Are there any cynics out there who are sick of all this good news about how the legal economy is recovering? Hell, even a supposed teen porn purveyor is counting on a full recovery sometime in the near future.
If all this happiness and roses makes you feel a little bit ill, look no further than Craigslist for your daily dose of sadness. Check out this out, it’s the saddest kind of barter deal…
A reader drew our attention to a mildly amusing “help wanted” ad on Craigslist. Says our source: “Now that I’m a lawyer myself, who previously worked for an a**hole boss, I find this ad for a new legal assistant pretty funny. You can tell he thinks his boss is an anal-retentive douche, but doesn’t know how to say that.”
“I also like that he wants the applicant to send a photo and résumé but redact all personal information except the phone number — isn’t the entire résumé personal info? Also note the e-mail address…. Anyway — enjoy.”
Desperate times call for measures to take advantage of the desperate. Why pay California lawyers $10 an hour when they’re willing to work for free? And not just willing, but eager to provide their services on a volunteer basis.
We wrote before about the public sector utilizing the unpaid legal workforce when the Marin County DA advertised for attorneys for “unpaid, temporary positions that offer a valuable opportunity to gain courtroom experience including trying misdemeanor jury trials.” Last week, a tipster sent along another Craigslist ad from the other side of the Bay, with the subject line, “Seriously?” An excerpt:
Superior Court of San Mateo County Seeks Volunteers
The Legal Research Department of the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, is seeking attorneys willing to volunteer their time as a legal research attorney with a minimum 6 month commitment to the court.
We write often about these depressing job ads and the fact that a degree that entails six figures of debt can only help you nail down a six-month unpaid position. We wondered what kind of response such ads were actually getting, so we reached out to the San Mateo Court.
The response makes the ads even more depressing. The hiring attorney tells us that his phone won’t stop ringing…
As the economy was tanking at the end of 2008, I, like many contract attorneys, found myself scrambling for work. One night, while frustratedly clicking around the internet for leads, I happened to come across this post from the blog Anonymous Contract Lawyer:
I almost forgot I was working at a law firm for the past 4 months. No pressure, no expectations, come and go as we please as long as we make the Monday status meeting and clock 8 hours a day. Economic downturn? Like lightning, it hit around our protective contract bubble.
“How is this guy working and not me?” was the only thought running through my mind. What I was to find out was that this “guy” was actually a woman, who was reviewing docs across the country in San Francisco.
After scanning through a few entries of her blog, I was hooked. I now follow her blog pretty regularly. It could be a manual on “things no one ever tells you about document review.” The format is simple, smart, informative and funny. Also, she’s a huge fan of Above The Law (except for the contributions of Hope Winters).
So why does this attorney want to remain anonymous? I mean, I know the need to conceal one’s identity is mostly a foreign concept to the readers of this blog, especially those who comment.
Well, first, she is a contract lawyer, and considering Elie’s post the other day, I guess that’s enough said right there.
But there are other reasons for sure. I recently had the chance to speak with the Anonymous Contract Lawyer (ACL) herself. You won’t find photos of her on her ACL blog, but you will find them on an adult website dedicated to “force-feminizing” men. Caveat: There are some raunchy details awaiting, after the jump.
Perhaps treating job seeking like online dating isn’t such a bad idea. Many readers were skeptical when a New York-based 3L posted a Craigslist ad seeking employers who matched his criteria for a perfect boss. To “be considered for this opening as [his] new boss,” he wrote in the ad, employers had to satisfy 21 requirements — such as not being a lunatic, jerk, or screamer — and be willing to pay for his services.
One ATL reader wrote:
Boy, today’s generation of law students really do feel entitled. The real world is really going to smack this guy around.
In fact, some members of the “real world” actually liked the ad. The law student has an interview this week…
Maybe finding a job should be like online dating, with job seekers putting up advertisements describing their perfect match.
That’s the approach a law student in New York is taking. The 3L placed an ad on Craigslist this week, titled “3rd Year Law Student Seeking Competent, Sane, Paying Legal Employer.”
According to the student’s self-description, this 3L is the perfect legal employee, with “excellent, substantive experience in the legal field”; their “own Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis password and unlimited access to both databases” (courtesy of the student’s school?); “a lot of experience drafting contracts, including very complex and lengthy contracts”; “high work ethic”; and “good social skills.”
This stellar job seeker will not accept just any job. The 3L writes:
In order to be considered for this opening as my new boss, in addition to being willing to pay for my services, you must also meet all of the following criteria:
There are 21 requirements. Number 1: “You must not be a lunatic.”
Are you a bankruptcy attorney who needs to empathize more with your clients — e.g., by declaring bankruptcy yourself? Check out this job posting — which won’t be our Job of the Week anytime soon — courtesy of that gold mine of employment opportunities, Craigslist:
Bankruptcy Attorney Position (Dallas)
Small Consumer Bankruptcy firm in Dallas looking for new associate attorney. 50-60 Hours per week, with some travel to Fort Worth required. Salary: $40,000.
If “travel to Fort Worth” is required, you need to add another zero to that salary. This is not the kind of income that will help you pay off massive educational debt (non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, at least for now).
We’ve done a number of posts on terrible job offers. You can pretty much go onto Craigslist once a week and find some firm trying to get legal services on the cheap. Usually, it’s a firm or a solo practitioner that’s trying to take advantage of the legal recession by lowballing prospective associates.
Yesterday, an ad went up from a Pro Se litigant looking for legal help. This guy isn’t willing to hire a lawyer to represent him, but he’s got no problem finding one to do all the work:
Recent law school grad needed for research by Pro Se Litigant in areas of civil law including contracts and due process. Please include resume with your response. PayPay will be method of payment. Please indicate which legal search engine you will be using.
Wonderful, so not only does this guy want you to do all the work, but he also expects you to pay for your own Westlaw or Lexis access.
What’s this guy going to pay you for this opportunity?
I’ve had a crush on you for almost twenty years (and you deservedly made fun of me when I got tongue-tied in front of you), but it never seemed appropriate to move on it. Either I was dating someone, or you were in another city…
But now! Our careers seem to have settled in DC. I’m single. Politico and Eliot Spitzer tell me you’re single. We have so much in common: I love the law (even civil procedure!) and can’t get enough of it. I like books and baseball and poker and New York City and Medici pizza. I admire Thurgood Marshall. Like you, I love the Federalist Society. My mother was the first bas mitzvah in her Orthodox synagogue, but I’m relatively non-observant. We disagree on some First Amendment issues, to be sure, but I’ll never ask you to watch a dogfighting video. Ok, you’re smarter than me, but I’m no slouch (like you, I turned down Yale Law), and I’m cool being Mr. Ginsburg to your Ruth Bader if you are.
This is not a joke. I am gaga for Lady KaGa. I understand you have other priorities in the next few weeks, and Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald would be scandalized if we started dating, but I’ve waited for you this long, I can wait until after the inevitable investiture. Just send me a signal: mention your love of the Mets in your opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I’ll know to send you a dinner date invitation for the first Friday in October. We’ll go for Chinese food at a restaurant better than City Lights.
Finally, some suspense for the Kagan hearings: Will she mention the Mets? Tune in and find out.
We interviewed the Craigslist poster about his wacky plan….
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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