1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

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valley splitter
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1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby valley splitter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:31 am

So I will be starting law school this coming fall (2010) and I am already wondering about what I will be doing 1L summer. I have considered some options, my girlfriend's dad is an office managing partner at a V10 and could probably help out plus I know a few lawyers from past work experience as a case assistant, but I'm wondering if I were unable to land a 1L summer position would it be alright for me to contact firms and offer to work for free? I would probably be in San Francisco that summer and I wouldn't have to worry about money because my family is there so I have no real motivation to get a paying job. I do, however, have a real interest in having something to put on a resume and, hopefully, make myself known to a firm I would like to work for (paid) during my 2L summer. I know this is somewhat unorthodox, but in my mind what firm would really turn down someone who will work the same hours as others one year ahead without pay? Isn't it a win-win situation for both parties?

Papa Bear
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Papa Bear » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:04 am

I don't know, but I suspect you should probably look up the FLSA rules on minimum wages and trainees and present your proposals in a way that allows the firms to comply with the law. Smart attorneys will be cautious about this, because people love nailing attorneys for breaking the law.

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underdawg
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby underdawg » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:10 pm

you'll come off as a huge loser

Oblomov
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:18 pm

underdawg wrote:you'll come off as a huge loser


UD is occasionally correct. This is one of those times. Unless you smash 1L, an summer associateship is not going to happen. Do what you can, then shoot for an SA there as a 2L.

Why don't you just knock-up and mary the daughter? Problems solved.

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RussianGirl
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby RussianGirl » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:20 pm

I think it's illegal for a firm not to pay you.

That being said, you might be able to pull a paid gig through connections...

UD needs to STFU :D

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OperaSoprano
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:28 pm

Out of curiosity, why is it illegal for firms to take on unpaid interns when this is the norm in so many other industries? I have a close friend who was an unpaid intern (~20 hours a week) at various magazines for three years before he was hired. He lived on his boyfriend's income up in Westchester. Of course, it's possible that his situation was also an employment violation, but I'm sure most of us have been unpaid interns (not just at nonprofit organizations, where this would actually make sense) at one time or another.

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cantaboot
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby cantaboot » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:29 pm

I share UD's sentiments, but I wouldn't call him a 'loser' ....

hmmmmm .....

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cantaboot
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby cantaboot » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:30 pm

'cos firms, esp big firms, make huge profits.... don't you think this is exploitation???

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OperaSoprano
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:44 pm

cantaboot wrote:'cos firms, esp big firms, make huge profits.... don't you think this is exploitation???


I don't doubt it, but it's just so common across the board in other fields, especially creative fields. Even large departments stores (before ITE) were not paying their interns, and these interns included recent college grads. Perhaps I am missing something, and the analogy is not close enough, but most people I know worked for free for quite some time, and I don't know that this was tied to the profitability of the companies they worked for. If enough people are willing to work for free to gain experience, a company is bound to take advantage of that fact, absent strict policing of exploitation.

I know the state of CA does have regulations about pay for interns. I looked them up at some point, but I don't know that we have anything similar here.

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RussianGirl
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby RussianGirl » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:45 pm

cantaboot wrote:'cos firms, esp big firms, make huge profits.... don't you think this is exploitation???

pretty much

Oblomov
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:50 pm

It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).

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Drake014
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Drake014 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:00 pm

Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


Actually, according to my CDO, the firms aren't even likely to take you home--easy or not. Paid or unpaid doesn't appear to make much of a difference to biglaw.

BTW, I officially hate the OP for being able to afford to work for a summer for free. Damn rich kids! :evil:

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OperaSoprano
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:05 pm

Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


The issue is about expectations. My classmates at FIT knew paid internships were the exception, rather than the rule. Law students are fortunate that (at least at firms), the opposite is true.

As for the girl scenario, do you deny the inherent exploitation and double standard there? On the other hand, you have to consider what the intern is getting out of his unpaid internship, and (possibly) what the girl is getting out of her situation, assuming she isn't too drunk to raise objections.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:07 pm

I was just talking about why it would be a bad call for OP.

Firms also don't want to do it. First, it reflects poorly on them. Second, SAs take up resources. If they want you enough for the bother that you'll create, the extra 30k isn't that big of a deal.


--Oblomov

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OperaSoprano
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:08 pm

Drake014 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


Actually, according to my CDO, the firms aren't even likely to take you home--easy or not. Paid or unpaid doesn't appear to make much of a difference to biglaw.

BTW, I officially hate the OP for being able to afford to work for a summer for free. Damn rich kids! :evil:


Most of us will work a summer for free, and pray that our schools find funding for us. At T14s, school funding isn't as much of a problem, but I'm working very hard to snag one of Fordham's coveted FSSF grants. It's not only the rich kids who work for free, at least if they want legal employment. :(

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Drake014
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Drake014 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:20 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
Drake014 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


Actually, according to my CDO, the firms aren't even likely to take you home--easy or not. Paid or unpaid doesn't appear to make much of a difference to biglaw.

BTW, I officially hate the OP for being able to afford to work for a summer for free. Damn rich kids! :evil:


Most of us will work a summer for free, and pray that our schools find funding for us. At T14s, school funding isn't as much of a problem, but I'm working very hard to snag one of Fordham's coveted FSSF grants. It's not only the rich kids who work for free, at least if they want legal employment. :(


Opera, if your school is finding funding for you... you're not really working for free. Someone is giving you money that they would otherwise not give you if you weren't working.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:26 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


The issue is about expectations. My classmates at FIT knew paid internships were the exception, rather than the rule. Law students are fortunate that (at least at firms), the opposite is true.

As for the girl scenario, do you deny the inherent exploitation and double standard there? On the other hand, you have to consider what the intern is getting out of his unpaid internship, and (possibly) what the girl is getting out of her situation, assuming she isn't too drunk to raise objections.


1) I know if you do this kind of thing at a bank, which is rather common, you have to do it as an externship, where you get credit for the position, so that it is legal for the bank to do it.

2) How can it be exploitation and a double standard?

3)They are both getting the same thing out of their situation: dick.

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Drake014
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Drake014 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:28 pm

let/them/eat/cake wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


The issue is about expectations. My classmates at FIT knew paid internships were the exception, rather than the rule. Law students are fortunate that (at least at firms), the opposite is true.

As for the girl scenario, do you deny the inherent exploitation and double standard there? On the other hand, you have to consider what the intern is getting out of his unpaid internship, and (possibly) what the girl is getting out of her situation, assuming she isn't too drunk to raise objections.


1) I know if you do this kind of thing at a bank, which is rather common, you have to do it as an externship, where you get credit for the position, so that it is legal for the bank to do it.

2) How can it be exploitation and a double standard?

3)They are both getting the same thing out of their situation: dick.


I thought you only got that if you interned at the whitehouse?

Papa Bear
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Papa Bear » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:36 pm

Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal


More accurately, it's not illegal in certain circumstances.

valley splitter
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby valley splitter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:48 pm

Oblomov wrote:
underdawg wrote:you'll come off as a huge loser


UD is occasionally correct. This is one of those times. Unless you smash 1L, an summer associateship is not going to happen. Do what you can, then shoot for an SA there as a 2L.

Why don't you just knock-up and mary the daughter? Problems solved.


Knock up and marry the daughter? Scary. Had some close calls once or twice but we're both trying to start our careers. Plus she hates children almost as much as I do.

Oblomov
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:50 pm

valley splitter wrote:Knock up and marry the daughter? Scary. Had some close calls once or twice but we're both trying to start our careers. Plus she hates children almost as much as I do.


Job security my friend, job security.

valley splitter
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby valley splitter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:53 pm

Drake014 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:It's not illegal; you could intern at a law firm (if anything, there might be NALP/ethics considerations, but none come to mind). But you have to understand the culture at firms. It's kind of like chicks: Everyone is happy to take home the super easy girl at a party and get what they can, but nobody respects her for it and nobody is going to ask her to mary them. Don't be that girl (god, I love that girl).


Actually, according to my CDO, the firms aren't even likely to take you home--easy or not. Paid or unpaid doesn't appear to make much of a difference to biglaw.

BTW, I officially hate the OP for being able to afford to work for a summer for free. Damn rich kids! :evil:


I think the way I phrased it came off wrong in retrospect. What I meant to say was I could live at home and have my parents pay for my food and gas and other expenses. It's not like they would be picking up my bar tab every night and pay for me to eat out everyday like they, unknowingly, did in undergrad. It would be a modest living. Unfortunately, the GF is in grad school too and her BigLaw dad won't foot any more bills. We're both broke until one of us gets a job.

valley splitter
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby valley splitter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:58 pm

Oblomov wrote:
valley splitter wrote:Knock up and marry the daughter? Scary. Had some close calls once or twice but we're both trying to start our careers. Plus she hates children almost as much as I do.


Job security my friend, job security.


I know we're just joking here but consider the following scenario: we have an accident which results in an unfortunate child neither of us wants. We are forced to marry. Eventually I come to resent the situation as does she. Ends in divorce. With an unwanted kid. BigLaw dad kills my career by getting me blacklisted. I kill self. Cycle repeats with bastard child.

Unadilla Kayaker
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Re: 1L Summer Position - Work for Free in Exchange for Job?

Postby Unadilla Kayaker » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:22 am

valley splitter wrote:I know we're just joking here but consider the following scenario: we have an accident which results in an unfortunate child neither of us wants. We are forced to marry. Eventually I come to resent the situation as does she. Ends in divorce. With an unwanted kid. BigLaw dad kills my career by getting me blacklisted. I kill self. Cycle repeats with bastard child.


BigLaw dad is kinda a douche, and there is always someone who will hire you to get back at him. Haven't you seen Wall Street? I mean screwing the other guy is half the reason you get out of bed (your partner paycheck being the other).

Don't be so pessimistic about this scenario, could make your career.

(See bolded text above)




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