Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Two Cents in a shout out to the former Dechert Doc Reviewers

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I have been busy with holiday shopping, and earning enough hours to pay for it.

I haven’t forgotten our friends who have been let go from the Dechert project, and on that note today’s post is for them.

First, if you are a contractor and are out of work, be calm. If you have not already done so, you should claim unemployment. It will help to bridge the gap. Be conservative with your money. Have patience.

If you are looking for a permanent position it will take awhile. If you are looking for contract work, it could also take some time. Right now, it is both the worst time to be unemployed, and the best time.

It is the worst because you want to spend money on Holiday gifts and cannot. It is a bad time because people who might hire you do not have time for you. They are all wrapped up in their own work preparing end of the year numbers for others, wrapping up projects, listing their accomplishments, fighting for raises. They are also wrapped up in their own Holiday events. Further, there might not be any money budgeted for new projects or employees to start on before the end of the year anyway.

It can be the best time to be unemployed because you will have more time to spend with friends and family. If you are looking to the job market, it is the best time because there are a lot of networking opportunities, and people who might be in a position to hire you, or give you some direction are feeling more magnanimous at this time of year. Also, while this is a down time for actual hiring, the next up time is right around the corner. In fact it is in January. Just after the New Year when expenses are determined for the upcoming year, and a decision has been made to hire new employees is the best time to get hired. If you want a contract position, then this is when they have made a decision to start new projects based on their budgets. They have usually at this point also decided what projects they can expand.

Incidentally, this is partially why the Vioxx case probably settled when it did. Even though the settlement does not go through until a certain number of plaintiffs sign off, and they have until March to do so, I am sure that there were business and budgetary reasons to push the settlement talks through when they did, at least one of which was the end of the calendar year/quarter.

Just hold in there a little longer.

The Black Sheep

Hunting for Document Reviews and Contract jobs

For those of you looking for Contract Jobs, here is a partial listing of the names of legal contract employment agencies:

(Note: this list may not be exclusive, and I welcome either comments or e-mails to flesh out this list)

Abelson Legal
Hudson Legal Services
Oxford Legal
Hire Counsel
Robert Half Legal
Update Legal
Kelly Law Registry
Special Counsel

Like I said there may be others, but those are from the top of my head. Remember, when you contact a staffing agency like these, and are currently working as a contractor for them, there is probably a reason that they placed you as a contractor. You are not likely to be placed by them in anything but a contract position.

In addition, remember, they will only place you at firms with whom they have personal relationships. This means that when you talk to someone at the staffing agency it is fair to ask with which firms they have recently done staffing. This is particularly useful if you have heard about a recent job at a particular law firm or by a particular law firm’s client. (Keep in mind, sometimes the client dictates which staffing agency to use based on a relationship between the agency and the large client. From what the Black Sheep has heard, this is exactly what happened with Vioxx.)

As to current ongoing Document Review projects out there, here are some of the ones that I have heard about:

Stradley Ronon
Duane Morris
Dechert (yes, the Philly site is still open!)
McCarter English
Pepper Hamilton
Morgan Lewis

Also, make sure to check any firm (plaintiffs) that does Securities Litigation, Antitrust, or Mass Tort. These firms will at times hire contractors to do the document review on the plaintiff’s side, this is especially true if they are lead counsel in a case, and do not have the associates to cover all of their work. They may or may not contact an agency to find contractors.

Staff Attorney positions are rarely available through agencies. As long as you continue to work for agencies you can not ascend to that post. Check firm websites and other job postings.

It is safe to assume that I can tell you that Dechert is winding down its Vioxx review and thus might not hire many if any more people for that purpose. Some of those people that were already let go were told that they would be placed on another project for Dechert.

If you are trying to determine where contractors will be needed check the paper especially the business news for potentially large cases. Find out if Philadelphia law firm represents the businesses involved. Find out who staffs that law firm or business.

If you all contribute to this page, I will try to keep this information current, but this only works with your help.

The Black Sheep