The Atlantic ran another article about the insecure world of freelancing.
Today, I found this job posting. The job posting says this:
Accomplished Downtown law firm concentrating in insurance defense seeks litigation associate with 3+ years’ experience in construction accident and premises liability litigation to join our team. Please e-mail resume, writing sample AND salary requirements.
No contract attorneys please.
A contract attorney is another way to say a freelancing attorney. I suppose there are multiple ways to interpret the sentence. Maybe they don’t want a freelancer and are only interested in people who want to be full time associates.
My interpretation is more cynical. I think they are saying that they don’t want applications from people who cobbled together three years of experience from being freelancers/contract attorneys. This is what a lot of younger lawyers have been doing for the past few years because of the recession. Full disclosure, I have been working as a freelance/contract attorney for the past few years. This means that I am hired for specific projects. These projects have lasted anywhere between three weeks to thirteen months and have involved routine and substantive work.
I read a while ago that graduating into a good economy was akin to winning 100,000 dollars in the lottery. I can’t find that comparison but here is an abstract of the long-term effects of graduating into a recession, they are not pretty. Now it seems that firms are also suspicious of people who needed to earn their livings via contract work and freelancing because of the recession. I admit this rubs salt in the wound. My view seems counter to the view of firms and HR. I would say that people who worked as freelancers/contract workers should be given kudos for determination and fight. Though I admit that I benefit from this interpretation.
So the questions (assuming my interpretation of the “no contract attorneys please” phrase is correct). Why would firms look down upon freelancers and contract workers who had the bad luck to graduate into a recession? What sort of legal protections should exist for freelancers and contract workers or people who graduated into recessions?