Working 40 hours and no pay

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Anonymous User
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Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:57 pm

Is anyone working this summer at a firm and not being paid?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:00 am

This is probably illegal, just FYI.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:03 am

I have been working 40-45 hours a week (not taking a lunch) and hardly being paid anything, pretty sure I'm being taken advantage of...just not sure if this is the norm.

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ru2486
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby ru2486 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:04 am

Jesus Christ is this for real...

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:09 am

It probably happens at a lot of small law offices across the country, but unless you qualify under the Labor Department's six-factor test for unpaid interns (http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm) you're legally entitled to minimum wage, overtime, etc. under the FLSA. I just flag it because this kind of predatory shit pisses me off immensely. (Unless "hardly being paid anything" actually means you're making the minimum wage... not mutually exclusive.)

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Mick Haller
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Mick Haller » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:10 am

I had a semi-respectable firm wanting me to NOT ONLY WORK FOR FREE, they wanted me to go and PAY MY SCHOOL for "internship credits" so that they could skirt the minimum wage laws. This was a 10-20 attorney outfit in a very well to do part of town.

I'd have ended up paying over $1,000 per credit just to take this job. With stinginess like that, I am just SURE they were paying their new associates real well.

romnickhudges
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby romnickhudges » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:22 am

Is that true? Who would work for almost 40 hours and have no pay. Although I've heard that there are some companies which obliged their employees to work more than the allowed daily time but no pay. I guess it is necessary to imposed an hourly salary in order for employees to work hard on their work. Those businesses who operate unfairly should be punished.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:03 am

I'm more surprised at the responses in this thread. This practice is absolutely rampant everywhere, esp since there's relatively few students coming out of the few elite schools with respect to the higher number of students coming out of the rest of the law schools who need to find some sort of legal experience to put on their resume

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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:17 am

I am...I thought this was normal. Apparently not

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cinephile
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby cinephile » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:19 am

Is this a public interest firm? If so, that could be why.

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BEAST_mode
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby BEAST_mode » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:23 am

Have a rising 2L friend in the pro bono office at a V50 who is not compensated.

TheProsecutor
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby TheProsecutor » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:24 am

Well, yeah, technically you shouldn't be working for free...but when the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has cats working full time jobs for free, I don't know there's much you can do.

ruski
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby ruski » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:53 am

you can sue them for back wages.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:54 am

I am working at a private firm 40 hours a week with no pay as a law clerk. Is this not normal?

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ben4847
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby ben4847 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:58 am

I don't see what you are upset about. If the firm paid, then some kid from a better school with a better GPA would have taken the job and you'd be stuck trying to twist your starbucks summer into "legal experience".

adt231
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby adt231 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:06 am

ben4847 wrote:If the firm paid, then some kid from a better school with a better GPA would have taken the job and you'd be stuck trying to twist your starbucks summer into "legal experience".


This is probably true (but we need to know more about OP first to know for sure).

ben4847 wrote:I don't see what you are upset about.

This is asinine. Just because being exploited puts you in a better off position does not mean that you should not be upset about being exploited. If my options were: starve or be enslaved, I might take the enslavement, but I think I'd be a little upset about it.

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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:08 am

I know a friend who did this. Worked for a medium size firm with offices all over the country (not Vault) as an unpaid summer associate. Was able to parlay this experience into a Vault FT gig. Would not have been possible without parental assistance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am working at a private firm 40 hours a week with no pay as a law clerk. Is this not normal?

No, it isn't. I know several 1Ls from my school (including me) who are law clerks at small-ish firms, and we're all getting paid fairly well.

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Broseidon
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Broseidon » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:18 am

In the past I've worked in unpaid internships at smaller firms for no pay (and I was working M-F 9-5). I needed experience at the time and the firm justified it by having me only work on pro bono cases.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:23 am

Working for a v100 but not 5 days a week. Unpaid but I do get fed well and get to go to baller events.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am working at a private firm 40 hours a week with no pay as a law clerk. Is this not normal?

No, it isn't. I know several 1Ls from my school (including me) who are law clerks at small-ish firms, and we're all getting paid fairly well.


If a choose to stay on in fall (as a part-time paid clerk), I get a signing bonus to compensate for the uncompensated summer. The problem is, however, that I will not be staying on this fall because I made law review and I don't think I can balance all of that without hurting my grades.

Also, I turned down a full-time law clerk position that would have paid 18 dollars an hour and an internship with a government agency to take this job for the experience (very small firm but well regarded locally). I don't really regret it. Just sucks that I won't get the bonus.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:57 am

TheProsecutor wrote:Well, yeah, technically you shouldn't be working for free...but when the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has cats working full time jobs for free, I don't know there's much you can do.

Government and non profit offices have much more lenient rules with respect to unpaid internships.

I'm not saying it's uncommon, I'm not saying it's necessarily even irrational to take a job like this, but it is usually illegal and unethical. Not the kind of thing you'd hope a law firm would be doing. I am surprised by the reports here of biglaw firms doing this. If you get class credit, that's different.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:26 pm

I am the OP. Basically it's a small-medium sized firm. One of my family friends is a partner at the firm and when I went in before the summer they told me I would be paid a few hundred dollars a week, which I was fine with. However, turns out I'm making like 5 dollars an hour. I'm grateful I have a summer job, but it was a little upsetting when I got my first paycheck and then the second one ( which I thought would be a lot more, but it was the same as the first).....the ppl that are full-time employees who work in my department and I'm friends with now, told me that they think it's disgusting how much they're paying me with all the work that I am doing. I guess I'll just keep telling myself it's for the experience and not the money.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am the OP. Basically it's a small-medium sized firm. One of my family friends is a partner at the firm and when I went in before the summer they told me I would be paid a few hundred dollars a week, which I was fine with. However, turns out I'm making like 5 dollars an hour. I'm grateful I have a summer job, but it was a little upsetting when I got my first paycheck and then the second one ( which I thought would be a lot more, but it was the same as the first).....the ppl that are full-time employees who work in my department and I'm friends with now, told me that they think it's disgusting how much they're paying me with all the work that I am doing. I guess I'll just keep telling myself it's for the experience and not the money.

Almost certainly illegal. They're probably taking advantage of you; whether it's worth pursuing is another issue.

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cantaboot
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Re: Working 40 hours and no pay

Postby cantaboot » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:47 pm

a lot of things could be illegal or borderline illegal. If it is for the sake of gaining educational experience by someone who still makes tons of mistakes and/or very inefficient, then the whole thing makes more sense.




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