Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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


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Total Black: $830.70
Total Red: $230,761.09

The new temporary attorney position I started today will be situated in the staffing agency’s review space.  The law firm we’re working for is nearby, but we’ll actually be reporting each day to this off-site location.  We had training all day today at the law firm but later stopped by the review space to scout out the location and take care of any last-minute paperwork.  I nearly fell back upon myself in a double-take when I walked into the conference room where the bulk of the document reviewers work.  At first I thought we had walked into an day care center for retarded adults.  And I could have sworn that Opie from Family Guy was reviewing documents there.

Walking into the conference room immediately disoriented me.  All the attorneys were in casual clothes, which was a bit off-putting to start with.  Then when my eyes focused in on the individuals scattered about the room I began to see so many misshapen hairlines and oddly-shaped heads dotting the room.  Just odd.  Frumpy people.  Comb overs.  A high school dance on acid.  All arrays and disarrays speckled the room.  Complicating that initial in-take was the room itself: the conference room is long and narrow and midway into the room one wall just stops off and becomes a half-wall.  Desks and computers run the entire length, however, and are flush up against either side of this wall giving you the feel as if you’re looking into a full-length mirror when you’re really not.  I had to stare at the other side of that wall a few times to make sure that what moved on the far side wasn’t also moving on the near side.

I’m frightened by this motley crew both because I’m soon expected to join them and because of what they might do if ever the lights went out.  I don’t want Opie to come groping for me in the dark.  As I left tonight I was reminded of one of the stories told to me by the Woman Who Sat Next To Me, a contract attorney featured in earlier posts from my first document review.  I never mentioned this story of hers in Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom, but I cited a few other odd-ball tales she shared.  Here’s another.  As I recall the it, she was working on a project one time with a number of other temp attorneys all housed in a cramped and uncomfortable conference room.  Covering the walls in the room were the artwork of mentally handicapped children.  Probably a forced purchase by a law firm partner that an interior decorator smartly hid in the firm’s basement.  At one poignant moment when frustrations between the temp attorneys and the law firm associates reached its pinnacle, one contract attorney lashed out about the conditions they were forced to endure and the “friggin’ retardists” they had to stare at all day.  The Woman Who Sat Next To Me lost all composure and barely kept from having to leave the room.  As I left the off-site location today I too nearly burst out laughing in the street remembering that story.  That conference room today looked as if it had been filled with the retardists who painted that artwork.  I’m left with the same unanswered questions I posted in Adventures of a Temp Attorney.  Thankfully myself and my coworkers will be seated in a separate conference room away from the bulk of the reviewers.  If all goes well I’ll be working sixty hour weeks for the next month and still have weekends free.

In other news, the judge dismissed my counterclaims in the Landlord v. Laid-off Lawyer lawsuit.  A friend of mine made appearance for me and relayed that the judge’s response to my counterclaims were to file them in Supreme Court as an affirmative action.  I could squabble with his ruling but I’m not crazy about that judge and so I’m not disappointed to be rid of him.  (In an odd twist of fate, this judge is the same judge who evicted my pro bono client a few years ago back when sat in Brooklyn and set her whole case in motion.)  Now I’m left wondering whether I want to bother with initiating a lawsuit against my landlord for everything I went through back in the fall of 2008.  It was hell, but it’s over.  I guess this is how many prospective plaintiffs feel.  I suppose I could find a good attorney who’d take my case on a contingency fee basis.  Know any?

One Response

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  1. Daycare center for retarded adults. Love it!

    Granted that we’re in different markets, here’s how it’s worked for me. For every contract of any length I’ve been on, folks who show up at or a little before the appointed start time, work until the appointed end time, do acceptable or better work, and express an interest in working more hours … When the first deadline comes, these folks invariably end up being “allowed” to work more than the 60/wk or whatever hours cap there is. Hopefully something like that’ll work out for you.


    January 10, 2010 at 10:55

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