Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Career Trajectory of Doc Review Staff Attorney?

Been at it for over 7 years - best case scenario I stay fore lawjesus06/13/18
Get out of the doc review satellite offices: get into doc re cantimaginenocountry06/13/18
I’m not at a satellite office - I’m in the regular firm lawjesus06/13/18
I read that worst case scenario as the best case scenario. D zodd06/15/18
I'm not very dismillar from you, but I don't know what you m superttthero06/13/18
Sounds like our jobs are not the same at all - how are you p lawjesus06/14/18
Man, I wish I were at your firm. I do collections in con superttthero06/14/18
Yeah I often feel like I won the lawyer lottery, but there h lawjesus06/14/18
If you don't mind the repetitive, not-super-challenging work blackholelaw06/14/18
I assume most doc review "careers" end like Edgar Allan Poe' isthisit06/14/18
lawjesus (Jun 13, 2018 - 7:48 pm)

Been at it for over 7 years - best case scenario I stay forever and am eventually some kind of e-discovery of counsel at the firm?

Lesser best case - slave driver at a doc review contract attorney outfit?

Even lesser - work at staffing agency?

Worst case - new career at age 45?

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cantimaginenocountry (Jun 13, 2018 - 9:48 pm)

Get out of the doc review satellite offices: get into doc review at the firm not saying anything will happen but telling you that nothing good except your paycheck can occur at the satellite office.

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lawjesus (Jun 13, 2018 - 10:48 pm)

I’m not at a satellite office - I’m in the regular firm office in this city. They don’t have separate satellite offices for doc review / lit support.

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zodd (Jun 15, 2018 - 11:53 am)

I read that worst case scenario as the best case scenario. Doc review is soul draining.

However, in NY some firms are hiring reviewers as full time staff attorneys. So full time with benefits. You are still treated like garbage mostly but you can make a career that way. It's a pretty small sub set of reviewers though

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superttthero (Jun 13, 2018 - 11:43 pm)

I'm not very dismillar from you, but I don't know what you mean by wanting to be "of counsel." My firm doesn't have staff attorneys or any discovery titles, my title is just Counsel but it's basically 1/2 review work and 1/2 acting as a Junior Associate for the partners that trust me (with very little research components).

My advice, unless you like selling bullcrap, don't go to a vendor unless you're "retiring" and just going back to the review circuit.

Unless you like eDiscovery for some reason, love selling, or love billing in .1 hourly increments, look to leave law.

If you can leave, do it. Don't stay here.

My goal is to make it 5 more years till both my kids are in school, then I'm going to just go back to straight doc review. I need more time off and I can't handle the stress of being on case teams forever, worrying about the client, worrying about my billables. I want a job where I can put my 40 hours, not take my laptop home, and see my kids more--without worrying about the next day of billing.

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lawjesus (Jun 14, 2018 - 12:01 am)

Sounds like our jobs are not the same at all - how are you possibly stressed out doing doc review? I have 0 job stress. Which is why I like e-discovery.

Of counsel is like partner light at my firm - I’m just thinking thoughts about the future - like if I can stick around for my whole career when I’m too old and senior to be just a staff attorney.

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superttthero (Jun 14, 2018 - 12:12 am)

Man, I wish I were at your firm.

I do collections in conjunction with our clients and vendors, I design the workflow, QC, run searches. If we use them on a case, I manage the doc reviewers and answer their questions based on my knowledge of the case. I do depo prep, write memos based on our review of OCs production, work with associates on our discovery responses. I will say I do 40-60% of my time as simple "document review," but rarely do I leave a project when first level work is completed, so the 40-60% of my tasks that aren't review related are always highly scrutinized, going to outside parties, and/or on a time crunch.

Right now I am up because I need to confirm that opposing counsel in fact is deficient in their production to us before the partner has a meet and confer tomorrow where he wants to hammer them for not providing a particular class of document they said they would. (Yes, we did ask that they note where several classes of important items could be found in the productoin, but these guys are playing games--refusing to comply, refusing to provide certain metadata)

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lawjesus (Jun 14, 2018 - 10:24 am)

Yeah I often feel like I won the lawyer lottery, but there has been a lot of turnover in this position and I think a lot of attorneys just think they’re too good for doc review ... or have a low tolerance for boredom?

The only downside is the “embarrassment” of not being a “real” lawyer. I do a tiny bit of pro bono work for balance, but still.

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blackholelaw (Jun 14, 2018 - 2:26 pm)

If you don't mind the repetitive, not-super-challenging work, it's a fine job. You can hide behind the good biglaw name on your resume. Once you leave a big city, no one really knows what "staff attorney" is, anyway.

I played this game for 5 years. I got out by moving to a different state where "biglaw" was not a thing. Clerked for a year, and now have a great job at a company in town.

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isthisit (Jun 14, 2018 - 2:36 pm)

I assume most doc review "careers" end like Edgar Allan Poe's career.

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