Joseph S. Miller Business Development, Advocacy, Communication
Joseph S. Miller Bio Joseph Miller currently works as a contract attorney in Washington, D.C. Before becoming a lawyer, he worked in advertising sales, production, and music research at New York City radio stations, including New York’s legendary WQXR-FM, The Classical Station of the New York Times–the oldest radio station in New York City. He also interned at 103.5FM WKTU, 95.5FM WPLJ, and at WQHT (Hot 97), where he worked part-time while he was still in high school. At the time, he was the youngest person working in New York City radio. He is also a trained musician. Before college, he attended the Mannes Conservatory Preparatory School and the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts, which was popularized by the “Fame” television show, film, and Broadway show. He earned a B.S. in Mass Communications, with Concentration in Music and Minor in Business Administration, from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, where he worked as a Resident Advisor, Jazz Ensemble Pianist, and Program Director of the college radio station. At Plattsburgh, he was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society. He attended the New York Law School at night while, during the day, he worked in various administrative positions at the McGraw-Hill Companies. While in law school, he served as an editor of that law school’s Media Law & Policy journal. Upon obtaining his Juris Doctorate, he worked in advertising sales at CBS-TV in New York, from 20032004. He then went to work for Pace University, from 2004-2005, where he served as the Assistant Director of Pace’s business incubator program. In 2005, Joe held a one-year fellowship with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. He is admitted to practice law in New York. Originally from New York City, he now lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife, Nichole.
Joseph S. Miller
Perspective A creative and versatile professional with interdisciplinary experience in business development, law, media, nonprofit advocacy, and music.
Core Skills: • • • • •
Execution – consistently delivering to fixed time schedules. Communication – superior writing and presentation skills. Project Management – evaluate programs, initiate projects, develop and execute strategies. Experimentation – relentless probing for new efficiency and collaboration tools and processes. Creativity – practiced aesthetic and innovational ability.
Professional Experience August 2006 – Present, Robert Half International, Inc. Washington, DC Contract Attorney Analyze, evaluate, and produce evidence in connection with litigation under The Securities Act of 1933, The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, The Federal Trade Commission Act, The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, and The United States Patent Act. Previous discovery assignments successfully completed for the following law firms and clients: Winston & Strawn, Kirkland & Ellis, Sullivan & Cromwell and Verizon. August 2005-August 2006, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, Washington, DC Fellow Advocated on behalf of minorities and low-income communities in the provision of telecommunications services, media and telecommunications ownership, and programming diversity. Met with FCC Commissioners to promote these initiatives. Draft and file comments before the FCC to discourage discriminatory build out practices by telecommunications companies and to encourage multilingual emergency alert system broadcasts. Met with senior telecommunications industry executives to work towards diversity solutions. March 2004-March 2005, Pace University, New York, NY Assistant Director of Business Incubator Program As the sole full-time employee of the program: managed the initial development and operations of the business accelerator, an innovative university program dedicated to stimulating entrepreneurship and technology transfer, by providing early-stage businesses with access to venture capital, office space and university faculty, students and research. Drafted a standard form agreement, which included property licensing, revenue sharing and equity provisions. Collaborated with partners, university personnel and City of Yonkers officials to ensure timely build out of a 13,000 sq. ft. facility and to ensure compliance with local construction, zoning and safety regulations. January 2003-February 2004, CBS, Inc., New York, NY Advertising Sales As a member of the CBS-TV and UPN-TV advertising sales team, cultivated relationships with advertising agency buyers to generate and maintain revenue for Viacom owned and operated television stations nationwide. Managed advertiser contracts and broadcast schedules to ensure that client-specified demographic categories were reached within budget. Worked with credit and collections to track payment receipts and to obtain payments. Processed contract modifications as client budgets were reallocated and marketing requirements changed.
Joseph S. Miller
Previous Professional Experience Intern, Sun Microsystems, Inc. - Law Department (December 1999-May 2000); Advertising Sales Assistant, The New York Times Company, WQXR-FM, New York, NY (April 1997-August 1998); Advertising Sales Intern, Clear Channel (formerly Evergreen Broadcasting), WKTU-FM, New York, NY (Summer 1996); Music Researcher, ABC/Capital Cities, WPLJ-FM, New York, NY (February 1992-August 1992); Music and Video Programmer, Planet Hollywood, New York, NY (February 1992-August 1994); Music Research and Production, Emmis Broadcasting, WQHT-FM, New York, NY (January 1991-February 1992).
Bar Admission New York
Education & Training Juris Doctorate, New York Law School (2002) • Staff Editor, Media Law & Policy Journal Bachelor of Science, State University of New York College at Plattsburgh (1996) • Major, Mass Communications with Concentration in Music • Minor, Business Administration Project Management Training • Certificate, Applied Project Management, Boston University (2004) Music Training
Student, Fiorello H. LaGuardia “Fame” High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts (1988-1992) Student, Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division (1986-1988)
Accomplishments, Awards & Honors 2007-2008: Lead Advocate, Blog Founder and Designer, Blog (JDWired.com), Social Network (JDWired.Ning.com), and Internet Radio Station (Last.Fm/Listen/User/JDWired/Playlist.com). Spearhead a public relations campaign to raise consciousness regarding diversity issues in the context of contract lawyers. Initiated several high profile news reports on the issue. Produce independent studies and present before the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the profession, the DC Bar Association, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. 1992-1996: Recipient, Radio Station Program Director, Best Specialty Radio Show, Resident Advisor, Accounting and Economics Tutor, Freshman Experience Instructor, Teaching Assistant 1994-1996: Recipient, Heisler Music Scholarship, SUNY Plattsburgh 1995: Inductee, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society
Affiliations American Bar Association Federal Communications Bar Association New York State Bar Association Public Relations Society of America
JDWired Blog www.jdwired.com Screenshot
Joseph S. Miller The New Lawyer: How Contract Attorneys are an Underutilized Resource for Improving Diversity and Reducing Client Costs Results and Analysis of the JDWired Fall 2007 Contract Attorney Survey
www.jdwired.com Joseph S. Miller January, 2008
Executive Summary1 In November of 2007, JDWired surveyed contract attorneys working in the United States to document their experiences working as contract attorneys at law firms. The proliferation of electronic discovery, over the past decade, has caused the temporary nature of contract work to morph into a long-term employment circumstance for nearly half of all survey respondents. Contract attorneys are a growing sector of the legal workforce but temporary staffing agencies invest little in providing benefits to and in offering professional development opportunities to contract attorneys. As the American Bar Association’s 1992 MacCrate Report2 suggested, and given the intense global competition for highly-skilled labor, it would be foolhardy for clients, and for the legal profession, generally, not to attempt to develop this highly-educated sector of the workforce to their full potential. This study is intended to stimulate an action-oriented dialogue about the ways in which law schools, staffing agencies, clients, and bar associations can go about assessing, developing and utilizing the diverse talents and backgrounds of this robust segment of the workforce. Overall Findings Notable findings of the study included: 1) the number of contract attorneys who also reported that they were minorities was disproportionately large (44%), compared to fulltime associates (16.72%) and Partners (5.01%) working at law firms3; 2) a far greater number of contract attorneys reported that staffing agencies had “Never” offered them many types of healthcare packages, compared to those who reported that staffing agencies have “Always” offered such healthcare; 3) a staggering number (99%) of contract attorneys reported that the staffing agencies, through which they have obtained employment, did not offer professional development programs, including pro bono service programs; 4) a high number (46%) of respondents reported that they had been 1
The full report can be found at www.jdwired.com/thenewlawyer Report of The Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap, Legal Education and Professional Development – An Educational Curriculum (1992). 3 “Women and Minorities in Private Practice – Additional Perspectives.” NALP Bulletin, February 2007 2
working as temporary legal professionals, to earn most of their income, for a year or more; and, 5) a substantial number of survey respondents (43%) reported that they were between the ages of 36 and 40. Demographic Findings Race and Ethnicity The number of contract attorneys who also reported that they were minorities was disproportionately large (44%), compared to full-time associates (16.72%) and Partners (5.01%) working at law firms.4 Race and Ethnicity of JDWired Survey Respondents
Non-Minorities – 56%
Minorities – 44%
Race and Ethnicity of the NALP Survey Respondents
Non-Minorities - 83.28%
Minorities – 5.01%
Minorities – 16.72%
Non-Minorities – 94.99%
On-the-Job Experiences Contract Work as Primary Source of Income 46% of contract lawyers reported that, since graduating from law school, temporary legal work had been their primary personal source of income for 1 year or more, almost a third of which (28%) had been doing contract work for more than 2 years. An
“Women and Minorities in Private Practice – Additional Perspectives.” NALP Bulletin, February 2007 See id.
additional 5% reported that temporary legal work has been their primary source of income for nine months or more. Benefits (Health) As the graph below demonstrates, an average of 47.4% of contract attorneys reported that their staffing agencies had “Never” offered standard healthcare benefits. An average of 13% had “Always” been offered such benefits. Contract Attorneys and Health Benefits Offered by Staffing Agencies
Flexible Health Spending Plan
Dental Vision 0
Professional Development (Scope of Work) Almost all respondents reported that their role on temporary projects was limited exclusively to reviewing documents for responsiveness or privilege. Tasks Performed by Contract Attorneys
Document Review for Responsiveness Document Review for Privilege Drafting Internal Memoranda Drafting Briefs and Other Court Documents Never
Legal Research Client Development Project Management Other
Respondents were asked to rank, on a 1-5 scale, the degrees to which staffing agencies offered each benefit. This chart reflects “1” (Never), “3” (Sometimes), and “5” (Often) responses only. 7
Respondents were asked to rank, on a 1-5 scale, the degrees to which they performed each task. This chart reflects “1” (Never), “3” (Sometimes), and “5” (Often) responses only.
Professional Development (Programming) 99% of respondents reported that “None” of the staffing agencies through which they obtained work offered any of the below-listed training programs. Professional Development Programs Offered by Staffing Agencies8 120 100 80
Reimbursement for Bar Preparation Fees
Reimbursement for Conferences
Sponsorships for Pro Bono Work
Reimbursement for Bar Association Fees
Conclusion Contract attorneys are a largely untapped resource for improving diversity in the private sector, reducing massive client costs, and providing indigent clients with wider access to pro bono services. According to the ABA’s 1992 MacCrate Report, it is incumbent upon the entire legal profession, not just law schools, to ensure the development of all lawyers. Better assessment, training, and development of contract lawyers, through the implementation of new programs, that would supplement the current staffing agency model, are absolutely critical to ensure that this diverse and growing segment of the legal profession is able to compete in the 21st century workforce. Bar associations should establish contract attorney sections, contract attorneys should take the initiative to organize professional associations, and law schools, clients, and firms should create public-private partnerships—such as incubator programs—to identify the best and brightest contract attorneys, and to actualize an infrastructure that genuinely promotes equal opportunity.
Respondents were asked to rank, on a 1-5 scale, the degree to which staffing agencies offered the listed types of professional development. This chart reflects “1” (Never), “3” (Sometimes), and “5” (Often) responses only.
Joseph S. Miller Josephâ€™s advocacy has resulted in coverage in major legal industry trade publications.
Are Firms Missing Out On a Diverse Talent Pool? The Legal Intelligencer By Gina Passarella May 25, 2007 One of the most common reasons large firms cite as a cause for their lack of diversity is a limited talent pool from which to draw. There are only so many qualified candidates and only so many of those are minorities, they say. Could that pool be deepened by looking to the skills of contract attorneys? Some say yes. Others aren't so sure. One black contract attorney from Washington, D.C., who has been working in the field for almost five years said the contract attorneys he's worked with on firm matters have been disproportionately diverse compared to groups of associates at those firms. Part of that, he said, is due to financial constraints that keep students from all backgrounds out of the top-tiered schools, and subsequently out of the top-tiered firms. Bob Nourian of Coleman Nourian, a recruiting firm that places both contract and permanent attorneys, said contract attorneys are naturally going to be more diverse because "you're pulling in from a greater percentage of a whole [graduating] class." Katherine Frink-Hamlett of Frink-Hamlett Legal Solutions in Teaneck, N.J., said contract attorneys are more diverse because the larger law firms are losing minority attorneys at high rates and they have to go somewhere. She said contract attorney work is often used to fill in the gaps. Not everyone has found it easy to find diversity in the contract-attorney ranks. Cynthia Scott, founder of Choice Counsel in Pittsburgh, specializes in placing contract attorneys. She said she wishes there was a more diverse pool from which she could draw. "Our percentage of minorities is not nearly what we wish it could be," she said. Offering a rough estimate, Scott said minorities on the matters she staffs typically do not comprise more than 10 percent of the group. The Washington, D.C., contract attorney put that number at 50 percent in his experience. Scott said she has found that it is more difficult in Pittsburgh to build diversity numbers because the larger cities woo talent away. Ah yes, talent. Despite the most sincere efforts of firms to increase their diversity, talent and quality understandably remain the foremost criteria for hiring associates.
Nourian said firms are looking to find both diverse and nondiverse candidates, while maintaining the same criteria for talent. The problem with looking to the contract-attorney field for candidates, minority or not, is that the hiring criteria for those attorneys are not as stringent as for associates, he said. "Unless firms are going to dramatically change their hiring criteria for full-time, partnershiptrack associates, I don't think the contract attorney pool will help them," Nourian said. He said his firm has done a lot of temporary-to-permanent conversions once contract attorneys work for a firm and prove they are associate material. It is difficult to stand out, however, when there are 30 or 40 attorneys doing document review, he said. Frink-Hamlett, whose company handles diversity audits and offers diversity solutions for firms, said she recommends her clients look at contract attorneys to meet diversity needs, but said it might only be for a short-term solution. "These are very often folks with Ivy League credentials or somewhere near there, but their resume doesn't meet the permanent-resume requirements," she said. Attorneys with gaps in resumes or those with master of laws ( LL.M) degrees who are here from other countries are often viable permanent candidates who may have taken some time off to pursue other endeavors or are new to the country's legal system, Frink-Hamlett said. That often makes them unviable permanent candidates in the eyes of large firms, she said. "I think it's going to be imperative for law firms and law schools to recognize [that] contract attorneys are a force in the industry," she said. So if the war for talent is at an all-time high, some argue it might be worth training contract attorneys at large firms to help them meet the associate-hire criteria in order to increase the talent pool. "You have this entire untapped pool of legal talent . . . and nobody's making the investment to train them," the contract attorney said, adding later, "In a global war for talent, no stone can be left unturned." Another minority contract attorney in Washington said there is no training available on projects to help elevate her to the next level. She said there would always be someone to hire her, possibly at a smaller firm, but student loans often make large firms the only option. Frink-Hamlett said bar associations need to replicate for contract attorneys the committees or commissions on diversity or women in the profession that now exist in order to help with networking and empowerment. Networking among other contract attorneys, however, doesn't help elevate their status, Nourian said. Contract attorneys need to affiliate themselves with the same groups as full-time associates in order to make contacts in hopes of finding a full-time position, he said.
Joseph S. Miller Article Submission for The American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession’s Goal IX Newsletter
The Ones that (Potentially) Got Away By Joseph S. Miller Contract Attorney, Washington, D.C. We are accustomed to addressing diversity in a handful of contexts. Each year, we review diversity statistics on public interest lawyers, associates, partners, and corporate counsel. However, we rarely, if ever, hear any discourse and analysis on the topic of contract attorneys and diversity. There is a risk that, if we do not begin talking about the ways in which contract attorneys may be better utilized to meet client demands—both for increased diversity and lower costs—this diverse sector of the workforce will be grossly under-prepared to compete in the global workforce, thereby perpetuating the stark inequalities with which we are so wellacquainted. Contract attorneys are a rapidly growing sector of the legal profession that is substantially more diverse than both the associate and partner ranks. The proliferation of electronic discovery over the previous decade necessitated a need for larger and larger teams to sift through terabytes of data. Associates were too costly for clients to call upon for rote document review. Therefore, contract attorneys, who predominantly worked through staffing agencies for an hourly wage—around $35 per hour—and little more, were the ideal choice to perform this
demanding work. However, nowadays, as Thomas Friedman predicted in his book, The World is Flat, these document reviews can be performed even more cheaply in India. If we are not careful, it will once again be American workers—in this case, lawyers—who will be left holding the bag, and the legal profession will be no better for it. In 1992, an ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession published a report, popularly known as the MacCrate Report, the overarching premise of which was that the trajectory of a lawyer’s professional development does not begin and end in law school; rather, it begins on the undergraduate level and continues beyond law school graduation, well into the lawyer’s career. The MacCrate report asserts that it is incumbent upon the entire legal profession—not just law schools— to take measures to develop all lawyers. Last November, I conducted a survey via my blog, www.jdwired.com, which focused on contract attorney diversity, professional development, and benefits. 146 people participated in the survey. The results were telling: • 44% of contract attorneys were minorities, compared to 16.72% of Associates and 5.01% of Partners working at law firms, as estimated by NALP. • 99% of survey respondents reported that staffing agencies did not provide access to standard professional development programs. • Almost half of the respondents reported that they had been working as contract attorneys, for their primary source of income, for more than one year following law school graduation. • An overwhelming number of contract attorneys do not have access to standard healthcare through the staffing agencies through which they obtained work. The largest proportion of minority contract attorneys who took the survey reported that they did not graduate in the top portion of their law school class. But the MacCrate Report does not make any class rank distinctions. Furthermore, in 2003, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, in its report entitled “The Myth of the Meritocracy: A Report on the Bridges and Barriers to Success in Large Law Firms” concluded that, amongst other things, 1) law firms create higher barriers for people of color; 2) success in large firms is not necessarily predicted by law school performance; and, 3) many non-minority law firm partners did not graduate in the tops of their law school class. Even in accepting law school performance criteria as reliable, it is quite a stretch to use them to justify a wholesale denial of fringe benefits and professional development, and to write contract attorneys off, almost e: email@example.com
entirely, even as most of them have between 70 and 80% of their working lives remaining. The full report can be found at http://www.jdwired.com/thenewlawyer. Better assessment, training, and development of contract lawyers, through the implementation of new programs, that would supplement the current staffing agency model, are absolutely critical to ensure that this diverse and growing segment of the legal profession is able to compete in the 21st century workforce. Bar associations should establish contract attorney sections, contract attorneys should take the initiative to organize professional associations, and law schools, clients, and firms should create public-private partnershipsâ€”such as incubator programsâ€”to identify the best and brightest contract attorneys, and to actualize an infrastructure than genuinely promotes equal opportunity.
Joseph Miller is a contract attorney in Washington, DC. His blog, www.jdwired.com, is about professional development, lifestyle, advocacy and community for contract attorneys. He is originally from New York City.