Friday, June 17, 2011

Did they interview anyone on this planet?

It has come to my attention that the Wall Street Journal recently published an article about contract attorneys.

Because the journalism profession has fallen upon hard times, this article clearly was poorly researched. Just for starters, the reporter mentions the AT&T "proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA," stating that the doc review for that merger "has resulted in the use of 200 contract lawyers." Obviously didn't call me -- three firms, at least four agencies, and by all accounts bumping up on 400 contract attorneys. Not to mention the salacious details I could have provided.

Plus, the article purports to be an overview of how poor, poor hot shot law students are being forced into contract work by the bad economy. True, as far as that goes. Hold the phone, jackass, you clearly aren't sufficiently sympathetic. One CA they talked to would only make "$65,000 to $80,000 from document review projects this year." In a country where the median household income is somewhere around 50k per year, I don't see that statement generating a lot of sympathy. Plus, that person is a lazy ass sack, since my worst year was more than that CA expected to be the top end.

But my worst invective is reserved for the CA mentioned at the end of the article who believes that CAs have "become stigmatized." No shit, Sherlock. The article calls us the "third tier" of the legal profession, but fails to recognize that we are more like 5th or 6th, below legal secretaries and paralegals, at least as far as respect in the profession goes. But that was not even the worst thing the CA told the WSJ. Clearly, she lied when she said she has "worked in Charlotte, Moyock, N.C., New York and Los Angeles. . . . "

Face it: No one has ever worked in Moyock in any industry not involving lumber, Barco's Restaurant or Piggly Wiggly. 

1 comment:

Fenris said...

That was indeed a badly researched article.

However, regarding the pay, context matters. $65K sounds like a lot money to a retiree in Kansas, but someone paying NYC or DC housing prices and six figures in the hole (which usually means four digits a month) from student loan debts, it's really not. There are of course a lot of jobs that pay less than that but they tend not to require expensive advanced degrees.

And as you the know the money is not even the shittiest aspect of this line of work. No career, no benefits, squalid conditions, and they throw you on the street w/o any warning or a second thought. This work per se isn't stressful but the constant wondering where next month's rent $$ is coming from more than makes up for that.

There's folks who have it far worse than us, but a lot of people would steer clear of a JD if they knew how good a chance that this, or something worse, was their future. Props for spreading the word.