Monday, March 09, 2009

Eli Gottesdiener - Hideous Lawyer of the Week

Putting job candidates though the following nonsense in this economy when people are fighting to merely put food on the table is certainly an assholic thing to do.

"Gottesdiener Law Firm, PLLC, a plaintiffs’-side ERISA class action firm, is looking for a senior litigation paralegal with extensive electronic discovery document review and processing experience or a law clerk with a J.D. to do same together with higher-order fact research and analysis. We are only interested in receiving applications from candidates who meet our criteria, which include an ability to follow the instructions in this ad for applying.

Minimum Requirements

• If applying for the senior paralegal position, you must have 5 years of large law firm experience and at least 3 years direct, hands-on electronic discovery document review and processing experience. If applying for the J.D. position, you must be able to teach yourself the legal and practical ins-and-outs of ediscovery under the Federal Rules. In either case, you must be able to work a minimum of M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and some weekend and evening hours as needed. • You must be good with numbers, fast and efficient with Excel and all kinds of computer software, and be able to organize and make sense of large volumes of data. • You must have a can-do spirit and understand the value of the opportunity to work on the front lines of sophisticated federal civil class action litigation.

A Successful Application Will Consist of (and Only of):

1. A three-paragraph “cover letter” that is pasted into your email reply. The first paragraph should state your reason for applying, with specific reference to your suitability for our firm (including the requirement that you be good with numbers, fast and efficient with Excel and all kinds of computer software, and able to organize and make sense of large volumes of data). In this paragraph, we expect not empty cookie-cutter statements about your “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, “multitasking ability” “commitment to excellence”, etc. but concrete facts that show you are different from the pack and can immediately contribute to our operations. In the second paragraph, please indicate (1) your current position (Confidentiality assured), (2) salary/benefits package and (3) your earliest start date. The third paragraph will explain your transition from one job/educational pursuit to the next, concluding with your current situation. If you are currently without a position, you should explain what you have been doing since your last position.

2. A resume that is succinct, clear and no more than one page that is pasted into your email reply below your “cover letter”.

3. A separate list of references that is pasted into your email reply below your cover letter and your resume. You should not list academic or other references: only work-related references. You should provide a one sentence statement explaining your relationship to the reference and the period of time you worked for the reference. If you cannot provide a reference from your current position, explain why not. (No references will be contacted without your permission, so confidentiality is not a sufficient reason for not providing a current reference).

4. The subject line of reply email must contain only the following: the last name of the judge who agreed with us that PricewaterhouseCooper LLP's definition of normal retirement "age" as the date on which an employee completes 5 years of work for the Firm regardless of age, is invalid."

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

We live in the world that neoliberalism built:

"This new narrative has been produced (and necessitated) by the withdrawal of the state from the funding of its so-called public universities. If the percentage of a state’s contribution to a college’s operating expenses falls from 80 to 10 and less (this has been the relentless trajectory of the past 40 years) and if, at the same time, demand for the “product” of higher education rises and the cost of delivering that product (the cost of supplies, personnel, information systems, maintenance, construction, insurance, security) skyrockets, a huge gap opens up that will have to be filled somehow.

Faced with this situation universities have responded by (1) raising tuition, in effect passing the burden of costs to the students who now become consumers and debt-holders rather than beneficiaries of enlightenment (2) entering into research partnerships with industry and thus courting the danger of turning the pursuit of truth into the pursuit of profits and (3) hiring a larger and larger number of short-term, part-time adjuncts who as members of a transient and disposable workforce are in no position to challenge the university’s practices or agitate for an academy more committed to the realization of democratic rather than monetary goals. In short , universities have embraced neoliberalism.

Meanwhile, even those few faculty members with security of employment do their bit for neoliberalism when they retire to their professional enclaves and churn out reams of scholarship (their equivalent of capital) that is increasingly specialized and without a clear connection to the public interest: “[F]aculty have progressively . . . favored professionalism over social responsibility and have . . . refused to take positions on controversial issues”; as a result they have “become disconnected from political agency and thereby incapable of taking a political stand” (McClennen, Works and Days)."

http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/neoliberalism-and-higher-education/

Everything you see and feel is a product of the world that Reagan and conservatism built. If the world feels crass, it's because that's what "roughed individualism" is supposed to feel like. Risk is shifted solely to the individual, and, it's a world where only those with pre-existing power (money, class or some other variant like connections) can truly get ahead. We are not like Latin America yet, but we are moving in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Impressive work, Tom the Temp. I applied to a job at his firm a couple years ago. Back then, all he wanted was a brief paragraph about why I would like to work for him and what skills I can contribute to his operations. Luckily for me, the correspondence ended there.

Well, looks like he's doubled up on his sadistic pleasures and makes candidates jump through 10x as many unnecessary hoops now because he knows how many desperate lawyers are out of work.

He didn't use to make such obnoxious demands back when the market was good. With current market conditions, however, one of us will lower themselves far enough to dedicate their life to kissing this douche bag's ass around the clock. I am roughly 100% certain about this.

The second saddest part about this thing is that this guy's personality type is one that's fairly pervasive throughout this industry. Everyone who's worked in the field for a bit knows about at least a dozen people who would love to act in the same despicable manner if they had the chance. It's the culture of this industry that breeds people like Eli Gottesdiener en masse for some reason.

But the saddest part is that unfortunately there are plenty of lawyers that would not hesitate for a second to sell out to this piece of shit. Hence, I believe he's doing this because he can.

In the real world, one could say "it takes a special person to go out of their way to cater to such a subhuman." In the legal world, however, enough people will rejoice because there's finally a job listing out there at least. If you're a naturally horrible person, overcompetitive and have lost all your dignity somewhere along the way, then you're probably one of the stronger candidates for this position. Good luck! Amen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this ad. I saw it on craigslist and was shocked at how patronizing it was. I understand having a clearly stated application policy, and juding lawyer-candidates on their ability to comprehend and follow instructions, but this is just a demeaning and low-rent way to go about it.

It makes the firm look really cheap. It's illustrative that they don't care more about their reputation. Usually firms try to put on a happy face in public - the facade of having say, an HR department to make sure appropriate candidates are vetted, or the facade of having an IT department by setting up a web application for job seekers.

This ad is truly hideous. I guess it serves to put those who apply for the position is on notice, though, as to how punitive, small minded, and shameless the organization is. Of course, in desperate times people will apply, as they should. But Gottesdiener will only get employees who have little loyalty to their employer and will leave at the first opportunity, which is more than the firm deserves.

Anonymous said...

The ad was placed on Mar 8th on NY's craigslist. I voted it best of craigslist. And hey, the firm shouldn't mind. No publicity like free publicity, right?

Anonymous said...

whattadouche

Frank Zwan said...

This is nothing new for that firm.

They have frequently posted ads with very precise directions for responding, including finding the name of a judge.

It always turned me off. Something about the attitude expressed in the posting doesn't make it seem like a place I want to work. But, it's nothing new.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a patronizing ad. Obviously, he is trying to cut down the number of applicants to the position since he knows he'll have more than 500 applicants in 24 hours if he merely asks for a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. This just gives him an excuse to delete any of the emails he receives that has an attachment or anything that diverts from his idea of a perfect application.

Interesting. If none of the references will be contacted without your permission, then why should an applicant be forced to provide them with the application, before even the interview portion of the process? The answer is that Mr. Gottesdiener is a snoop, and wants to see who you know and whether it would be advantageous to his business. So if you clerked for a particular judge that has it in for him, you have a better shot at the position than someone who worked for Legal Aid.

I wouldn't apply to this because I don't get along with employers that treat me like a child, and it's obvious that Mr. Gottesdiener is one of those people that will have nothing but pure disdain for his entry level associates.

Anonymous said...

The guy's surname means "God's Servant" in German. Such douchbaggery coming from a guy with a name like that.... nnnice.

Anonymous said...

It is designed to keep the number of apps down. People see it and say...I can't be bothered.

Anonymous said...

Now Update is looking for non-admitted JDs - on Careerbuilder.

Anonymous said...

1153

There are other ways to reduce the numbers than being a dick.

For example, increase the years of experience, the technical know how that's substantive to the job, require a certain pedigree, talk about the stress of the job, etc. All of which would have reduced the numbers without being a a lazy dick. That ad is an example of the employer being a dick, and apparently too stupid to figure out how to get things done without being one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. Now when potential clients and judges google this clown's name they can find out what a douche he is.

Karma comes around and bites people on the ass who treat people like crap when they are down on their luck.

Anonymous said...

When you see an ad like this, you should know that it is a place to avoid. For the few who are judged to have jumped through the hoops, where do they quickly wind up? It has a real revolving door look to it.

Anonymous said...

If I had nothing better to do for ten minutes, I'd copy-edit the ad - which is filled with usage and punctuation errors - and send that in.

But I can't be arsed.

Anonymous said...

There is a document review ad up today for De Novo legal. They are only asking people to apply who have not registered with the agency. Why so?

Anonymous said...

Because they are just signing people up, they aren't staffing an actual project.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of signing people up if there is no work?

Anonymous said...

Signing people up is part of the routine of their business. It shows they are doing something. They also like to have a big pool ready in case projects open up.

Anonymous said...

I think that might be the wrong answer to #4. See the link below from the firm's website.

http://www.gottesdienerlaw.com/cash_balance/pwc_pricewaterhouse_coopers.html

Anonymous said...

This guy sounds like a real prick. His ad is such a turn off, who would apply?

Anonymous said...

Even his name is obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I couldn't post the whole link. Just look on this guy's website. A different judge is listed as agreeing about the definition of retirement age.

Anonymous said...

why does he refer to himself as we on his website?

Anonymous said...

They are using paralegals instead of attorneys for doc review there?

Anonymous said...

"Former Judge Michael Mukasey (now Attorney General) agreed with us that the RBAP’s definition of “normal retirement age” was illegal. You can read his ruling of September 5, 2006 here. Following Judge Mukasey’s retirement from the bench, the case was reassigned to the Honorable George B. Daniels, who denied PwC’ motion for reconsideration on August 17, 2007. You can read his ruling here. PwC’s subsequent petition to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for review of these pro-participant rulings was recently denied (in a one-sentence order) and thus the case will be continuing to the next phase."

Anonymous said...

Who cares? No one here is getting that job. Most likely anyone who gets it won't last too long anyway.

Anonymous said...

This economy is bringing out the real gutter sucking bottom feeders. Caveat emptor for all of us seeking work.

Anonymous said...

yay!
-------
from craigs...

law graduate/junior attorney (Financial District)

Assist solo attorney with research and drafting for motions and appeals in civil litigation; services to be performed on weekday afternoons and possibly on weekends; applicant must bring laptop computer to work and be familiar with Lexis for on-line research.

* Compensation: $ 12/hour
* This is a part-time job.

Anonymous said...

$12 an hour. Enjoy. A full time job at $12 an hour is $24,000 a year.

law graduate/junior attorney (Financial District)
Reply to: job-rjz8d-1067232639@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-03-09, 1:53PM EDT


Assist solo attorney with research and drafting for motions and appeals in civil litigation; services to be performed on weekday afternoons and possibly on weekends; applicant must bring laptop computer to work and be familiar with Lexis for on-line research.




* Compensation: $ 12/hour
* This is a part-time 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.

John said...

I am applying for your position because obviously whoever wrote your advertisement for a new lawyer employee smokes large quantities of drugs. And not just the light shit like marijuana, either. No I mean full on eight balls of rock cocaine, also known as crack, perhaps laced with heroin. Do you like to get wet Eli? I am suitable for your firm because I will not wash your taint for the job. I will not act like so many other slavish desperate out-of-work attorneys who are living and dying by the volumes of applications and resumes that they send out. Whereas pricks like you require 30 year olds with hundreds of thousands in debt to set their dicks on fire and dance the charleston while taking a tobasco sauce enema just to get an interview, I will just flat tell you to your face you're a piece of shit.

This is paragraph two. Instead of telling you about my current confidential position, I will remind you that you are a gigantic sack of shit for treating applicants like dirt just because you can. People like you are a humiliation to all attorneys.

My transition from school to work is a story worth telling. But not to you. No. Instead I sincerely hope someone kicks you very hard in the dick, and when you are on your hands and knees bawling in pain, you will look up and shout "Save us!" and I will whisper "no." I look at your pathetic 200 dollar a month hosting fee website and your smug 4 inch when erect cock face, and seriously think that you probably would enjoy getting a colorectal exam from a drunk gibbon ape. I hope you choke on something soon and suddenly fear death so that you look back on your trite and meaningless practice and suddenly realize that you wasted everything. Only to be saved by a transexual aids infected prostitute whom you repay by taking out behind your office dumpster where your morals and courage and convictions were tossed years ago.

John Galt

Anonymous said...

Having some really good references is a huge asset when looking for work. I'm not going to piss off those references by providing them to too many potential people at too early a stage (pre-interview), i.e. not until I know there's some chance I may get the job. Maybe if it's for a really great job I'll include them, but NOT for something like this. Even if my references wouldn't be contacted without my permission about me (do I trust the recruiter...), they may still be put in a database or contacted for other reasons.

Aside from that, the explicit instructions are actually welcome, telling applicants exactly what is wanted. The "tone" of the instructions is admittedly objectionable, and getting people to search for a case name likewise (it's just a time-waster because anyone even someone not qualified for the job could find it easily). At least something like "put the rule number related to [whatever] in the subject line" would be somewhat related to the job, and would actually test in a minor way someone's legal knowledge (while still being quite annoying!).

Anonymous said...

why does he refer to himself as we on his website?

1:34 PM
-------------------------------

The Royal "we"! You know, the editorial...

Anonymous said...

Is this the guy shows up for the interview in his underwear?

Anonymous said...

I've had some bad employment experience- two state jobs cut because of funding issues, and laid off from my last place- which was just as well since my boss was a psycho schizo. I am desperate enough that I considered for just two secs applying- but then I realized, I'd probably be looking for another job again in a month working for an a-hole like this, so what's the point?

Anonymous said...

12:55-

I've seen that a couple of times before from DN. Anybody ever done a project for them? Do they even GET projects?

And who here has heard of Aventus Group or COmpliance? I have yet to hear of them getting projects. Or maybe they're just not calling me.

Anonymous said...

2:15- lmao!!! You should be a humor writer or something- forget law.

Anonymous said...

Wow - what a douchebag. It's been said before and I'll say it again...this attitude is very pervasive in the legal world. I got my first "job" out of law school with a solo practice shitty criminal law attorney. This man weighed no less than 350 lbs. and sat on his ass all day eating and ordering shitty 80s heavy metal CDs on the web. He expected his "partner" who was really more like his paralegal or even receptionist even though she was a licensed attorney (obviously with low self esteem in order to lick his ass) to do everything. All he had me do the 4 months I was there was make "trial notebooks" that he would meticulously edit, even asking for font and spacing changes. I finally walked out of the place and never looked back. This kind of personality and attitude is truly why people hate lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Is this a new weekly feature? That would be great if it was. You will not run out of eligible candidates such as this Gottesdiener prick either for the next 2000 years at least. Do you take any reader submissions?

Anonymous said...

If you do a search of this firm on Abovethelaw.com you wil find that he was looking for a law clerk last year. Sounds like a revolving door.

Anonymous said...

I did a search for him on JD Underground.

"I worked for this clown a few years ago, the summer after college and before 1L. He has a nice website because he basically never sees clients at his "office;" he works out of his house in park slope. He has an intercom that he uses to communicate as you sit at a desk outside of the door to his work area. The job was basically answering phones, going to file nonsense at court, and spending most of the time scanning documents from hardcopy into his server database. One day he sent me to small claims court to protest a claim brought against him personally, it wasn't even work related. I worked there for basically 2 weeks before calling it quits. The worst part is that he's a horrible guy with a terribly condescending attitude, and since he works out of his house, he basically chills in underwear all day. The day he interviewed me he was topless. And no, I'm not kidding."

Mike said...

Who is John Galt?

Anonymous said...

What a jackass. I have to say that the more lawyers I meet, the more contempt I have for this "profession". A lot of them are like this guy.

Anonymous said...

This is funny, creepy and sad all at once. Just saw the JDUnderground post.

Apparently he's an ERISA/benefits lawyer who will pay the paralegal $20/hr with no benefits.

Whoever ends up working for this guy please make sure he hasn't installed any heavy steel doors for an entrance to his underground dungeon. And if he does, please rescue these poor children who have never seen sunlight before.

Anonymous said...

Peeps, last week I received an email from a temp agency for a doc review project in a midsized city, and the pay offered is SHOCKINGLY low... **far** lower than standard doc review pay.

I will not divulge the source because I don't know if the email was sent to lots of people on a list, or just to me.

I think we're seeing a trend where very rapidly the temp agencies are trying to drive down prices as much as possible. I am absolutely shocked by this offer, and it is only a few dollars more than what union dishwashers make in the kitchens of major hotels.

Anonymous said...

11:37-

If you are referring to St. Louis (although it could be any number of midsized cities), typical doc review pay here has been $19/20 an hour for a few years now. Getting into the low 20s is considered raking it in around here. Unfortunately no one is even getting $19, or anything, now as the work has dried up.

Anonymous said...

12:03

The city is well to the east of St. Louis. North of Raleigh, South of DC, east of Louisville and west of the Atlantic.

And the pay was lower than $19/hour.

Anonymous said...

10:01- A character from an Ayn Rand novel. Here's a link.

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

Anonymous said...

MICHAEL B. MUKASEY, U.S.D.J.

I think that's the name of the judge they want in the subject line... according to their website.

http://www.gottesdienerlaw.com/news/pdf/Laurent_v_PwC_2006_WL_2546805_SDNY_Sept_5_2006.pdf

Anonymous said...

1:02-

Well, that does sound shocking to us New Yorkers, but hasn't the South (and Midwest) always had low rates of pay for everyone? They don't have such high standards of living, things are cheaper, and I think the pay reflects that. I think Georgia or someplace is called the state of the 20,000 dollar millionaire.

Hell, if I wasn't afraid of white Southerners, I'd be down in the Carolinas in a second.

Anonymous said...

I mean

http://www.gottesdienerlaw.com/news/pdf/Laurent_v_PwC_2006_WL_2546805_SDNY_Sept_5_2006.pdf

Anonymous said...

John Galt-

You should e-mail your letter to Eli. Do it for us!

Anonymous said...

12:55: Can you be any more clueless? Do you think an agency waits till they get a phone call for a project before they recruit candidates? " Hi. I need 50 attorneys for a project starting tomorrow." "oh, ok, let me post an ad and see if I can get them all in here to register within the next 12 hours." Agencies are constantly recruiting.

John said...

My response from good ol eli:


John Galt
to eli

show details Mar 9 (1 day ago)


Reply


I am applying for your position because obviously whoever wrote your advertisement for a new lawyer employee smokes large quantities of drugs. And not just the light shit like marijuana, either. No I mean full on eight balls of rock cocaine, also known as crack, perhaps laced with heroin. Do you like to get wet Eli? I am suitable for your firm because I will not wash your taint for the job. I will not act like so many other slavish desperate out-of-work attorneys who are living and dying by the volumes of applications and resumes that they send out. Whereas pricks like you require 30 year olds with hundreds of thousands in debt to set their dicks on fire and dance the charleston while taking a tobasco sauce enema just to get an interview, I will just flat tell you to your face you're a piece of shit.

This is paragraph two. Instead of telling you about my current confidential position, I will remind you that you are a gigantic sack of shit for treating applicants like dirt just because you can. People like you are a humiliation to all attorneys.

My transition from school to work is a story worth telling. But not to you. No. Instead I sincerely hope someone kicks you very hard in the dick, and when you are on your hands and knees bawling in pain, you will look up and shout "Save us!" and I will whisper "no." I look at your pathetic 200 dollar a month hosting fee website and your smug 4 inch when erect cock face, and seriously think that you probably would enjoy getting a colorectal exam from a drunk gibbon ape. I hope you choke on something soon and suddenly fear death so that you look back on your trite and meaningless practice and suddenly realize that you wasted everything. Only to be saved by a transexual aids infected prostitute whom you repay by taking out behind your office dumpster where your morals and courage and convictions were tossed years ago.

John Galt


Reply

Forward


Eli Gottesdiener
to me

show details Mar 9 (1 day ago)


Reply



John: You’re hired! Congratulations.

John said...

at least the guy has a sense of humor amirite

Anonymous said...

John-

wait, is this for real?

John said...

Yeah its for real. I don't think I will be following him up on his offer. For the doubting TTT'ers here's a screenshot of my (lol) email:

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1634/37331066.jpg

John said...

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1634/37331066.jpg

Anonymous said...

lmao! You're not taking the offer in this situation? I think you should do it- and report back. You, my man, have steel balls.

Anonymous said...

The only thing missing is a flaming hoop to jump through!

Anonymous said...

"I have to say that the more lawyers I meet, the more contempt I have for this "profession". A lot of them are like this guy."

I hate to inject a note of happiness into this otherwise gloomy atmosphere, but I think you're hanging out with the wrong crowd. Every time I go to a seminar or meeting of lawyers in my field, I come home thinking what a great bunch of smart, funny, hardworking, helpful people they are.

Anonymous said...

10:28- Those lawyers probably aren't doc reviewers.

In my experience, the more doc review exp. a person has, the more crazy, bitter, and well- crazy
he/she becomes.

Anonymous said...

Return of 505 ads. When I worked in I.T., head-hunter firms had 505 ads. What are 505 ads: If the head hunter wanted to bring in a cheap HB1 visa worker or export a job to an abroad factory for cheap labor; they used 505 ads. The prime contract or the immigration code require that they use US workers if available. So, they would write a job app so specific or make the hiring process so complex people would not respond or drop out. One head hunter joked once that she could write an ad so specific for sweeping floors they could import an HB1 to do it.

Recruiters or head hunting firms ruined I.T.. I am sorry to say that they are ruining the legal profession right before my eyes.

Anonymous said...

The entitlement on this site is ridiculous. It presents a chicken-or-egg question in my mind. Are you having no success in practice because you feel entitled, or have you thrown up entitlement and attitude as a coping mechanism due to your lack of success in the practice?

I don't know. You tell me.

The bitching about an employer asking questions of folks who come, hat in hand, asking to get money for work is a bit much. If you don't like his questions, don't apply for the f'ing job. That's it.

If the size of this particular pea under your mattress is enough to disturb your sleep, you really, really don't want and are unqualified for the "coveted" Big-Law job.

Trust me.

That's not a dig, merely a true observation.

--7th year associate, AM Law 100 Firm

Anonymous said...

I worked for this prick when he was a Public Defender in Washington D.C. - he was the only Public Defender that had to have a paid investigator working for him because everyone recognized that, even with the PD's limited budget, it was not fair to subject an unpaid intern to him. Total egomaniacal prick.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post and comments Tom. It's all spot on.

Anonymous said...

I knew Eli many, many years ago, when he was a college student interning in a Congressional office. That internship helped kick-start Eli's path to law school and eventual success as an attorney. An entire office staff welcomed Eli, youthful flaws and all, and treated him with warmth and respect. His life may have turned out very differently if not for that opportunity.

It saddens me to think that he learned nothing from our example and that he, in turn, chooses to act with such smug disdain.