Monday, January 23, 2012

This is not encouraging

I have held off writing a post about this because it makes me nervous. Combined with the fiasco at Thanksgiving, when they told us day by day whether we were working (and dragged it out for more than a week -- No work today!),  this convinces me that we are working for one of the firms that institutionally views contract attorneys as completely fungible goods, to be disposed of at will. While we are all that, many firms -- I won't say most, although it might be -- try to show a little more consideration than this.

There was a group of contract attorneys in the space next to us working on a related matter. Small group, about eight people (which, of course, is bigger than our group), working on apparently the same matter for a different client. They also were using a different review platform. Whereas our project is using a review platform that allows us to see how much total work is left to be done, the other group did not have that luxury on their platform. Basically, they would be given another batrch of documents upon completing their last batch, with no idea how many batches were left.

So, on last Wednesday, right after the MLK holiday, they were given about 30 minutes notice that the project was over. Considering that firms know how many documents there are, and how fast they are being reviewed, it is child's play to determine when the project will be over. Many firms will give a heads up about a week from the end. Other firms, fearing that people will jump to other projects if they know a project is ending soon, keep silent.
This firm, apparently, keeps silent. Those folks had no idea they were about to be unemployed. Sure, some people will jump before the end of a project, but most try to line something up to start once the current project ends. It doesn't pay to burn bridges. Of course, that is a lesson firms should learn, too, as contract attorneys will avoid firms that don't afford them the opportunity to ensure continuous employment. It doesn't make me feel real good to know we're working for a "fuck them" firm. Although it certainly makes me feel better about my "fuck them" attitude toward this firm. Karma, I guess.

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