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Contract attorneys provide freelance services to other lawyers, law firms, or legal departments on a contractual basis. A contract lawyer may offer services for a court appearance, by the hour, by the day, week, or month, or by the job, and as an independent contractor or temporary employee.

Responsibilities
Review documents to be sent to opposing counsel or the SEC for privileged and/or responsive material (i.e., responsive to requests for docs containing specific info that are requested by opposing counsel or the SEC). AND/OR Review documents received from opposing counsel for responsive info (i.e., info responsive to our requests for specific info) ALSO Supervise other contract attorneys and/or paralegals in performing the above-mentioned tasks

Requirements
Must have a law degree and be admitted to the bar in at least one state (usually NY is required if that is where the work is done) Career path: Virtually nonexistent. Almost none of the law firms who hire attorneys on a contractual basis ever hire any of the contract attorneys on a permanent basis. It is a "career" that provides little to no health benefits, consistent wages, or any professional fulfillment

No health benfits, or, if offered (through the agencies), they are often expensive Many of the fellow contract attorneys are often less than intelligent, content with underachievement, and are often socially retarded. You can be summarily "let go" at any time (there is no job security whatsoever), for any reason The work is mindless and is a complete waste of one's education and intellectual potential There is no "future" (i.e., you can almost never "move up"; what you do is what you will always do; there is no room for advancement Working as a contract attorney is a "career killer" (i.e., once you work as a contract attorney, it is very difficult to get hired as a "real" attorney anywhere else. It is looked down upon, and for good reason [in my opinion]. The work is mindless)

Sufficient money is only made when many hours (55+ per week) are worked. If it's less than those hrs, then earnings are insufficient to pay bills and/or to save any $ at all. It offers no chance to have any sort of "lifestyle" that the general public equates with that befitting an attorney. Unless Mommy and Daddy pay your bills, there is no chance to save up $ and buy a home/apt and start a life. Quite frankly, it sucks. I would have been better off learning a trade (like plumbing, or computer computer programming, or auto mechanics) Virtually no business travel is required, unless the assignment is performed at a location out of state (in PA, CT, NJ, etc.). Such travel is almost never compensated. Social events are virtually nil. Contract attys do not get invited to law firm functions (makes sense, as they are not perm employees), and agencies rarely have any social functions for their employees Dress code is usually determined by the law firm. Usually it is biz casual, but it may involve more formal attire (e.g., suits w/ ties, etc.) Do anything but this. It is not recommended. And neither is law school. Remember how Chris Rock said that his #1 job as a father is "to keep hi daughter off the pole"? Well, let me amend that: my job as a father is to keep my daughter "out of law school." It was the biggest and most costly mistake that I've ever made.

There is no base salary for this position. Compensation is on an hourly basis, usually between $25 and $40 per hour, with the possibility of time-and-a-half overtime sometimes being offered after 40 hrs per week have been worked. Most agencies indicate that "the [contract atty] industry is moving away from time-and- a-half OT." That's b.s. All it means is that the agencies want to keep more money for themselves. And speaking of money, here's how it works: Law firm hires contract atty agency; law firm bills its clients from $150-$250 per hour for work performed by each contract attorney; law firm pays agency approx $100 per hour for each contract atty; agency pays each contract attorney $25 - $40 for each hour worked. Yup, that right: contract attys do the actual work, and get paid only $.25 - $.40 out of every dollar that the agency makes from the arrangement. Not bad, eh? For the agencies, that is. Lesson learned: the agencies do NOT have the contract attys' interests in mind. Bonuses: Some agencies will give a contract atty a "bonus" after working 400 hrs or more. Usually the bonus is worth 8 hrs (1 day's pay). Sounds great, except most assignments don't last 400 hours or more, and if you're fortunate enough to have worked the hrs to earn the bonus, then you must hound the agency to give you the bonus. They will not do so automatically. In other words, you usually have to fight them for it. Personally, I've never received a bonus (I've never been at an assignment long enough to earn it) Stock options? None. Never been offered. Benefits? None. Some agencies have health plans, but they are expensive and are very inflexible (in terms of their sign-up periods, etc.)

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