Law School Discussion

Life As An Associate

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1610 on: May 08, 2008, 03:43:31 AM »
Ok, so I'm usually a lurker on this thread, but that last article had me trippin' enough that I had to reply.  Is that what women starting law careers in BigLaw have to look forward to?  I hear about all these firms being "family friendly" but it sounds to me that it's just a front and they'll drop you as soon as you start said family.

They all say it, but it's up to you to investigate. Thank God for abovethelaw.com because it's exposed a number of bad practices among law firms that are supposed to be extremely people-oriented. Just goes to show that "family-friendly" is as much a marketing gimmick as "diverse." The bottom line at most firms is, well, the bottom line. They conduct themselves accordingly.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1611 on: May 09, 2008, 05:54:08 PM »
Here is my first law firm associate thrown under the bus story.  Nothing about it is specific to my firm and I'm sure could happen anywhere so thought I'd share....


This type of office backstabbing, sadly, is not limited to the legal profession--I saw it often at my prelaw job too.

Just curious, do they give you an employee handbook that says how to prepare for vacations?  If there was no policy communicated about what you are supposed to do, her annoyance is especially unwarranted.

Exactly.  We have an employee manual but it mentions nothing about any vacation process.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1612 on: May 12, 2008, 04:50:13 AM »
Here is my first law firm associate thrown under the bus story.  Nothing about it is specific to my firm and I'm sure could happen anywhere so thought I'd share....


This type of office backstabbing, sadly, is not limited to the legal profession--I saw it often at my prelaw job too.

Just curious, do they give you an employee handbook that says how to prepare for vacations?  If there was no policy communicated about what you are supposed to do, her annoyance is especially unwarranted.

Exactly.  We have an employee manual but it mentions nothing about any vacation process.
That's actually not that surprising.

Freak

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1613 on: May 12, 2008, 04:25:17 PM »
My employer just told me to ensure I had court/deps covered on vacation days. He really gave me no limitations (he doesn't keep track, but everybody else does) - word is that 2 weeks yearly is standard.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1614 on: May 13, 2008, 12:05:38 PM »
Changing the face of litigation:

U.S. Legal Work Booms in India
New Outsourcing Industry Is Growing 60 Percent Annually

By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, May 11, 2008; A20

GURGAON, India -- When Aashish Sharma graduated from law school two years ago, his father had visions of seeing him argue in an Indian court and eventually become an honorable judge.

Instead, Sharma, 25, now sits all day in front of a computer in a plush, air-conditioned suburban office doing litigation research and drafting legal contracts for U.S. companies and law firms. He is part of a booming new outsourcing industry in India that employs thousands of English-speaking lawyers such as him to do legal work at a small fraction of the cost of hiring American lawyers.

"It is much better than going to court in India and dealing with all kinds of rough people. Working in legal outsourcing is a happy career move for me, although my father does not fully understand what I am doing here after my education in Indian law," said Sharma, who began working in February for an outsourcing company called Quatrro. "I am getting valuable exposure to the American judicial system, corporate law and their way of working."

Legal process outsourcing is being called the next big thing in Indian business. It marks India's climb up the chain of outsourcing jobs -- from low-end, back-office service functions in call centers to high-value, skilled legal work.

In the past three years, the legal outsourcing industry here has grown about 60 percent annually. According to a report by research firm ValueNotes, the industry will employ about 24,000 people and earn revenue of $640 million by 2010.

Indian workers who once helped with legal transcription now offer services that include research, litigation support, document discovery and review, drafting of contracts and patent writing. The industry offers an attractive career path for many of the 300,000 Indians who enroll in law schools every year. India and the United States share a common-law legal system rooted in Britain's, and both conduct proceedings in English.

The explosion of opportunity here was triggered by what are known as "e-discovery laws," a set of U.S. regulations established in 2006 to govern the storage and management of electronic data for federal court actions. Overnight, the volume of information to be stored, archived, filtered and reviewed for litigation swelled. But there were not enough affordable lawyers or paralegals to do the work in the United States.

"The new e-discovery rules sent American companies scurrying all over the place. Neither the corporates nor the law firms in America are geared to do this kind of work at short notice. And that is where the Indian players come in. We can bring together a large number of skilled lawyers in no time at all and at one-fifth the cost," said Srinivas Pingali, executive vice president at Quatrro, which also offers technical support, credit card fraud management, consumer research and architectural services for American clients, among other work.

Pingali said that the economic slowdown in the United States has not hurt his company's business. In fact, legal work related to bankruptcies has increased.

Because of the sensitive nature of legal work, Indian outsourcing companies have tried to allay the concerns about confidentiality. They have installed closed-circuit televisions, network safeguards and hack-proof servers.

Many outsourcing companies in India already have those security measures in place because they have been handling the credit card and banking operations of global companies for more than a decade. Industry members say that outsourcing of legal work to India is a natural next step.

"Ninety percent of a lawyer's work is legal research and drafting, and all this can now be offshored to India," said Russell Smith, who worked in a Manhattan law firm called SmithDehn before moving to India to set up an outsourcing company in 2006. "A large portion of our fees in the U.S. is because of office rent. It is often a big decision to hire one attorney in the U.S. In India, we can hire 10 at a time and train them all at once."

Smith's Indian company, SDD Global Solutions, handled much of the legal work for the film "Borat." Other clients include the Washington-based firm Appleton & Associates and U.S. movie studios and television networks.

"My people in India can do everything from here, except sign the opinion letter and appear in an American court," he said.

Smith's Indian office recently researched and drafted the motion papers for the dismissal of a libel case against the producers of HBO's "Da Ali G Show." Smith said that if it had not been for the cheaper option of outsourcing, the producers would have settled.

For many law graduates, the contrast between the Indian and American judicial systems comes as a surprise. India's overburdened courts, with 13 judges for every 1 million people, are characterized by backlogs and delays.

Sharma, the Quatrro employee, said he was fascinated by the speed of proceedings and judgments in the American system.

Indian employees have to undergo rigorous training in U.S. legal and judicial practices before they can take on projects. But lawyers with experience in the United States say there are challenges in training Indians.

"They write in flowery, British-style English," said Kunoor Chopra, who came to India to set up the offshore legal support firm LawScribe in 2004 after working for Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles. "It is almost like an unlearning process. They have to be retrained to write in crisp, short sentences. A licensed attorney from California comes to train all my new employees in contract writing, review and research."

Meanwhile, Sharma said he learns something new every day doing legal work for Americans.

"I have learned so many new words," he said. "I keep Dictionary.com on standby. Recently, I had to look up the word 'esquire.' I always thought it meant a respectable gentleman. But in America, it means an attorney."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/10/AR2008051002355.html

Freak

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1615 on: May 14, 2008, 02:19:07 PM »
Thank goodness I am in litigation - can't outsource that very well....unless flights from India become really really cheap... :P

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1616 on: May 14, 2008, 02:40:42 PM »
Hey Sands, question about applying to the NY Bar. Do you send that $350 application fee to the appropriate judicial division with the C&F application or do they ask for it once you've passed C&F review?

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1617 on: May 14, 2008, 02:47:44 PM »
This is too ironic to pass up...I'm representing a Pro Bono client who is from India.  I have to visit him tomorrow in the federal prison here for phony passport charges.

So I guess some of that work is coming to America afterall.




Hey Sands, question about applying to the NY Bar. Do you send that $350 application fee to the appropriate judicial division with the C&F application or do they ask for it once you've passed C&F review?


It depends on the department.  I'm in 1st department and I beleive the charge comes after the C&F interview.  I think its like that for the second department as well, and then the opposite in the other two depts although I could be wrong since our firm sends the payment in for us so we don't exactly see it.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1618 on: May 15, 2008, 04:16:10 AM »
This is too ironic to pass up...I'm representing a Pro Bono client who is from India.  I have to visit him tomorrow in the federal prison here for phony passport charges.

So I guess some of that work is coming to America afterall.




Hey Sands, question about applying to the NY Bar. Do you send that $350 application fee to the appropriate judicial division with the C&F application or do they ask for it once you've passed C&F review?


It depends on the department.  I'm in 1st department and I beleive the charge comes after the C&F interview.  I think its like that for the second department as well, and then the opposite in the other two depts although I could be wrong since our firm sends the payment in for us so we don't exactly see it.

I didn't even think about asking my firm to pay for it. Good thinking, sir!

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1619 on: May 15, 2008, 03:42:56 PM »
This is too ironic to pass up...I'm representing a Pro Bono client who is from India.  I have to visit him tomorrow in the federal prison here for phony passport charges.

So I guess some of that work is coming to America afterall.




Hey Sands, question about applying to the NY Bar. Do you send that $350 application fee to the appropriate judicial division with the C&F application or do they ask for it once you've passed C&F review?


It depends on the department.  I'm in 1st department and I beleive the charge comes after the C&F interview.  I think its like that for the second department as well, and then the opposite in the other two depts although I could be wrong since our firm sends the payment in for us so we don't exactly see it.

I didn't even think about asking my firm to pay for it. Good thinking, sir!


That should be second nature by now.  They pay for EVERYTHING!!!