Lawyer Pay

Economy Hits Contract Lawyers and the Companies that Find Jobs for Them

Contract lawyers hired to do document review for law firms are feeling the pinch of a bad economy.

Fewer contract jobs are available, and law firms are pressuring placement agencies to hold pay below the going rate of $35 an hour in Washington, D.C., and New York, the National Law Journal reports. Some law firms are also refusing to pay for perks such as car fare and meals, the story says.

The slowdown has also hit the placement agencies, the story says. One company, Cambridge Partners, recently closed its Washington, D.C., office, saying the economy is partly to blame. However, the company is opening a New York office in hopes of capitalizing on the need for legal staffers to perform bailout work.

Cambridge is not the only legal staffing company in Washington that is closing, the NLJ story says, citing blog reports and another staffing company owner. Some of those that remain are reducing their own margins in response to law firm demands for lower rates.

Other reasons for the slowdown are law firms’ increasing reliance on offshore companies and the change in administration, which put government investigation and regulatory work on hold, placement executives told the legal newspaper.

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