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    Contract lawyers: just a screwed generation?

    Ben Hur 

    by:
    Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.
    Founder/Chairman
    The Posse List

     

    4 March 2016 – This week we had two publications focus on the contract attorney market, both quoting The Posse List and also quoting a number of Posse List members.

    Michael Goldhaber, a writer for The American Lawyer, wrote a piece titled “Millennial Contract Lawyers: The Screwed Generation?” as part of a special issue that focused on Millennials in the legal market. But Michael’s article captured many of the issues and problems we discuss: the feeling of modern-day serfdom, Posse List members saddled with thousands of dollars of student debt, sometimes horrendous working conditions, crummy pay rates, the … Read the rest

    About The Posse List Blog

    This site is a place for Posse List members to learn about and discuss current issues and trends in the contract legal market. Your comments and feedback will drive this site. We look forward to engaging in a positive dialogue with Posse List members around the world.

    We encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or suggestions at manager@theposselist.com.

Contract lawyers: just a screwed generation?

Ben Hur 

by:
Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.
Founder/Chairman
The Posse List

 

4 March 2016 – This week we had two publications focus on the contract attorney market, both quoting The Posse List and also quoting a number of Posse List members.

Michael Goldhaber, a writer for The American Lawyer, wrote a piece titled “Millennial Contract Lawyers: The Screwed Generation?” as part of a special issue that focused on Millennials in the legal market. But Michael’s article captured many of the issues and problems we discuss: the feeling of modern-day serfdom, Posse List members saddled with thousands of dollars of student debt, sometimes horrendous working conditions, crummy pay rates, the … Read the rest

In the run-up to LegalTech 2016: The “Basics of E-Discovery” guide from Exterro

Exterro logo

 

 

21 January 2016 – Last year Exterro launched a new e-discovery resource called the Basics of E-Discovery guide.

It is a brilliant guide.  We have worked with it and it is a an easy to read, approachable, and informative resource for anyone interested in mastering e-discovery fundamentals. And given over the past couple of years we’ve seen a strong trend of companies bringing more of the E-Discovery process in house this has naturally increased the number of people looking to become familiar with the basic concepts, tasks and activities associated with the various stages of the process.

The goal of the guide is very apparent: it’s intentionally designed … Read the rest

“What a jerk!! He MUST be studying law!”

Jerk

 

14 January 2015 – Yep, it seems it is the first question college students as each other:“What’s your major?”  Perhaps the most superfluous. Spend a little time getting to know them, and you’ll be able to make an educated guess.

And that’s the implication of a newly published paper, which reviews 12 studies to determine if the folk wisdom that students with specific personality traits tend to major in certain subjects is actually true.

 

Its conclusion – based on the answers of 13,389 students – is … yes.

 

Psychologist Anna Vedel of Aarlus University in Denmark reports finding “consistent ‘big five’ personality group differences across … Read the rest

Law schools race to meet students’ demands: the business that is called “the law”

lawyers and money 

 

30 November 2015 – For some years now pundits have been writing about the “deprofessionalization of the legal profession”, a malaise which, it is claimed, has infected the profession to the extent that “the noble profession” is losing its soul.  As if the legal industry was ever more than a business.  People, please.  Re-read your Cicero, Charles Dickens, Sinclair Lewis, Chris Hedges. Rubbing on a false sheen of “profession” don’t make it so.  Something about lipstick on a pig.

In the corporate law venue … the most mature and highly competitive marketplace for legal services … corporate lawyers are merely functionaries subservient to the dictates of their corporate … Read the rest

U.S. labor laws and overtime: your comments

Overtime 

2 September 2015 – Over the weekend we published a notice about the Department of Labor’s proposed a new rule regarding overtime and the opportunity to make comments.  We noted that United Contract Attorneys is submitting a comment to the rule proposing a carve-out for document review attorneys to the FLSA exemption to mandated overtime pay for professional workers, including lawyers.

Previously we have been reporting on the recent decision of Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (decided on July 23rd) containing prima facie statements that the work of document review performed was not the practice of … Read the rest

The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule regarding overtime and seeks comment

 

Overtime 

29 August 2015 – The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule regarding the overtime exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (click here to view the proposed rule).

United Contract Attorneys is working to make sure the DOL knows about contract attorney working conditions and wages, and is asking you to submit a COMMENT, by September 4, 2015.

They have suggested the following:

 

1. You can click here to submit a comment.
 

 

2.  You can write your own comment or you can copy and paste the following sample which they have drafted:
 

 

a. It’s time to update the overtime
Read the rest

Contract attorney lawsuit against Skadden Arps can proceed, appeals court says; case could enable temporary lawyers hired for routine document review to earn extra wages

 

 

 

Ben Hur (2)

 

 

23 July 2015 – A lawsuit demanding overtime pay from legal heavyweight Skadden, Arps can proceed, an appeals court ruled today, potentially clearing the way for temporary lawyers hired to do routine document review to earn extra wages. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling came in a two-year-old lawsuit brought against Skadden and legal staffing agency Tower Legal Solutions by an attorney who claims he deserves overtime for a $25-an-hour assignment reviewing documents on a Skadden case.

Under federal labor laws, licensed lawyers don’t automatically earn overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hours a week if what they are doing is … Read the rest

This firm marked up contract attorney reviewer billings over 500 percent … and that’s not the worst part

Legal over billing

 

 

From Doug Austin at eDiscovery Daily:

June 3, 2015 – Remember when we asked the question whether a blended document review rate of $466 per hour is excessive? Many of you weighed in on that one and that post is still our most viewed of all time. Marking up the billing rate for reviewers over 500 percent may or may not also be unacceptable, depending on who you talk to. But, everyone agrees that billing more hours than you actually worked is a bad thing.

According to a new article by Gina Passarella in The Legal Intelligencer (Are Contract Attorney Markups Of Any Concern to Read the rest

Skadden fights contract lawyer’s claims in the U.S. Second Circuit

Ben Hur (2)

 

1 June 2015 – Last week the U.S. Second Circuit heard the Lola vs. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom case which is testing whether some purportedly professional work might in fact be eligible for overtime. The case pits Skadden against a contract attorney hired by a legal staffing agency to review documents for $25 an hour on a Skadden case.

A district court judge dismissed the case in September, ruling that the work Lola did qualified as practicing law under North Carolina guidelines. “As junior associates at law firms well know,” U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in New York wrote in the decision, tasks like confirming citations and … Read the rest

U.S. student debt hangover ruins that “American dream” (ha, ha)

Student loan debt

 

Angela Gambetta, Managing Director/The Posse List

9 May 2015 – About a decade ago, American consumers seemed the most debt-addicted people on the planet. Then … bingo … around 2008 something rather remarkable began to occur: the level of consumer card and mortgage debt in the US began shrinking.

But there is one glaring exception to this trend: student debt. Over the past decade, the level of outstanding student debt has almost tripled to $1.3 trillion.

Although the law makes it relatively hard to walk away from student debt, defaults are also strikingly high. There are many ways to measure this figure but the Department of Education reports that … Read the rest