Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hey I am Back!!!

Is anyone still out there?? I am truly sorry to my loyal readers who were hoping for some help recently. But I want to say right here and now, I do not have all of the answers. I am just as stuck as the rest of you. I began this website in the hopes of trying to change things that I didn’t like about contracting, but there was another reason too. I wanted to learn if there were any answers that all of us could come up with together to solve some of the problems with contracting. While I try to keep people informed of opportunities that I hear about, I am not the best source for that. (I would try the Posse List, they seem pretty good. Or just call/e-mail any other contractors that you know, they likely will have heard something.)


As far as jobs out there right now, I would suggest trying to call securities litigation firms directly (both plaintiff and defense) and see if there is any work. With the markets falling, this type of work might see an uptick right now. There are 2 benefits of a direct call, first you might get on board ahead of the contract firms and thus be in a better position to turn the job into a longer term proposition, and second, you might get paid more as an independent contractor then you would through an agency.


Anyway, sorry again, that I haven’t posted anything in a while (wow, almost 4 months). There were numerous reasons for that. First, as I think I said, I was enjoying the sun and warm weather before it was gone. Second, I started getting hooked on blogging generally, and started to do some political stuff, and I wanted to keep my personal voting choices and endorsements off of this site. Third, as many of you were, I was impacted by the market. I have been scrambling around trying to put an income together with shorter jobs.


It is time for me, and I imagine many of you, to take a serious look at this employment and think about doing something else. This is not a career, it is a holding place. And that is all it looks like on the resume too. If you want further education, now might be the time after all there is not much employment out there.


Back to the lack of reliability of the market, it sucks and has gotten worse because of the economy, and the number of attorneys out there who have been doing this in recent years. Since my last post I have heard about mass layoffs in September at both McCarter English and at Stradley Ronon. These layoffs effectively eliminated hundreds more positions for contractors which means there are many more people on the street looking for contract work. Some of those people have landed positions, some of those people have taken jobs out of town (DC or NYC--both markets which if you want to do contract work you should monitor). Many, however, are on unemployment. At the same time, all of those recent grads just got their bar results back, and a large number of them now meet the minimum qualifications for about 90% of contract work in the area. The bad news is that there are no truly massive projects to stick all of the contract lawyers on. I would wager that the last quarter is not looking so hot to Hudson right now. They essentially were funded by 2 major projects in the last 3 years. Now they are back on par with the rest of the agencies fighting to place people.


A little side note, apparently Stradley Ronon has decided to hire a few more contractors, the word is that they are not using Oxford anymore, and they are now using Juristaff who is paying $35/hour instead of the $40/hour that Special Counsel is still offering for the same position. Talk about a pay discrepancy. One reason that I heard they did this is because of economy. They were trying to save money and got a better deal with Juristaff. Another reason I heard is because sometime in August there was a major problem on the project and the coders were not consistent with the way they were coding. That is either bad contractors or a problem with poor instruction/supervision. In other words, the powers that be at Stradley may screwed up in the way they had people coding, or put inadequate checks in place and blamed it on the coders.


I will try to go back to once every couple of weeks, but we shall see. Does anybody have any stories or advice out there that they would like to share?? E-mail me at: phillycontractlawyer@gmail.com.

129 comments:

Anonymous said...

Know nothing about Stradley but have been on the Dechert Vioxx/vytorin case for almost 4 years. Haven't had a raise in 2.5 years but, lots of overtime, stable work environment and a mellowing group of supervisors. They were hiring for a while but not in the last 3 months. Given the job market out there, I'm very happy where I am.

Anonymous said...

yes Stradley is hiring - only about ten attys ( or so I have heard). I know special counsel is trying to fill the needs (pay could be $35 or could be $40 - they are not sure).

Anonymous said...

Re: the NYC/DC work suggestion

I can't speak for DC but I am very familiar with the NYC market- it sucks right now - there is plenty of foreign language work there, but as far as standard English reviews, it's really bad and it's not just a seasonal thing

Mary said...

Hi, glad to see you're back! I know you do not have all of the "answers" but I like reading your blog - reading your musings and what you have heard through the grapevine! You do have some decent information. I used to be an associate at a big firm, but then I had a baby and just did not want to do that life anymore. That's when I got into contract work and, yes, it is way less glamorous but I love the quality of life it affords me. I am married and wmy husband's job provides good benefits so a decent paying hourly job that isn't stressful at all and is flexible is ideal for me. I take off for about a year and a half or so when I have a baby and I have no problem getting more contract work when I ready to come back. It is usually super flexible and easy for me to take off if the children are sick or need me for whatever reason. So, I have to say I really like this work. And I love readng your blog as well as everyone else's comments and such. So thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on Black Sheep's suggestion that we look into "doing something else".

What exactly does the Black Sheep suggest that people do? Some of us are tens of thousands of dollars in debt and have no choice but to keep reviewing documents to keep Sallie Mae from sending collections after us.

Anonymous said...

So you want to review documents for 30 years until your student loans are paid in full. You'll be in the ground long before that happens.

This is no career, its a life sucking industry. It sucks not knowing if there will be work the next day, but it is like that in all professions, the only difference is we have no idea when its coming and its at the whim of corporate America who couldn't give a rats a$$ about their employees, how much less do you think they care about us.

I've been taking Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases on the side. I'm going to give this about three years and if I can't make it work I'll go back to teaching high school. That's my plan. Anyone else out there have ideas?

Anonymous said...

Great to see this site back!!!

I know Special Counsel is putting people at Pepper as of a few weeks ago. Also, I agree with The Black Sheep about Stradley, one of my former and present colleagues was fired from there for no reason. Apparently, the problem is 100% related to awful case management according to that person. Still though, long-term and high rates, I would take my chances there.

I heard Morgan lost a huge account recently, which is par for the course there. Apparently, those in charge there are clueless and they treat people like garbage which means nobody wants to work for them unless it is a last resort. They use Update Legal (I think) and Frankly Legal now. The funny thing is, Frank (of Frankly Legal)has an office phone number that is his cell phone - a few months ago I heard he hired a recruiter to help him, but if you are a major, major firm and use only one small agency, how happy will major clients be?
In all, I heard from every recruiter that thinks look pretty rosy for '09, but who knows for sure?
Have a happy and safe holiday season!!!

Anonymous said...

Do the firms hosting the doc review look at the resumes of the contract attorneys the agency hires?

I just got laid off (from a BIG Philly firm) and have applications pending at places like Stradley for full time work - but I need to pay the rent NOW!!

I don't want to hurt my slim chances of getting an interview when the market picks up if the firm already knows they have me working for them at a lower rate.

How do people handle this?

Anonymous said...

7:57 PM,

I don't think you have to review documents for 30 years to pay down your debt. If you have 50-60k in debt, you can wipe it out in 1.5 to 2 years if you live frugally and save as much as possible.

This assumes that you have a steady flow of work and don't have any huge expenses like a house or children. The situation obviously more difficult for those with more debt and other obligations in life.

I've tried getting jobs outside of the legal profession, and it's been difficult. Having that JD on my resume makes me "overqualified" for a lot of work, especially when companies think they can get a recent college grad to work for them for less money. Despite having sent out many resumes, I've yet to get even a single interview. The uncertain state of the economy is probably not helping me either.

Code Monkey said...

Has anybody noticed that postings on Craigs' List have dried up, yet the recruiters seem calling?

Anonymous said...

The recruiters don't have to post when their databases are already ful of candidates who are desperate for work.

Anonymous said...

Simon Nagel ist ein flaming asshole. There is no other way to describe him. He apparently has the management skills of a manic depressive SS officer. I look forward to an improvement in the job market and the opportunity to jump the two Logan ship.

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

Does anyone out here in the Philly area know anything about this company in King of Prussia:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/970121843.html

They seem to post a call for attorneys about once every couple months. Is there really that bad turnover?? The wages are really low. I can't tell whether the company has a high turnover rate or they're actually growing at a rapid rate (as one recruiter has claimed). I've also heard that some of the attorneys feel really depressed at the end of the day because they're basically denying medical claims.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

What is going on at Morgan Lewis, Pepper Hamilton, and Dechert?

Mary said...
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Mary said...

As far as I know, the document review project at Pepper is still going strong and people workng there tell me they still hire people regularly.

Anonymous said...

From what I have heard, times have been tough at Morgan Lewis. The contract attorneys haven't had a lot of work there for the past couple of months, which means they were sent home.

Things seem fairly stable at Pepper. If you decide to apply there, make sure you don't go through Hirecounsel as they are paid $8 less an hour than direct hires, and their hours are limited more than anyone else (both when they can work and how much) because they were moved off-site.

Dechert seems to be quiet these days. They put a freeze on raises, which isn't a good sign.

Stradley laid off half their project/staff attorneys (along with some associates) and has cut the rate for new contract lawyers to $35 an hour. Considering the fact that they have quotas and everyone who was hired before the end of last year is making $40, that isn't exactly fair.

Anonymous said...

RUMOR - MANY TO QUIT DECHERT/HUDSON 2 LOGAN PROJECT - There is a rumor that many contract attorneys on the Dechert/Hudson 2 Logan project are planning on quitting because of new rules being imposed pertaining to hours and breaks. Rumor has it that many contract attorneys on the project are going to leave for a project being staffed by Hirecounsel which is supposed to have better pay. More to come as things develop.

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

With all of this negativity, one wonders why anyone would work for Hudson. It is better to be a bartender.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:26

Any specific info on what these new rules are? I had heard that 2 Logan was already pretty draconian to begin with. Are they still paying only $28?

Anonymous said...

PLEASE!! New rules?? Do these rules include things like being quiet, accounting for breaks and overall being and acting like an ATTORNEY? The horror!! Give me a break.
I am off my most recent project (out of work) - so I hope you ALL quit, and I get the chance to work for Simon again - I happen to think he AND Dechert are both great!!!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the project at Stradley is a mismanaged mess. Having dealt with Stradley before, I cannot say I am surprised to hear this.

What will the bean counters at GSK have to say about all this? :-D

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anyone have any idea how much longer the Stradley project is going to go on for. I've heard it's already been going on for just over a year. Is this the next "Vioxx" project? Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

3:30-

Avoid Stradley. I work here, and the place is toxic. They have quotas. They have nothing but contempt for us contract attorneys. They are trying to cut costs and cut the rate for all new people to $35 an hour. They also laid off half the staff attorneys and demoted them to contract attorneys. Also, Pepper is lead counsel, and with the recently announced settlement of Zyprexa, I am worried that they may try to take some of the Avandia work back (they work on it with us). Having said that, I also worked at Vioxx, and it isn't nearly as bad as that place (anyone who defends that place either cares only about the money or doesn't care if he is treated like a professional).

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what that $35 HIRECounsel project in Blue Bell, PA is?

Also, does anyone know what the deal is with Special Counsel staffing people at Pepper? Is that for Zyprexa, or Avandia, or some other new project? I thought that for Zyprexa at least, you're either hired as a direct hire for $38, or hired by the client through HIRECounsel for $30 (which is a pretty ridiculous disparity in pay).

Ian said...
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Ron said...

I agree...Simon is the best, and you all suck!

meatball head said...

I too wanted to voice my love and support for Simon Nagel.

WE LOVE YOU SIMON!!!

shemp said...

Simons rules and you all suck!

bryan adams said...

i farted

Matt Hamilton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rikki rocket said...

i love cheese!

Matt Hamilton said...

Go home for the rest of the month, you fucking turds!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have to say, I think "stupid" needs to be redefined. Pretending to be Matt Hamilton and then putting it on a blog, during the work day, when the real Matt Hamilton actually gets a print-out daily of who visited what website and at what time, to the minute? Now that's a new type of stupid! Go you! (really, you'd think after a million internet warnings, you'd realize that it's easily traceable to find out which doc review person was on which page when...) What a genius. Good luck to you! (P.S. he read this and knows)

Anonymous said...

2:56-- Have you ever heard of a Blackberry? Besides, I wasn't at work because I exceeded the 200 hours. While I understand the need to cut back hours given that most of us were working on Zyprexa and the case settled, they could at least have waited until February to start the new policy. Instead, they send it to us at midnight on the weekend. That was professional. Matt Hamilton can go fuck himself as can Nina Gussack as can you!

Anonymous said...

Never knew you were "entitled" to hours as a...TEMP. You might want to look up the definition of temp employee. You can lose your job at any moment--- let alone lose hours. Then again--- did anyone expect "genius" out of someone who is as eloquent as you? Here's a clue: you might not be treated like a professional as you do not act like one. Might explain your current job status, too. Matt can go eff himself, I'm sure, in your mind... but it's probably a lot more fun with his credentials and pay than you know!! Bitter temps ROCK! So sad the whole associate thing didn't work out for you.. It must suck. Enjoy your time off!!

Anonymous said...

When you read this, you really have to feel awful for the contract attorneys who ARE professional and work hard and do not malign others when upset. There are professional ways to handle grievances and decidedly unprofessional ways. The "adults" must pay the price of imposed restrictions (and a bad reputation for contract attorneys) when the "haters" can't behave like normal, professional people. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Let me make this clear to everyone. In this economy, everyone is a "temp", unless they are a major rainmaker for a firm. Nobody is "entitled" to hours if there is no work, temp or not.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:29, what are you doing reading this board? You either are a fellow loser temp or an associate with way too much time on their hands.

And we know that we are temps, but that doesn't mean Pepper needs to degrade us and treat us like crap. They treat their janitors better!

Saul Tigh said...

4:29, I agree that it is unfortunate that people write such vulgar things and use these boards for personal attacks.

Unfortunately, I think that you are wrong about there being ways to "handle grievances." We are viewed as a fungible resource. How many times have we been told that if we are unhappy, there are dozens of people lined up to take our place? And the thing is that this isn't hyperbole. There is a huge oversupply of lawyers as we have too many law schools churning us out year after year.

The agencies, particularly bottom-feeders such as HIRECounsel, have used this fact to “deflate the rate” and keep our pay low at $30 an hour or even less. More troubling is the fact that it quickly is becoming the norm not to pay time and a half. I know there is an argument that they don’t have to legally, but it is a gray area considering the nature of the work we do. Regardless, it is ridiculous that they are nickel-and-diming us when so many of the clients we work for are pharmaceutical companies, most of which are wealthier than god.

I am not one of those people who complain about how I was misled by the law schools or am some kind of victim. I chose to do this type of work. All I ask for is a certain modicum of respect from both the agencies (which, let’s face it, are total parasites) and the firms. Keep your “Pizza Fridays.” Pay me a decent wage. Pay me time and a half. And treat me as a professional unless I give you a reason not to do so.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Pepper isn't hiring anymore huh?

Anonymous said...

Saul, I empathize with your situation. My "gripe" was about people posting exceedingly defamatory stuff about people who really aren't even truly "in charge" of making decisions. I know both Matt and Simon personally, and they are very "good people." Matt, in particular, has a lot of patience and tolerance. It is really alarming to see that people with a JD are this low to write material like that. It is defamatory, at best. I mean, at least say something concrete and explain how these people are at fault for something within their control. Saying things like "I give blow jobs" to vent is just...disgustingly moronic. Both Matt and Simon are under job pressures that most people posting on this board will never know. It is exceedingly immature and pathetic to talk about people in this way. But I'm sure that no one has to worry about working with people who post such things for long. People like that get caught or fired...even for other reasons. No one is that immature and stupid for 5 min's of the day...they are morons 24/7...and they will get fired or whatnot for some other reason, eventually. Chances are, they lack credentials and intelligence, and they are just bitter losers who probably do a miserable job on a day-to-day basis and have other little "personality quirks" that make them unable to adapt in ANY work culture. Good luck to them. Hope the contract work lasts or else they will be really SOL with personality disorders like that.

Anonymous said...

"...and they are just bitter losers who probably do a miserable job on a day-to-day basis and have other little "personality quirks" that make them unable to adapt in ANY work culture..."

Ironically, this describes Matt and Simon to a tee.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS
Apparently, Oxford laid off all of their recruiters!! That place has to be a sh*thole to work at. They have had like a dozen people in and out of there in the last 2 years. I have been through about 5 recruiters myself since Jan of 07. Now, they literally have NO recruiters I hear. Looks like someone is closing soon.

Anonymous said...

If only Hudson and HIRECounsel would go out of business too. I'd love to see Julie Dailey, Denise Asnes and Joe Funaro unemployed. I know it won't happen, but a coder can dream, can't he?

Anonymous said...

oxford legal is not closing soon.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is up with morgan lewis? are they hiring or are they still having periodic layoffs?

Anonymous said...

rumor has it that oxford has been in trouble since they lost the GSK business because it was pretty much all they had. they have lingering GSK contractors from the past, but once that dries up, who knows what will happen. they let go of all their perm recruiters and now their temp recruiters are gone too. yikes. hopefully this isn't the sign of things to come for contracting all around. think i may finally ditch this lawyer thing and get a medical or teaching degree.

Anonymous said...

How is this for a specific, substantive gripe? Simon Nagel caps contract attorney hours and the hours available to work them in and then has dechert staff attorneys doing 1st level document review. Thus, the client is being billed 2 to 3 times as much for inexperienced workers while I get screwed on my paycheck. Way to put your client first dechert!

Anonymous said...

My favorite was when Dechert allowed those associates who were being laid off from the other section to code documents while they found other jobs.

Hey, it could be worse. At least you get time and a half. I now work for the shysters at HIRECounsel, and they pay us only $30 without the time and a half. The client is a pharmaceutical company, but they got the business by undercutting the competition. Denise and the crew at HC are the worst!

Anonymous said...

I checked the Oxford website, and all the recruiters' bios have been removed.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is going on in the McCarter project? Is that still going strong?

Anonymous said...

Would love updates on McCarter project, Morgan Lewis, and Cozen

Anonymous said...

I last heard the McCarter project had only about 25 contract att'ys still working on it.

Harry Annis said...

I give good blow jobs. Call me.

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

Cozen O'Connor has doc review?

Anonymous said...

Are there still Philly projects going on? I'm in NYC and there has been almost no work for anyone here since last November. Most of us are thinking that it's all being done in the sweatshops of India. So many with huge student loan debt and getting only $405 a week ue.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I can come up with based on people I've talked to and this site and others:

Dechert (staffed by Hudson): Vioxx/Vytorin, they just had their four-year anniversary, and it doesn't seem to be shutting down anytime soon. There are rumors of them moving it across the street from 2 Logan to the Bell-Atlantic Tower. Last I heard, they started at $27 an hour (with time and a half for OT) but had a freeze on raises (people who have been there more than 18 months get $35 an hour. Supposedly, they just hired 12 to 15 people and even added a few staff attorneys. I’ve also heard there are ongoing, smaller projects at Cira Center.

Pepper Hamilton (direct hire, or staffed by HIRECounsel, or staffed by Special Counsel): Zyprexa, Avandia, don't know what the Special Counsel thing is. I've heard direct hires are for either Zyprexa or Avandia and pay $38, but the unlucky HIRECounsel folk are hired exclusively for Zyprexa and are paid $30. So why does ANYONE go there through HC? Because not everyone knows about the direct-hire route, which isn't advertised. I doubt they'll be doing any hiring anytime soon with the Zyprexa settlement and the 200 hours a month/ 10 hours a day cap on hours.

Stradley (staffed by JuriStaff & Special Counsel): Avandia. Pays $35/hour, down from the $40/hour it used to be with Oxford Legal and Special Counsel. Limited hours, are they currently hiring? Who knows how much longer it has to go? After all, with Zyprexa settling maybe Pepper Hamilton will take back the Avandia work.

McCarter English (staffed by Hudson): Seroquel. I don't know what that pays but that project only has a small skeleton crew working on it, and it's unlikely there will be any new hires for the duration of the project.

Morgan Lewis (Providus): Some non-pharmaceutical thing. Pays a nice $35+OT, but I don't know if they'll be doing anymore hiring for the duration of the project. Work seems to be slow to the point of being almost nonexistent at Morgan’s regular review space in the basement adjacent to Suburban Station.

Montgomery McCracken (HIRECounsel). Pharmaceutical case. Pays $30/hour straight time. Smaller project. Just hired people and probably won’t be adding.

Then there's always work at the plaintiff's firm Barroway in Radnor (staffed by HIRECounsel) for a yucky $28/hour, where they reportedly have cameras on the contract attorneys. If you live in the suburbs you won't have to pay Philly wage tax, but so what, it's $28/hour in oppressive working conditions.

JuriStaff recently was looking for people for a short-term (one to two month project), but it was a plaintiffs firm, the hours were extremely limited, you were required to take an hour unpaid break, and there even was a set start time for your workday.

JuriStaff and Special Counsel also have a pharmaceutical review at Reed Smith. It pays $35 an hour. You can pretty much work as much as you want, but it pays straight time. However, this project probably will be wrapping up soon.
There's also that $35/hour HIRECounsel gig in Blue Bell as someone else mentioned. Also for whatever it's worth, HIRECounsel and Special Counsel had a flurry of ads in January. I don't know what else they have besides the aforementioned jobs. Kelly Legal also posted a couple of ads for Center City gigs. I know that they do some work for Dechert.

There also are ongoing jobs down in Wilmington, but they tend to pay $30 or so, and who really wants to work in Wilmington?

Does anyone know if there any jobs at Ballard Spahr, Blank Rome or other firms going on right now? If so, who staffs them, what do they pay, and how long are they slated to last? This blog really could be a resource to take power away from the parasites such as Denise Asnes and Julie Dailey. We should be sharing information. Despite what the firms and agencies might tell you, you can share information about what firm you are working at, what you are being paid and what the work conditions are like.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for giving a serious and helpful answer 7:51.

Anonymous said...

7:51 I posted your response on Tom the Temp's blog and these are the posts about it so far:

Anonymous said...
Thanks for the Philly information.

And here's what's going on in New York City:

(sound of crickets)

(sound of crickets)

(sound of crickets)

Wait a minute, there is a Japenese doc review in Midtown paying $100 per hour, but you need to be fluent in Japanese, run a 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds, be able to juggle, and have Concordance experience.

1:17 PM

estate planning said...
The economy stinks right now. All we can do is plan for the future. Save your money, and hopefully we'll get out of this recession soon!

2:04 PM

Anonymous said...
It was extremely thoughtful for the blogger to provide the information about current temp doc review jobs....good human being.

2:49 PM

Anonymous said...

IS the Morgan project even still going on? No one seems to be there

Anonymous said...

Even agencies with former good reputations are now engaging in the sleazy tactics of the others, solicting resumes for jobs that do not exist.

Anonymous said...

We all know HIRECounsel is one of the worst, most untrustworthy agencies (I, unfortunately, currently am on one of their "wonderful" $30-an-hour straight-time-for-OT projects).

However, I am disappointed in JuriStaff. They stole all the GSK work away from other agencies by promising to pay us less. So the $40-an-hour Stradley project became $35-an-hour, and the $40-an-hour Reed Smith project also became $35.

Anonymous said...

Update Legal has been posting stuff on CareerBuilder lately asking for resumes, but I guess they don't actually have any projects going on right now. In fact, while they might have some paralegal work, I don't think they've had anything for attorneys in Philly since 2006, if not earlier.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a friend of mine jokes that the reason they are called "Update" is because all they do is update their files. I have been registered with them for a long time, and they have never found me in anything.

Most of the recent jobs seem to be through JuriStaff and HIRECounsel. I've had good experiences with JuriStaff, but HC is the worst. I don't think I've met two more despicable people than Denise Asnes and Joe Funaro. Look up "sleaze" in the dictionary, and there is a picture of Joe.

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

I want to bang hot chicks.

Anonymous said...

Shemp, if that's the case, don't do document review. As we all know, hot chicks don't do this kind of work, and no hot chick would bang a document reviewer.

Anonymous said...

Update Legal collects resumes in Philadelphia but they never actually have projects here. I've been at this for about 3 years and have never heard a single person say they that were ever on an Update project in Philly. I'm not sure if there have been any new projects in the last few months of any real size - and a good deal of the work is Plaintiffs side

Anonymous said...

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

Some law schools are seeing a decrease in applicants. I am disturbed that Villanova and Drexel are seeing increases. Almost everyone I know who went to Villanova ended up well over $100,000 in debt. They are struggling to pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if pepper and morgan lewis laid off contract attorneys?

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Pepper hasn't laid anyone off yet. Instead, they capped their hours at 200 a month.

Morgan hasn't had much work lately, so they haven't had a need to call in many contract attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Does MOrgan keep the current contract attorneys on-call? or did they lay them off?

Anonymous said...

Yay!

http://abovethelaw.com/2009/02/nationwide_layoff_watch_decher.php

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would anyone be happy about that news

Anonymous said...

Schadenfreude-- I enjoy the suffering of others.

Anonymous said...

i think you are missing that if it happens to them, it will likely happen to you. they don't value temps to begin with- if they fire staff attorneys, you are next. it doesn't bode well for the profession, in general. and if they fired someone with infinitely better credentials than a temp, well, then...they won't hesitate to make cuts there, either.

Anonymous said...

4:20 PM,

It is a foolish mistake to assume that a staff attorney has "better credentials" than a temp.

There are plenty of temps who are ex-biglaw associates, and there are plenty of temps who used to do pretty well at smaller firms. They just decided that the stress wasn't worth it anymore. I can guarantee you that a lot of those people are far more credentialed than most staff attorneys.

Staff attorneys cost more for a firm to maintain than a temp. If it comes down to costs, it may be cheaper for a firm to keep a temp than an SA.

Anonymous said...

There are exceptions to the profile of the average temp, but by and large, they didn't get jobs elsewhere. Sure, you have the occasional, more experienced temp- but for the most part, they are the people who went to 4th tier law schools and haven't found other jobs or have lost their jobs. Rarely do you get a top-tier law grad with a high class rank and great summer experience. There are exceptions, sure, but the majority are not blessed with such credentials.

Big law firms still wouldn't hire most of the temps as staff attorneys as they don't want the 4th tier law schools on their websites. The client doesn't care if the document reviewer went to a 4th tier law school..but they won't hire a firm that doesn't have even staff attorneys with top credentials. It's all about advertising. Not saying it's fair, but that's how it is. While many people who went to lower tier law schools may indeed be better attorneys than some Ivy leaguers, that's the way it works.

Anonymous said...

Most people with student loans who are young don't "choose" to have work that could end at any second. Most people don't choose to be coders after spending 3 years in law school.

There may be people with families that choose this later on. That's a personal decision. Generally, those temps are older and have child care issues.

But those temps who are 1, 2 years out of school...they didn't "choose" this. Most people who went to law school had big, ambitious goals. No one assumed 100K in debt to work in a basement surrounded by some of the most disgruntled people on earth. It's just a way to pay the bills, and if offered a PERM. position, they would take it in a heartbeat. "Coder" is not the most flattering term after 3 years of higher ed. Maybe some would make that decision after having a child that is more important than their job, but that is rare.

Rarely do people say, "hey, I'm going to law school cause i'm dying to code following graduation...I am just dying to sit in a room with other people and worry about being laid off each day when a project ends."

It may be a choice after several years of practice for some, but by and large, it's no one's career destination, and most wouldn't be a "coder" if given the shot at being an associate.

Anonymous said...

Most people wouldn't choose being a coder if given the option of managing, say, a Best Buy, even in these economic climates LET ALONE being an associate. Coders are some of the most miserable, bitter, decrepit people in the legal industry.

Anonymous said...

I've been at this for a while in three different cities - I've never met anyone who "chooses" to temp instead of a permanent job -

on occasion you'll come across someone on the "mommy track" - but even then, wouldn't that person want a real part-time job with benefits and real days off?

Anonymous said...

This was posted by HIRECounsel yesterday. I wonder if this is for Barroway Topaz. Note that the client is from the "Philadelphia suburbs." And we know that Barroway is notorious for having cameras on the contract attorneys, so maybe they need a new camera watcher.



Entry Level Paralegal for Long Term Project


Entry Level Paralegal/Proctor

Our client, a prominent law firm in the Philadelphia suburbs, is seeking an entry level paralegal/proctor for a long term assignment. Responsibilties include monitoring and supervising the daily work of contract attorneys and responding to employee questions and concerns. Qualified candidates must be professional and responsible, be able to communicate clearly to employees, attend to details, and be alert and observant for the duration of the assignment. Must have a college degree. If interested, please submit your resume ASAP. This is a great opportunity for someone going to school at night and needs a steady job during the day.

Matt Hamilton said...

No more Internet usage for you!

Anonymous said...

9:03 AM,

The answer to your question is no. A lot of the working moms have heath care coverage through their husbands' employment.

The fact that document review is often very flexible about hours, and the fact that you forget about the work when you go home are major incentives for working moms. Does mom really want to be stressing about some court deadline when she gets home and has to take care of the kids?

Anonymous said...

Guess mom wasn't very ambitious, then. I mean, why did she got to law school? THat's what law is all about. Deadlines, cases, preparation...why go if you know that's in your future?

Come to think of it, I don't even know any moms who temp who had top-tier law school credentials. I don't see many Harvard Law grads coding, period...moms or not... Probably because those Harvard law moms are the ones who married the guys who are partners now at top firms- so they aren't about to slum it in some coding room!

But seriously, if a woman wanted to be a mom and not worry about deadlines, why not find another profession? Why go to law school at all? Or if you want a change of pace after the kids are born, why not try another job that makes more money,has some job security, has a LOT more prestige than being a coder, and stimulates your mind a lot more than being a coder?

I just find it hard to imagine that anyone who had the ambition to go to law school would suddenly just throw all of that away and think it's great to hit coding buttons all day. I know plenty of people who have kids who didn't deteriorate THAT much post-baby, mentally and ambition-wise.

Generally, if someone is a motivated, cerebral person BEFORE a child, they stay that way after, and coding would really NOT be a fulfilling way of life.

Mary said...

"I've never met anyone who "chooses" to temp instead of a permanent job"

Me, I do! I had a "real" job for 6years. Left the real job world when I was pregnant and I love doing this. It's a very decent supplement to my husband's salary and we have good benefits through his work. I was able to do it part-time after being out for a year and half... I meet interesting fun people (and some very funny crazy people), make a decent amount of extra money, no stress and I take off when I need/want to ... I love that I can take off for a year and have no trouble getting another gig ... I don't know - I think it's great for someone like me... I am quite happy... Although I will say now that I have been doing for over three years, it's probabaly not 'really' by 'choice anymore as I think the longer one does this sort of work, the less likely it is one can go back to practicing law at a 'real' job..

Anonymous said...

yeah but you HAD a "REAL" job for six years, how about all us 2006-2007 grads that have ONLY done this? The great majority of us have ONLY temped...there is nothing for the resume. We went to law school for THIS? to NEVER have worked in a real law job? I can understand doing this once the other stuff is on your resume...but when this is all you've done, and after this long, all you can EVER expect to do...and never 'practice' or take deps or even write a brief...it's a sad life. NO one chose THAT..to just graduate and temp...if you've practiced and "choose" this, that's one thing...but that's not most people...and some of us will never get to having kids if we don't get a real job FIRST...what was the point of law school and taking the bar? To work in a dump? to never use the skills you hoped to? no, I didn't choose this, and no one else I know would, either. Maybe in 5 years after a kid..but not when you're 27 and never had any other job

Mary said...

Yes, I understand... I realize I probably would not be so happy if I hadn't experienced the 'real' job. So I get what you're sayin'...

Ronald Dumsfeld said...

4:11 PM,

The unfortunate reality is that you go to work in the economy we have, not in the economy we want.

It doesn't matter that you went to law school and passed some bar exam if there is nobody in the economy who wants to hire you. If the only jobs available are $30/hr document review jobs, that's what law grads will be doing.

Your only recourse may be to start your own practice. This is obviously a difficult path, but if you want to represent clients in court, write briefs, and negotiate settlements, it may be the only way to go.

Ronald Dumsfeld said...

This may be blunt, but also, if 4:11PM is ambitious and cerebral, as he/she indicates most law students were, then wouldn't it make sense for them to put that ambition towards starting a practice?

This may depend on financial constraints as well. Student loan burdens can make starting a business difficult if not impossible.

Anonymous said...

There is no way anyone can pay back oodles of student loans AND pay malpractice insurance AND bar fees...and rent...and food...

What I meant by ambitious and cerebral was that I wouldn't be doing this by CHOICE if i had a damned choice.

But I don't.

But i am certainly not going to make myself feel better by saying, this is great, this is what I would choose to do.

I am here because i didn't go to a top law school, because i didn't have a summer job that was anything to brag about, and because I wasn't top of my class. I am not under any illusions.

I would never choose to do this, not in a million years. i am not proud to tell people I am a contract lawyer. Who would brag about this?

I am here because I didn't do well enough. I am well aware of that. ANd i"m not bitter towards those who did do better and have "real" jobs. THat's the way things go. I don't feel a need to knock them and their accomplishments. They did well- more power to them. WIsh I were they, and I"m not going to lie to make myself feel better.

It's like when I see a Victoria's secret model. I don't call her ugly or a druggie just because I"m jealous or I don't look like that. I don't work hard enough at the gym to look like that, anyway. Why knock someone who did do better?

The people at firms who are associates? or partners? or even staff attorneys? They did something right. It wasn't sheer luck that they are there. I didn't work as hard, I didn't do as well, what else is there to say?

I get sick of everyone knocking the more successful on here. I would never choose to do this and I highly doubt that even the most overworked associate would say, let me go code, I'm dying to do so.

If I had to do it over, I can see the corrections i'd make to ensure a better outcome. I'd study harder, I"d make sure i went to a better law school. If you go to a 3rd or 4th tier, it may not even be worth it to go. Hindsight is 20/20, but I"m stuck doing this now, and it's not what I wanted for my life, but it's no one's fault but my own, or maybe not even my fault, but perhaps I was lacking the abilities that some Top Am100 associates had.

Bottom line.

Anonymous said...

I went to law school for the wrong reasons--I had no idea where I was going in life with a worthless liberal arts degree that I had no passion for, and I had no real career interests. I knew that if I didn't go to grad school, I had absolutely no shot of making good money. I told myself that if I went to law school, I could get interested in law and pave a way to make good money.

Well, I didn't work particularly hard in law school, having no interest or passion in the law, and there was nothing I could do to force myself to like it or study hard, and so I muddled through as a middle of the pack student. I tried working in boutique firms (since that's about the best you're going to do with average credentials) and I didn't like it at all, especially the pay.

So I got into doc review for the same reason everyone does--the pay. But the sad thing is that doc review, for 40 hours' work per week, pays the same or more than the majority of entry-level associate jobs, at least in Philadelphia. Other than the small number of the top of the class/Ivy League law grads that get the Biglaw $150K+ associate positions, you're not going to start at more than the mid $60s at BEST around here. Now 40 hours a week at doc review, even at a mediocre $30/hr, for 50 weeks, gets you to $60,000/year. And you didn't have to work nearly as hard or as long as someone in some mid-sized firm like Marshall Dennehey to get there.

I don't love practicing law, so it's not like I really feel that I'm missing out not working 70 hours a week for $60,000 a year. I don't miss the law firm culture of schmoozing, being a politician, having to go to stupid parties and dinners with clients, putting in weekend "face time," basically making work my life. I don't live to work, I work to live. I'm not a competitive person, and I don't care if anyone wants to make fun of me for who I am. Because on the same token, no one could care less, no one out there in the real world is impressed if I put in an 80 hour work week and spend nights sleeping in the office. What good does that really do in the end.

I don't know about some of you, but having a stress-free work-life with a comfortable bank account is all I need. True, the major problem with doc review is the instability. Yeah, that aspect of it sucks. But as far as intellectual fulfillment goes and having a meaningful life, there are plenty of things one can do outside of work. I don't need to have a career to justify my existence in this world. Sadly, I think there are many lawyers who utterly hate what they do, but need to be able to say, "Look at me, I have a career!" as if the rest of the world could give a shit. I just don't see what the point is in being miserable.

Flame away. I definitely don't feel sad that I won't have to be working from now through Saturday night to make sure I get in those precious billables for February before time runs out.

Anonymous said...

5:38 just because people have successful careers does not mean they are superior to us. Most in our society who make it don't do it on their own. Many come from or marry into families with money and connections. Sad but true. A total idiot can go far in a big law firm just by having rich parents who use their connections. Someone like that doesn't have to worry about student loan debt either. Don't think that they are better or more deserving than you just because they had advantages you never got.

Anonymous said...

Uh, have you checked most of the credentials of top firm people? THE GREAT MAJORITY were top of their class. The top five firms in this city refuse to hire anyone NOT in the top 10 percent of their class. THat does not mean they were better people, but it sure as crap means they had better grades and didn't go to a 4th tier school. Better or above us? Maybe not in the 'general" sense, but they did "ACHIEVE" more.

You can't get into Dechert/Pepper/Morgan/etc. just by knowing someone if you aren't top 10 percent. It's a RULE there. They won't even take top 10 percent from a 4th tier law school.

it's just like saying someone who went to Yale/Harvard/etc. for undergrad (when you went to, say, Kalamazoo State) isn't a "better" person than you, but they did have higher SAT's and class rank. YOu may always have the one guy who is a legacy, but by and large, if YOUR SAT's, etc. were high, you would have gotten in, too.

But Idon't think they are "better," or "more deserving," but I think they may have achieved more. I know where I screwed up, and if i could do it over, I could make corrections and not be coding.

Anonymous said...

3:05 although big law firms have lots of Ivy leaguers they also have those whose credentials are conspicuously off and were placed solely through connections. My best friend in law school - a TTT school (even with wealthy parents my friend, who was lots of fun, couldn't slide into a top tier school) - walked right into an office at a big firm although she was nowhere near the top of the class. Top tier students also often only get into those schools because they had families who could and did pull strings. Many top tier students had families who paid for them while those not from wealthy families had to work their way through law school and college. There is a huge difference between having all the time in the world to study in college and law school and having to work while you're doing it. The reason so many Ivy leaguers have wealthy parents is not because they are intellectually superior. It is not a coincidence. I don't quite know how anyone can miss the importance of wealth and connections in pour society. In case you haven't noticed, it exists. We do not live in a society that is primarily based upon merit. Money rules.

Anonymous said...

well, several of my friends were was top 5 in their classes at a 2nd tier schools and are currently partners at a top 5 firms, so....

Yes, there are exceptions, but the majority have gotten there by excellent credentials.

Then again, make yourselves feel better however you want.

In ANY profession, connections can help. But while 10 percent may get there by those connections, 90 percent did not.

A lot of this is obviously self-soothing. Oh, I wouldn't want that job anyway, or oh, their daddy was rich.

but the bottom line remains; most temps couldn't have those jobs if they wanted it more than life itself, and most temps weren't top ranked at even 2nd tier law schools.

I know stats would prove that.

So, while SOME may not want that job and while SOME people may know a rich brat who got lucky, by and large, the majority of us temps do not have the experience or grades to work at these firms, whether we want to or not.

And there are other legal jobs that aren't in grueling firms, and we don't seem to have them either. Federal/state agencies, clerkships...obviously, some of us who fear the big firm life would take those jobs to avoid that life...and yet, we are still here. I have PLENTY of friends in firms or elsewhere who DO like their jobs...that IS a fact...
There are other paths to take if you can even get THOSE jobs.

All i'm saying is, pinpointing the few people who got a job because they knew someone or saying you wouldn't want firm life because ALL of the firms suck is just a cop-out. It's sour grapes.


And for anyone who thinks this line of work is going to last forever, it won't. What is so great about being a temp when there are HARDY ANY JOBS any more and that ones that DO exist treat you like kids? The well has dried up, it is OBVIOUS, and this "surge" of temps for document review won't last forever.

And if you never had another job besides this, you have NO experience that translates into a law firm or govt agency when they DO eventually start hiring again...

So there you are. Vying for what is already a FEW temp jobs, with no garnered experience.

I can't say this is a great life.

Projects are ending, those that exist are few and far between, and in the meantime, we have no tangible legal experience that any firm is interested in hiring.

So anyone who says they really like this life...well, maybe you do for now, but it won't last forever, and it's already drying up.

Not fun. And no, it doesn't make me feel better to say, well, I wouldn't want to work at a firm anyway and half the people there are rich brats. That concept isn't helping me pay my bills or get the overtime I need to pay my loans back.

I'd rather have the damned job than console myself with that crap as I sit here and code and don't gain one hirable skill.

Anonymous said...

Not to break the great debate, but anyone hear about pepper's latest move to no internet, no phones

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Pepper review quickly has become one of the worst in town. It makes one wonder if Matt Hamilton is trying to get people to quit because of the Zyprexa settlement.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go back to the not so great debate but a person has to be very naive to not get that many with great careers in law would never have gotten into top tier schools to begin with if it hadn't been for their wealthy parents. Maybe mommy and daddy paid for some of you and you don't like to admit it, but there is a reason that so many in top tier schools have wealthy parents and it is not because they are more deserving or smarter. Actually wealth in this country is usually attained by being born into it, after somebody broke a whole lot of laws to get it in the first place. You are hopelessly naive, out of touch or deluded if you think that most in the top tier schools would ever have gotten there without coming from families with money.

Look at at George W. Bush. Does anyone actually believe he would have gone to a top college or become rich if his daddy hadn't been President?

News flash: money and connections rule in our society.

Anonymous said...

I love excuse makers.

Anonymous said...

I went to a top-tier school for both undergrad and law school(I temped BRIEFLY, and still read this to laugh at some of the menaltities), and my family is about as far from prestigious as you can get. My parents may have enough connections to get you a seat at an Old Country Buffet. But I had really high SAT's, grades, and LSAT's. Guess that helped. And by God, I had some good scholarships, too. Guess that hard work paid off and I got out of temp land pretty fast. But sadly, I don't get to play the victim like some of you. Aw, shucks.

Anonymous said...

9:15 and 9:46 denying that money and connections are what counts most in moving ahead is absurd. What planet are you on anyway?

Anonymous said...

I am on a better planet than you are, clearly.

I am married to a partner at a top firm (who had no connections himself)and I am an employed lawyer at a job that I love (that I was able to get with no connections). I work in one of these "firms" some of you claim you wouldn't want to work at, anyway. And I love it and I have an awesome schedule and make great money! It is possible. Get that.

so, I can say, money/connections aren't what helped me get where I am. It was hard work. And lots of it. For both me and my husband.

Funny how that works. Not as easy as making excuses, tho.

I'm pretty happy. I'll let you know if our connections help our kids one day, tho! that would rock and I'd be really happy for them if they don't have to work as hard as we had to to get where we are.

I hope you are right!

Anonymous said...

10:18 wherever went to school you apparently didn't learn a thing. You seem to be totally ignorant of reality and blissfully so. Maybe that is why you want to think your husband made it on his own and that your getting a job had nothing to do with him. It is much more pleasant to delude yourself into thinking that you made it on your own. Steve Forbes probably always thought he made it on his own.

The planet you are on isn't earth so maybe it is a better one. On this planet idiot do-nothings get great positions because of wealth and connections all the time. For you to deny that means that you either are dishonest or deluded.

You even admit you hope to have a child who succeeds based upon your connections, not merit. That also says much about your lack of credibility. Then again, most in positions they got only through connections and money can't admit to themselves that they don't deserve it, haven't earned it and could they never compete on the merits - not in a million years.

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

M. Hamilton has been threatening to ban the internet for over a year, so no surprise there.

As far as the phones go, it's pretty clear that coders as well as other people on the floors (who could hear the coders when they meandered into the hallways) complained about noise levels, so now they're getting draconian about it.

Anonymous said...

On the child thing, apparantly you are unable to grasp sarcasm.

And given that my husband doesn't even know anyone at my job, works in an entirely different area of law, and given that I don't even use his name, no, i don't think his position helped me one iota. Nor were we even married at the time I got my job.

So let me guess..you are where you are just because of bad luck? You didn't get great LSAT's because all the rich people's scores pushed yours down? Your law school rank wasn't top because the richies set the curve (blind grading be damned, you can tell who has money by how they answer questions!)

Wow, I just never knew that all the successful people I knew were so....dumb?

God, even the poor ones...they must have had money

Anonymous said...

11:26 you have a real taxing job. You just sit around and blog all day. I'm beginning to doubt every facet of your story, it just doesn't ring true.

Denying that wealth and connections are the sole reason that many and their untalented children become financially successful is off the wall. In politics alone,there are a huge amount who are in public office just because of their family names. Their families can get all the great positions and deals they want. That even reaches into scholarship decisions. In business and law, relatives and friends are given great positions all the time. Rich peoples' children are not unemployed unless they don't feel like working. You really have never noticed any of this? Come on.

Of course, those who didn't earn their positions never seem to be able to face up to that. Their egos just can't take the truth.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed it, but what i'm saying is, it's not why EVERYONE who has a good job has one. Maybe a few, but not EVERYONE, and I'm sure you will have to agree.

coming from a poor family, I definitely saw the rich getting favors, etc., but I just never used it as an excuse, is what I'm saying. i just knew i had to work that much harder to make it. I knew i had to achieve more than what they did in order to arrive at the same place. That is all I'm saying. Not that it doesn't happen, but that it's not the RULE.

Anonymous said...

It isn't an excuse; it is reality. It is not just a few. When is the last time you heard of someone from a wealthy family being unemployed while trying really hard to get a job? If you actually know of anyone like that, did they have to work in crappy jobs to pay the rent while they were in college and law school or could they spend all the time they wanted studying. For some people, time to study is a luxury they just can't afford.

This discussion started with someone putting himself down and saying those in the top tier schools and in the big firms no doubt were superior to him. Their jobs don't mean they are superior to him. There is no level playing field.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that just a few of those in T1 schools are from wealthy families.

Anonymous said...

This debate about law school "achievement" is ridiculous. I know for a fact that "achievement" in law school is arbitrary (hence the ""s).

Take the example of two of my friends from law school. Friend X had a 3.6 GPA, and was in the top 10%. Friend Y had a 3.43 GPA, and was in the top 20%. Friend X was on Law Review, but did not become an editor. Friend Y settled for a spot on a secondary journal, was published, and eventually became an editor. Friend X had lots of OCI interviews and eventually became a biglaw associate with a 135k/year salary + bonus. Friend Y barely got any OCI interviews and ended up making 55k/year.

All this because of a 0.17 difference in GPA. 0.17 isn't even the difference between a B+ and an A- (3.33 versus 3.67). When you consider that law school exams are generally graded fairly arbitrarily, you can't say that someone with a 3.6 is substantially better than someone with a 3.43.

Both friend X and Y went to top tier undergraduate schools. Friend Y actually had several years of work experience outside of law school at a Fortune 500 company, while friend X went to law school straight out of undergrad. Both are friendly, professional individuals.

"Achievement" my ass. Law firms don't hire on "achievement", they hire on shallow paper credentials.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what this is (HIRECounsel job recently posted on CareerBuilder):

Document Review Attorney – Immediate and long term

We are currently working with one of Center City’s premier law firms to staff a large document review project involving a securities class action. This is a great opportunity for admitted attorneys to work on an interesting matter. Project is slated to run a minimum of 3 months but could go longer. Start date is not set as of yet so if interested, please send your resume now!

Qualified candidates must have:

Bar admission (active and in good standing) in any State
Professional demeanor & Solid Work Ethic
Immediate availability for AT LEAST 3 months
Live in or commutable distance to Philadelphia, PA
Must be available to work at least 40-45 hours a week
Prior document review experience is required
Experience in corporate law, securities or other financial background is a plus but not necessary.

Tyler Durden said...

I heard last summer that she was placing people at Barrack Rodos for only $25/hr with straight time for over-time. They may be hiring again, but there are a handful of other mid-sized class action firms in CC that handle securities cases also.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone here is pretty ignorant as to all aspects of privilege in general, including white, male, christian, heterosexual privilege to name a few.

Simon Nagel said...

Jude Law rule!!! 5:50 is privileged because it mentions the word "privilege" twice! Send it to the privilege team!

Anonymous said...

I'm no Simon fan, but that was weak.

Anonymous said...

Any truth to the rumor that Pepper Hamilton is laying off a bunch of their contract attorneys?

Anonymous said...

Pepper may not lay them off, but they may fire a few if the contract attorneys don't adhere to the new rules.

Anonymous said...

The "new rules" are really just the same rules that have been in place since I've been here, except now they're being enforced. They're really not that hard to follow.

If you ran a business, and you had employees who screwed off all day on the internet, make phone calls, and disrupt the work environment for those who actually were working, what would you do? I find it amazing that people behave like third graders, and then complain when they're treated as such. I surely hope that no one who's complaining were the same people who were flinging rubber bands, playing football, playing with baby dolls and spinning around in chairs (all things that have literally gone on at this project).

Anonymous said...

Believe me, Matt Hamilton did what he had to do, and anyone who dislikes it clearly wasn't working very hard to begin with. I have heard people complain that now they are unable to get personal calls at work. Um, duh, that's the whole point. You aren't supposed to unless it's an emergency. Professionals don't sit on the phone all day with personal calls (or, stand in hallways on the phone).

Matt is very even-handed and fair and has been very accomodating. These rules were in place long ago and he merely enforced them. He trusted people for a LONG time to act like professionals, and when he found out his trust was violated, he took other measures. Good for him.

Anonymous said...

What would be an ideal solution, in my opinion, is to fire the people who act like children and don't do any work, instead of inflict group punishment. But no, on every project I have ever been on, they go with group punishment because it's a much easier way of handling things. Much like it is for the teacher to just keep the whole class in for recess instead of single out the perpetrators.

It's unfortunate, because those that are capable of acting like professionals, maybe spending 10-15 minutes a day on the internet just to check their e-mail and keep up with the world (on their own, unbilled time), now won't be able to do even that. People who had the common sense to speak quietly on the cell phone for no more than a couple minutes at a time in the room, in situations where it wouldn't make any sense to leave the room and make this big production out of a phone call they knew would only take a minute, now have to be inconvenienced.

The end result, with people who act like childish jerk-offs, and management who knows no other solution but group punishment, is an oppressive, miserable place to work.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely 5:19 PM. I am aghast that your management at Pepper has demonstrated such poor leadership.

Poor leadership and business practices are unfortunately par for the course at large law firms. Frankly, the behavior I see at these institutions is often nothing short of disgraceful. I guess that's why the people who run these firms are lawyers. They would never last a month at a Fortune 500 company.

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