Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Coding My Cat

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Total Black: $211.10
Total Red: $228,343.21

For the most part, temp or contract attorneys spend their days reading through other people’s emails, documents, reports, and so on, determining whether that document is relevant or responsive to someone’s request and, if so, figuring out which categories or codes, as established by the law firm whose matter it is, to apply to that document on the doc review software. It’s mundane and thankless work. But it’s necessary and must be done. This temp job I’m now on is for a corporate transaction, an acquisition, not a lawsuit, so there’s a strict deadline by when we have to be finished, otherwise the deal falls apart and then someone sues someone else for damages. Not good. While an associate at the law firm, I reviewed documents for litigation but I’ve never reviewed for a corporate transaction. It’s turning out to be a slightly different approach because you want to be as conservative as possible in deciding whether someone’s email musings are “responsive” enough to warrant turning the document over to the government. The Department of Justice has antitrust concerns about the proposed transaction. It’s interesting though and I’m excited about the opportunity. As an associate you didn’t really get to see the good stuff, like the office affairs, the emailed jokes, the risque pictures, and so forth, because the contract attorneys cleared out that type of irrelevant materials. So, I’m liking being on the frontlines for a change. But you need stamina to keep up. 

Around 4am this morning I found myself in that netherworld between waking and sleep. One of my two cats had hopped on the bed and was lying near me. I was rubbing her belly trying to feel what categories I should code her into. Clearly she was in seventh heaven as I tickled her tummy all over, looking for the right tags to click to describe her. As some point I woke enough to realize that the world of the temp attorney was carrying over to my sleep. Must have been around 2pm today when I started to nod off. Rather than work as many hours as possible, I opted instead to be judicious and leave after six hours.

I need to ease myself into this new world. Doesn’t make sense to start off the race sprinting only to have to stop (or even drop out) later on because I’m so tired. So, to that end, I’m off to bed. Just waking from a nap actually but I’m still tired. Hopefully tonight I won’t be coding my cat again.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 26, 2009 at 23:10

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