Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Workers Unite!

Alternative Title: Law School Grads! Don't gut the Temp Legal Industry by taking whatever hourly rate is thrown your way. You're fucking up your own future!

My friend, Eve, a contract attorney, hit the streets this week. She was registering with new and exciting temp agencies in light of her current project coming to an end. And, the rates are dropping, folks. It's gone from $40/hour to $35/hour, and now to $33/hour and lower in some markets. DC is offering $30/hour and they want us to grin and bear it. The reason why, Eve says, "too many people looking! especially with all the new grads getting their pass letters. also, places are very picky about whether you've done ___ type of case before."

If we all decide not to accept jobs for lower than $35/hour, then they will be forced to pay us what we need to work and live and pay our bills. I'm not putting it all on the shoulders of the recent grads who are eagerly running to temp with bar results in hand. I realize that the agencies are selfish--that's a given. The law firms are cheap. The clients are picky. But they are getting away with murder here. Just over a year ago, they were billing out 1st year associates at $200/hour to do the same work. Now, they are driving the price as close to $20/hour as they can... With a savings of $180, do we need to give them more????

I am totally freaked out that the bottom feeding law school grads will jump on $29/hour without thinking about what it does to the temp industry. It will take months to get back to reasonable rates. As Eve said, "just fyi -- i did doc review in 2002... and the rate was 40 an hour!"

How does everything in the world get more expensive and we get cheaper and cheaper by the month? Why haven't we "benefited" from inflation???

I realize that we are the hookers of the legal world. But let's try to be high class escorts, rather than crack whores.

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