Life as an American attorney these days is little more than a steady progression of more and more degrading news stories about the ever-declining status of your job, and, by extension, the rapid downward spiral of your worth as a human being. When we last checked in on the unfortunate underemployed would-be litigators, they were getting their own formerly outsourced jobs backsourced to them, at a fraction of the pay.

Well, those ungrateful lawyers will wish they had that backsourced job, now that they're temping. The WSJ reports that temp jobs in which bleary-eyed lawyers review documents nonstop to pull in $40-50K per year are on the rise in a major way. What an opportunity!

For 10 to 12 hours a day-and sometimes during graveyard shifts-contract attorneys such as Mr. Aponte sit silently in a big room, at rows of computer monitors. Each lawyer reads thousands of documents online and must quickly "code" every one according to its relevance in litigation or an investigation.

Supervisors discourage talking and breaks are limited. The computer systems count each lawyer's speed.

A law school degree now offers less flexibility and opportunity for advancement than showing up at the shape-up on the corner at 6 a.m. to work as a day laborer. At least they get some sun once in a while.

But you know what lawyers will always have going for them? Their ability to laugh at themselves.

[WSJ; photo via Shutterstock]