an outside vendor in some other U.S. city or a team working in India.

As for data security, the technology sector has already established good protocols for preventing sensitive data from walking out the door in India.

In addition, last summer the American Bar Association issued an ethics opinion condoning the practice:

"U.S. lawyers are free to outsource legal work, including to lawyers or nonlawyers outside the country, if they adhere to ethics rules requiring competence, supervision, protection of confidential information, reasonable fees and not assisting unauthorized practice of law."

Career implications of LPO

Law is an inherently conservative business, and, so far, LPO is being used in large measure by corporations. LPO still only represents a small fraction of the legal work done in the United States. But over time law firms will be encouraged by their corporate clients to adopt LPO.

While the current economic crisis may accelerate the adoption of LPO, we are a long way off from sending all our legal jobs overseas. In fact, much legal work will never be off-shored because it is not efficient to do so in many instances.

LPO works best when the work itself involves some element of repetition. If that is missing, then all the efficiencies of outsourcing are lost by the added costs of supervision and training.

At the same time, law firms will find it increasingly difficult to deploy a high-priced army of associates to do work that can be done much more cost-effectively overseas.

For law firm partners, there are some real opportunities to benefit from LPO. LPO provides smaller law firms, in particular, with access to a large talent pool. By using LPO for certain projects, smaller firms can quickly staff up for larger matters without having to increase head count. Law firms of all sizes will still need associates. But associates will be spending more of their time on higher value work.

There will be a lot of resistance to LPO in the legal community. No profession sits back quietly when an outside threat emerges. But economic forces are going to push this practice forward.

In conclusion, lawyers at all levels of practice should take note of this trend and look for ways to provide valuable services to clients.

Continue to develop your legal skills at all phases of your career and do not expect that today's cash cow will be alive tomorrow. Be nimble and understand how you can better serve your own clients by outsourcing some of your work, and you will have happy clients and, most importantly, a career of your own.

Stephen Seckler is managing director of the Boston office of BCG Attorney Search. He can be contacted at

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Anonymous said...

North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology
Search this site:

It’s the Economy, Stupid...or is it? Legal Process Outsourcing’s Role in the Legal Layoff-palooza
Wednesday, March 4th 2009 by Tod Leaven

Open the newspaper, go to an online periodical, or surf the blogosphere and you will see dominance by one legal issue that every lawyer and law student is concerned with: unemployment. The ABA’s recent figures on attorney job attrition are quite alarming; the Legal Services Industry Lost 7,000 Jobs Last Year, 1,487 legal layoffs in January, and another 2,000 attorneys and legal staff laid off in February.

Why this tsunami of legal layoffs? Large firms claim declining demand for legal services, decreased fees for the work that's left, and that cutting back on “copies, car services, and partner retreats is not an option. What many firms are not admitting to is their growing dependence upon cheap-as-all-hell outsourcing to India. This massive trend in outsourcing is not just limited to major law firms; Corporate in-house counsel has embraced this trend as well. Some of these companies include General Electric, American Express, Microsoft, and Motorola. It is not just paralegal and research that is being outsourced either, 48 of the 111 confirmed legal outsourcing companies specialize in intellectual property and patent law.

The difference in costs in choosing professionals in India over their US attorney counterparts to perform the same exact task (such as patent drafting and prior art research) is as dramatic as $6,000 annually versus $130,000 - $160,000 annually. The Indian government, seizing upon the attractiveness that legal process outsourcing has in the US, has recently finalized the rules under India’s new LLP Act which allows foreign law firms to establish a place of business in India.

So the next time the economy becomes the general scapegoat in mass legal firings, remember that the law firms themselves are to blame in part.

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Anonymous said...

From the blog "Legal Process Outsourcing".

skip to main | skip to sidebar
Legal Process Outsourcing

Legal Process Outsourcing is slated to be the next mover and shaker. Since 2005, this blog has been tracking the activity in the space now variously being called LPO, Legal Process Outsourcing, Legal Process Offshoring, Legal Services Offshoring. Watch this blog for company press releases, news from the ground and commentary on developments.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Legal Outsourcing Team Drafts Major Brief in U.S. Litigation

You may recall from last year how a motion to dismiss, drafted entirely in India by SDD Global Solutions and Acumen Legal Services, resulted in a quick withdrawal of the anti-legal-outsourcing lawsuit, Newman McIntosh & Hennessey v. Bush, in Washington D.C. Federal Court.

Well, it looks like Team India is doing it again. Indian lawyers at SDD Global drafted, and are credited by name in, the summary judgment brief for dismissal of Doe v. HBO, a high-profile libel litigation in Los Angeles. For a copy of this excellent, page-turner of a brief, click here. The lawsuit was filed against Sacha Baron Cohen(of Borat fame), the Channel Four Television network, and HBO’s “Da Ali G Show.” In the case, a woman who once knew comedian Sacha Baron Cohen claims that Cohen, while playing the role of the television character, “Ali G,” libeled her by name during a spoof interview with historian Gore Vidal. Suing under the legal pseudonym, “Jane Doe,” the plaintiff claims that Cohen, as “Ali G,” falsely claimed to have had sexual relations with her. In the brief drafted entirely in India, the defense argues as follows:

"No reasonable person could have believed the statements, given that they were made by what the plaintiff now admits is a 'fictional character,' in the context of a series of absurd and unbelievable jokes, in what she admits is a 'comedy,' where the actor never steps out of his fictional role. This is confirmed by the fact that the plaintiff has no evidence that anyone believed any of the statements, much less the statement at the core of this lawsuit, namely, that the plaintiff had sex with a fictional character. As a matter of California and U.S. constitutional law, such statements are not actionable."

The case is historic, and not only because it is one of the first “libel-in-fiction” cases in the television context. The case is important also because it is the first high-profile, U.S. media litigation in which the legal research and first drafts of the motion papers for the defense were completed entirely off-shore, by Indian attorneys at a legal outsourcing company. The lead counsel for the defense, New York-based SmithDehn LLP, supervised the work and appeared in court on behalf of the moving party, Channel Four Television Corporation (which, incidentally, developed and produced Slumdog Millionaire). Also present in the courtroom was Padma Shanthamurthy, SDD Global team leader, who traveled from her home in Mysore, India to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to assist with oral arguments and depositions in the case.

One of SmithDehn’s founders, veteran media lawyer and Harvard Law School graduate Frank Dehn, told this blog that “without legal outsourcing, mounting a defense against this baseless lawsuit would not have made economic sense. As so often happens, the defendants simply would have paid the plaintiff to go away. This would have been just to avoid U.S. legal fees, even though the case has no merit. But with a team of excellent, U.S. law-trained, Indian attorneys doing most of the work, it was less expensive for our client to fight the suit, than it would have been to settle.”

Sanjay Bhatia, SDD Global’s Head of Operations, emphasized that “this is a case where outsourcing created more work in the U.S., rather than less. Because our team made the defense affordable, U.S. lawyers were able to do the things in the U.S. that they do best there, such as strategizing, supervising, editing, and appearing in court. The implications of this case are huge. With legal outsourcing, baseless lawsuits can be defeated on the merits, instead of settled simply out of fear of legal fees.”

Kudos to the "Ali G" team in India, a decision on the "Ali G" motion is expected in late April. Stay tuned!
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Anonymous said...

ndia Work Grows, With Glitches

Law firms and companies are outsourcing legal work to India, but not without some lingering concerns

Julie Kay
The National Law Journal
December 09, 2008

Just a few years ago, outsourcing legal work to India was a dirty little secret -- law firms did it, but few admitted to it.

Those days are long gone.

As outsourcing becomes more commonplace and corporate counsel and law firms are under increasing pressure to reduce costs for clients, law firms such as Baker & McKenzie; Greenberg Traurig; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; and Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler are actually touting at conferences the benefits of outsourcing.

But despite projections that outsourcing legal work to India will be a $4 billion industry by 2015, the work is still controversial, and law firms and companies are still wrestling with such concerns as how to maintain quality control, keep client information confidential, supervise lawyers oceans away and weather new difficulties presented by recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

"I've been in on two conference calls and at a conference where our firm discussed the pros and cons of outsourcing to India," said Adolfo Jimenez, a partner in Holland & Knight's Miami office. "We have concerns about quality control, protecting attorney-client privilege and taking responsibility for any mistakes made. A big unknown is how accepting clients would be."


George Kimball, a San Diego partner in the information technology practice of Baker & McKenzie, summarized law firm worries at a recent Florida Bar conference in Orlando on outsourcing: "Managing outsourcing in India is as tough as being a short-order cook," he said.

"If you tell a client, we saved a lot of money on document review but we got indicted -- well, that's not a good outcome," Kimball said. "And the last thing you want to see is your clients' secrets plastered all over the front page of the Times of India."

And the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, where many of the "LPOs" -- legal process outsourcers -- are based, are adding one more concern to the list.

"Terrorism can happen anywhere," said Jeffrey Bailey, associate general counsel for Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., which is considering outsourcing legal work to India. "But it is a concern. It would be one of those additional factors to take into consideration -- not only whether our information is secure but whether there could be disruption to our service."

Apparently no LPOs were affected by the attacks, although there were a number of close calls.

Abhi Shah, the chief executive officer of Washington-based Clutch Group LLC, one of the largest LPOs in the country, was in Mumbai and at the Taj Mahal hotel just two hours before the incident, said company president Paul Mandall. Clutch Group's Indian office is in Bangalore.

In another close call, a conference on legal outsourcing to India was held at the Oberoi Hotel -- one of the hotels hit by terrorists -- on Nov. 17, just a week before the attacks. The co-chief executive officer of Pangea3 LLC, a New York-based LPO with two offices in Mumbai, spoke at that conference. "Our clients have been great," said Kevin Colangelo, vice president of legal services for Pangea3. "We have not had any interruption of data or operations. We had a couple difficulties getting through on cellphones, but that's it."

The general consensus is that law firms and corporate counsel began outsourcing lower-level legal work to India -- and a small number to the Philippines -- about five years ago. That work includes "back-office work": document processing and other work traditionally done by paralegals and new associates.

In the past couple of years, the market has grown, fueled by corporate budget pressures, favorable bar opinions and an explosion of LPOs around the country, which now total about 80. And the work they are doing is becoming more wide-ranging, including intellectual property, legal research, contract and conflict review and litigation support.

Forrester Research projects that legal outsourcing to India will reach $4 billion by 2015. Some experts, however, find that number too low and others too high. Regardless, other numbers don't lie -- there are an estimated 800,000 lawyers in India and nowhere near that many jobs. Attorneys there charge, on average, $35 an hour, or no more than half of what an upper paralegal or lower-level associate bills, and up to three times less than an upper-level associate's time.

Among the companies that are outsourcing, according to a variety of published sources and statements from those companies, are Morgan Stanley, American Express Co., Dell Inc., E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., General Electric Co., Motorola Inc. and General Mills. Law firms utilizing LPOs include Baker & McKenzie -- which opened a document review center in Manila, Philippines -- Allen & Overy of London, Clifford Chance and Milbank Tweed of New York.

The latest to put a toe into the market is Greenberg Traurig, which recently started outsourcing a limited amount of IP work from its Los Angeles office as part of a pilot project.

"In a continuing effort to deliver the highest-quality legal services as cost-effectively as possible, we have done some pilot projects using offshore resources working under our direct supervision and in each case, have done so at a client's request or with a client's express consent," said Alan Sutin, the chairman of Greenberg Traurig's global intellectual property and technology practice group, in a statement.

Outsourcing got a further boost from recent favorable bar ethics opinions, from the San Diego Bar Association in 2007, the Florida Bar in January 2008, the North Carolina State Bar in April 2008 and the American Bar Association in August 2008. All stated that outsourcing is allowed, provided certain requirements are met, including that the client is notified and the foreign lawyers are supervised by U.S. lawyers.

But many still have deep concerns about outsourcing to India. Their concerns center on the confidentiality of client data in such a remote facility, the quality of the work being done and the ability to adequately supervise large groups of Indian lawyers.

Bailey of Fresh Del Monte said he is trying to talk company executives into outsourcing some legal work to India. His company has been mired in litigation recently, leading to "outrageous legal bills for reviewing subpoenas and other work," he said.

Bailey said he believes his company -- and others -- would not be as apt to settle large cases if it had the ability to pay for review of thousands of electronic documents. With an LPO in India, that might be financially feasible, but it's not now.

"In the last month and a half, there has been a tremendous push to cut costs," he said. "I'm pushing my outside counsel to cut their costs. I'm a big proponent of LPOs. But senior executives are not very comfortable using LPOs. There are so many ethical issues -- how do you control the work product, how do you control the confidentiality."

Bailey dubbed LPOs the "put-a-paralegal-out-of-work" program.

Washington-based Howrey has similar concerns. That's why the firm said last year it would open its own office in India to do trademark searches and registrations throughout the world. The firm hopes to open that office, staffed with Indian non-lawyers, in the first quarter of 2009.

With $600 million a year in litigation, Howrey had been approached by "a ton" of LPOs, but decided it had to open its own office to maintain quality control.

"We're hearing from our clients that, 'We don't know what we're getting' with an LPO," said Robert Ruyak, managing partner and chief executive officer of Howrey. "They don't have the same accountability and flexibility. Too many mistakes and errors can occur. We can't train these people or supervise them. So we'd rather hire our own people and put them through a rigorous training process ... and, if they don't do well, we'd terminate them."

But outsourcing fears could be somewhat alleviated, as at least two companies are planning certification and training programs for LPOs to provide some quality assurance to U.S. firms and companies.

William Byrnes, assistant dean at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and an expert on outsourcing to India, said he is in discussion with the American Academy of Financial Management to develop an LPO certification program. The AAFM already has a program in place for financial companies outsourcing to India.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the steaming pile of LPO poop. If they're doing so great, why do I only see the same couple case examples over and over again?

Bring us a more detailed list of firms, companies and clients. Otherwise, it's more LPO huckterism. Seriously, these guys are sleaziest used car salesman on the planet.

I mean "LPO Certification"? What good is JD, Bar Exam or LLM then?

I think we just need to bite the bullet and sue the ABA for monopolistic practices and the abolition of law school as a requirement to practice.

Then the bottom feeding can continue in lawsuits against the TTT law schools for their obviously fabricated employment and other stats.

That's how bubbles get popped, with lawsuits and public awareness.

Why bother to take ANY state bar when they can the same work in a foreign land with no American Legal Training?

Time to mobilize, take action!

Anonymous said...


Interesting theory- you've definitely put a lot of thought into this. Question is- are you a permanent wage slave or not?

Anonymous said...

Patent outsorcing is dead or dying. EAR is being enforced and needs to be complied with.

The whole LPO thing is kind of a scam. The idea of having non-lawyers perform the work under supervision of lawyers isn't new. There are quite a few cases where someone hires a bunch of paralegals to do the actual work and then has an attorney sign off on it. It doesn't work.

The same thing will happen with the LPO work. One attorney managing 30+ non-attorneys in Mumbai isn't going to work.

Scams like Non-attorneys performing legal work (mills that provide the forms for divorces, etc.) generally increases during a recession. It's a scam. Something gets screwed up and someone gets busted.

The same thing will happen with the LPO nonsense, but it may take some time.

Also, based on the cancellation of the foreign language reviews (even though the agencies keep advertising them), I suspect that a large part of the lack of work is due to the economy. I mean trying to find a job as a comuter programmer in this market wouldn't be easy.

One other thing to consider, the Obama administration is anti-outsorcing, and the legal profession has a reputation of preventing non-attorney from practicing law. Now is not a good time to be in the LPO buisness.

Anonymous said...

Reality check on why I don't think LPO is the reason from the other posters own data:

“Forrester Research projects that legal outsourcing to India will reach $4 billion by 2015. Some experts, however, find that number too low and others too high. Regardless, other numbers don't lie -- there are an estimated 800,000 lawyers in India and nowhere near that many jobs. Attorneys there charge, on average, $35 an hour, or no more than half of what an upper paralegal or lower-level associate bills, and up to three times less than an upper-level associate's time.”

Key date: 2015. We are in 2009. That’s 6 years.

What other key take away- 4 billion is assuming best-case scenario for LPOs (which the article admits is rather rosy) in 2015.

I didn't even bother to figure out what the numbers add up to, but here's what the breakdown is for law firms gross earnings for 2008 (only including top 19):

Clifford Chance International (U.K.)
Linklaters International (U.K.)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer International (U.K.)
Baker & McKenzie1 International (U.S.)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom National (U.S.)
Allen & Overy International (U.K.)
Latham & Watkins National (U.S.)
Jones Day National (U.S.)
Sidley Austin National (U.S.)
White & Case International (U.S.)
Kirkland & Ellis National (U.S.)
Greenberg Traurig National (U.S.)
Mayer Brown National (U.S.)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges New York
DLA Piper US2 National (U.S.)
DLA Piper International2 International (U.K.)
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius National (U.S.)
Sullivan & Cromwell New York
McDermott Will & Emery National (U.S.)

Anonymous said...


That's 20 bil with only the top 20 firms, an excluding the so-called non- US firms. That's also including the numbers from 2008 rather than projections going into 2015. We would need to know the market for the entire legal industry i n the U.S. to begin to understand what the 4 bil, if anything, means. But, right here, right now, I am going to say as a percentage of revenue it's probably pretty small. I would also need to know what percentage of revenue is generated by doc reviews in the US that's include in the gross revenues for firms.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Actual India is much smaller in geographic size, wealth and every of other postive, possible way except for population.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, back east...

The View From Your Recession

A reader writes:
I'm an American in my early 20s, the ink on my Ivy League diploma not yet dry, plunging into my first job.

I'm writing to say that I am doing just fine in the recession. My company is hiring, the economy is still growing at an impressive clip, and the hope and optimism that tomorrow will be even better than today is palpable.
I can say this because I didn't follow my fellow college grads to Wall Street in search of money that was so abundant and so certain that it seemed too good to be true (as it turned out to be). While my friends went to Manhattan; I went to Mumbai, opting for a management trainee program at an Indian conglomerate that is looking for Americans to bring fresh ideas into the company.
I would be lying if I said every day weren't a challenge in matters corporate, cultural, and even culinary. India is a sea of cultures wildly different from my own, and it is still a developing country that is rife with mind-numbing "Slumdog"-style poverty. Communal and class tensions simmer and occasionally boil over, exploited by greedy politicians for their own short-term gain. And I am getting paid Indian wages; while I live very comfortably here, the US government considers me to be living below the poverty line (which, as it turns out, doesn't stop my beloved alma mater from asking for money!)
And yet, in spite of all of this (perhaps because of it in some ways), my experience has been unrivaled. It is as exhilarating as it is enlightening to be here. Working in India, I stand on the frontier of the flat world, the Wild West in the East, watching what will soon surpass China to be the world's most populous nation drag itself, kicking and screaming, into modernity and prosperity, and the broad, sunlit uplands of its destiny as a superpower and a pillar of the Free World.
Judging by the flood of applications our company received from the Class of 2009 (a four-fold increase in applications over the previous year), it looks like the recession is compelling other students to look beyond their own country (and comfort zone) for career opportunities.
America may lose some of its best talent now, but in the long-term I know I will return to my home country, and I think America may gain from the small, but growing number of American's best and brightest who are learning first-hand the often-innovative business practices from other countries (you wouldn't believe how much more Indians have learned to do with less!), becoming more familiar with cultures of the world, and increasing the exposure of the world's people to real live Americans, who (much to their delight) are not like George W. Bush.

Anonymous said...

After even a brief read through of this blog, why would any corporation want US temp attorneys? Why deal with the hate when we can get grateful foreigners? So what if they aren't perfect? Makes any potential liability totally worth it.

The hate and name slandering does nothing to make employing US tempers at all attractive.

Anonymous said...


I am against the racists here too as well as the LPO obsession, but come on? Corporate America, including Big law firms,a re no different than you see here.

Anonymous said...

From Outsourcing Magazine Issue 344, March 10, 2009:

Babu Patel's father always wanted him to be a lawyer in the wonderful, world-renowned Indian legal system where hundreds of thousands of young Indian national apply to the many high- quality law schools, including the University of Calcutta School of Law, where one may be granted a certificate in slum law, which teaches young lawyers to avoid the doo doo piled up in the streets while looking for beggars to hire as their next clients. Applications to the school were up 70% this year.

Babu Patel has been employed by Pangmentalistic 4456 LPO services international's sprawling office in Mumbai for three months now and loves his job.

The young budding company just decided to protect the coders by lining their cubicles with bullet proof glass in the event of a terrorist attack.

Competition for jobs at Pang 4456 is fierce. One needs to be dark brown and hold a law degree from an Indian law school.

Mr. Patel has been quoted about the firm, "I love our boss Mr. David's curry, its very spicy and the work is so interesting, I can really catch a glimpse into the fantastic world of American corporate law.

Mr. Patel added: "just last week Mr. David made us code 500 documents an hour for a major law firm in New York City called the Law Offices of Bob Rosenberg. We were told that Mr. Rosenberg's firm employs 10 people! Can you imagine that, 10 people. I can't believe how big a firm I'm working for. We also finished a project last week for ACME corporation, it was an interesting litigation involving a severely injured road-runner. There were thousands of documents for us to go through.
We examined several TNT invoices.

The future is truly looking bright for Mr. Patel, who hopes to purchase a tin shack in Calcutta but the year 2020.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a few cute women on the document review jobs. However, the last thing they would be interested in is dating a man who does document review. Women generally look to improve their lot in life.

The ones who won't date their fellow coders are gold diggers. The one who would are stupid.

Anonymous said...

12:08 no you are wrong, it does not mean crap if you have a license in India, you are NOT a lawyer in the U.S. and that IS the law in the U.S. if you were a actual U.S. lawyer you would know that. Your "period" and got it comments don't mean anything in the U.S. you are a tourist waiting to get deported for visa violations.
As for hot women on doc reviews, there are many of them, and a lot of them are really nice. A lot of people have met on doc review, if you don't act like a jerk you may do ok.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ugly guys on doc reviews. A lot. Fat and ugly.

Anonymous said...

12;08 India is growing to be sure, but its economy in terms of GNI is ranked 160, behind Darfur. India has many decades of sustained growth to go before cracking 2nd world status let alone first world status.
Maybe they will make it, but that is not yet written, and there is a BIG difference between having achieve something and having the possible ability to achieve something somewhere way down the road. At this point though India is still a crap dump.

Anonymous said...

1:31 that maybe so, but honestly, it only takes one, unless of course you are a swinger and thats a while other story....

Anonymous said...

I won't be eating lunch today after imagining a fat swinging temp. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:42PM - you said there are many things you can do with a JD and bar admission besides review docs - I would like you to provide some examples of jobs that pay at least $30 hour and give a regular weekly paycheck. Is doc review a perfect long-term solution? Hell no. That's why no one wants to do it as a career but for the time being they don't have alternatives. I'll be waiting for your examples, especially in this current labor market of vast oversupply of talent.

Anonymous said...

How about starting a law firm that does nothing but doc review?

Anonymous said...

Workin' wit Da slumdogz
Boy it feels good
Workin' wit Da slumdogz
Don't ya wish ya could

Anyone that takes an Ivy League degree and moves to India is crippling their career.

Good luck in that filthy, foul smelling third world dump.

You would be wise to go to more up and coming, robust countries, like China. India is a fad and will quickly fade as more and more Americans demand their jobs back from these slumdogs.

The whole outsourcing trend is a sham, a farce and a debacle. Anybody with a shred of intellect and common sense knows this. The only reason to outsource is greed, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

10:13: there are firms that only do discovery. They probably make a lot of money.

Its a good idea since 99% of litigation is discovery work.

Anonymous said...


You are right. Amongst imperfect options, your best choice is to choose the one that leaves you the least stable in the long run because it temporarily pays you 30/hour.

Your question places restrictions that suits the game that temps play with themsleves. I used to play it on myself.

If your point is that you don't want to have to make a decision between the 30 dollars an hour, and finding a way out of the trap you are presently in, that's well understood. Here's a better question: If you are on a doc review, where, look around, is this where you want to be in 5 years? How many years have you not changed this already?

I am not questioning the money in the short term that doc reviews pay. I am questioning whether the illusion of short term gain is worth the long term career lose. Only you can answer that. Not me.

Anonymous said...

used is "usually played"

Anonymous said...

why is that if you are an american without a u.s. law license you can get prosecuted for unauthorized practice or law but it is all fine and good for an indian without a u.s. law license and for u.s. lawyers to aid and abet this? i don't care about them having indian law degrees, i can start an unaccredited law school in my basement and hand out degrees, would that be ok? reviewing documents is one thing, but the other stuff?

as for $4 billion...remember, at U.S. wages (even temps at $35 an hour) that would be $20-$40 billion here.

Anonymous said...

It's a game that's rigged in favor of the fatcats in biglaw and F250 corporations and against the little guy.

The ABA has so much money sticking out its ass it just rubber stamps everything the big boyz want.

Anonymous said...


You've hit the nail on the head, and that's why this outsorcing crap won't last.

Someone will get in trouble for it sooner or later, and you'll see it grind to a halt.

Plus, I don't think it's taking that many jobs away from NYC attorneys. I think the economy is a greater factor in all this.

Anonymous said...

Wow - all the shit that you guys on here THINK you know could fit on the head of a pin. It's amazing how unintelligent 99.9% of lawyers seem to be.

P.S. Flame know it's true!

Anonymous said...

1:31- Don't forget old. Yech- I can't stand sitting next to some bitter old dude harping about his fifth or sixth divorce (support payments being the reason for the doc review stint)

Anonymous said...

hey 11:50AM - this is 10:05AM responding to your response about the viability of a doc review career - do I or anyone I know want to be doing doc review 5 years from now? absolutely not, so you are correct there

I and everybody I know constantly applies for permanent gigs - in my three years of this I've never met a single person who says "I really like this and want to do it forever, so screw looking for a real job" - you never heard this even in the good ole days of 2006-2007 - but when you factor in the difficulty of getting a decent permanent job and the fact that a JD makes you virtually unemployable in non-legal fields (unless you have experience prior to law school) - it's not hard to see why people get "stuck" in doc review

Craig E. Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Interest in Legal Process Outsourcing Growing
by Ann All, IT Business Edge
Jan 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM

Ann All spoke with Daniel Reed, the CEO of UnitedLex, a provider of legal consulting, technology and outsourcing. UnitedLex specializes in the fields of litigation, contracts and sourcing, intellectual property, immigration and law firm support. The company has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.

All: Can you give me some idea of the growth that legal process outsourcing (LPO) has experienced in the past year or two?
Reed: One of the biggest changes we've seen is procurement becoming involved in decisions on legal issues. There's a greater prevalence of RFPs for legal-related functions. Even in areas like litigation and e-discovery, which have become commoditized to a certain degree, now you see RFPs with sections that specifically mention outsourcing and offshoring. To me, that's a clear indication that cost challenges are leading to a sharp examination of costs for legal services.

Legal has always avoided it in the past because it has hidden behind a veil of secrecy. But when people get in there and see what is being done, only a small percentage is stuff I would consider sensitive in any way. Most of it is simple business processes. Lawyers tend to be extremely conservative and not very technology savvy. And they are very risk averse. The only thing that will motivate them is an environment that won't tolerate the high costs anymore. So I think the financial environment is critical. I think you're going to see a big assault on the billable hour. It's going to come under pressure. I am seeing instances where firms are getting away from billable hours and giving absolute dollar assignments to different assignments, with caps. That converts the law firm into a traditional business. Up until now, inefficiency has been part of their model. Now they have to look at solutions that are going to drive a lower price.

All: So cost is the biggest driver. Are there others? I read recently that some of the fallout around the credit crisis would probably increase interest in LPO.
Reed: I think the governance and compliance issues, which are just buzz words for risk, are going to help drive this. The cost of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulation is enormous. And I think the fallout going on with TARP (The U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program) and how the government will deal with bailouts is going to create a significant amount of paperwork. Naturally, much of that will gravitate toward a low-cost way of doing it, and I think offshore is right for that if it's very administrative or low end. That may not go to legal outsourcers but to true BPO providers.

All: Which types of legal services are typically offered by LPO providers?
Reed: LPO really means checklist-based source reviews. You search through documents looking for certain terms. Over time, software will be able to eliminate much of that kind of work. The two areas where you see the greatest amount of LPO activity are in litigation, where you review tons of documents looking for a smoking gun or certain key terms, and contracting, where you review documents, put them into an Excel spreadsheet and upload them into a database, maybe compare them to see where vendors' terms vary from those used by companies. That's really glorified BPO, and that's what the majority of LPOs do today. The difference with us is, we examine how a company can improve its contracting processes and its workflows. We argue for a much more solutions-oriented approach. The way our methodology works, we look at what we can do to improve the process, what technology can be brought in to automate processes, and then what we can do to centralize.

All: Are companies becoming more comfortable with having this kind of work done offshore?
Reed: We have low-cost facilities in the U.S., in Gainesville, Florida, and Atlantic City, as well as offices in India and the UK. I'm a believer that the vast majority of legal does not, and should not, go offshore. People think about offshoring like it's a panacea, but the reality is that very few legal functions can be done economically offshore. You may think you're saving money, but in the long run it becomes less efficient to do it offshore. We've looked at the areas we think are right for offshore, but we advocate doing other functions onshore.

All: Which functions are appropriate for offshore delivery? Does it generally make sense to do the more complex functions onshore and send more basic functions offshore?
Reed: I think that's a good rule of thumb. A second rule involves the amount of interaction required. It may be critical that you have somebody that can speak to a client at 2 pm EST. Our company is about 80 percent lawyers and 20 percent engineers. Lawyers typically won't work a night shift in India. So if having three hours of voice access to legal resources is sufficient, offshore can work. That's one big difference between KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) and BPO.

All: Is India the primary provider of offshore LPO services?
Reed: Yes, and there are two reasons why India is sort of the mothership of LPO. The English language skills are more advanced than in many other places. But also, India's legal system is more advanced than many other countries. Its law schools use Western case law theory as a fundamental part of their curriculums. And the legal system itself is more Westernized than in many other countries. Israel is another country that is very relevant in LPO. Israel has a surprising number of resources that fit into this mold. But I think India is the most logical country for LPO. People are always looking for the "next India." But the next India may be India itself. There are so many untapped regions within India that haven't come online yet.

All: Which types of companies appear most inclined to use LPO services?
Reed: The companies requesting information are surprising. Some of them are big Midwestern manufacturing companies, high-tech companies like telecoms. I don't think it's industry-specific or even specific to the size of a company. In the litigation context, a company of almost any size can benefit. In the intellectual property and immigration areas, I think companies need to be at least $5 billion or bigger to benefit. If you're a company that has a large number of a certain type of transaction, you're going to be more right for this kind of a service than a company that doesn't have a lot of these kinds of transactions.

All: What challenges need to be addressed for further growth of LPO to occur?
Reed: The momentum now is hitting a high point. I think the biggest challenge for (UnitedLex) now is concern that firms that are less well-capitalized and don't really have a thoughtful model will do poor quality work and taint the reputations of other firms. Some outsourcers, especially Indian-based outsourcers, have a mentality that they can do anything. You can't think of a kind of work that they don't think they can do. A naïve buyer may give them a try, and suffer from the poor quality.

All: What about security? Are companies concerned about possible compromises of sensitive data?
Reed: I don't think that's an issue at all. Nowadays, you can't think in terms of geographic borders because everything's electronic. Our security is radically superior to what a traditional law firm's would be, in terms of encryption and other measures that are taken. And the level of information generally is not that mission-critical. By definition, we're doing low- to mid-level complexity kind of work.

All: What should companies consider as they undertake an LPO initiative?
Reed: You have to ask yourself if your company is really right for outsourcing. If you don't have the volume or velocity or scale, then why waste your time? That's the first question you have to ask. What functions are you considering outsourcing? What costs are you paying? If you can lower your costs by $50,000, is it worth the effort of doing it? If you can't answer these kinds of basic outsourcing questions, then you shouldn't go down this path.

The second thing is to make sure you work with a vendor that can answer the question of where is the best location for certain types of functions. Don't try to put a square into a circle hole. You want a vendor with the ability to look at a situation holistically and say, "This function belongs offshore. Or it should be split between onshore and offshore." Does a supplier have the right kind of resources and thought processes to be able to think through these kinds of questions? Do they have a seasoned team run by legal professionals, or a team run by former consultants or former outsourcing people, or accountants? With LPO, I think it makes more sense to work with a specialist. Domain in this area matters a lot.

Anonymous said...

In all of these long winded LPO huckster spam posts it's all about predictions, future earnings.

They must post about an existing client, go line by line, how it all worked.

In other words, an actual case study from a major law firm and/or corporation using these cut rate services.

All we get are reams of speculation, piles of hopeful earnings, low grade huckserism.

We need facts, clients and concrete examples. We don't need the piles of bullshit gibberish cut and pasted from your low grade web sites.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever banged one of these Indian broads? Some of them look very exotic. The have to be very submissive in bed.

Anonymous said...


I made the same point last night. Only to be ignored so clearly the poster thinks by dumping these posts we are too dumb to realize the lenghty post are not telling us anything useful.

Anonymous said...

You fools can delude yourselves that the off shore outsourcing is not having a rather large effect. You can kid yourselves into thinking it just the current state of the economy. Its not the economy stupids!

Its the make work, monkey work, billing scam oriented, classist, racist, elitist, assholish, caste system, devilish bullshit racket of a so-called "profession" from top to bottom stupids!

Oh, and by the way, most folks who formerly got to work in the once profitable and now relatively non-existant document review game were NOT attractive. Male or female. That's why they were doc review and not working in biglaw as associates or staff attorneys.

Anonymous said...

LAGOS (Reuters) – A Nigerian undergraduate has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for obtaining $47,000 (33,382 pounds) from an Australian woman by convincing her over the Internet that he was 57 years old, white, and madly in love with her.

Lawal Adekunle Nurudeen met his victim on the Internet in 2007 and convinced her that he was a British widower called Benson Lawson. He said he was an engineer working in Lagos whose wife and only child had been killed in a car accident.

"The victim, a 56-year-old woman from Australia, told the convict that she wanted a husband and all the men she had met always disappointed her," said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria's anti-corruption police.

"The convict, who is married with three children, instantly replied and told the victim she had met her Mr Right ... He sent the picture of a white man to foreclose any suspicions."

The woman sent Nurudeen money for medical treatment and travel costs to visit Australia. He spent the funds on two plots of land and a Honda Prelude car.

Nigerian confidence tricksters have a long history of extorting money via the Internet through "419" scams, named after the clause that outlaws them in Nigeria's penal code. Many are never caught.

The EFCC said Nurudeen was ordered to pay around $10,000 immediately and a further $250 a month to his victim until the full amount stolen was returned. She would also receive the proceeds of the sale of his land and car.

Anonymous said...

And the Nigerians are all the ones who are protecting themselves and are mooching it up on the Sullivan and Cromwell gig. The same law firm that is defending AIG!!!

Anonymous said...

Ya and BigLaw is just filled with hot chicks. Give me a fucking break, its a profession filled with below- average looking people, no matter where they work.

Take a look at the bios of every woman in a typical BigLaw firm, then go to the fashion district and compare....idiot.

Anonymous said...


"the lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Anonymous said...

3:17 there is one exception. Some of the foreign language contract attorneys love doing doc review only because:

1. they like reading foreign languages.
2. they are treated like human beings (unlike English doc reviewers)
3. They all make 6 figures
4. the work isn't painfully mundane (like English doc review) because its a challenge to read and understand the documents in a foreign language.

Anonymous said...

"Ya and BigLaw is just filled with hot chicks. Give me a fucking break, its a profession filled with below- average looking people, no matter where they work.

Take a look at the bios of every woman in a typical BigLaw firm, then go to the fashion district and compare....idiot."
Wrong fool. Go and see the young associates that predominate in biglaw. Many are flat out gorgeous. The mediocre ones are still way hotter that what you find in shitlaw or doc review. The only unattractive ones in biglaw are absolutely brilliant or have big time connections. Especially with the women. Appearence matters significantly in lawland. Just the way it is idiot but you can continue to delude yourself too like the other fools who keep saying "its the economy".

No fools, its your TT JD's, not so attractive appearence, social geek or retardism, TT family background, wrong race, wrong complexion and often the wrong type of surname. It was also your LSAT scores fools!

Anonymous said...

4:20 - just show us something concrete instead of your customary dung piles.

It's all hype, lies and bs coming from the LPO sleazebags. Never any specifics, they're no better than cheeseballs in a boiler room selling penny stocks in a pump and dump scheme.

Anonymous said...

4:23 & 4:24 You all need to back off. Nigerians have got nothing to do with what is happening in the doc review world right now. You all are a bunch of racists, jumping from Indians to Nigerians to how exotic people look. You go on to say most doc reviewers are not good looking, so now I'm assuming that includes you all that are making these crazy comments.

Anonymous said...

4:34 Wrong fool. Go and see the young associates that predominate in biglaw. Many are flat out gorgeous. The mediocre ones are still way hotter that what you find in shitlaw or doc review. The only unattractive ones in biglaw are absolutely brilliant or have big time connections. Especially with the women. Appearence matters significantly in lawland. Just the way it is idiot but you can continue to delude yourself too like the other fools who keep saying "its the economy".

No fools, its your TT JD's, not so attractive appearence, social geek or retardism, TT family background, wrong race, wrong complexion and often the wrong type of surname. It was also your LSAT scores fools!
4.34 You statement initially came out sounding really smart and intelligent and the next thing I read was just downright insulting and derogatory to all doc reviewers. We all know appearances matter everywhere, not just in the legal field; but there are beautiful, cute people everywhere whether in big law, doc review or small law. Forget the LSAT results and that nonsence you are saying about people's last name and family. You all need to GROW UP! and start using this blog for something meaningful, respectful and worthwhile that does not perpetuate hatred, racism and immaturity in any way. We are lawyers for crying out loud!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are not really lawyers for crying out loud except amongst your pathetic selves maybe. As I predicted, your efforts to make any sort of collective impact on your condition as "lawyers" has been a total failure and always will be. Don't pat yourselves on your shoulders so fast yet because your TTT-JD certificate (or in some cases T-10 certificate) is worthless to society, unless you produce something significant as a result of it. The efforts to mobilize you losers to form some sort of organization or to start lawsuits have been epic fail to say the least.

The reality is that you have no stake in the decision-making process and you will never find another way to earn a higher income again unless toilet review returns to its previous state. This will probably not happen but that is entirely out of your hands regardless anyway.

Biglaw fatcats and their crown princes/princesses will always rule over you. You will never be accepted into their elite circles unless you come from the proper pedigree. You have entered a blue-blooded elite profession and the best and only thing you can really do is to accept your serf-like status and cross your fingers that your masters will need you for some employment in the service sector someday.

The conclusion is that it is proven that you have no say as to whether your Biglaw masters and their agencies should be using you or the Indians to service their needs. That is their business and entirely up to them. Therefore, you shouldn't even waste your thoughts to think of frivolous actions such as lawsuits or forming unions because the only thing to come out of it is that embarass yourselves further. The thought of you doc review losers having the capability, intelligence and resources to somehow magically "smash" the elite walls that keep you out from practicing real law is also quite funny by the way.

Anonymous said...

"HI, Joan King!"

Anonymous said...

6:42 - it sounds like someone has gotten under your skin. I thought it was beneath people like you to stoop to the level of those temp "untouchables".

What's gotten you so worked up? Temp got your job?

Anonymous said...

I am a document reviewer, not working in New York; but I've worked with others who have worked in NYC.

Reputation (doing a good job and references) and interview skills matter even for document review. Too many posts (not necessarily this thread) whine about outsourcing while at the same time complaining it's a brainless job, etc. If you don't treat the work seriously, you won't do a good job and won't get hired again. If you are surfing the Internet or texting or whatever on billable time (on more than a de minimis standard, e.g. checking if you have e-mail occasionally) you are, if you are a lawyer, practicing unethical and probably illegal behavior.

Harsh, but true.

If I see a problem, I don't ignore it, I raise it with the appropriate people. If there's a technical problem I don't whine about it, I report it and my willingness to wait (obviously, I'd get paid!) or go home early.

Of course there are employer/agencies who care only about stats not quality of work, the economy is bad generally, this is not a blanket condemnation.

I'm currently doing work at home (so obviously unsupervised, I just submit timesheets and invoices by e-mail, though of course stats on # of documents are kept). I got this job in large part because I have consistently done good work and practiced ethically. I also interviewed well and let's face it, that's a factor.

As for other slackers who are complained about, obviously it depends upon the situation, but in the past when dealing with someone who watched pornography (and television shows) on the Internet while billing for his time, and downloaded sexually explicit materials onto another reviewer's computer while she was out of the room, and persisted in his behavior despite being warned otherwise, I felt it my duty to both my employer and coworker who felt harassed to bring the matter to my employer's attention (although hired through a recruiter I was employed directly by the law firm).

Even though I couldn't stand the guy, I still warned him several times over the course of weeks if not months before doing anything. His behaviour didn't change, I reported it (I got the harassed woman's okay also).

If you're working with someone who is sleeping at his or her computer and billing for the time (if you know this) or otherwise defrauding the employer (not actually reviewing documents but just clicking through them) and thus defrauding the employer, be a professionally responsible lawyer and do something about it. If not, you're not being an ethical professional and should stop whining about non-lawyers taking your job, since you're demonstrating you don't have the ethical skills to be a lawyer.

If you can't manage to deal with other lawyers who are defrauding their clients in plain view, you have no grounds to complain about non-lawyers taking your work, because by your behavior, you demonstrate you are not really a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

"A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."

"We must become the change we want to see in the world."


Anonymous said...

7:44 you're a troll, baby!

Anonymous said...

8:04 I am a document reviewer, believe what I wrote, regularly read this blog (and have posted albeit less contentiously before), and posted directly on point to many of the comments and the theme of the blog, if not so much this specific post.

Of course, it's much easier to label me a troll than to actually think about whether or not one has been behaving like a lawyer, or to disagree with me and post a more reasoned response (e.g. "I'm employed by a recruiter that has demonstrated it does not care about quality of work and has fired people for 'rocking the boat' by reporting problems" would do nicely, if that was actually the case).

Anonymous said...

Nah, you're a troll. The items raised in your post are rather outdated.

Most people aren't even working! You're an LPO shill pretending to be a temp, therefore a troll!

Anonymous said...


Yep. That's the way to go. Too bad there isn't any in NYC at the moment. Maybe I should wave into DC, at least there are postings there. Maybe 1/3 of them is an actual project.

Anonymous said...

Dude...check this out!!!!! What a creep. Takes her $ and hits on the temps///luuuzza

Anonymous said...

8:56 believe I'm a troll if it makes you feel better. I'm not working in NYC (which may be why I'm working) and was discussing NYC as recently as last week with another reviewer who left there because of the lack of work. I feel sorry for anyone not working and have been out of work for extended periods in the past myself. I still think that some (not all, some) reviewers are at fault generally because if firms have learned that NYC reviews do a crappy (or at least inconsistent) job anyway, why not outsource?

Anonymous said...


I wouldn't mind taking a project out of NYC- but the problem is, agencies don't hire out of state reviewers, do they?

Also- you said you 've had lengths of extended unemployment- I'm in that situation now. What do you do when people ask you about the gap? Mine started before the economy tanked, so I can't use that as a full excuse.

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Anonymous said...

11:34 -- I am called in more than one jurisdiction, in fairness that's not a quick option for all.

The advice I got which made sense to me was to have something on your resume to account for the time, or less ideally, to mention in your cover letter. To account for the time doesn't mean 100% accounting for what you did, it means enough to give the impression that you've been doing things not just sitting on the couch at home.

Go to interesting-sounding CLE courses and include that under education to have some more recent dates. If you have an engineering or science degree do the patent bar. Do volunteer work (not necessarily legal, obviously given the competition, but something). Much more expensive, if you want to add to your student loan debt do an LL.M. or other degree. Write (whether paid or not), whatever. Just something that either goes on your resume or less ideally your cover letter that gives the impression you want to work and preferably that suggests have been focused on improving your legal employability.

Even something that seems like a "joe job" could I think be spun positively depending upon the job. E.g. landscaping, "while looking for legal work I wanted to improve my physical fitness and lose weight so doing a labour-intensive job seemed a win-win". Working in a bookstore, "a chance to buy and read all sorts of interesting legal, management, etc. books".

I realize I may sound unduly optimistic, none of this may help. But I do think that if someone has 20 resumes and yours is the only one that shows recent CLE, at least that's something. Even doing freelance legal writing (case summaries), I was able to truthfully say that I worked on a series of contracts over my time not otherwise working, and that reading and summarizing cases improved my ability to read and skim quickly and discern the essence of a case, and improved my writing and ability to summarize documents quickly (my blog comments are still too long, though...).

Anonymous said...

To 11:34 again:

Sorry, a couple of things I forgot, although legal resumes tend to be chronological and advice is include specific (by month) start and end dates, so long as you're honest, why not go for a slightly different format? Even with gaps, if you have experience with a variety of different review software, why not go for a skills-based resume or hybrid skills-chronological that notes e.g. from 2006 to 2008 you were employed on a variety of document review contracts with [whomever] using various software packages? It's not ideal but you're not lying, it helps hide some of the gap.

When I had a series of contracts with the same employer where say over two years I was employed only some of the time, my resume might say something like 2007-2008 and in the description note that I was employed on a series of contracts. Which is honest but helps hide the unemployed gaps and shows the employer was happy to hire me back.

Anonymous said...


Good advice. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


There was a guy on my doc review that went to the gym on his hours! And slept in front of the boss! Boss knew this and didn't do anything. What really pisses me off is this guy CONSTANTLY gets projects!

Anonymous said...

11:34 & 9:46

Thanks so much! Merci.

Anonymous said...


I'm actually a freelance writer too. How do you find out what places are looking for case summaries?

Howie G said...

Have you considered becoming a temp proofreader? They often make $18-20 an hour. And you get a cab if you stay till midnight.

Anonymous said...

Is $15 an hour for document review good? Why is the price going down?

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Anonymous said...

You want Indians who don't speak American English reviewing your documents good luck. Hope they have the same bank secrecy laws to monitor insider trading in case they misappropriate the information and trade on it... Oh wait, they probably do not. That is why it is far SAFER to keep the job on U.S. soil with U.S. employees who are LICENSED IN THE UNITED STATES because they passed the bar in the United States.

Because if you want to investigate insider trading in India, good luck to you, I'm sure they're just a phone call away...

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