Secretarial Layoffs

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NY Legal Secretary in New York, New York

72 months ago

Have any of you been reading about layoffs in several firms recently?

I was perusing abovethelaw.com and notice several articles with scathing comments from attorneys regarding legal secretaries.

What is the future for legal secretarial?

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Bored in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

I'm checking out the site now, where do you see the comments re: secretaries?

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NY Legal Secretary in New York, New York

72 months ago

abovethelaw.com/2008/05/nationwide_layoff_watch_south.php#comments

abovethelaw.com/2008/08/nationwide_layoff_watch_fried.php#more

And this comment from an attorney makes me uneasy:

The secretaries here (at FF) had way too much time on their hands (surfing, watching online tv, etc.) and some cuts were long overdue. With younger partners giving comments in track changes and Associates typing as fast as the secretaries, how many people do you need answering phones?

I feel bad for the people who lost their job but this could only go on for so long.

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NY Legal Secretary in New York, New York

72 months ago

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Bored in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

I haven't finished all of the comments, but very interesting. I can definitely see real estate business shortening, because even though it's booming in some areas (such as foreclosures and such), it's not like people have the money to pay those big firm prices.

Funny, in Denver, Greenberg is rumored to be a god awful place to work for.

I am in estate planning/probate now, but also have experience in civil litigation (all kinds) and business. I hope I have no problems getting a job when I plan to move to Miami in about a year from now!

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Lucylegal in New York, New York

69 months ago

Is there anywhere I can go to learn how to use MS Word. I've gone to a couple of computer schools but none of them deal with what functions are needed to work in law firms. I'm sick of where I work.

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Eileen in Lynbrook, New York

65 months ago

Check out "New Horizons" Computer School. The law firm that I worked for sent all the employees to this school for a one-day training on Microsoft Word 2007 (which, by the way SUCKS big time!) MSW 2003 - much better. It was a great school and they ask you exactly what functions you need to learn for your job. They're very nice people and very thorough. The school was located on Long Island - Melville. But, you can check to see if they have a school closer to where you live. Good luck.

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Lucylegal in New York, New York

65 months ago

Ellen of Lynbrook. Thank you so much for replying to me. I found this great tutor who showed me how to pass those hands-on Word tests that some law firms give. She was great! That was 3 months ago. Today, I'm working as a secretary at a midsize law firm. I'm more comfortable around Word then before. I've seen 2007 and yes, it's a dog.

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Eileen in Lynbrook, New York

65 months ago

Good for you! I'm so happy that someone is happy. I was just laid off from my law firm - 2 weeks ago. I've sent resumes out to at least 10 firms or corporations. Haven't heard a thing. It gets very depressing. I'm so glad that you've mastered the Word skills. Have a great day!

Regards,
Eileen

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kalipaus in Germantown, Maryland

64 months ago

Eileen in Lynbrook, New York said: Good for you! I'm so happy that someone is happy. I was just laid off from my law firm - 2 weeks ago. I've sent resumes out to at least 10 firms or corporations. Haven't heard a thing. It gets very depressing. I'm so glad that you've mastered the Word skills. Have a great day!

Regards,
Eileen

Hi Eileen in Lynbrook, I too have been laid off on January 30, 2009 from my law firm, and I was sending 10 resumes a day, so far nothing but a few leads, a few interviews where I was asked to go twice, and then they pick the other person with whom i was competing, or you never hear back from them again. It has now been 2.5 months, and slowly i lost my drive, and I am no longer sending too many resumes, just 2 or 3 a week.. getting unemployment (very little money) and I am afraid I am getting used to staying home, cooking, cleaning and checking the net. I just finished painting one of the rooms.. LOL.. I have to keep myself busy.. but I have hope something will come up. And Yes I did all types of tests, and got 100% on most of them, i even was given word 2007 which I had never seen in my life and did not know where the functions were, but I got 86% on that, and I was told I got the highest rates of all the applicants.. still i did not hear a word back.. funny isn't it?

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JAC in San Antonio, Texas

64 months ago

Eileen and Kalipaus,

Apply for other jobs as an Administrative Associate or Admin. Asst. You ladies have skills that can be used outside of law. In doing this, you might find another job soon. I retired with AT&T after 33 yrs as a communications consultant, then worked as a legal secretary, and now work as an Administrative Asst. for the State. I used all the skills I have and put them in a resume and its paid off. I'm 56, so I am not a young thing, but I still have lots of pep and life left, plus valuable experience. Think outside the box and don't short sell yourself. I hope this will help you.

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Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York

64 months ago

Hi Jac in San Antonio!

Thanks for the advice. My resume reflects 12 years of work experience, including an Admin. Asst. to a V.P. and Controller. But, I do get asked why I want to stay in law when I'm interviewed. I don't have a problem interviewing and answering any questions...my problem is getting a foot in the door for an INTERVIEW. The scenario for living in New York is this: If you've never worked in Manhattan (NYC), then you're resume is put on the bottom of the pile. If you've worked in Manhattan, then you're in the running, BUT with lots of competition. There are so many people that have been laid off from jobs in Manhattan and Long Island that the competition is now even greater than it was before - and that goes for any administrative type position. I've exhausted all avenues, but I'm still determined and apply to 2 or 3 jobs per week. I'm not young either Jac, but I feel that I am well-seasoned and have the "old school" work ethic that the young people today do not have. I try to relay this during the interview process but I need more interviews. As you probably know, New York is the melting pot of the world. We have every type of people in this city, from all over the world, from every background and education. This increases the competition because many higher educated people are out of work and will take any job they can get. I enjoy the law field and find it intriquing and exciting at times. I've learned so much from being in the law field and I've made so many great friends as well. However, I will keep my options open, as you suggested. Thanks again for your sage advice.

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legal secretary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

58 months ago

I am also having similar trouble finding a position. I was laid off from a large law firm here in the city. I had a few leads and have networked with anyone I know who can help but so far, nothing. I am not limiting myself to only law firm positions. Administrative Assistant positions within other large, private companies would be a nice change. I keep busy and spend time on the internet and phone searching and calling but haven't let it take over my whole life. I'm trying to keep up with friends and do things I normally would not have the time for. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

Just for temp work, you could check on doing substitute teaching. I'm getting $9.58 an hour in Hillsborough County, Florida (because I have a Bachelor's degree). It has really spread out my unemployment - and I have $250 in a retirement account.

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Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York

58 months ago

Well, six months have gone by since my lay off and I am happy to report that I've landed a great job with a great firm in NYC at 45 Rockefeller Center. The area is exciting, right across from Rockefeller Center and NBC studios. The firm is a great firm with really nice people. The salary is exceptional with all the overtime that I want. The people there work hard and party hard as well. I have to thank the employment agency that I have been working with for months. They worked diligently to get me that position and salary that I wanted. I feel very lucky and I appreciate everyone that supported me during my difficult time of unemployment. I have a happy ending and I hope that all of you do too. Best of lucky always.

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tessie425 in New York, New York

58 months ago

Eileen, may I ask what agency you used? I am also in NYC, and am looking to change jobs. thanks!

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Just for temp work, you could check on doing substitute teaching. I'm getting $9.58 an hour in Hillsborough County, Florida (because I have a Bachelor's degree). It has really spread out my unemployment - and I have $250 in a retirement account.

Is 9.58 a good rate for temp work? 3 years ago, OC was offering temp jobs at $20/hr, but I negotiated and got $23. Then I moved to Northern CA, where they offered $19/hr. When the agency told me the company wanted to keep me as a "permanent" temp (I have been temping at the same place for almost 2 1/2 yrs), I told them I'd stay for $21/hr and got it.

This was before the economy started going down. I still get that same rate - have never gone this long without a raise before. I don't ask - I feel very fortunate to have this job. Nice attys, which I still can't get used to, and my hours work around my classes.

3 years ago, jobs here, even part time were paying more than the $21/hr. I knew I could get more elsewhere - at that time - but stayed because it was drama free. Recently, Robert Half actually called me and asked if I was available for an assignmt. It was paying $15-$16/hr.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

$9.58 is for substitute teaching. It's better than sitting at home - and it will help your unemployment benefits last longer.

I have been officially unemployed since April 2008. When my one year came up to file a new claim, that was the same time as I used up my original benefits. I somehow got started on a brand new claim (because of subbing). I still have all of my unemployment extensions available - at least 53 weeks.

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Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York

58 months ago

Sure Tessie. I used Winston Staffing on 47th Street...in the Chanin Building. They were fabulous since the job market was so bad and they tried to keep me in my IP legal area with the salary I desired. It took awhile, but they never forgot me and always contacted me with hot leads. If you need the exact address and telephone number, I can get it for you. Let me know.

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Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York

58 months ago

Well dh In Northern Callie, I don't know the payscale in CA, but 9.58 an hour is not good. The $21 per/hr position is much better pay and I would stay put until the economy gets better, at least another year. I'm so thankful that I have a job now and wouldn't even try to leave if I didn't like it there. It's just too tough out there right now. I know the cost of living in CA is just as high as NY, but NY is a major city and that is where the monies are at. Hang in there if you're employed right now and stay cool until the economy gets better. Any job right now is better than being unemployed.

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York said: Well dh In Northern Callie, I don't know the payscale in CA, but 9.58 an hour is not good. The $21 per/hr position is much better pay and I would stay put until the economy gets better, at least another year. I'm so thankful that I have a job now and wouldn't even try to leave if I didn't like it there. It's just too tough out there right now. I know the cost of living in CA is just as high as NY, but NY is a major city and that is where the monies are at. Hang in there if you're employed right now and stay cool until the economy gets better. Any job right now is better than being unemployed.

9.58 in Tampa for sub teaching might be good. I have no idea what the cost of living is like there. I agree with you regarding "stay put." 2 years ago, when the agency first notified me that the company wanted to keep me around, I considered getting my own job, not thru an agency, because I knew I could get more. I'm glad I didn't. I stayed because it was a very VERY nice environment and knew that it was very VERY unlikely to find work for attys elsewhere who were as nice. And I would rather make less if it means liking the job. Now, I don't know what the economy has done to the local salaries, but I think I'm at a pretty good rate considering everything.

In OC, you make more money, but the ratio in comparison to cost of living is less than up here.

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Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York

58 months ago

I suppose you're right about that, if you want to keep the benefits coming in. But, not everyone has the criteria to become a substitute teacher. I'm happy for you that you got want you want for now, but I couldn't do it. I'd rather take advantage of the free-schooling that the Obama administration is offering people who need more training. You can go to school for free and still get an unemployment check at the same time. It's a great deal. It is also good for certificate programs as well.

Fortunately, I finally got a job, so I don't have those options any longer. I'm not complaining at all. I'm thankful I have a job right now.

Everyone has their own niche in hard times, and I'm glad that you have yours. Lots of luck and happiness and good health always.

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

Eileen in Lynbrook in Lynbrook, New York said: I suppose you're right about that, if you want to keep the benefits coming in. But, not everyone has the criteria to become a substitute teacher. I'm happy for you that you got want you want for now, but I couldn't do it. I'd rather take advantage of the free-schooling that the Obama administration is offering people who need more training. You can go to school for free and still get an unemployment check at the same time. It's a great deal. It is also good for certificate programs as well.

Fortunately, I finally got a job, so I don't have those options any longer. I'm not complaining at all. I'm thankful I have a job right now.

Everyone has their own niche in hard times, and I'm glad that you have yours. Lots of luck and happiness and good health always.

I am also a full time student. I work just 20 hours a week. I'm a former legal secretary. I HATED IT. So I returned to school full time in order to finish my BA in Economics. I'm 42 and graduate in December. I want out of the legal industry altogether. I knew going into this that my age would work against me,but I had no idea that the economy would do what it did. I don't care. When I left my last full time job 3 years ago in Orange County, if I'd had a crystal ball then and could see into the future. I would not have done anything differently. I don't care what happens. I'll never work for attys again.

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dh in Northern CA, California

58 months ago

The sad thing about this Obama program is that paralegal is a popular choice for a lot of women. It won't take them very long to realize the mistake they've made, but by then, they've already wasted a lot of time. And a lot of money if they didn't qualify for the program.

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