max of 20 hours/week

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Anonymous User
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max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:41 pm

2L at a T-20 here paying sticker. I have a job that pays 40/hr during school, and am trying to pay off as much of my debt as possible with the income so I am working a lot of hours. Then I get an email from the school asking us to sign a certification that we aren't working more than 20 hrs/week (I thought this was only a 1L thing, whoops). I immediately dropped the RA I was doing for a prof, but depending on what risk there really is of getting caught, and what the repercussions are, I would like to continue working as much as possible to pay down debt.

Does anyone have any anecdotes or knowledge on whether I can actually get into any serious trouble for working >20hrs/wk during school?

zomginternets
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby zomginternets » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:17 pm

The 20-hour/week thing is an ABA rule. By signing a document that you are not working 20 hours/week, when in fact you know full well you are, I would imagine would impact C&F if you were ever caught.

As far as trouble with the school/ABA by working 20 hours/week in and of itself, I'm not sure. I bet the ABA and/or your student honor code policy specifies a punishment.

I don't think it's worth even the minor risk of getting caught, but that's just me.

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king3780
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby king3780 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:52 pm

I was under the impression C&F looks at your tax returns and can do the math (or look at the W-2) to figure out if your pay was in less than 20 hours per week. Don't take that as gospel, though, I'm not 100% sure.

BeenDidThat
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:26 am

You would be putting your entire career in jeopardy. I can't believe this is even a question.

Miller32
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Miller32 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:36 am

I can't believe it would be that big of a deal...

Anonymous User
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:42 am

Is it an ABA guideline or an actual rule?

Does volunteer work and unpaid internships count?

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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:13 pm

OP here, it is an actual rule. But the rule involves accreditation of the school. So what I think is that my worry of punishment would come from the school, and the ABA just makes the school enforce these guidelines.

That being said...I will not be receiving a W-2 for my work (it is considered Contract) and this is a firm who I am in discussions with bringing me on for next summer, so it is important to me to get as much face time as possible, it isn't JUST about the money.

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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:21 pm

This rule is bullshit. Especially for 2L's and 3L's. The ABA not only fails to manage and protect our (future) profession in any meaningful way, it also enacts a rule that prevents students who would like to minimize the amount of student loans they take on from working for than 20 hours a week. Great.

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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:09 pm

Yeah, this rule is problematic. The ABA puts no limit on the hours worked once you graduate or the number of graduates. However, if you can get a job during your studies (and many jobs are limited to current students), they put a limit on the hours you can work.

So they undermine chances to make a living when you're in school and they do nothing about job prospects after you graduate. Nice professional organization, huh.

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Lawquacious
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:26 pm

I thought the rule just applied to 1L year, but apparently that may not be the case.

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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:27 pm

Lawquacious wrote:I thought the rule just applied to 1L year, but apparently that may not be the case.


This was my original thinking as well...then I got the email.

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Lawquacious
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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I thought the rule just applied to 1L year, but apparently that may not be the case.


This was my original thinking as well...then I got the email.



This is from the William and Mary website (I don't attend there, but it came up when I did a quick Google search on the topic):

-------
Limit work outside the study of law:

We recognize that it may be necessary to have a steady or extra income while a student. However, the number of hours you may work is limited by the American Bar Association. The ABA mandates that full-time students devote "substantially all working hours to the study of law." We interpret this rule as a limit of 15 hours per week. In exceptional circumstances, the Associate Dean for Administration may grant permission to work up to but no more than 20 hours per week.
-------

Based on this, it sounds like there may be no hard ABA rule, or at least that individual schools can determine what the rule means to them in terms of hours. Can you ask your school for an exception? Especially given the economic climate I would think that you may be able to find someone sympathetic to your situation.

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Re: max of 20 hours/week

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:38 pm

I spoke to the dean of student affairs. He said he didn't know whether ABA would directly discipline or not. He said that for accreditation reasons they must show that no students are working more than 20 hours per week and that if they are that they took disciplinary actions. But this is still incredibly vague and was hoping someone had a friend of a friend who may have gone through this.




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