It Is Official: One Cannot Trust Lawyers Working from Coffee Shops

November 16, 2021

I knew it. I had a hunch that attorneys who work from coffee shops, van life vehicles, and basements were not productive. Billing hours is easy; doing work like reading documents, fiddling with eDiscovery systems, and trying to get Microsoft Word to number lines correctly are harder.

I read “Contract Lawyers Face a Growing Invasion of Surveillance Programs That Monitor Their Work.” The write up points out that what I presume to be GenX, GenY and millennials don’t want to be in a high school detention hall staffed by an angry, game losing basketball coach. No coach, just surveillance software dolled up with facial recognition, “productivity” metrics, and baked in time logging functions.

Here’s a passage I noted:

Contract attorneys such as Anidi [Editor note: a real lawyer I presume] have become some of America’s first test subjects for this enhanced monitoring, and many are reporting frustrating results, saying the glitchy systems make them feel like a disposable cog with little workday privacy.

With some clients pushing back against legal bills which are disconnected from what law firm clients perceive as reality, legal outfits have to get their humanoid resources to “perform”. The monitoring systems allow the complaining client to review outputs from the systems. Ah, ha. We can prove with real data our legal eagles are endlessly circling the client’s legal jungle.

My take is different: I never trusted lawyers. Now lawyers employing lawyers don’t trust these professionals either. That’s why people go to work, have managers who monitor, and keep the professionals from hanging out at the water fountain.

Stephen E Arnold, November 16, 2021


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