unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

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Anonymous User
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unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:49 pm

I know this sounds illegal. What if such an opportunity does arise in a rare set of circumstances? I don't want to go into details but I am facing this position now. a prestigious firm is willing to take me on for an unpaid position with no actual promise of a permanent and paid position down the road. (this is a firm, not a government agency as in the case of some SADA)

I just finished law school. jobless. otherwise ok credentials (T20, cum laude, two publications in T14 journals)

Anonymous User
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Re: unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:28 pm

Federal labor laws stipulate that unpaid internships at for-profit organizations are legal if and only if the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s work and if the intern’s training is “similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction.”

If you are working at a firm and are generating revenue you are working as an employee. There are usually no volunteer or unpaid positions at a law firm. If it looks like a duck and is unpaid like a duck...

The problem is that in order for this to 100% be the case, the work you are doing has to be work that is normally done by a paid employee, and they are deriving all the benefit of your work, and you are not receiving any kind of educational benefit similar to that of a college class. The first two are easy to show, but to show that you are not receiving any kind of educational benefit is tricky. The legal profession was mostly one of an apprenticeship type so lawyers worked in law firms and learned how to lawyer before taking the bar and practicing. Essentially, you've become an apprentice. Now, you could look at it and say you're getting amazing real world experience, which is great, but experience doesn't put food on the table.

Your credentials are pretty great--and the fact that you have no other options besides this are...I don't have the words. Anything else that may have contributed to your current situation? You couldn't get a clerkship?

Anonymous User
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Re: unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:41 pm

I could afford to take this. again, don't want to get into details. I've modified my credentials a bit but they are substantially the same. they had interviewed me before but put me on hold. they like something special in my credentials but I believe they hope for someone with 2 years+ experience.

I did not get great first-year grades. Could not make journal. but I am a fairly good writer and T14 editors liked my works.

T20 is TTT. at least to some people.

and this firm is no fishy business. well-established and prestigious.

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ggocat
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Re: unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby ggocat » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:42 pm

This thread is depressing.

Do not take this position unless there is an understanding you will get a fully paid position within X months with satisfactory work performance. Or try to become important on one case in a few months and try to use that as leverage for a paid position. Regardless, they've already gotten the milk for free...

Anonymous User
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Re: unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:59 pm

ggocat wrote:This thread is depressing.

Do not take this position unless there is an understanding you will get a fully paid position within X months with satisfactory work performance. Or try to become important on one case in a few months and try to use that as leverage for a paid position. Regardless, they've already gotten the milk for free...


I will discuss with them further. I guess this might be what they are thinking but I will make sure. I would still believe that this is a great firm. For details too complicated here , again, I don't want to disclose much about myself.

LOLyer
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Re: unpaid clerkship/attorney position (temporary)

Postby LOLyer » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:02 pm

Tell that firm to shove it. That's an absolute ripoff, and you'd be a fool to let them take advantage of you like that.

I'd hang a fucking shingle before I put up with that bullshit.




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