Posts Tagged ‘legal field’

Legal Outsourcing Company: Someone’s thriving from Lawyers’ Misery PART II

 

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Wow, in the last post I discussed the vendor company iBridge, now we have actual LAW FIRMS that just focus on document reviewe and e-discovery. Wait, you mean that it is not lucrative to practice law? Apparently not. Introducing:  Ryley Carlock, a law firm which thrives on actual document review by its now knew facility. Wow, there’s that word again facility (factory).  Here’s the article stint:

Ryley Carlock opening Michigan center – Phoenix Business Journal, June 17, 2010.  

The Phoenix-based law offices of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite PC will open a new document review center in Grand Rapids, Mich., next month.

Ryley’s document review practice group helps clients manage electronic and physical documents related to lawsuits, evidence discovery and regulatory compliance . The new center will expand on the firms abilities in those areas. This firm is also implementing the business model whereby the contract attorneys will be working for these types of businesses eliminating the need for major law firms to hire through placement agencies. Temporary agencies are next on the chopping block in the big legal-business shift of the legal industry. For some reason, I shed no tear. For all the times decent attorneys were placed in surreal, mental hospital-like conditions with poor sanitary conditions, recruiters and managers who overlook or mishandle violations, improper (we’re talking extreme) near violent-like work conditions with the expection to produce a certain amount of work per day, I say let the games begin. Oh and yes, I forgot to mention the horrendous skimming off contractual attorneys hourly rate whereby they make the same or less than plumbers, mechanics, construction workers, etc. I respect those that do manual labor more, they see what their hands have wrought, they actually constructed something…o.k…I’m back.

Ryley attorney Matt Clarke said the Michigan legal documentation center will start out at 4,000 square feet and accommodate 30 to 40 attorneys. He said it could grow to 16,000 square feet.

Clarke and Ryley Managing Partner Rudy Parga said the Michigan location will help the firm service clients in the Northeast and Midwest. [emphasis mine]. So, out of the major legal markets in the United States: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West (California), this firm is providing services for two of the three markets. For people who continue to tell lawyers that the East Coast is the economic hub and you can always get a job there, I hope this has enlightened you.

“It give us more touches of our clients,” Parga said.

Parga said as much as half of Ryley’s legal document review work comes from other law firms representing clients in complex, paperwork-heavy cases and lawsuits. No need for new attorneys, “facilities” have it covered.

p.s.: MarketWatch recently featured Epiq Systems, another vendor who provides “innovative” solutions for e-discovery: June 15, 2010: Epiq Systems Retires $50 Million Convertible Debt and Expands Senior Revolving Credit Facility – MarketWatch; and take a look at their brief business model: The Epiq Difference, you’ll see on p.2 where the company provides contract attorneys. And you guys used to laugh at the weird IT guys, looks like they’re having the last laugh.

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

P. 149.

 This text should be read by potential law students as well as law professors with the hope that until the legal industry changes to actually benefit the student, practice of law, pursuit of justice and not a method to promote economic servitude at the hands of the elite few, it’s obvious whether the average citizen with no connections, prior generation of elite education, extremely well financial situation, there is no need for additional attorneys to this field.

 “Although law school deans will surely challenge the notion of educational malpractice, that is exactly what law schools do.  The massive negligence committed by almost all law schools have dire consequences for the practicing bar and the American public.  It is analogous to allowing a surgeon to practice without supervision or training on actual patients,” taken from page 149.  O.k. it’s from the preview, I just discovered this book and haven’t read it.

 Wow, these words are taken directly from a Maryland lawyer who apparently graduated law school decades ago. What is interesting is that he is not akin to these older attorneys who tend to blame the younger generations for not hacking it, for failing to do the research, you know ‘blame the victim.’ In the quoted excerpt this second-career seasoned attorney lays out the obvious defect in the legal education system. Of course the times have changed with the technological advancements, continuous needs to reduce overhead, the mass production of attorneys, and do it yourself  legal forms (with no guidance or advisors), these factors surely have contributed to the increased unemployment of attorneys.

 What is interesting is that the attorney wrote this book within the past decade, maybe his observation of what he sees is the unprepared proliferation of attorneys into a field that held more meaning yester-year struck a nerve. I just came across his biography and book, and it looks like it’s an interesting read.

University of Michigan Law Journal: Preserving a Racial Hierarchy:

Preserving a Racial Hierarchy: A Legal Analysis of the Disparate RacialImpact of Legacy Preferences in University Admissions. [108 Michigan Law Review 577 (2010)] Katherine Ladewski

This is a note in the University of Michigan’s Law Journal. I would like to link this back to a previous post which discussed an article in the Stanford Journal concerning blacks receiving preferential treatment. It’s 2010 and one still has to make academic arguments that this isn’t the case. The article’s topic demonstrates another form of excluding Black Americans from IVY League institutions. Just by looking at this title, isn’t this just another form of discrimination against blacks? It’s when I read articles like this I am truly baffled as to why blacks are blamed when a white person isn’t admitted to an IVY League, especially when you likely had generations of head start in economic, social and educational arenas. Oh because blacks and poor people are the root of America’s problems [sarcasm definitely intended]. Anyway, here we go.

The article first discusses how universities originated legacy admissions to exclude Jews who were recent immigrants. First thought, replace one unpopular group with another, Blacks, who are ironically more indigineous to this country then the former. This article touches on the notion (which some of the other blogs have mentioned) that younger generations of Americans sought education, owning a home to achieve the American Dream as part of upward mobility. However, legacy admissions have a disparate impact on Black Americans and other minorities. One of the articles I list on this blog points out that during the most recent economic recession Black Americans were affected the most and the attempt to obtain future employment is marred by the lack of connections that educated Blacks have in different arenas, so multiply this by a graduate or professional education where the door is tougher to wedge through and it should not be surprising how difficult it is for Blacks to navigate through the employment sector. The same lack of connections may be applied to the precursor for professional employment, that of a quality, top tier education.  Historically, with rare exception some (the “black” heirs of their mother’s -wealthy paramour-usually by rape and the ability to “pass” or be light-skinned enough) were granted elite mentorship into private schools. Although to note most mixed children were house servants of their slavemasters.

The article further argues that legacy admissions increases the prospects of alumni donations and fundraising, provide better employment opportunities for legacy graduates as previous generation of alumni (parents and the inner circle) will hire someone who graduated from the same law school as they. Thus, as whites are more likely to have legacy admission, legacy employment, blacks and other minorities are likely to be left outside of the cold of such education and employment prospects. Sounds like common sense, but not for those people who continue to claim “We’re losing everything to blacks.” I remember Chris Rock was espousing this sentiment and his response was “losing it to who…it ain’t us, I’ve looked around this [here]” [he used an expletive]* And yes he did this particular show in Washington, D.C.

However, the author states “Because the negative impact of legacy preferences on minority applicants is based on past patterns of attendance at American universities and the underrepresentation of such racial groups over that period, the negative impact of legacy preferences on racial minorities should decrease over time if the student bodies at American universities continue to diversify.”

Which is non-sensical based on her prior premise that the legacy admissions were historically racist and continue the same modis operandi which benefits whites and are to the detriment to Blacks. Perhaps she meant it as a recommendation. Though I doubt these universities have any incentives to change their methodology as they were doing this for decades with Federal funding and no consistent objection by the government.  Even if you were to take the current blacks who made it to IVY League law schools and BIGLaw, it is a known fact that in this recession that Blacks were likely to be let go first, thus affecting their standard of living, income, influence for fundraising and donations to their alumn. What’s interesting as some blogs have noted about education in general being promoted as a source of upward mobility, but taking this particular sub-section of legacy admissions, there is little or no chance for Blacks to even create future generations based on legacy and IVY League education.

Anyway, the author goes into further details and statistics on disparate impact of legacy admissions, rate of donations and fundraising and the lack of correlation between continuing legacy admissions the way they currently stand and the latter two factors. “A post-legacy residual of zero would indicate that eliminating legacy preferences had no effect on university fundraising outcomes.” [589]

Full text of the article can be found: http://www.michiganlawreview.org/assets/pdfs/108/4/ladewski.pdf

Just imagine the chances for upward mobility for a Black American who not only didn’t attend IVY League but a non-top tier school. One shouldn’t wonder why voices of dissent espouse the reality of systemic discrimination.

A Law Degree and Nowhere to Go: January 24, 2010 (from Psychology Today)

I thought this was an interesting article, especially for those CONSIDERING going to law school; what’s kind of funny is the books she recommends at the end of the article, like the legal profession has dissipated!____________________________________________________

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201001/law-degree-and-nowhere-go

A Law Degree and Nowhere to Go

Lawyers face unique challenges in the job market.

Published on January 24, 2010

When the recession first hit, we heard that there were certain “safe” career fields like health care, higher education, etc. But as the recession drones on, so-called safe industries are belt-tightening and finding themselves subject to the same economics stresses facing other industries. Even the practice of law.

The public perception about legal careers is generally inaccurate. People assume that a law degree guarantees a permanent job, a great income and an exciting, high-powered life fighting for justice. Not to mention a great career for those who like to argue. And the portrayal of lawyers in the media tends to support that image. When warned about this, college students planning to attend law school often say, “well I know the law isn’t exactly like “Law & Order,” but….” – and that’s where the line between myth and reality starts to blur. Sally Kane, writing for About.com identifies some of the prevalent myths about the practice of law.

The Wall Street Journal’s legal blog recently wrote about the increasing isolation in the practice of law and its relationship to depression and suicide. But the legal profession was struggling prior to the recession.

A survey in Legal Careers Blog pointed out growing dissatisfaction with the practice of law. Almost half of all lawyers expressed dissatisfaction with their careers and only 4 in 10 lawyers would recommend a legal career to others. People were looking to leave the practice of law and do anything else.

That was 2008. And then the recession really hit. Law firms have gone bankrupt. Thousands of lawyers have been laid off. New law school graduates are finding the offers less attractive and less plentiful. A legal blog, Above The Law, tracks the legal employment situation, noting weekly layoffs. Another blog, Law Shucks, runs both a “bonus tracker” and a “layoff tracker” simultaneously pointing out the appeal and the risk of the field. Both blogs point to the challenging job market for new graduates and for mid-career lawyers laid off from what were once guaranteed-for-life jobs.

All this leads to more lawyers in the general job market who, as a group, face particularly unique challenges. Employers will assume that you went to law school to be a lawyer so any other career path must be a second choice and the minute the market for lawyers returns, you’ll be gone. They may also assume that you’ll want a higher salary than other workers.

So I’m going to be blunt here: You WERE a lawyer. Get over it– if you want to get a job elsewhere. Let me explain. A law degree provides a great learning experience. You learned to create compelling arguments, develop writing skills, conduct legal analysis, solve problems creatively, etc. As a lawyer, you handled deadlines, dealt with crises, worked long hours, etc. All things employers might want.  But you also know that the word “lawyer” comes with a lot of baggage. People can view lawyers as money-oriented, manipulative, and at worst– litigious and always looking for the next lawsuit. No employer wants to live in fear that their employee will sue them, and hiring a lawyer for a non-legal job seems to invite that.

So how do you make the transition from lawyer/law student to “working anywhere but the law”?

Here are a few tips:

1. Start by analyzing your strengths and interests. What other career fields have you considered? Where would you like to apply your talents? Some career fields lend themselves more naturally to a background in law, including: academic administration, banking/finance, consulting, environmental, government, human resources, intellectual property, journalism, immigration, labor relations, publishing, real estate, and tax preparation. How would your legal background make you a better employee in your newly-chosen field?

2. Focus on the field you’re going into– not where you’ve been. Research the career fields you’re considering. Talk to people in the field. Join professional organizations related to your new field to demonstrate a sincere interest. Develop an understanding of what they do on a day-to-day basis. Determine if/where/how your legal background could contribute to the field. Remove legal jargon from your resume– make sure it speaks to the new field you’re moving into, not the old one you’re leaving.

3. Determine what percentage of time your legal education/background would come into play at the job and then tailor your cover letter, resume, and interview responses accordingly. Obviously, if the position/employer would greatly benefit from your legal degree, then go to town and tell them everything about your legal background. BUT—

4. If people can be hired for the position without a law degree– that’s a clue that your law degree isn’t the be-all and end-all and should not be the first thing you bring up. So don’t have your identity bound up in being a lawyer. Your resume will indicate your legal training and background. You need to come up with other more compelling reasons for the employer to hire you in your cover letter. For instance, don’t start your cover letter with, “As an attorney…” or waste a paragraph detailing your legal acumen when the employer doesn’t care.

5. Know why an employer might have concerns about hiring a lawyer. Don’t waste energy bemoaning the lawyer jokes and complaining that it’s not “fair.” Since you know the problem ahead of time, be ready to address concerns which might not even be voiced. Make sure employers know your skill set is greater than practicing law. And find a way to answer the unasked questions: Can you get along with people? Are you too argumentative? Are you overly competitive? Intense? Do you have hidden agendas?  Here’s a particularly unique challenge for lawyers: they think differently. Let’s put that another way: they are pessimists– it’s what makes them successful lawyers. Unfortunately, the law is one of the only career fields that rewards pessimistic thinking: optimists do better in virtually every other career field. Read the link to learn more about this.

The job market is tough for everyone.  Don’t make it harder for yourself by making the mistakes other lawyers make when they try to move out of their fields. I met a floral arranger recently whose business card had “JD” after her name.  I asked her why she put the degree on her card.  She said, “Well I earned it– I might as well flaunt it.” She has a point, but she also confessed that she went into business for herself because employers weren’t “open-minded enough” to hire a former lawyer. And it made me wonder: was it the employers who weren’t open-minded or was she just too attached to her degree?

Here are some resources to check out about transitioning out of the law: “Running from the Law: Why Good Lawyers Are Getting Out of the Legal Profession” by Deborah Arron

“The Unhappy Lawyer” by Monica Parker

What Can You Do with a Law Degree” by Deborah Arron