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‘Attorney at Blah’: JD Earns Extra $20/Hour in Doc Review

Posted Nov 9, 2007 5:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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CORRECTED: The job is similar, but the pay is different: temp work, in something akin to document review, without a law degree, is dull, thankless work that earns $10 an hour. With a juris doctor degree and a bar admission, temp work brings in $35 an hour--enough to earn a comfortable six-figure annual salary.

So explains the Washington City Paper in a magazine-length article titled "Attorney at Blah" by one who should know. Author Arin Greenwood, a former BigLaw associate in New York, has done document review personally, learning first-hand of the cottage industry driven by an ever-increasing deluge of litigation discovery and compliance documentation, especially in the age of e-mail.

"This isn’t anyone’s dream job, but more and more lawyers in big cities around the country are finding that seven years of higher education, crushing student loans, and an unfriendly job market have brought them to windowless rooms around the city, where they do well-paid work that sometimes seems to require no more than a law degree, the use of a single index finger, and the ability to sit still for 15 hours a day," the article explains.

"Is this being a lawyer? It is now."

Read the complete article.

Corrected to distinguish temp work without a J.D. v. document review with a J.D., Nov. 16, 8:02 a.m., CST.

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