Lawyers Beg Government : Please Let Us Work for Free
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  • Anthony

    Right on Professor!

  • michaelj68

    It is the ABA who insists that one needs a JD to be eligible to take the bar exam. Historically many lawyers in the English speaking world were first articled clerks, for example, Guppy from Dickens Bleak House. Instead of going to a school they would serve as an apprentice to a law firm.

  • Anthony

    WRM, there’s more here than meets the eye: professional transformation and more law grads than demand.

  • Pete

    I have zero sympathy for lawyer or lawyers-to-be.

  • Douglas Levene

    I am happy to see the Government is finally turning its eye to the abuses presented by the unpaid internship racket. For years, the Government has vigorously enforced the minimum wage laws against industries that hire poor minority youths (retail, food service), even if that means some young people never get a chance to get started on the employment ladder, while ignoring industries (media, law, arts, publishing, fashion) that take on the sons and daughters of the privileged classes in unpaid positions. What’s sauce for the goose, etc.

    However, the particular case described in the posting is not one subject to abuse. Here, the law firm is working for free on behalf of a poor client, and is offering law students or recent law grads the chance to also work for free and learn something. Since lawyers are encouraged by bar ethics rules to take on pro bono assignments, I don’t see a problem in this instance.

    However, I recall reading about a year ago about one of the US Attorney’s Offices that was seeking unpaid legal interns to help out with its ordinary business. That was clearly abusive even if not technically a violation of the federal minimum wage laws.

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