Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wolf Block is dead!!!

Well, one major Philadelphia legal institution for the past 106 years passed away. Wolf block voted to disband the other day. The reasons that have been put forward are: mergers and acquisitions, structured finance or real estate focused practice; the economic recession; the current credit crunch; and oh, the fact that the partners did not want to stand behind their own firm. One report I read indicated that a large part of this was that not very many of the partners wanted to personally ensure the line of credit that they needed to take out for operating expenses, and that they were upset that profits were down so the partners only made $321,000 on average in 2008 (Down from $400,000 in 2007).

Some Links:
Philly Inquirer--Wolf Block Lawyers Face Difficult Job-hunting Climate

Philly Daily News--Wolf Block Lawyers Left Only With Fond Memories


Legal Intelligencer--No Easy Answers in Wolf Block's Demise

Legal Intelligencer--Credit Woes, Failed Merger Bids Take Toll on Wolf Block

Wall Street Journal--Wolf Block to Dissolve Philadelphia Law Firm

Business Journal--Wolf Block law firm to dissolve

The thing is that I believe that many firms large and small do not get the concept that there needs to be at least a vague semblance of a pyramidal structure of leadership. The fact is that most firms, even those mega firms like Dechert are too top heavy. There are too many partners and equity partners and not enough accountability. When you have too many partners, you can not get them to all agree on anything, and in fact you are likely to have many of them making more conservative moves without their names on the door or their own personal money invested. The partners will rarely put themselves out of work, and you can be sure that all of the partners from this dissolution will end up somewhere else. The young attorneys will be scrambling, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them on contract jobs in the future.

As far as why you should be concerned. While I have not heard of Wolf Block hiring any contractors in the last five years (so we are not really losing a contract employer), as I just mentioned, there are that many other lawyers out there looking for work. Will they deign to do contract work? In this economy, probably. Will they be able to find associate or partner positions? It sounds like many are already lining up these positions, but of course that means any contractor looking for an associate position is going to find it that much harder to find one. And with some firms already delaying first year start dates, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that offers are rescinded putting more recent grads in the desperate position of needing to work anywhere. Also, don't forget that many firms suffer from a top heavy management structure, and layoffs at major firms have been touching all levels. A dissolution could happen to any firm in the near future, even Pepper Hamilton, Morgan Lewis, or Dechert. So even those of you who have been contracting at those places for years, are not necessarily safe (and certainly less safe than the associates or partners).

For those of you who would use this to point out that contracting is just as secure as any other job out there, think again. If you are an associate somewhere, even if all you have ever done is Document Review work, you are perceived to have a skill set, as a contractor you are not. As an associate, even in situations like this you are entitled to certain benefits, or portions thereof, as a contractor you are entitled to nothing. As a contractor, you will likely be the first one out on the street, and the last one to be hired by a new firm. There is more job security as a full-time employee, and a recognized skill set that comes along with the position which makes you more mobile when it comes to looking for new employment.

Contract attorneys actually do have a skill set, but you wouldn't know it from the way firms treat applicants for full-time positions that have primarily contract experience, nor from the way that they treat contractors on document reviews for the firms (firms tend to treat contractors as idiots who barely graduated high school, and believe that anyone can do the work, though the last associate that I saw code a document screwed it up and crashed the system). The real question is how to make that skill set known and transferable.

I digress though, what are your thoughts.

As far as those of you asking about additional work, I have no updates other than to say it sounds like several contract firms are trolling for resumes. And I am sure for positions to post people in, but many of them do not have positions ready immediately.

Feel free to comment.

Black Sheep

890 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   801 – 890 of 890
800 said...

Me too. Eat shit!!

Anonymous said...

Here we go:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1765405121.html

Tyler Durden said...

Here's a shout-out to our comrade Lance David Lewis!

You screw everybody with your bad behavior.

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/06/all-play-and-no-work-made-lance-a-disbarred-boy/#more-19785

Anonymous said...

http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/disciplinaryboard/dboardopinions/175DB2009-Lewis.pdf

Code Monkey said...

Looks like things are picking up. Mary Ellis @ Excelerate, Elissa R. Outtrim @ Assigned Counsel and RR Donnelley are starting new or ramping up existing projects.

I'm going to get my ass out there and start making some fat lawyer scratch for Aunt Sallie.

She's nice when I have money for her.

I get clumsy and get hurt when she gets mad.

You wouldn't like her when she's angry...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

http://www.testiclesonmyface.com/teabagmemore/ohmy.com

Anonymous said...

Was that graduate degree worth the money? Probably not---

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-phd-blues-20100604,0,6349908.story

Anonymous said...

Any news or updates on Morgan? I know some people started last week or so.

Lance David Lewis said...

I'm still billing at Vioxx, too.

Anonymous said...

Heard there were massive layoffs at Stradley...

Anonymous said...

I heard that too. Better call your recruiter to get in at Morgan, seems like theyre the only ones hiring right now.

Anonymous said...

Which recruiters staff at Morgan?

Keep on Felchin' said...

Just got this email:

Hi,
I am staffing a document review project at Deloitte Consulting in Westfield, NJ,07090. The project will begin early July and run for 6 months. You must be admitted (any State) and be able to commute to Westfield, NJ every day to qualify for this opportunity. Please look at the details below and answer all questions if you want to be submitted to this project.
You do not need to reply to this e-mail if you are not interested. No phone calls please.

Project Details:
Pay-$29/hour
Hours-40 hours a week during regular business hours (9:00am-5:30pm)
Length of assignment – 6 months
Start – Approximately July 7th
Interview requirement prior to be accepted on the assignment
Location – Deloitte Consulting, 219 East Broad St., Westfield, NJ 07090

Answer All Questions:
Name?
Best number to reach you?
Can you commute to Westfield, NJ by car on a daily basis?
Will you need to take any time off beginning July 7th through the next 3 months?
If so, what dates?
Can you begin this project the 1st or 2nd week of July?
Where are you admitted?

Denise Asnes
Managing Director

Hire Counsel
1500 Market Street
12th Floor, East Tower
Philadelphia, PA 19102

phone 215 246 3451
fax 215 665 5766
dasnes@hirecounsel.com
http://www.hirecounsel.com

Anonymous said...

An Open Letter to Temple Law

Before I begin, I wish to state again how much I appreciate Temple, how much I enjoyed attending there, and how highly I value the education and credentials I received.

But I also write, as a friend and even as a booster, that Temple should use the current crisis to address the unmet needs of the community, rather than to simply continue on its current course.

There is no longer a need for Temple Law to serve as a law school of last resort for people otherwise excluded from the practice of law. That noble goal was right and appropriate, but for another era. Today, I believe it to be the case that no person willing to take the LSAT and pay full fare for legal training will lack for the chance to go to an accredited law school which will allow him to sit for the bar exam. Temple should not aspire to separate those desperate students from their money. If the devil pleads that the wicked deed must be done, I fear you need but stand aside and lesser schools will leap to toil in such unholy work.

Instead, what we need now most are law schools of unquestioned professional rigor, in both students and faculty, combined with the lowest possible cost per credit hour, and the strongest possible efforts to ensure the full legal employment of every student who passes through the doors. And in all of these things, Temple should aim to be among the most transparent law schools in the world. We should seek to know what becomes of every student, and, in desperate circumstance such as the recent economic downturn, willing to employ drastic measures to ensure that young attorneys are not cast adrift.

One critical measure is reducing the supply of new attorneys. Because of the ABA’s phenomenal lack of leadership the nation is inundated with new classes of attorneys for which there are simply no jobs. Temple should shrink its class sizes, and argue in every venue that its fellow law schools do the same until the market stabilizes.

I send you money every year: always my alumni dues, and some years even a little extra. But think about how much more you would receive, not just from me, but also from my more disillusioned fellow alumni, if you took the steps I mentioned above. Prove that you do not think of your students as “consumers” for whom you feel no responsibility once the financial transaction is complete.

And once you have demonstrated, through the power of example, that there is a better way, I think that other law schools will follow your lead. And if they do not, well, their Trustees and Visitors will answer for that sooner or later.

Sincerely,
A frustrated doc review attorney.

Code Monkey said...

Re: An Open Letter to Temple Law

"… address the unmet needs of the community…"


Really? Temple’s been competitive for at least the last ten years. Got a dream but unremarkable gpa and LSAT? That’s what Cooley’s for.

"Today, I believe it to be the case that no person …[with a pulse]… lack[s] for the chance to go to an accredited law school which will allow him to sit for the bar exam. Temple should not aspire to separate those desperate students from their money. If the devil pleads that the wicked deed must be done, I fear you need but stand aside and lesser schools will leap to toil in such unholy work. "

Are you quoting Ronnie James Dio? Are you saying that a law school should tell an otherwise qualified person, capable of signing a contract, free to purchase a motorcycle, handgun or whiskey shouldn’t be admitted to law school because there may be a less than rosy outcome? How patronizing. I’ll bet that when you were applying to law schools you were hoping that they’d open the doors wide enough to let you in. Now you’re asking them to close them behind you.

…[Insert platitude here]… "and the strongest possible efforts to ensure the full legal employment of every student who passes through the doors. ... and, in desperate circumstance such as the recent economic downturn, willing to employ drastic measures to ensure that young attorneys are not cast adrift."

Like what? At graduation should we shoot the unemployed law students to guarantee a 100% employment rate? That’s a drastic measure.

"Temple should shrink its class sizes, and argue in every venue that its fellow law schools do the same until the market stabilizes."

There aren’t many jobs out there for liberal arts majors either. Should we prevent students from majoring in anything but engineering and bidness? Also, you’re asking them to cut their one source of revenue to benefit you. Why should they give up their jobs (since a school or department that does not bring in revenue doesn’t last long).


"Prove that you do not think of your students as “consumers” for whom you feel no responsibility once the financial transaction is complete."

Why do you think your alma mater owes you anything more than what they already gave you? You got a quality education for a decent price at Temple. Should they protect you from the crappy economy? Should they call up every firm in Philly begging them to take you on?

We’re not unique and special snowflakes. We don’t bring much value to any firm until we know what we're doing and have a book of business. It's like selling Yugos or vegan sausages. Sometimes a product isn't worth what it costs to make, so they don't sell.



"And once you have demonstrated, ... I think that other law schools will follow your lead."

You think that one school halving its incoming class will convince the other 183 schools to do anything but continue enrolling students?

Next time you’re on a doc review, try this. Tell the other reviewers that you’re going to voluntarily reduce your income by working less hours and that they should, too. Because it’l make the world a better place or some shit like that. They’d look at you with bovine indifference and work every available hour, including the ones you just gave up.

I’d welcome you to disappointment, but it seems like you’re already there. You (foolishly) thought that doing what everybody else thought was a good idea would turn out well. Well, we were wrong. I realize that. But don’t get fooled again expecting that someone who benefits from selling a product would willingly stop selling it because you aren’t happy with the purchase.

Oh. And stop giving them money. Do you give Verizon extra money because you feel a bond with them as well?

Code Monkey

Anonymous said...

Ok. Code MOnkey, that was pretty damned good, I have to say. I can't argue with a thing you have said. Too true.

i think that people forget that schools are BUSINESSES with a product, and they need to generate REVENUE to pay staff, expenses, etc.

Schools aren't some charitable tutoring.

And from what I know, Temple is pretty damned highly regarded in philly and DOES employ several at good firms. It's not Temple's fault.

They are out to make money. I don't think any school would deny that. They don't go into business thinking "our main goal is to send our students into the work force and guarantee them jobs."

If a prospective student doesn't like Temple's employment rates or stats, here's an idea. DON"T ATTEND. The student is the consumer. Obviously, they still get people to attend. And given that the student is the purchaser of their services, I'd say, so far, the market hasn't spoken.

Schools are in business to generate money. It's not a volunteer operation.

Thank you, code monkey.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you, Code Monkey

Your just some freewheeling nazi anarchist. Anybody should be able to sell anything they want without concern for the consequences, right? CAVEAT EMPTOR and the devil take the hindmost?

I guess you think it's ok for Drexel to open another law school. How about USP or St. Joes? Should everybody be a lawyer and deflate the rate ?

Anonymous said...

I will no longer eat cheese while reading this blog. Partly because cheese is not good for you and partly because cheese and this blog site simply do not go together. Why, you ask? Because it's very hard to type while eating a block of cheese. It's somewhat easier if you put the cheese on a cracker, but then crumbs get into the keyboard and all hell can break loose at that point. I tried using a cheese substitute for a while, but let's face it, there's no substitute for the real thing. God I love cheese. Has anyone tried chess cheese? If you haven't, I would highly recommend picking up a block or two. God bless the man who invented chesse!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey. Small world! I'm still billing vioxx too.

Love that felch said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1842293151.html

Anonymous said...

my balls hurt

Anonymous said...

conway twitty

The spy who felched me said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1851148172.html

Anonymous said...

herpes

To all the Girls I've Felched Before said...

wrist-watch.....crisco

Citizen Felch said...

Rumor has it that Providus is staffing a porject anticipated to last until February 2011. Does anyone have any details?

Les Nesman said...

Yes. It pays $12/hr. You have to code at least 90 pages an hour with heavy redactions. You have to sit on a milk crate, but all the chairs belong to real attorneys. Once a week, you are required to bring in coffee for a staff attorney. There is no overtime. In fact, you generally have about 10 hours of work a day, but you can only bill for 7.5. So, you work 2.5 hours a day for free. You cannot wear the color green...ever. A senior attorney has an irrational fear of the color green. So, if you wear green, you are automatically fired...no questions asked. You have to say the pledge of allegience every day at promptly 8:25 AM...and you cannot simply mouth the words. You have to take out the garbage everyday and clean windows once a week. There is NO TALKING at all to anyone EVER. There is no air conditioning in the coder's room (Attorneys have AC in their offices). Attorneys regularly throw tennis balls at the backs of coders' heads to try to distract them. If you get distracted, you get fired. There are no working bathrooms on site. If you pee yourself, the attorneys will rub your nose in it so that you don't do it again. Other than that, it's a great gig! Best job I've had in years!!

Felchadelphia said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1859788295.html

Code Monkey said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1863730130.html

Felch Monkey said...

http://www.ehow.com/how_2069_bone-whole-chicken.html

Saul Felchenberg said...

Seems like the philly doc review scene is back up and running again.

Felchy McSanchez said...

well tickle my pickle....let's code!!!

Sandra Sanchez-Rodriguez-Felchenstein said...

oooh, i'll tickle your pickle.

Abu Mussab Al Felchawi said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1866450468.html

Ron Felchemy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ns39fNPZug&feature=related

Anonymous said...

A moment of silence. A giant on the Philly doc review scene will code no longer:

Steve Schmits (sp) has died.

Anonymous said...

when? how??

Anonymous said...

I heard it was organ failure.

Bud Hempfield said...

Steve was on the scene for a long time. Many of us have shared coding space with him. He was always jovial and offered his best advice to those around him. I offer my sincere condolences to his friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Thats awful, my condolences to his family.

Anonymous said...

Word is that Steve was the Black Sheep. He will be missed, he was a great guy to work with.

Total eclipse of the Felch said...

Anyone see this? You gotta be shittin' me!

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1875026188.html

Anonymous said...

Man. $10/hour.

I'm amazed the ad didn't require you to pay for your own malpractice insurance or bring your own chair.

Looking for felch in all the wrong places said...

Well, it looks like the Providus project is not gonna happen.

Felch Felch everywhere there's Felch... said...

...Do this, don't do that, can't you read the felch.

Felching me softly said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/1889652503.html

Anonymous said...

There's a get together to celebrate the life and coding of Steve Schmits.

Bridgewater's Pub (30th Street Station) 7-9pm this Friday.

I'll spill some beer and click a mouse for a fallen coder.

Felch Returns said...

http://southjersey.craigslist.org/lgl/1957355583.html

Anonymous said...

No more Stradley huh??

End of Felch said...

I declare this blog officially dead. It was fun while it lasted folks. It would be nice if another blog existed for Philly contract attorneys.

RodStiffington said...

Then start one, assbag!

Family Law Attorney Baltimore said...

many firms are now even using associates for doc review

Below Me said...

fascinating

Code Monkey said...

Well, it's official. The RRD project that started in the far Northeast and moved to 1800 JFK has finally ended.

It's been fun, friends.

See you at the next review.

FN said...

Happy TG, follow coders! Eat drink and be merry!

Tyler Durden said...

WTF?

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20101207_U__of_Delaware_considers_a_new_law_school.html

Tired of felching said...

the link is not working. what is the story?

Tyler Durden said...

There is also a story on Above the Law. University of Delaware is thinking of adding a law school. No reason. Just because they can.

Felchin' around the X-mas tree said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/2115845606.html

Contract Atty w/chem background said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/2132768387.html

Anonymous said...

are there any doc review projecs going on in Philly right now? What are they? Is anyone hiring?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the temps in the basement?

Anonymous said...

The temps in the basement are still there, chained to their desks.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Hudson no longer has a Philly office? Can't be can it?

Crazy Coder said...

Happy 2nd anniversary, Wolf Block is Dead. It's been a pretty boring year on this blog. Is anyone working doc review in Philly? If so, what is the scoop? projects? rates? conditions? etc.

Anal Leakage said...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/lgl/2388285949.html

Anonymous said...

Is it true that some agencies make you sign an agreement not to blog about projects? Maybe that's why all the contract attorney blogs are silent these days.

Code Monkey said...

Some agencies make you sign an agreement not to drink at work, too.

So far, it seems that the going rate in Philly is $30 or so. Topaz Metzler Check had a few projects for 32-35, but they required specific knowledge (patent/IP/securities).

I'm at a gig at a Philly firm that I had never heard of before. The regular coders are being paid $33.

And if this doesn't show that hiring decisions are made arbitrarily, I'm a team lead.

Anonymous said...

The old philadelphia portion of the hudson/merck vioxx project is officially over, 6 years and 5months after it began.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Only 3.5 years after the case settles. Does this mean Hudson is done in Philadelphia?

TesticleFace said...

Does anyone know where I can buy some gum?

MisterBig said...

I loved this product. It took a little while to get used to, but with the proper adjustments and a little patience, WOW was it good! I would definitely recommend it to a friend. I can honestly say that after three weeks of regular use, I have seen at least a one inch improvement in size. I could not be happier! My friends are starting to notice too. Once I show them, they are impressed! Plus, it's just the right size to throw into a gym back, so I can take it to work, or on a place, in the subway, or anywhere else that you may want to use it. Bottom line, if size matters to you, give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

Felch returns said...

http://southjersey.craigslist.org/lgl/2531909040.html

Anonymous said...

Looks like Special Counsel has a few big projects.

Anonymous said...

Is it true Kelly is staffing a big project?

92881 Family Law said...

At least it's the summer. I can convince myself that being laid off is like a semi-paid vacation.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney said...

Philadelphia Attorney provides all law related services in philadelphia region at affordable prices. They have most experienced attorneys give them a chance for you.

Dunce from the Deuce said...

Merry Christmas, fellow coders. Let us all raise a mug of Popov to celebrate our good fortune.

Code Monkey said...

Jeebus-

We're still coding at a firm I'd never heard of in the new year.

Anonymous said...

What's up in Codeville these days. What projects are there?

code monkey said...

I've been out of doc review for 7 months now and I'm pretty damn happy.

Practicin' law be hard.

Doc review paid the bills, but damn if it didn't do some long term damage.

I do promise to not turn my nose up at my fellow click monkeys. In fact, I may be able to hire one soon.

Anonymous said...

Happy 4th birthday to this thread.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you, Denise.

Code Monkey said...

Started my second non doc review job a month ago.

I don't regret doing doc review- made me appreciate what I'm doing now.

But whatever happened to the temps in the basement? Did they turn into CHUD? Does Denise call them occasionally to ask their availability?

Clown Felcher said...

Happy 5th birthday to this thread!

Jeff Nydick said...

What ever happened to the temps in the basement?

Anonymous said...

Wow, this site's still up.

Code Monkey

Pod 27 escape said...

Indeed it is. And for some reason, I keep checking it.

Anonymous said...

And I'm checking again. Miss you guys.

Code Monkey

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