Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

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thesealocust
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Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:43 pm

Serious questions. It's very rarely discussed on TLS, but what range of students actually wind up doing legal temp work? I've never really thought about it for some reason... does it tend to be people from big city schools who want to stay local and struggle with more traditional job searches?

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Bronte
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:49 pm

Is this specifically addressed the poster who randomly popped into the OCI attire thread?

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thickfreakness
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thickfreakness » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:53 pm

Latham.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:11 pm

Bronte wrote:Is this specifically addressed the poster who randomly popped into the OCI attire thread?


It made it pop into my head. It never gets discussed despite being I think a sizable chunk of the job market.

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MrKappus
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:25 pm

A: People who strike out at both OCI's, can't get anything else, but still want to work in law. This might be the single stupidest thread I've ever seen on TLS. Great work.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:26 pm

MrKappus wrote:This might be the single stupidest thread I've ever seen on TLS. Great work.


I do try :D

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MrKappus
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:27 pm

thesealocust wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This might be the single stupidest thread I've ever seen on TLS. Great work.


I do try :D


Haha that's what was most surprising, though...I'm usually such a fan.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:30 pm

MrKappus wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This might be the single stupidest thread I've ever seen on TLS. Great work.


I do try :D


Haha that's what was most surprising, though...I'm usually such a fan.


I mean I'm legitimately curious. Nobody I know who had trouble finding a job looked for or expressed interest... I know the jobs get ragged on a lot, but I honestly have no idea what demographic of graduates they target. I remember reading about law suits from contract attorneys suing firms over never being promoted to associate and things - it just seems like there's a world that falls outside of the often discussed / contemplated big law or small law / who knows that I don't read anything about.

* shrug *

* makes more stupid threads *

areyouinsane
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby areyouinsane » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:41 pm

You'd be really surprised (stunned really) if you spent a few years on the NYC doc review "circuit." There are people from all kinds of good schools: NYU, Emory, Fordham, Columbia, Penn, etc. But mostly it's Brooklyn/St Johns/Cardozo/Seton Hall/Rutgers kids- I'd say about 70% are from those schools.

Kids from top, top schools usually make lousy coders. For example, I sat next to a guy on an O'Melveny project who I named "Dr. Smell-Good." He wore those Kenneth Cole dress boots that were popular about 8 years ago, but didn't wear socks with them. He'd take them off throughout the day and his feet smelled horrible. He was an NYU grad and got canned from a big firm in the downturn. He was literally boiling with rage at the doc review "lifestyle"- he didn't care for being berated all day and talked to like a 5 year old (which is how doc review just "is." For example, like 20 times a day there are "annoucements" and such and everyone has to move their chairs in a circle and "listen up." It's kinda like prison, but in a funny way. Once you've been on a few gigs you get used to the game and don't really notice anymore how downright sad and degrading this shit is.

Poor ole Dr. Smellgood wouldn't have any part of it. When he told me he went to NYU and I screamed out "you went to NYU are are working HERE? With us losers?" he said "don't say it so loud" and "i'm not a loser, I used to make six digits." I tried to help him get on the beam, but this guy was grinding his molars down to nubs he was so angry at all the typical BS, like having to sign out to use the bathroom and not having soda at your desk, etc. Also on Fridays the temp agency usually brings in free pizza, but one coder has to act as "pizza monitor" because things usually get out of hand with the free grub and all. There are rules like only one slice at a time and no "seconds" until everyone has had a slice. Also no "hoarding" slices for your friends who are out smoking or asleep at their desks, etc. Dr. Smellgood would bitch and moan that he felt it was like kindergarten, etc etc.

I got kinda scared he was gonna bring an AK-47 to work and take us all out in a rage. Luckily that case settled one day at like 10 am and we all got sent home- they even paid us until 12 noon, which is rare.

Another dude from Yale was called "fade out" because he would just kind of babble in this soft voice about random shit and look around to see if anyone was listening. He was big on JFK assasination trivia and crackpot theories and such- he would usually get canned pretty quick because he was just too far out to be a somewhat productive coder.

There was a really funny Asian chick from I think Cornell who I worked with at Lexolution, which is an agency with its own doc review workspace on 40th st. She brought like half her apartment to work: she had a coffemaker, all kinds of plates/mugs/cups, real silverware, little desk gadgets etc. Mind you that we sit at Bingo-hall type tables all packed one on top of each other, so your neighbor is like a cell mate.

So one day she shows up with this little electric space-heater to use under her desk. She plugs it into a power strip and BAM!- blows out the electric for the whole room! It was beyond awesome. The super for the building was stuck in NJ so we got paid to sit there all day in the dark and do basically nothing.

I'll answer any other doc review questions you have- ask away.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:47 pm

Epic post. Identifiable bits of things you post are not only true but fairly inside baseball type knowledge, so I don't really doubt your legitimacy. Still, the idea of somebody from yale as a temp attorney kind of blows my mind - but maybe that's just highlighting my bias / prejudices?

keg411
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby keg411 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:48 pm

I know a guy who graduated from a TTTT who did a couple of doc review/contract projects before getting his perm job (public sector, but not PD/DA). Not sure how he got on those projects, though. Guessing craigslist or something similar since his law school wasn't in the same area (had to move based on his wife's med residency match).

But he's the only one I know personally that did doc review out of all of the attorneys I know (which is a decent amount across the ranking spectrum and currently all have FT jobs; though a bunch graduated in '09 or earlier). However, I doubt it's something people really talk about and it's probably selectively forgotten once they manage to get FT jobs.

ETA: No one I'm referencing in this post lives anywhere near the NY area.

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fatduck
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:49 pm

a friend of mine graduated from CLS 6-10 years ago, worked for Cleary for 3-5 years, got laid off, now works doc review from 8-8

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Verity
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby Verity » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:56 pm

thesealocust wrote:Epic post. Identifiable bits of things you post are not only true but fairly inside baseball type knowledge, so I don't really doubt your legitimacy. Still, the idea of somebody from yale as a temp attorney kind of blows my mind - but maybe that's just highlighting my bias / prejudices?



+1.
Last edited by Verity on Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

merc280
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby merc280 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:58 pm

a guy I know from a TTTT is doing doc review/contract work for $5K a month.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 am

merc280 wrote:a guy I know from a TTTT is doing doc review/contract work for $5K a month.


I hear hours, unpredictability, and benefits are awful - but ~60K/year is definitely not so bad.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:08 am

The stork drops them off in little bundles on the doorstep of the temp agency.

merc280
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby merc280 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:10 am

thesealocust wrote:
merc280 wrote:a guy I know from a TTTT is doing doc review/contract work for $5K a month.


I hear hours, unpredictability, and benefits are awful - but ~60K/year is definitely not so bad.



well then again he only has a job for a few months at a time, but luck for him he's been able to find a 5 month contract job everytime his current contract is ending.

areyouinsane
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby areyouinsane » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:38 am

The dude was a 100% legit Yale grad. He was no kid- this guy was in his mid 40s at least. I think he had some sort of nervous breakdown at another Biglaw firm where he was actually an associate. As I said, he was a really weird dude and pretty much had little to no grip on reality. One time he was washing his clothes in the break-room sink and talking about how "big cotton" had JFK whacked because he was going to ban DDT. He was one funny dude. He always wanted to have a beer with my crew, but he was a little too weird to hang with outside of work.

You see, Sullivan used to kick the coders $15 a day for food if you worked/billed more than 11 hours in a day. We'd usually head over to White Horse Tavern and just drink up the money (they had $2 McSorleys) and usually someone like Holbs would bring coke and everyone would do a bump or two, then head back to Sullivan with a nice buzz and fart around in the basement until like 2 am telling "chuck norris facts" to each other and maybe coding a document here and there. "Chill and bill" was the name of the game. Sullivan was like an ATM Machine for TTT grads to loaf around at, and you could easily make 3K or more a week if you wanted to sit there until 2 am every night.

Here's a funny story- this one really preppy dude "Pat" from a good school has once been an in-house counsel at some large company, etc. Somehow he "washed out" and ended up down in the SullCrom cellar with the rest of us TTT losers. So one night at like 1 am this associate came down and asked if anyone was willing to go upstairs and vaccum/clean up the large conference room. Some geek partners from SullCroms London office were on their way from JFK for some zero-hour deal and the big conf. room was a mess from some reception earlier in the evening. All the cleaning crew were gone for the night, so it fell to the coders to go up there and clean the mess. So me & Pat volunteered and went up there and cleaned up all this dried-up food, empty glasses, papers, and other rubbish. It was pretty funny to think back on my law school days, hoping to have a nice career and actually amount to something in life. Instead I'm on the 30th floor of SullCrom at 1 am cleaning up garbage like a janitor. If you can't laugh about it, you'll quickly end up committing suicide. It kinda sucks having no idea when your project will end, if you'll get another one quickly, what to do if you get sick (as i said, no health ins. for temps), plus all the student loans and having to pay your own CLE and bar dues, etc. Plus you do boring, miserable dead-end work for hour upon endless hour with no hope of promotion, advancement, or positive career development.


At lease doc review used to be an easy way to make decent $$$, but not anymore. Projects are few and far between and rates have fallen to 25-30 bucks an hour in NYC and hours are usually capped at 40. Also you get no health benefits since you're just a temp. You can buy a shitty plan from the agencies, but the minute your project ends you gotta go on Cobra which sucks too.

Also many of the projects now require 2 or more years of "electronic discovery" experience. Gone are the days when any mouth breather from a TTT like Brooklyn, 'Bozo, NYLS, etc could just sign up with the agencies and get on a gig quick. Hell, in 2008 I was getting $45 an hour on a Dechert project doing priv. log work. Now that same gig is paying $30 flat. I don't recommend Dechert because their associates love to read verbatim from the training manual for hours on end, and also are scared shitless of the partners who are really, really nasty people. I actually had to interview with the partner before the priv log project and she was one nasty old witch. I can't imagine having to deal with her on an ongoing basis.

I worked with some strange, strange people at Dechert. They have awesome snack machines where you can even get cereal and the snack machine pours the milk into it from a little spout. So this coder I'll call "JJ" would get his Rice Krispies in the morning, eat them at his desk, and then brush his teeth at this desk and spit the toothpaste into the empty cereal bowl and leave it there all day. It was f-ing gross. He also did push-ups like every hour under his desk, and sit-ups too. He never looked at any documents, he just downloaded Bob Dylan bootlegs all day and burned them on to CDs. He was a member of demonoid, which had all the best downloads and was always lording his demonoid password over everyone so we'd kiss his ass.

Plus we were getting $45 to do priv log and they put is in a seperate room. The non priv log coders were in a big room and called our room the "bullpen." They were jealous of our room and would try and loiter around in there and pretend they were priv loggers too. We got $10 an hour more than them so they were pissed at that too. You see, the associate actually sat in their room and wouldn
t let them talk or surf the 'net, but our room was unsupervised so we could do whatever we wanted, which was basically anything other than work.

One thing to remember about doc review is not to bring anything you care about to work with you, because when the project ends you are not allowed back in the building. Usually it works like this: You have no docs for 2 or 3 days and the associate claims he
'doesn't know anything' but that more docs are on the way, or being scanned/loaded, etc. So you'll leave work at say 9 pm and as you're walking to the subway the agency calls and says "Sorry, the project is over."

See, they can't tell the coders face to face the gig is up, because many of them are insane and will download viruses into the computers, or start screaming/crying/yelling, etc. It can get very messy. So they lie and tell you there are more docs coming, etc and once you're off the property the agency calls and tells you "game over." So if you left your stuff up there, they have security bring it down to you, provided it doesn't get tossed or stolen in the meantime. I have done over 30 temp projects in NYC and every time you get canned it is after work and done via telephone.

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Paraflam
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby Paraflam » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:53 am

This guy's posts are hysterical. Can't decide if he's an extremely well-executed and thought-out flame or not.

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:05 am

Paraflam wrote:This guy's posts are hysterical. Can't decide if he's an extremely well-executed and thought-out flame or not.


These posts are amazing. Even if they're not strictly speaking "true" they're clearly written from some level of familiarity with the system that makes them absolutely delightful to read.

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drdolittle
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:09 am

thesealocust wrote:
Paraflam wrote:This guy's posts are hysterical. Can't decide if he's an extremely well-executed and thought-out flame or not.

These posts are amazing. Even if they're not strictly speaking "true" they're clearly written from some level of familiarity with the system that makes them absolutely delightful to read.

Yeah, I wonder what's next?

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traehekat
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby traehekat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:19 am

first that xoxo thread from the other night, now this? shit is so entertaining!

hijodehombre
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby hijodehombre » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:27 am

drdolittle wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Paraflam wrote:This guy's posts are hysterical. Can't decide if he's an extremely well-executed and thought-out flame or not.

These posts are amazing. Even if they're not strictly speaking "true" they're clearly written from some level of familiarity with the system that makes them absolutely delightful to read.

Yeah, I wonder what's next?


yeah, maybe we should buy him a beer

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quakeroats
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby quakeroats » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:29 am

thesealocust wrote:Serious questions. It's very rarely discussed on TLS, but what range of students actually wind up doing legal temp work? I've never really thought about it for some reason... does it tend to be people from big city schools who want to stay local and struggle with more traditional job searches?


Take a look: http://www.orrick.com/lawyers/ByOffice.asp?ID=WH

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thesealocust
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:30 am

quakeroats wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Serious questions. It's very rarely discussed on TLS, but what range of students actually wind up doing legal temp work? I've never really thought about it for some reason... does it tend to be people from big city schools who want to stay local and struggle with more traditional job searches?


Take a look: http://www.orrick.com/lawyers/ByOffice.asp?ID=WH


That's definitely a step above. A firm would never list their temp attorneys on their website, and despite the unappealing characteristics of being in the insource center of a firm it seems much more legit than benefitless, no-security temp / contract attorney work.




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