Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

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JJDancer
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Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby JJDancer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:22 am

I'm semi employed right now (lol) and a recent law grad I spoke to (she has a job :)) suggested I use my spare time to intern/volunteer at a biglaw firm in my populous but secondary legal market.

I won't be attending LS here so there's no benefit for 1L or 2L but she said it would look good even if I just did stupid work and that references from a bigname firm could pay off even if it was from a different market etc.

Do any of you think this is a legit idea?

She claimed that a guy at her school had volunteered at a firm through HS and was offered a job because they knew/liked him.

I wouldn't be asking for a summer internship or anything. Just coming in to volunteer unpaid.
Not sure how I would even ask for this -- email them ...

Any help is appreciated.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:25 am

Working at a commercial entity without pay likely violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. There's been big arguments about this lately regarding unpaid internships at law firms.

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Stonewall
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby Stonewall » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:27 am

Worth a try. But without a connect, blindly approaching them is gonna be a long shot IMHO

JJDancer
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby JJDancer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:27 am

I understand. Of course I would love a stipend or some pay but I doubt I can get them to pay an 0L lol.

I assume it would technically be me volunteering my time. I think I'm allowed to volunteer even at for-profit places?

Anonymous User
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:30 am

JJDancer wrote:I understand. Of course I would love a stipend or some pay but I doubt I can get them to pay an 0L lol.

I assume it would technically be me volunteering my time. I think I'm allowed to volunteer even at for-profit places?


I'm quoting this from the US Dept. of Labor's website on a page specifically about volunteering:

"Under the FLSA, employees may not volunteer services to for-profit private sector employers"

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Kohinoor
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:54 am

vanwinkle wrote:Working at a commercial entity without pay likely violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. There's been big arguments about this lately regarding unpaid internships at law firms.

cr. My biglaw firm definitely wasn't willing to take on interns even with ivy credentials.

JJDancer
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby JJDancer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:58 am

Since it was unlikely I'd get it for free, now that they have to pay me, does anyone think there is any shot I could get them to pay me minimum wage? *SIGH*

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schmohawk
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby schmohawk » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:08 am

In forty minutes you have went from "Aww shucks BigLaw, just coming in to volunteer unpaid" to "look guys you have to pay me, but I'll accept minimum wage." By 12:30 I'll bet you're negotiating for a sign-on bonus.

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DeeCee
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby DeeCee » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:20 am

schmohawk wrote:In forty minutes you have went from "Aww shucks BigLaw, just coming in to volunteer unpaid" to "look guys you have to pay me, but I'll accept minimum wage." By 12:30 I'll bet you're negotiating for a sign-on bonus.


lol about that comment. Perhaps you could try and if there is too much red tape for you to volunteer, you could stay in touch and tell them you'd be interested in applying during LS?

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rman1201
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby rman1201 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:31 am

Your best bet is to just apply to be an assistant or another low-level support staff position. The big firms will probably only take people with several years of experience even for those positions, but it's still worth a shot.

JJDancer
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby JJDancer » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:36 am

schmohawk wrote:In forty minutes you have went from "Aww shucks BigLaw, just coming in to volunteer unpaid" to "look guys you have to pay me, but I'll accept minimum wage." By 12:30 I'll bet you're negotiating for a sign-on bonus.

lol that's not at all what I meant.

I just meant will it be possible to a) be "barely" legal (aka minimum wage) and still get some experience/contacts etc.

k thanks all.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Volunteering at biglaw as an 0L

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:42 pm

JJDancer wrote:
schmohawk wrote:In forty minutes you have went from "Aww shucks BigLaw, just coming in to volunteer unpaid" to "look guys you have to pay me, but I'll accept minimum wage." By 12:30 I'll bet you're negotiating for a sign-on bonus.

lol that's not at all what I meant.

I just meant will it be possible to a) be "barely" legal (aka minimum wage) and still get some experience/contacts etc.

k thanks all.

But why would they bother using HR resources and going to the expense of training you just so that you can be relatively useless for a summer and then leave?




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