CRAIGSLIST AD – ATTENTION DOCUMENT REVIEW ATTORNEYS (FINANCIAL DISTRICT)
Stop allowing these employers to lower our rate! You do not have to take on projects that pay so low, while the associates behind the scenes make $200+ per hour off your hard work!
Do not take on those projects which try to pay us less than $30 per hour; this is obscene. When we are hundreds of thousands in debt with three-year degrees in the professional practice of law, there is no excuse for working attorneys to be paid under $30 per hour on grueling document review projects that don’t even provide basic benefits. Paralegals in firms earn much more than we earn for our document review work. PARTNERS and ASSOCIATES in these firms are earning millions off of your discovery work; it’s time we stand up and refuse to work for jobs paying less than $30.
STOP taking jobs that do not offer you a proper wage for your efforts, abilities, and ambitions. We are admitted to practice law, and we worked hard to achieve this result. If we don’t stop this practice of taking low-paying contract work, the wages will only get lower. In one year, you’ll be seeing ads for $20/hr doc review. Don’t undersell your worth. A crisis of confidence is the worst crisis within this profession; there are more lawyers who lack confidence in their skills than unemployed lawyers. Defend your profession.
No professional earns as little as document reviewers given their education and debt. Nurses earn $50 an hour in some hospitals without full college degrees; paralegals earn over $50 an hour in many firms. Do not let these low-ball ads play on your insecurities. Wait for the good contract job; there are plenty of firms who pay $30+ to $40 per hour for regular document review.
One ad, “Document Review $26″ believes it can keep attorneys on board for 2 months at that rate, when other – more respectable – employers will pay you $35 per hour in upcoming projects, with OT! I would advise anyone who applies for this project to quit and allow them to blacklist you rather than take such a low wage.
More outrageous, “Fortune 500 Seeks 25 attorneys for Document Review” will pay you $29 per hour! If this is a Fortune 500 company, why can’t it afford to pay its attorneys a going wage? Maybe that’s because it’s a Fuck You 500 Company where the Executives earn $millions per year + bonuses + stock options + severances if they quit their job.
The market has told attorneys they have no value. Wrong. The market desperately needs lawyers – just not the way its structured today. If document review attorneys BANDED together – UNIONIZED – if ALL attorneys who left law school had an American Bar Association that actually defended the living standards of attorneys, we wouldn’t be in this situation. The ABA allows law schools to open up their doors at high prices across the country without regard to quality of education. The ABA is an organization whose ethics rules are designed to promote the needs of its writers – the partners and big shot lawyers who will revolve through government and firms to make their big bucks. Fuck the solos. Fuck the new attorneys. This is the view of the ABA. Screw the ABA and their weak assistance.
Stand up for yourself. We have been told our profession is over-populated, that there are too many lawyers. No. There are plenty of clients in need. The problem is simple – and it is a problem across all fields: the executives and partners at the top take gross paychecks at the expense of others in their professions. Hospital Executives earn millions while primary care doctors work 60 hour weeks for lower wages. Corporate firms bill by the hundreds with their monopoly of clients, while non-elite students get excluded from the legal monopoly. Legal Aid societies and civil rights non-profits don’t even allow non-elite lawyers into their ranks. Wanna work for the ACLU? Good luck if you didn’t attend a top 14 school.
Stand up for your dignity. STOP allowing these employers to hire you for less than your worth. Your worth at least $30 per hour for your service. DO NOT RESPOND TO ADS THAT PROMOTE THE DEVALUATION OF NON-ELITE / UNDEREMPLOYED LAWYERS. We all deserve a chance to prove our skills, to show our discipline, and to practice our craft. I don’t care what anyone says about document review; it’s a skill. Discovery work is critical to the outcome of a case; it requires thought and care. It requires more than just clicks of a mouse. Though the work can be mind-numbing, it deserves a respectful wage.
Stand up for our wages.