Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hey all, how is the Sun?

I know that I haven't written in over a month. Sorry about that. That is for multiple reasons, but let me assure you, I am still working, and still reviewing documents. I am also taking my own time and partying in the summer sun. As an aside, we had some good conversation on the last post, I am not sure if this is because of the length between posts, the fact that document review is slow right now (including over at the AZ review where they have had a lot of time to just sit around), or what, but it encourages me to keep writing, so keep it up.

Let take this opportunity to welcome the recent graduates who are hunting for jobs. Many of them will no doubt be joining you soon. For those recent grads who where fortuitous enough to get an associate position at a Big Law firm, have fun. The likelihood is that for the next few months you will be reviewing documents, and/or overseeing contractors reviewing documents. Have fun. For those of you who did not get the big law job, the likelihood is good that you will be either overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated OR you will join the rest of us in contract land dreaming of something more.

Here is the trap, if you do not get out in your first year, and went straight through college and law school, you are trapped. Don't get trapped. Take whatever time you need and find a permanent position.

For those dreaming of a career in Law that will make them a lot of money, think again. There are too many lawyers out there, and the salary level for all but the top graduates has dropped. Take a look at this graph from NALP.

Source:Jobs & JD's, Class of 2007

Note: The graph is based on 23,337 salaries. A few salaries above $200,000 are excluded for clarity.

Here are two links to learn more about the NALP surveys.
http://www.nalp.org/content/index.php?pid=618
http://www.nalp.org/content/index.php?pid=561

Incidentally, Tom the Temp recently reviewed some of these results, his blog on this is located at: http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/2008/08/ghettoization-of-legal-profession.html

If I am not mistaken, this reminds me of grafts that I learned about in high school when reading about Marxist theory. If I recall the income gap grows and grows until a point where the proletariat becomes large enough, and unhappy enough, and finally decides to violently overthrow the bourgeoisie. The unfortunate part of all of this is, as attorneys, we are looked at by society as the bourgeoisie.

I will try to write more soon. And for those who are not currently employed, I have heard that there are 2 or 3 potential projects in the works for the Philadelphia Area. Feel free to share with others what agencies are or might be hiring.

More Later,
The Black Sheep

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about your line here: "Take whatever time you need and find a permanent position."

Does this mean that people should not take up document review, even if they have no other means of generating the income they need?

There are many people (I am one of them) who review documents by choice, but there are just as many people who cannot afford to take another job or not work.

Flocker said...

I think that this comment was directed to those who are fresh out of law school and hoping for more than a future of inconsistent work reviewing documents. Everyone makes a choice to do document review. Some feel forced into it due to economic circumstances and/or a lack of jobs for them, some feel it is a temporary stopover until something better comes along, and some just want the low stress lifestyle. Most of the people at any review need the money, the question is how badly. If these young grads want a document review job, fine, but they should know that it may be at the risk to their careers. If a young grad has no other work experience to fall back on, it would behoove them to do something, anything else for a couple of years before doing document review so they at least have a documented skill set to fall back on when looking for a more permanent position if that is what they want.

Curious about Contracting said...

I've read this blog with some interest for a little while.

I am wondering what people think of my situation. I'm a state government attorney in New York. My job is extremely stressful and am often quite unhappy at it. The pay, for the legal field, sucks. It's about $55,000 per year.

However, there are some great perks-- I'm rarely out if the office any later than 5:30 and I have excellent medical benefits. I also have the stability of knowing I'll likely have a job for the long-term.

I have a lot of loans, and the pay is really starting to become an issue for me. Unfortunately, as you know, the firm job market is atrocious.

I am genuinely considering leaving my full time job and starting to do contract work, strictly for the pay.

Does anyone have an opinion on this? Will I earn better money if I quit and start doing contract work? What can I expect my yearly salary to be? Are the jobs consistent enough to expect to make something close to 100k in any given year?

Am I crazy for considering leaving the stability of a full-time attorney position for the uncertainty of document review?

Anonymous said...

To Curious about Contracting:

I would have to say that of all the people I know contracting, pretty much everyone is trying to do the reverse of what you're doing.

$55,000/yr isn't too bad when considering a few things:

- you probably get vacation days and sick days.
- you probably get annual raises (so perhaps like 5% a year?), whereas contracting is stagnating with wages and quite possibly dropping
- your hours are decent at the government position (unless u have some dying urge to work even more hours)

The two biggest things are the medical coverage and the steady employment. Factoring in the time when they're unemployed between projects, I would say most of the people I know contracting make roughly 60-70k. (this is philadelphia though, so maybe 80k-90k in NYC?) But who knows whether you can jump from project to project with minimal time in between? Some people go without work for months. (in which case I'm pretty sure you'd barely surpass your 55k salary, if at all). The stars need to align in order for you to get a stable multi-month gig which allows overtime. It's rare, but it happens.

The medical coverage is huge. Dental alone can cost a pretty penny depending on whether you need work done. Temp agencies give you some medical and dental, but it costs a lot and covers little. If I were you, I'd stay where you are. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Which looks better ona resume:

Contract attorneying or

Holding small children for ransom

???

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:44 pm--the way things are going, I guess whether ransoming children or doing doc review looks better depends on how much the ransom was and whether you beat the charges.

Anonymous said...

Wow, trust me - stay away from this "new" compnay called Providus!!! They make Hudson look good!!!

Anonymous said...

Which looks better on a resume:

Coding

or

Managing a best buy after law school?

Steve Mote said...

I fart in your general direction!

Anonymous said...

Managing a Best Buy. At least you have transferable skills. (i.e. people Management) Even if you had no other legal experience, it would give you something to talk about when looking for a career position. that being said, it is not likely to get you a job practicing law at a law firm. Large firms won't care, and small firms want experience in some field and Management doesn't qualify. But there is a chance that you could translate the experience into a legally related position at a large firm. (Staff Attorney, or something similar). Also the pay is steadier for a few years then contracting. Further, government jobs often look for people management skills.

Anonymous said...

Which looks better on a resume:

Coding

or

Working the register at McDonald's/Arby's?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever noticed that Best Buy is never, in fact, the "best" buy. I mean, for DVDs, Target is almost always the better price. As for video games, look to Target or ever a place like GameStop. Given, Best Buy has a wider selection, but then, it's the "only buy." Best Buy does have quirky special editions of stuff though.

As for managing one, I'm not sure it would be better on your resume than coding. Here's why: I actually know people who went from coding to actual jobs. Government jobs, but permanent jobs nevertheless. Of course, I don't know what would've happened if they had managed a Best Buy. Maybe it would just be a tie.

Pat said...

Which looks better on a resume...

being a "team lead" at McCarter

or

blowing homeless guys for charity?

Micah said...

doesn't matter, you suck at both

Pat said...

hey, watch it! I don't come to your job and slap the dick out of your mouth! I was just asking the question.

Steve Moat said...

Settle down you two. You're both great team leads. Now, which one of you two want to smell my fart?

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David King said...

Did someone mention blowing guys??

Burnsy said...

Hey. Someone dripped alfredo sauce on my new shoes!

That better be alfredo sauce, god damnit!

JR said...

I'm not sure if I've told everyone this yet, but I used to own my own law firm.

Cher said...

wow...that's amazing! Tell me more about all the political campaigns you used to run too. It gets me soooooo hot! You know so much about politics and law....oooooooh god. oooooooooh, baby. yes. yes. YES! YES!!!

Dick said...

All of this makes me very uncomfortable.

I'm feeling a little flush...I need a macaroon! Gotta run.

Kate said...

Oh, Dick, can you get me a half-caf, half-decaf, non-fact venti latte with extra whip and two sweet-n-low?

Has anyone seen my World Cafe CD? I had it sitting right next to my Lisa Leob glasses and now they're gone. The lead singer from The Muffin Tops gave that to me!

Where's my latte!!??

Anonymous said...

Hi Mason! Everyone knows it's you posting as other people.

Mason said...

No, it's not me.

Anonymous said...

This is the best blog site ever!! I'm crying, I am laughing so hard!!!

Anonymous said...

To the one and only sweetness on Arch Street. You light up my life. Love you. Oatmeal..

Anonymous said...

What experience has anyone had with Providus?

Anonymous said...

Providus is HORRIBLE - they are worse than Hudson, where at least we can look at Lauren's legs?!?!

All kidding aside, they sent a mass email after posting an ad in craigslist to meet all kinds of people, which is not good considering everyone on their project was leaving one by one to "interview" for an opening THAT DID NOT EXIST at the time. That makes the superiors suspicious when one-by-one, people are leaving for 30 minues at a time, and it irks the people who were lied to. Not a good idea, it shows how "clued in" they are with how things work.

SickofHudson said...

I am sick of Hudson. Best Buy management is sounding pretty good right about now.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Paul, they dont love you for your redactions - they love you for YOU!!! Dammit, you ARE good enough and people LOVE you.
Viva Hudson (those scumballs)

jr said...

Hudson loves me because I used to own my own law firm...and because of my knowledge of politics...and hockey...I know soooooo many things! That's why they love me!

cher said...

ooooooh! there you go again! yes, YES, YES!!, YES!!!!!

Code Monkey said...

I'm on a Providus job right now at MLB- no issues yet and decent rate/conditions- OT at 40 hours, 50 hour max, flex time.

Anonymous said...

Code Monkey - that is MLB's status quo - time and a half and flex time - that is not because of Providus

Anonymous said...

What looks better on a resume:

Being a coder inside 2 Logan

or

Panhandling outside of 2 Logan

????

Anonymous said...

Panhandling-- at least they are honest to themselves and others. How much money have those coders stolen from Merck on the Vioxx and Vytorin matters?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Steve Mote bills $5 for every time he passes gas! That may not sound like a lot, but he farts at least 20 times an hour!

Anonymous said...

Dude, believe it or not, panhandlers make roughly 60 bucks an hour during rush hours (so like maybe 4 in a day). No joke. It's "a dollar a minute."

This was in some random documentary about narcotics cops who wanted to give money to the panhandlers for tips (info) but the panhandlers told the cops they could keep their money and gave info for free because the panhandlers themselves made enough money from the passersby. The cop joked that he'd be better off financially if he were a beggar as opposed to a cop.

POL LEBOW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Any possibility of updates? I am interested in what people think the impact of the current economic slowdown will be on document review projects.

Anonymous said...

I think this site is dead.

Anonymous said...

This site and tom the temp are clearly dead because of the economic slowdown. They're both probably scrounging around for any work they can get at all, along with most temps. There's not much out there, slackers!

92557 Family Attorney said...

This is the hardest part after graduation. Seeking jobs.