Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘partner

A Nice Afternoon

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Total Black: $3,054.16
Total Red: $235,268.81

Work today brought a pleasant surprise that led to a very nice afternoon.  The firm took everyone out to lunch, including the contract attorneys.  Something unheard of in the temp attorney world. Keep reading . . .

No Holidays For Lawyers

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Total Black: $1,066.57
Total Red: $228,867.93

A few days ago, while at the contract attorney position, I got to talking with the office manager for the attorney temporary staffing agency’s off-site location.  She was working quite late, as was I, and I inquired why.  A new project was starting up and some computer problem had occurred.  She had to stick around until the situation was solved otherwise the project wouldn’t have been able to start on time.  It got me wondering why Law is all-consuming. Keep reading . . .

Boycott BigLaw

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Total Black: $66.11
Total Red: $230,859.71

I’ve been thinking over the past few days about large corporate law firms.  About some of the changes that have already occurred—like attorney layoffs (read: firings) or deferrals (read: delayed firings).  Blogs like Above the Law and Law Shucks have detailed the dramas and charted the cuts.  According to Law Shucks, a website tracking law-firm layoffs, including both associates and staff, law firms have laid-off over 14,000 people since January 2008.  This, in an industry where layoffs were never public, always shame-ridden, and sometimes career-ending.  Nevertheless, once the tides began to turn, associates were the first kicked to the curb. Then came staff layoffs. Then more associate layoffs and staff layoffs until finally firms thought up the Great Procrastination, punting the issue altogether by deferring associates and providing stipends all along hoping the economy rebounds in the meantime or the associates decide not to return.  And now, to add insult to injury, one law firm, DLA Piper, has decided to restructure how its associates earn their salaries—not their bonuses—but their salaries.  According to Above the Law, starting in 2010, roughly 10-15% of an associate’s salary will be withheld and made contingent upon partner satisfaction with associate performance.  When do we say enough is enough? Keep reading . . .

To Be Determined

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Total Black: $63.69
Total Red: $230,859.71

Visit any doctor’s office and you’ll find mounds and mounds of magazines.  US.  People.  Reader’s Digest.  I never understood why Reader’s Digest.  Who reads that any longer?  And typically among those stacks you’ll find one or two “serious” magazines, typically Newsweek or Time.  The last time I visited the doctor for the medical experiment, mentioned back in Another Update on Efforts, the cover of Time from September 21, 1999 caught my eye.  It read: “Out of Work in America: Why double-digit unemployment may be here to stay—and how to live with it.”  Not an attractive prospect.  I didn’t have time to read the article because my medical experiment visits are always rushed from room to room and examiner to examiner.  But I also didn’t want to leave behind that information.  So I swiped the magazine.  Keep reading . . .

My First Client

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Total Black: $59.57
Total Red: $230,644.12

I met this afternoon with the former pro bono client to discuss her lawsuit.  I touched on this matter in Pro Bono Publico, but didn’t give the whole story.  She had been evicted in 2007 and spent much of that year trying to get her personal property out of her former apartment.  Her landlord, and the building superintendent, however, made life miserable for her and routinely denied her access.  Then one day the building superintendent removed her property and put it into a self-storage facility, but under his own name.  When she came by with a moving van to retrieve her property, neither the landlord’s management company nor the super would tell her where it was.  Instead they demanded money, presumably to cover the storage costs.  Using the process of elimination, she tracked down the storage company in the area and demanded return of her property.  But since the storage company had a contract for storage space under someone else’s name, they wouldn’t release her property.  Months later, after the storage bill went unpaid, the storage company sent out auction notices.  They were about to sell all of her personal belongings to the highest bidders to recoup the unpaid storage costs.  That’s when I, as an associate at a large law firm, was brought in to stop the auction and help her recover her property.  Unfortunately, it morphed into a lawsuit and now, over a year later, I’m back in the driver’s seat of this case, steering it to some sort of resolution.  Given my own recent interaction with corporate landlords, I’m determined to see her prevail.  When did running a business become anathema to decency and respect?  Or maybe they never went hand-in-hand? Keep reading . . .

The Dearly Departed

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Total Black: $1,295.42
Total Red: $230,131.21

A year ago today I left the firm for good.  It must have been nearly 8pm that day.  It was a Friday.  I was there late even on my last day because, unlike other associates—one of whom, upon hearing that she was being laid off, walked out the door and didn’t return—I actually did what was asked of me.  I filed all my papers.  I archived all of my emails and documents.  I cleaned out my office and boxed up my own belongings.  And I said my good-byes. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

October 17, 2009 at 23:32

Pussyfootin’ Around

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Total Black: $625.15
Total Red: $230,649.18

In Never Been Further Apart I referenced the anxiety I feel when the telephone rings.  Since no one calls me on my home telephone number, it’s bound to be one of the debtors trying to get hold of me.  This morning both my cellphone and home phone rang at the exact same moment: 8:20 a.m.  The home phone was a credit card company; the cellphone was my mother calling to tell me that SallieMae was now calling her.  She’s a co-signor on one of my student loans.  And wonderful mother that she is, she made a payment on my student loans last month and asked SallieMae to send her the bills until I get back on my feet.  Only downside is that SallieMae will only apply her payments towards that loan she’s tied to.  Without the contract attorney position I’d continue to fall behind on those payments despite my mother’s help. Keep reading . . .