Paralegal Gail Carmack doesn't need to be an economist to know why she's still out of work after being laid off in 2009. She is now competing with laid off lawyers are now willing to do the kind of document review work she used to do. Now, she said, staffing firms require document reviewers to pass the bar examination.
Carmack's experience centers on trial preparation, handling the massive amount of material involved in complex litigation. For example, when she worked at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., she managed complex product liability cases averaging 150 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts.
She spent her last six years as a paralegal contract worker assigned to Pepper Hamilton LLP., a Center City lawfirm. Her assignment? Document review for large-scale pharmaceutical litigation cases. She also had five years handling employment cases at AstraZeneca. Carmack is proud of the way she managed to reduce Dupont's outside counsel fees by 35 percent in one year through detailed review and monitoring of their bills.
Carmack has a master's degree in organizational development and a bachelor's degree in political science on top of her paralegal certification, but these days, she'll take any job. "I'm not too proud to accept any kind of job as long as it's legal," she said.