Washington Lawyer

Letters: February 2014

From Washington Lawyer, February 2014

lettersFerster’s Advice on Parking in D.C. Hard to Follow
In her December column, “Tips on Navigating Law School, Career,” Andrea Ferster writes as part of Tip No. 3: “No ... parking tickets.” Is she serious? Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the District of Columbia should know that it’s impossible to avoid parking tickets. I am an expert on interpreting parking signs in the District of Columbia, but I’ve contributed plenty of parking fines to the District’s coffers  
The appropriate advice is to pay your parking tickets promptly. Unpaid tickets do come back to haunt people.

She’s right about the DUIs, though. Just ask the district attorney here in Austin, Texas.
—Nancy Jane Moore
Austin, Texas

Under Contract and Unfulfilled
Anna Stolley Persky’s article on contract attorneys, which ran in the January issue, was an excellent depiction of the hazards and humiliations of being a temporary attorney (“Under Contract: Temporary Attorneys Encounter No-Frills Assignments, Workspaces”).

I retired after 33 years in the practice of law and then, recently, decided to try my hand at contract work. Rather than being a satisfying turn in using my years of litigation experience, it was one of the most disappointing experiences of my legal career. The secretary was insolent and rude, frequently redoing my work because she “knew her forms” even when she did not. The boss rebuked me for, among other things, moving a paragraph in a form pleading and for leaving 45 minutes early one day.

It is nice to know that I am not alone in my feelings about being a temporary attorney. Ms. Persky correctly describes the work as “mundane, tedious and sometimes (often) mindless.” Luckily, the job ended after two months and I do not have to make my living this way. I am not sure if there will be a next time.
—Cynthia Thomas
Mandeville, Louisiana

As long as law schools continue to churn out a surplus of graduates, contract positions will play a pivotal role in helping law firms maintain an economic balance.
—George Holland
Detroit, Michigan