Hiring a few interns does not equal filling their staffs with tons of unemployed people.
Here's another thing: these people are not "interns" in the traditional sense of the word. When I hear the word "intern" I think of a kid coming off freshmen year of college, maybe a J major fetching coffee for the beat writers at the NY Times or a theater student working as a grip at a Brodaway show unloading prop crates or changing light bulbs.
As the article stats, the NJ AG interns are fully licensed attorneys
of law school, not students. And these so-called "interns" aren't fetching coffee or cite-checking briefs: they're taking depositions, appearing in court, and drafting documents independently. They are giving the state of NJ their professional services (and the means by which they should be earning a livelihood and getting ahead in life) for absolutely NOTHING. Zilch. Zero dollars.
What other "profession" has fully licensed professionals giving their individual services away for free? If a dentist goes into a prison to do a root canal, he gets paid. If an electrician puts up new lights on the NJ Turnpike, he gets paid. If a plumber puts new water-saving faucets in the Bergen County Courthouse, he gets paid.
That's because those professions' members wouldn't dream of doing anything for free, esp. for a corrupt toilet of a state like NJ. They are also members of professions where the supply/demand metrics are not so absurd as to compel one to work for free if one chooses to ply their trade.
Make no mistake, there's a sea change underway here and these "work for free" programs are going to catch-on big time unless some of these diploma mills (like every NJ/NYC Tier 2/3/4 schools) shut down.
I'm also not sold on the "experience" angle: if you were a hiring partner and interviewed a candidate who was apparently so desperate that they were/are working for free, what type of salary would you offer said person? Hell, a dollar a week would be a huge "raise" from what they're currently earning. IMO anyone entertaining the idea of applying for these programs should just face the hard truth and look for work outside of the legal profession. When you work for free, you've conceded that your skills aren't worth paying for and have a market value of 0 dollars. Treat the JD as a "sunk cost," as I have. Toss the diploma into the fireplace and, if all else fails, just head abroad and say bye-bye to Sallie Mae for good. This county's best days are behind it anyway. The current situation is the "new normal": high unemployment, low wages, and steadily declining standards of living. All the expansion and hiring going on in the corporate world is abroad, in Asia and other nations where labor is cheap and there isn't as much red tape (most of which is caused by lawyer-politicians LOL).