Contract attorney work, particularly when it only involves document review can be mind numbingly boring sometimes. If I didn’t pride myself on having several extra curricular and non contract attorney related ventures on the side, I think I’d go crazy. It really is the same thing day in and day out.
But yes, I’ve been lucky to have remained on the same project for so long – my current assignment has truly been the never ending project. I’ve had to continuously put off long vacations until the project’s over since well, in this line of work, you never really know when or how long your next gig will be. When the end date will arrive is anyone’s guess as I have given up trying to speculate on when that will be. This project has really exceeded my durational expectations so anything more is just bonus gravy at this point. I’m justing taking it week by week.
Despite My Occasional Appreciation Of The Profession’s Flexibility, It’s Been Nice Having More Than Half A Year Of Occupational Stability
It’s been such a long contract attorney gig that I’m actually starting to forget what it was like not being on a project, and having to periodically scramble ever so often to find assignments. Having this semblance of stability for more than 6 months now is starting to make me feel like I’m working a permanent job – but of course, in reality the ride can end at any time. Unforeseen and unexpected occurrences like the client company being bought out or other settlement type activity can easily halt the project on the spot and send us contract attorneys packing for home. I guess I’m just getting lulled into a perceived but illusory sense of financial continuity. But this has got to be the most laid back, least stressful project I’ve ever been on before. The associates are incredibly lax about production numbers and the off site location allows everyone to maintain a very collegial and relaxed working environment.
I almost long for something different to happen. I feel like Tom Hank in the movie Cast Away. Yes I have co-workers but most of the time I just come in, sit at my desk, put on my headphones, and listen to talk radio while I click away. Some of the other contract attorneys talk but I guess I’m one of the more quieter ones, preferring to only look up when someone wants to talk about the Express paper crossword puzzle or when people want to quiz each other from questions pulled from the communal Trivia Pursuit box. Clearly, it’s been pretty humdrum around here. Previously the project was much larger with more people to interact with but since a few months ago, the project has been significantly downsized with only about a quarter of us left. Strangely the end is still seemingly nowhere in sight and after speaking to the associates, it seems like none of the partners are in any particular rush to impose urgent deadlines to the case. Even the associates don’t seem to be particularly stressed or busy with work as I frequently find a few of them reading authoritative news sources like The Onion or doing online clothing shopping.
Since I’m a contract attorney doing document review, I’m in the back end when it comes to being in the know about the progress and status of the case. I basically just click until someone tells me to stop. For such a cushy job, the wage rate is remarkably high, but it’s starting to fall behind in terms of keeping up with inflation and wage increases in other sectors.