Are You Still Unemployed? Underemployed?

Open forum time here – are you still unemployed? Or are you underemployed?  Now that the deadline has passed for Proof of Claim filing, many of your fellow ex-Hellerites want to know who’s working and who’s not.

Also, as you weigh in on the comments, let us know where you are working, what you are up to or if you are not working, if you need any help.

Over and out,

Heller Drone, your cruise director

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20 Responses to “Are You Still Unemployed? Underemployed?”


  1. 1 Conflict 6 May 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I have been working a perma-temp position at Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco since mid-November. I am hoping to get hired perm, but who knows. I have been applying to other positions, but do not hear back. I feel lucky to have this job right now. I do miss my health insurance and PTO though.

  2. 2 concerned 7 May 2009 at 8:00 am

    I am a former Heller legal secretary. I guess I am one of the fortunate. My shareholders took me with them to their new firm. My shareholders actually made sure that their entire “core” group found gainful employment before signing the offer letters with the new firm. My shareholders negotiated employment for 15 people including secretaries, paralegals and associates. This being said, I can’t say that I’m feeling ecstatic. I remain very concerned about my fellow colleagues who are not yet employed.

  3. 3 still looking 7 May 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I am still working as long term temp for Dolby here is SF. Still looking for job openings from websites to staffing firms. And also to people I know. As Conflict comment, I too missed PTOs and Health Insurance. But, find it blessed to have a job right now.

  4. 4 ny secretary 7 May 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I’m a former secretary from the NY office who is still unemployed, but with good reason. I chose to go back to school to become a paralegal and,hopefully, with the help of my former colleagues, can start a new career in a familiar field. The job market does seem to be improving and by July (when I receive my certificate) or thereafter, I plan to be back on board… I have no regrets. I thank this forum for remembering those like me who are indeed still out there.

  5. 5 Still looking 7 May 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Former Northern CA associate here. Had two interviews so far, and haven’t gotten an offer. Nothing promising on the horizon, unfortunately.

  6. 6 Lael Sharp 7 May 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I’m still unemployed – in fact, I just got my unemployment benefits extention approved! Hurray, 20 more weeks that I’ll still be able to make the mortgage payment!

    I’ve been on lots of interviews, and got to final rounds on several of them, but haven’t been able to land an offer yet. So, if you know of anyone who needs an IT trainer in the DC area, be sure to let me know!

    jane-and-lael@starpower.net

  7. 7 Lael Sharp 7 May 2009 at 9:20 pm

    p.s. If you live in Maryland and have very low income (like being unemployed) you can get surprisingly affordable health coverage through the state’s MHIP program. If you’d like details let me know.

  8. 8 AnonAssociate 8 May 2009 at 1:09 am

    Former associate from the West Coast here. Still unemployed, but doing volunteer legal work. I have had a few interviews, but nothing has come through yet. I too received notice of my unemployment benefits extension, but haven’t received a check under the extension yet…should be here in another week or so assuming the gov still has money!

  9. 9 LA Staffer 8 May 2009 at 11:17 am

    I am also one of the lucky ones, in that I did have a new firm to go to right away. The old saying “it’s who you know” came to my rescue. The firm is small – under 20 attorneys and staff. I am very much appreciated by the very busy partner I work with because of the multi-tasking I can do and the large case management skills I mastered at HE LA. However, I had to take a large pay cut, there is no 401K to make deposits to, no matching funds contributions, no year-end bonus, and I truly miss the wonderful people that I worked with for almost 8 years!! I am lucky and honestly feel that if you look back at the timing of the HE closure, most would agree that it was better to have had it happen before the bottom really fell out of the job market. Most of us were back to work within a month or two. Then the unemployment news really turned bleak. So between lunches and email, I truly value the HE friends that I keep in touch with. And wish that those still out of work – find new firms as soon as possible!

  10. 10 Another Anon Associate 8 May 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I was left behind by the partner groups I had worked with for years. Was unemployed for several months. I eventually found a job paying almost half of what I used to make. Happy to be employed, but angry nonetheless.

  11. 11 Curious About LA Staffer Comment 8 May 2009 at 5:40 pm

    LA Staffer,

    I really did appreciate your telling us about your job and how your salary and benefits have been reduced but most of us were not back to work within a month or two. I have no idea what how many people are still unemployed but I think it is still a large number.

  12. 12 Hellerclerk 9 May 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I went to a small firm, thinking it might be better.
    It wasn’t. “Inbred” is a word that springs to mind. After I trained in three children to do jobs for half the pay, I was laid off on the 90th day of my employment.

    Right now I am freelancing for DWT, hoping to get my foot stuck in the door. It is where most of the HE Seattle group went, so it’s kind of nice to be around colleagues I know. I just hope I can get a contract offered.

    Interesting times.

  13. 13 SF Secretary 9 May 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I went to a Chicago-based firm in SF after being unemployed for 30 days. I was told that I would be hired permanent within 6 weeks. Well, it is now 6 months later and after enduring pay at 60% of what I was making at Heller, and without any benefits, this week I am starting a new permanent position in the SF office of a NY based firm. I’ll be making a very decent salary, with very decent benefits. And I will be supporting 3 attorneys – not 6 or 7. I’m very thankful to my recruiter for making this happen for me. I’m going to buy him a bottle of champagne and box of chocolates.

  14. 14 To SF Secretary 9 May 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Congratulations! More than well deserved! B.Turbeville

  15. 15 SV-MTNBiker 10 May 2009 at 7:40 pm

    We’ll I feel very blessed that I got a job now. As many of my friends from Heller still are not working. Though at my current job, there are rumors that there maybe a lay off. Hopefully just a rumor. I just want to wish everyone the best. Hope that everyone will find work soon and are is good health.

  16. 16 anotherhellersurvivor 10 May 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I was laid off in the fall of 2007. I never dreamed it would be so hard to find a new job. I’ve taken a significant pay cut at my new job (which I just got–1.5 years later), but there are benefits and it’s a good fit otherwise. I am very grateful indeed. Unemployment benefits got me through, that and some temping. It was all very stressful. Best of luck to all out there who are still looking!

  17. 17 Starving in Seattle 12 May 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Fortunately I saved money in a low-risk portfolio that survived the stock market crash. I’m living off that money since there seems to be no job out there for me. I guess I’ll just retire now and collect SS in a few years and enjoy a life without the work grind.

  18. 18 NY Librarian 13 May 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Laid off LAST April and I too never thought it would be this difficult to find another job with my skill set!!! I made the mistake of not being more dilligent at the start. I get NO RESPONSES from firms I apply to for advertised positions! It is very discouraging!
    I have been partially employed at a member law library but that will be ending some time in June. I also volunteer at a public library and at my grand-child’s day care center.
    I’m surviving on unemployment and have some emergency savings but the “not producing” portion is bothering me more…
    Thanks for listening.

  19. 19 Unemployed SF Assoc 15 May 2009 at 10:29 am

    I am a mid-level litigation associate in SF currently looking for a job. If anyone has any leads on open positions, please let me know through HD. Thanks!

  20. 20 And then there were none... 20 May 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Still unemployed in San Diego.


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