Doc Review Attorneys of the World, Unite!

wsj.jpg

Like so much of the legal sector, the role of contract attorneys has been changing. More and more lawyers, whether by choice or by circumstance, are making careers out of e-discovery-related projects like doc review and other temp attorney work. Some attorneys are embracing the quickly changing world of e-discovery and moving up and out of coding into production strategy, emerging technology, and project management roles within multinational corporations, e-discovery vendors, and law firms.

Meanwhile, lawyers on the front lines of document production -- like first level coders -- are pushing back against the interrelated issues of stigma and demoralization, classification of their work and contributions as "practice of law "or "nonlegal," pay and overtime pay, long hours, and working conditions that sometimes echo sweatshops (I'm referring to prescheduled bathroom breaks here).

There's no easy solution to some of these dilemmas. But contract attorneys are fighting for better treatment through lawsuits, unions, and simply standing up and demanding to be treated like professionals.

Check out Sara Randazzo's related articles in The Wall Street Journal: "Lawyer Sues Skadden for Overtime: Lawsuit claims document-review work should qualify for overtime pay" and "Contract Attorneys Push for Better Pay, Working Conditions.