Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another data point in a long string of not-good developments for Temp Town

I've talked about computer-assisted review and predictive coding here and here. Probably elsewhere, too, but I'm lazy. Anyway, it's not good for the future of temps. Likewise, using attorneys in India and the Philippines, among other places, or even just lower-cost states like North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia, also cannot be good news for DC-based temps. The proliferation of short, 40-hour projects is a direct result of the cost-cutting trends that birthed these developments. Now we're seeing other indications that the future is here, and it sucks, as shown by this post at the Temp Town job listserve The Posse List:

[An agency I work for from time to time] is staffing a JD document review looking to start 5/28/13. Please see the details below: 
*Only a JD required. The client has indicated candidates do not need barred or bar pending *Start date: 5/28/13 *Pay rate: $24/hr plus 1.5 for OT *Hours: 40/hrs week *Duration: 2 weeks 
Short, no OT and no bar required, and so shitty pay as a result -- as in a 20 percent cut from the more or less standard rate.   We've seen the occasional JD-only  project before, so this isn't a totally new development. I will be watching to see if it becomes more of a trend, however.  On the one hand, there is a June 2005 advisory opinion by the DC Court of Appeals Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law that says “when a person is hired and billed as a lawyer . . . . When a client is paying for the services of a lawyer, and not a paralegal or law clerk, the person providing the services and the person’s employer must comply" with local rules requiring DC Bar membership for the practice of law in the District. (Sorry, no link -- I mentioned I'm lazy, right?) On the other hand, it's just an advisory opinion and won't stop clients from eyeballing that nice little 20 percent savings on labor. The Posse List post says straight up the client made the JD-only call. Think more of them won't? I won't bet against it.

How's that exit strategy coming?

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