Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

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

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:40 pm

Heartford wrote:
areyouinsane wrote: Weird walking out to the street at 11 pm, the city boils loud, brilliant and alive. It almost overwhelms the senses after having stared into a computer monitor for the past 15 hours. Your eyes need time to adjust: for the first few minutes the headlights and car horns seem like hallucinations from an acid trip. Those were strange days, indeed.


This last paragraph is trying a little too hard for the Rolling Stone aesthetic, and never really getting there, I think. Strange days, indeed? Kind of lame. Otherwise, I'm enjoying your posts. :D


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Heartford is an idiot

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

Postby Heartford » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:35 pm

Verity wrote:
Heartford wrote:
areyouinsane wrote: Weird walking out to the street at 11 pm, the city boils loud, brilliant and alive. It almost overwhelms the senses after having stared into a computer monitor for the past 15 hours. Your eyes need time to adjust: for the first few minutes the headlights and car horns seem like hallucinations from an acid trip. Those were strange days, indeed.


This last paragraph is trying a little too hard for the Rolling Stone aesthetic, and never really getting there, I think. Strange days, indeed? Kind of lame. Otherwise, I'm enjoying your posts. :D


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Heartford is an idiot


:D

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

Postby delusional » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:47 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:areyouinsane, why did you go to school and subsequently try to work in NYC, the most overcrowded city in terms of lawyer surplus? Perhaps your life would've turned out differently had you been willing to live and work somewhere else in the country. Nebraska and Wisconsin were recently cited as the only states that didn't have a lawyer surplus...I'm sure I'm not the only 0L who started looking into University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Seriously? Are you really trying to explain this away like that? Years after the fact, with torrents of dirty water under the bridge, you're making yourself feel better by thinking that areyouinsane had just done XYZ differently; if s/he had only seen what you see as an 0L, s/he'd be a partner at Wachtell? How far will you go to justify your decision? Is it possible that just maybe, talented people who made all of the right decisions are STILL suffering from the oversupply of lawyers and the state of the legal market?

We're all here because we're planning to go to law school despite the risks. But the risks are there for everyone, no matter how perfectly they arrange their mass mailings, and no matter how hard you try to rationalize away all the unhappy endings.

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

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:09 pm

delusional wrote:
HarveyBirdman wrote:areyouinsane, why did you go to school and subsequently try to work in NYC, the most overcrowded city in terms of lawyer surplus? Perhaps your life would've turned out differently had you been willing to live and work somewhere else in the country. Nebraska and Wisconsin were recently cited as the only states that didn't have a lawyer surplus...I'm sure I'm not the only 0L who started looking into University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Seriously? Are you really trying to explain this away like that? Years after the fact, with torrents of dirty water under the bridge, you're making yourself feel better by thinking that areyouinsane had just done XYZ differently; if s/he had only seen what you see as an 0L, s/he'd be a partner at Wachtell? How far will you go to justify your decision? Is it possible that just maybe, talented people who made all of the right decisions are STILL suffering from the oversupply of lawyers and the state of the legal market?

We're all here because we're planning to go to law school despite the risks. But the risks are there for everyone, no matter how perfectly they arrange their mass mailings, and no matter how hard you try to rationalize away all the unhappy endings.


That's kind of a scope shift and a strawman, all in one. HarveyBirdman never said the risks aren't there for everyone. But going to a less saturated market, if possible, might have worked out better.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby 98234872348 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:19 pm

This is my favorite thread ever on TLS.

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

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:26 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU ARE THE BIGGEST PIECE OF SHIT POSTER I HAVE EVER SEEN ON THESE BOARDS


you mad, bro?

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

Postby areyouinsane » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:32 pm

areyouinsane, why did you go to school and subsequently try to work in NYC, the most overcrowded city in terms of lawyer surplus? Perhaps your life would've turned out differently had you been willing to live and work somewhere else in the country. Nebraska and Wisconsin were recently cited as the only states that didn't have a lawyer surplus...I'm sure I'm not the only 0L who started looking into University of Nebraska Lincoln.



Understand that when I was applying to law school 10 years ago, it was a very different world. There were no "scamblogs", no TLS, no JDUnderground, and very little online discussion of law school admissions in general. Hell, I still had dial-up internet in 2001. There was nowhere close to the amount of discussion/information available back then. Applicants were much more "in the dark" than today.

Smoke was still rising from the 9/11 site, and the economy was not esp. bright in 2001 even before that. It was a heavy admissions cycle in 2001-02, since there was a mini-recession then too and people thought law school might be a good way to wait it out. I did.

Tuition, while still outrageous, was MUCH lower than today. What I paid "sticker" is what that same school costs today with nearly a 75% ride. I made the mistake of assuming that jobs starting at 75 K+ were pretty standard, and if you really did well you could start at 125 K (which is what Biglaw NYC paid back then).

Besides, I grew up in the NJ/NYC area. All of my friends and family are here, so I never really considered Nebraska or the Midwest. Call me crazy, but it didn't seem esp. outrageous to think that a 2nd tier JD might actually lead to a stable job with reasonable pay.

Bottom line is it just didn't work out. I did reasonably well (3.1 GPA at graduation), and actually had a 3.4 after first year. Had one OCI interview with a large NJ firm, but no callback. Even back then, you really needed Top 10-15% to get a "real" job, and I was about top 23%.

Just not quite good enough, thanks to one "C" in Property. Funny to think how different my entire life would've turned out based on that one lousy exam. That one lousy grade flushed my entire future down the toilet. I was very close to dropping out right before 2 L classes started, and boy do I wish I'd done so. The worst part of all is having all your non-lawyer friends & family assume you're a loser because you don't make big $$$ or even have a job. All they know of law is what they see on TV, and assume there's something wrong with you when you drive a shit car and make no $$$. I avoid all family gatherings if possible since it's too embarrassing to discuss my non-existent "career" and listen to advice from these baby-boomer assholes about "networking" and "looking into government work." They just don't fucking get it.

It sucks too thinking back on all the studying, the weekends in the library, the miserable summer leading up to the bar'zam: it's a LOT of goddamned work and aggravation, and to think it was all for naught is at times almost suicidally depressing. Worst of all is that my parents co-signed, and now my deliquent loans are trashing their credit and they're getting calls from Aunt Sallie Mae and Access Group looking for $$$ since I've used up all deferments and forebearances, etc. and plenty of penalties to boot. So I got to ruin their lives with this mistake as well- they're collateral damage in my lawschool bloodbath. I can't even imagine how disappointed they must feel. I can't even afford the $375 in dues for NY and the $270 for NJ (plus another $399 for CLE), so at this point I'm not even technically eligible to practice (and of course the state bars have no provision for hardship cases- they probably want to "cull the herd" anyway.

Anyway, me & the mrs. are packing our bags of late and hope to be living abroad by the end of the year. I've had my fill of Sallie Mae and will enjoy not having my bank accounts frozen and living like a slave. I've wasted too much of life already pushing stacks of dead-end shitpaper around and putting up with the bullshit of this industry. Fuck IBR and all these programs, I am not paying one more dime to these thugs.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:02 am

Well that just sobered me the fuck up. Lol.

This quote from the Bloomsberg article:

The employment rate for 2010 law school graduates was 87.6 percent, down from a high of 91.9 percent for the 2007 class, the NALP said. Part-time jobs accounted for 11 percent and almost 27 percent were reported as temporary jobs.


There are 27% odds of ending up in this boat. And some of them in areyouinsane's story were from T14, it could be this way for anyone. And top 23% ain't bad at the end of 1L. This is a very real possibility. And how many people are there on the internet that are legal temps saying "Eh, I find my job fulfilling and expected this to be my career." There are no good temp jobs. They all pay shit offer no benefits and no respect. On TLS we act like it's invisible but this is 27% of recent JD grads. Something to shove in your pipe and smoke the fuck up. Reality is here and it's real as shit.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby areyouinsane » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:21 am

There are no good temp jobs. They all pay shit offer no benefits and no respect. On TLS we act like it's invisible but this is 27% of recent JD grads.


That number is only going to increase. Biglaw is quietly doing a lot of "domestic outsourcing," with boiler rooms set up in Wheeling, WV, Charlotte NC and other "cheap" areas to rent space and get dirt-cheap labor since C.O.L. is quite low (although student loans obviously drastically alter all COL adjustments as they are fixed cost regardless of geographical area):

http://www.theposselist.com/2010/04/29/ ... ash-costs/

I can't find the article, but Georgetown took a lot of heat for listing a doc review gig in Wheeling, WV on it's career services site a couple years ago. I believe it was paying $23 an hour for admitted attorneys. I've seen ads in Charolotte, NC for doc review paying admitted lawyers as little as $17 an hour. Even Phily has a lot of gigs at $21-$23 an hour.

When you factor in no health benefits & no 401K and subtract student loan payments from salary, it's basically fast food wages.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:27 am

robotclubmember wrote:Well that just sobered me the fuck up. Lol.

This quote from the Bloomsberg article:

The employment rate for 2010 law school graduates was 87.6 percent, down from a high of 91.9 percent for the 2007 class, the NALP said. Part-time jobs accounted for 11 percent and almost 27 percent were reported as temporary jobs.


There are 27% odds of ending up in this boat. And some of them in areyouinsane's story were from T14, it could be this way for anyone. And top 23% ain't bad at the end of 1L. This is a very real possibility. And how many people are there on the internet that are legal temps saying "Eh, I find my job fulfilling and expected this to be my career." There are no good temp jobs. They all pay shit offer no benefits and no respect. On TLS we act like it's invisible but this is 27% of recent JD grads. Something to shove in your pipe and smoke the fuck up. Reality is here and it's real as shit.


87% employed - 11% part time - 27% temp = less than half of all graduates obtained permanent, full-time employment. Yowza, just wait for c/o 2011 numbers.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby Paraflam » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:43 am

areyouinsane, you haven't responded to everyone's suggestion that you write a book/publish your stories in some form or another. Just wondering your thoughts on the idea?

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby A'nold » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:20 am

A very elaborate and good flame. You guys always give me crap for saying this, but as others have mentioned this poster (if real) could have done any number of things to get full time work as an attorney. I'm sure he scoured the market day in and day out looking for a full time job and obviously, after not finding one, it was in the poster's best interest to stay in NYC.

Also, if this poster had any initiative, he would have done the temp thing to supplement his solo practice. Most of the attorneys I have known that did temp/contract work did so to supplement their firms in the first few lean years while building up a practice. I know posters on here are quick to idolize the negative, doom and gloom posters and chastise the people that are more level headed, but anyone buying this hook line and sinker needs to actually experience the market (maybe non NYC market at least) and take it for what it's worth. Humor.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:27 am

A'nold wrote:A very elaborate and good flame. You guys always give me crap for saying this, but as others have mentioned this poster (if real) could have done any number of things to get full time work as an attorney. I'm sure he scoured the market day in and day out looking for a full time job and obviously, after not finding one, it was in the poster's best interest to stay in NYC.

Also, if this poster had any initiative, he would have done the temp thing to supplement his solo practice. Most of the attorneys I have known that did temp/contract work did so to supplement their firms in the first few lean years while building up a practice. I know posters on here are quick to idolize the negative, doom and gloom posters and chastise the people that are more level headed, but anyone buying this hook line and sinker needs to actually experience the market (maybe non NYC market at least) and take it for what it's worth. Humor.


You have no idea what you're talking about.

People in the top 10% of the class graduating out of U-Wisconsin have been unable to find work. Even considering the fact that Wisconsin is one of the "least saturated" legal markets. Even though these folks are from Wisconsin, and are willing to work outside of Madison and Milwaukee. There isn't enough solo meat to go around - do you have any concept of how expensive malpractice insurance is? This isn't a problem limited to major legal markets.

And how much temp work do you think there is outside of the large legal markets?

Also, it's totally easy to find a job in a different market when you're already a graduate and haven't taken the bar in other jurisdictions. Are you suggesting people just collect random bar admissions, or are you hoping that places will hire non-admitted folks who can't display any ties to the market in question, have no experience, etc.

I like the fact that you - a law student (aren't you a rising 2L??) - are telling people that they need to "experience the market" while not having experienced it yourself.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby A'nold » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:15 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
A'nold wrote:A very elaborate and good flame. You guys always give me crap for saying this, but as others have mentioned this poster (if real) could have done any number of things to get full time work as an attorney. I'm sure he scoured the market day in and day out looking for a full time job and obviously, after not finding one, it was in the poster's best interest to stay in NYC.

Also, if this poster had any initiative, he would have done the temp thing to supplement his solo practice. Most of the attorneys I have known that did temp/contract work did so to supplement their firms in the first few lean years while building up a practice. I know posters on here are quick to idolize the negative, doom and gloom posters and chastise the people that are more level headed, but anyone buying this hook line and sinker needs to actually experience the market (maybe non NYC market at least) and take it for what it's worth. Humor.


You have no idea what you're talking about.

People in the top 10% of the class graduating out of U-Wisconsin have been unable to find work. Even considering the fact that Wisconsin is one of the "least saturated" legal markets. Even though these folks are from Wisconsin, and are willing to work outside of Madison and Milwaukee. There isn't enough solo meat to go around - do you have any concept of how expensive malpractice insurance is? This isn't a problem limited to major legal markets.

And how much temp work do you think there is outside of the large legal markets?

Also, it's totally easy to find a job in a different market when you're already a graduate and haven't taken the bar in other jurisdictions. Are you suggesting people just collect random bar admissions, or are you hoping that places will hire non-admitted folks who can't display any ties to the market in question, have no experience, etc.

I like the fact that you - a law student (aren't you a rising 2L??) - are telling people that they need to "experience the market" while not having experienced it yourself.

It's all about perspective. "Going solo" might not make you millions but you are working for yourself. Yes, I know "how much malpractice insurance is for those just starting out." It is DIRT CHEAP. I've taken an entire course at my school about going solo right out of ls. You will never have such cheap malpractice insurance again. People hide their heads in the sand b/c it is "scawy" and not prestigious to start your own practice....really? You'd rather do contract work forever instead of using that same work to help you work for yourself? To each his own.

Edit: Oh, and by the way, the Wisconsin top 10% example does not apply to what I said. I said that in TEN YEARS you are bound to find something if you are diligent. Do you seriously believe that those top 10% students at Wisconsin would not find a full time attorney position anywhere in the country after looking diligently for ten years? If so, then I think TLS has gotten to your head man. That is just completely illogical.

Edit #2: TTon is one of the most informed, helpful posters I've ever seen on TLS. I just disagree with him on this one, very specific point. The job market is horrific and I am not downplaying the plight of the gobs of attorneys not able to find work right now.

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

Postby HarveyBirdman » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:24 pm

delusional wrote:Seriously? Are you really trying to explain this away like that? Years after the fact, with torrents of dirty water under the bridge, you're making yourself feel better by thinking that areyouinsane had just done XYZ differently; if s/he had only seen what you see as an 0L, s/he'd be a partner at Wachtell? How far will you go to justify your decision? Is it possible that just maybe, talented people who made all of the right decisions are STILL suffering from the oversupply of lawyers and the state of the legal market?

We're all here because we're planning to go to law school despite the risks. But the risks are there for everyone, no matter how perfectly they arrange their mass mailings, and no matter how hard you try to rationalize away all the unhappy endings.


Whoa, calm down. Partner at Wachtell? No, but maybe employed full time. Maybe. Anyway, I was just wondering why he was so stuck on working in NYC. I didn't know he was originally from the area and of course I didn't know what the prospects were like for lawyers 10 years ago. As far as jobs in the here and now, to me going anywhere near NYC is a no brainer hell no. So I was just curious.

robotclubmember wrote:Well that just sobered me the fuck up. Lol.

This quote from the Bloomsberg article:

The employment rate for 2010 law school graduates was 87.6 percent, down from a high of 91.9 percent for the 2007 class, the NALP said. Part-time jobs accounted for 11 percent and almost 27 percent were reported as temporary jobs.


There are 27% odds of ending up in this boat. And some of them in areyouinsane's story were from T14, it could be this way for anyone. And top 23% ain't bad at the end of 1L. This is a very real possibility. And how many people are there on the internet that are legal temps saying "Eh, I find my job fulfilling and expected this to be my career." There are no good temp jobs. They all pay shit offer no benefits and no respect. On TLS we act like it's invisible but this is 27% of recent JD grads. Something to shove in your pipe and smoke the fuck up. Reality is here and it's real as shit.


On top of the 27% working in temp jobs, you have to consider these new lovely "career track" positions or whatever they're calling them, where firms hire new attorneys at salaries around $50,000 and both parties know that while they may be permanent full time employees, they will never advance in the firm. How much of that is in the remaining 49% reported as employed full time? I think I remember reading this is also happening in odd places like Wheeling, WV where cost of living is lower and office space is cheaper.

And you know $50,000 a year or $25/hr doing temp work are not bad wages on their own for people in their 20s. You can certainly live comfortably on that, at least in Ohio. If you didn't have to make crippling loan payments, anyway.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:27 pm

A'nold wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
A'nold wrote:A very elaborate and good flame. You guys always give me crap for saying this, but as others have mentioned this poster (if real) could have done any number of things to get full time work as an attorney. I'm sure he scoured the market day in and day out looking for a full time job and obviously, after not finding one, it was in the poster's best interest to stay in NYC.

Also, if this poster had any initiative, he would have done the temp thing to supplement his solo practice. Most of the attorneys I have known that did temp/contract work did so to supplement their firms in the first few lean years while building up a practice. I know posters on here are quick to idolize the negative, doom and gloom posters and chastise the people that are more level headed, but anyone buying this hook line and sinker needs to actually experience the market (maybe non NYC market at least) and take it for what it's worth. Humor.


You have no idea what you're talking about.

People in the top 10% of the class graduating out of U-Wisconsin have been unable to find work. Even considering the fact that Wisconsin is one of the "least saturated" legal markets. Even though these folks are from Wisconsin, and are willing to work outside of Madison and Milwaukee. There isn't enough solo meat to go around - do you have any concept of how expensive malpractice insurance is? This isn't a problem limited to major legal markets.

And how much temp work do you think there is outside of the large legal markets?

Also, it's totally easy to find a job in a different market when you're already a graduate and haven't taken the bar in other jurisdictions. Are you suggesting people just collect random bar admissions, or are you hoping that places will hire non-admitted folks who can't display any ties to the market in question, have no experience, etc.

I like the fact that you - a law student (aren't you a rising 2L??) - are telling people that they need to "experience the market" while not having experienced it yourself.

It's all about perspective. "Going solo" might not make you millions but you are working for yourself. Yes, I know "how much malpractice insurance is for those just starting out." It is DIRT CHEAP. I've taken an entire course at my school about going solo right out of ls. You will never have such cheap malpractice insurance again. People hide their heads in the sand b/c it is "scawy" and not prestigious to start your own practice....really? You'd rather do contract work forever instead of using that same work to help you work for yourself? To each his own.

Edit: Oh, and by the way, the Wisconsin top 10% example does not apply to what I said. I said that in TEN YEARS you are bound to find something if you are diligent. Do you seriously believe that those top 10% students at Wisconsin would not find a full time attorney position anywhere in the country after looking diligently for ten years? If so, then I think TLS has gotten to your head man. That is just completely illogical.

Edit #2: TTon is one of the most informed, helpful posters I've ever seen on TLS. I just disagree with him on this one, very specific point. The job market is horrific and I am not downplaying the plight of the gobs of attorneys not able to find work right now.


Generally speaking, I think it's almost impossible to land a full-time legal gig if you don't do it within a year of graduation. Too hard to fill a gaping hole in your resume, and it only gets more difficult as that time horizon expands.

That said, TTON was part of c/o 2011 which is the most horrific group in the history of legal employment. That top 10% anecdote is completely isolated to that graduating class.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:28 pm

A'nold wrote:A very elaborate and good flame. You guys always give me crap for saying this, but as others have mentioned this poster (if real) could have done any number of things to get full time work as an attorney. I'm sure he scoured the market day in and day out looking for a full time job and obviously, after not finding one, it was in the poster's best interest to stay in NYC.

Also, if this poster had any initiative, he would have done the temp thing to supplement his solo practice. Most of the attorneys I have known that did temp/contract work did so to supplement their firms in the first few lean years while building up a practice. I know posters on here are quick to idolize the negative, doom and gloom posters and chastise the people that are more level headed, but anyone buying this hook line and sinker needs to actually experience the market (maybe non NYC market at least) and take it for what it's worth. Humor.


Newsflash: Things do not work out for some people. It happens.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:35 pm

I think you are overestimating the ability of someone to find a gig once they have a combination of "doc review + 'solo practice'" on their resume. You're also overestimating the mobility granted by any law degree post-graduation. You think someone would be able to "lateral" from 'Wisconsin doc review + solo practitioner' to 'firm in Nebraska' [or anywhere else, for that matter] five years down the line? I sincerely doubt it. The "top 10% at [anywhere]" thing quickly loses its cachet after you're past the initial hiring process.

Your take on malpractice insurance: not what I've heard. Maybe this is something that varies by market? I've talked to people who tried to open practices on their own, and the combination of malpractice insurance + legal research fees (even though these tend to be marginal for most solo pracs, because you're normally not dealing with the areas of law that require significant legal research) often makes it difficult for them to even break even on the firm itself - and this doesn't account for the other expenses of life.

Finally, I honestly believe you are overestimating the amount of solo work there is for the taking. I'm not talking about "making millions" as a solo prac - I'm talking about being able to make end's meat. I don't know what percent of people would rather take a *significant* cut in pay to be their own boss (talking biglaw vs. opening your own practice) but I would wager a lot of money that the majority of people would just use contract work to supplement their solo practices if that was an economically viable option.

ETA: Yeah, the top 10% at Wisconsin are normally going to be OK, and 2011 was an oddball there (though I know people similarly ranked from the CO 2010 who got layoff-owned, and people from the CO 2012 who struck out at OCI and are working unpaid jobs this summer). But the two-thirds or so at Wisconsin were never OK, even in good times, and Wisconsin is, of course, not the only school in a similar situation. Not to mention that even at Chicago, there are plenty of people in the CO 2012 who haven't fared well at all.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:46 pm

I would just like to say that anyone that chooses to write off areyouinsane as some sort of flunky or loser and completely ignore what he is saying does so at his own peril and with potentially awful consequences. I don’t work in biglaw and I don’t make biglaw money. But I am out now 3 full years and make a lot more than most of my fellow TTT grads and actually have a pretty amazing job. That said, I know in my heart that, like every other law grad before me, I was exactly one bad bounce, one freak incident, one uncontrollable turn of luck against me from winding up in just as bad of a spot as areyouinsane, or possibly even much worse. This man knows of what he speaks and as uncomfortable as this might be for some to admit, not much separates each one of us from his destiny. It can happen with a bad test, a blown interview; anything. So please, laugh at some of his stories (because they are well written and funny), but don’t laugh at him, don’t talk down to him and don’t write of what he is saying as the ramblings of a loser. Because each of us is closer to this outcome than any of us would like to admit.

I thank areyouinsane for taking the time to speak openly and I hope he continues to do so. His point and experience is valid and underrepresented on TLS.
Last edited by reasonable_man on Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:50 pm

reasonable_man wrote:I would just like to say that anyone that chooses to write of areyouinsane as some sort of flunky or loser and completely ignore what he is saying does so at his own peril and with potentially awful consequences. I don’t work in biglaw and I don’t make biglaw money. But I am out now 3 full years and make a lot more than most of my fellow TTT grads and actually have a pretty amazing job. That said, I know in my heart that, like every other law grad before me, I was exactly one bad bounce, one freak incident, one uncontrollable turn of luck against me from winding up in just as bad of a spot as areyouinsane, or possibly even much worse. This man knows of what he speaks and as uncomfortable as this might be for some to admit, not much separates each one of us from his destiny. It can happen with a bad test, a blown interview; anything. So please, laugh at some of his stories (because they are well written and funny), but don’t laugh at him, don’t talk down to him and don’t write of what he is saying as the ramblings of a loser. Because each of us is closer to this outcome than any of us would like to admit.

I thank areyouinsane for taking the time to speak openly and I hope he continues to do so. His point and experience is valid and underrepresented on TLS.


Even those of us with biglaw gigs lined up are a bad round of layoffs away from this. Top 1% at a T6 won't even save you from that. So... yeah.

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

Postby Verity » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:50 pm

It's hard for me to see just anybody making up these stories. It's possible, but you'd have to have some serious talent + related experience. I don't think areyouinsane is a flame. And that's what scares me.

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A'nold
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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby A'nold » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:01 pm

I think something like 90% out of the past 10 classes that have gone solo after taking that one class are "making it" from my school. I will say though that you must have a realistic plan and have to have a basic knowledge of what you are doing. I mean, some of these people 2 years out are only pulling in a profit of like 40k. That could mean disaster for people in the major markets, I totally get that. I'm just saying that I'd rather do that than doc review, but I am a different person. Starting your own firm is a pain in the butt and a risk.

I'll also concede that the further one gets out, the crappier your resume looks with temp doc review as your employment history. Still, my hunch is that you could find full time employment somewhere in the country, maybe the worst shit law, 35k a year, killself position. But then you take it to get experience and try to get something better down the road.

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

Postby Borhas » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:03 pm

whatever happened to the first year associates that were laid off in mass a couple years ago?

did they end up in doc review dungeons too?

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

Postby areyouinsane » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:14 pm

Your take on malpractice insurance: not what I've heard. Maybe this is something that varies by market? I've talked to people who tried to open practices on their own, and the combination of malpractice insurance + legal research fees (even though these tend to be marginal for most solo pracs, because you're normally not dealing with the areas of law that require significant legal research) often makes it difficult for them to even break even on the firm itself - and this doesn't account for the other expenses of life.

Finally, I honestly believe you are overestimating the amount of solo work there is for the taking. I'm not talking about "making millions" as a solo prac - I'm talking about being able to make end's meat. I don't know what percent of people would rather take a *significant* cut in pay to be their own boss (talking biglaw vs. opening your own practice) but I would wager a lot of money that the majority of people would just use contract work to supplement their solo practices if that was an economically viable option.



First off, the malpractice insurance is not that expensive for a newbie: I paid $1400 a year for a 250 K policy back in 2007/08 when I was a part-time solo (this was with a $2500 deductible).

But a problem with NJ is the "bona fide office" rule. You must have a physical location, and "virtual offices" from Regus are not allowed either. A trend the past few years has been to make going solo more difficult, as competition is so fierce and those already "making it" want to keep as many people out as possible.

Many solos get around "legal research fees" by paying current law students to use their student Lexis/Westlaw accounts to do research for like $15 an hour. Unethical? Sure. But even the cheapest Lexis plans are very, very expensive, and using the law library sucks because all the pro se folks hog the terminals pretty much all day. Last time I went to the local bar there were 20 people waiting to use the terminal on the sign-up sheet. It also has very limited access- nothing like what you get w/ a student account. You also have to pay 25 cents a page for printouts, and usually the toner is kicked or there's no paper, etc. It simply sucks.

Also remember you're paying your own bar dues and CLE fees, which is another $1000 a year total if you're admitted to two states, as I am.

Most important of all, however, is the simple lack of work. As the quoted poster above said, many are "overestimating the amount of solo work there is for the taking." Truer words were never spoken.

For starters, most clients with money who are middle-class & college educated will already know a lawyer from their peer group. Or if they don't, they will likely seek a lawyer by ASKING someone in their peer group for a recommendation. And likely the lawyer recommended will be an older, established attorney.

Advertising, in my experience, is basically worthless w/out a VERY deep budget- like five figures minimum. Hell, a yellow pages ad the size of a business card costs $2500 a year for my local NJ directory. And Google Adwords costs even more if you want a sponsored ad or to be in the first page of results. Reality is that for most shitlaw areas (Ch 7 BK, divorce, personal injury, wills/estates, criminal defense), you won't be able to come close. The big "mills" spend enough to get those spots, and w/out a huge war chest you won't be able to compete with them, period.

Ads also attract a lot of insane "tire kickers" who only want 6 or 7 hours of your time to listen to how aliens from Alpha Centuri landed on their roof last night and stole the copper flashing from their chimney, or how they can beat their DWI because they were taking Ny-Quil and it "adversely interacted" with the 16 beers they washed it down with, etc. About 75% of my ad responses were of this variety. It's also very hard to answer calls while doing temp jobs, because you can't speak on the phone while in the doc review room. Hell, if you're in the SullCrom or Paul Weiss cellars you get no cellular reception anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.

Even if a client does have a good case, getting paid is another huge headache. Few people in this economy have the $$$ for even a $2500 retainer, and be prepared to have every second of billing challenged and haggled over. All of this takes time, and as a solo time is a precious resource, and one that ends up wasted by the truckload with all the nonsense and aggrevation of bickering with your own clients.

Worst case scenario is filing a letter of rep with a court, then having the retainer check bounce. I made that mistake on my first DWI case, and the judge refused to let me out. I had to make 2 court appearances, neither of which the client showed up at, and had to pay $17 to notify client by Registered Mail of each appearance. I finally was allowed out after the 2nd no show, but had to send another $17 letter to the client with the judges order relieving me as counsel, then bring the proof of mailing to the court and pay another $20 to file same with the Court. So that one case lost me $71 in postage/costs, 4+ hours of waiting in court, and the 4 hours of temping at SullCrom I missed while waiting around in said court. So overall I probably lost about $500 on that deal. These "rookie mistakes" can quickly swamp a solo and put one out of business pretty quickly.

Don't think getting "court appointed" work is easy, either. In NYC you have to have 3 years exeperience, get 3 letters of rec from opposing cousnel you've gone up against, plus 3 judges you've argued a substantive motion or trials in front of, then send the whole sh-bang into the Committe and wait months to get approved. Even then, you get $60 an hour and hours for most matters are strictly capped. It's basically a "good ole boys" club, with a few old-timers hogging most of the work. My friend got approved over a year ago and has raked in a whopping $1300 so far from these cases.

I'd love to see the "Failure Rates" for solo attorneys, but I bet it's as high or higher than restaurants. The horrid economy combined with internet sites like LegalZoom and an absurdly oversaturated attorney market essentially make "going solo" a pipedream. Sure, there are a few who will make it, just as there are a few who can hit .300 in MLB or win the Powerball lottery. But just because some people do it doesn't mean most will be able to duplicate their success.

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Re: Where do contract / temp attorneys come from?

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:45 pm

I love these studies in pessimism.

In my very limited experience, temp attorneys seems to come from everywhere. It was disconcerting to see the files of people from HLS down to the in-state fourth-tier schools shuffled throughout the same stack of employee files.




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