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(AlterNet)   With law schools churning out so many lawyers, you knew this was going to happen sooner or later: Federal Judge announces wage-less job opening; calls working for him a "moral commitment"   (alternet.org) divider line 168
    More: Unlikely, law schools, job opening, federal judges, Fair Labor Standards Act, open positions, web application, morals, court system  
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6446 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2012 at 4:02 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-24 02:03:59 PM
Ha, ha.....
 
2012-11-24 02:08:40 PM
This judge should be immediately removed from office by whatever means necessary.
 
2012-11-24 02:11:37 PM
Actually, according to TFA, the "moral commitment" thing was part of the firing rules - the applicant makes a "moral commitment" to stay for a year no matter what, but the judge can fire the person at will at any time.

Farking bastard. And desperate lawyers who would farking KILL for a federal clerking gig will do it. Only the ones who can afford to be without a salary, though. So, rich kids with connections.
 
2012-11-24 02:17:32 PM
 
2012-11-24 03:06:37 PM
Supply and demand at play, folks

When you have a large pool vying for few positions employers really dont have to offer you shiat. There really isn't anything that can be done about that.
 
2012-11-24 04:06:04 PM
I approve of this.
 
2012-11-24 04:06:33 PM
Kinda funny its happening to lawyers. I'm trying to feel some outrage....really
 
2012-11-24 04:11:25 PM
It's freaking wrong - even if it is happening to lawyers. Acceptance of this moving through a few hundred iterations over then next few years means that any meaningful career begins with a year (or two or more eventually) of unpaid servitude.
 
2012-11-24 04:12:22 PM
world's smallest violin
 
2012-11-24 04:14:35 PM
This makes me happy
 
2012-11-24 04:16:10 PM
Unpaid internships stop being cool after college.
 
2012-11-24 04:17:54 PM
So now a walmart worker is worth more than a lawyer. Because a fed judge isnt going to want some fresh grad for his bidding. Time to unionize.
 
2012-11-24 04:19:41 PM

Fizpez: It's freaking wrong - even if it is happening to lawyers. Acceptance of this moving through a few hundred iterations over then next few years means that any meaningful career begins with a year (or two or more eventually) of unpaid servitude.


I have not heard a single good argument why people should be paid wages at all. Wages inhibit the ability of the job creators to provide prosperity. Why should someone be obliged to provide a living wage if someone will scrub the coal mines for free?
 
2012-11-24 04:21:37 PM
Translation: only law students who started off rich enough to pay for law school and their living expenses out of pocket need apply.

Translation of the translation: go be poor in some other judge's chambers.

Unpaid internships of any sort are shiatty. This is the shiatty kind of shiatty, because the person who gets a clerkship with a federal judge is actually going to have a huge practical advantage over the person who doesn't.

...Which brings me to the mordant punch line: Before becoming a federal judge, William Martinez was a lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ha, well, so was Clarence Thomas.
 
2012-11-24 04:22:40 PM
I wish colleges would tell their students that despite having a degree in a specific field, it doesn't mean they're all worth hiring. Some people are academically capable, but practically ineffective. it's like an apathetic individual with a Psychology degree lamenting that they're not getting any job offers.
 
2012-11-24 04:30:40 PM

Fizpez: It's freaking wrong - even if it is happening to lawyers. Acceptance of this moving through a few hundred iterations over then next few years means that any meaningful career begins with a year (or two or more eventually) of unpaid servitude.


The problem is that if this becomes a common occurrence why would any employers keep people on after that initial free work period when they can just fire them and hire on someone else who will work for another year for free.

Sure one could argue that you get what you paid for but after having worked for a large cell phone company for several years I witnessed first hand that management doesn't care about quality of service.
 
2012-11-24 04:31:43 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Actually, according to TFA, the "moral commitment" thing was part of the firing rules - the applicant makes a "moral commitment" to stay for a year no matter what, but the judge can fire the person at will at any time.

Farking bastard. And desperate lawyers who would farking KILL for a federal clerking gig will do it. Only the ones who can afford to be without a salary, though. So, rich kids with connections.


25.media.tumblr.com

/Agreed
 
2012-11-24 04:32:55 PM
In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.
 
2012-11-24 04:34:26 PM
Utter predation. Totally reprehensible.
 
2012-11-24 04:36:47 PM
First off it is my understanding that the federal judiciary is exempt from most federal and state labor laws (actually the governments is exempt from most codes and laws)

Secondly given that there are several hundred extraordinary qualified applicants for every opening I see nothing wrong with this. This is not in place of the paid positions, this is an extra opportunity beyond that. If you can't afford to take the unpaid position then apply for the 2 paid openings. Given the prestige to the openings and the doors it opens I am not going to shed a tear over the 125k a year they will make at a firm after this.
 
2012-11-24 04:37:04 PM

que.guero: In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.


Cuz being born wealthy makes someone a brilliant, selfless innovator.
 
2012-11-24 04:40:09 PM

Valarius: So now a walmart worker is worth more than a lawyer. Because a fed judge isnt going to want some fresh grad for his bidding. Time to unionize.


I must have missed that memo. When were lawyers ever worth more than a Walmart worker?
 
2012-11-24 04:40:12 PM

jaytkay: que.guero: In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.

Cuz being born wealthy makes someone a brilliant, selfless innovator.


Why do you blame employers for you not being born wealthy?
 
2012-11-24 04:40:46 PM
Unpaid Internships = Jobs for kids of wealthy parents only.

Very effective at keeping children of the poors from getting entry level experience in well paying careers
 
2012-11-24 04:42:46 PM
As a 2011 jd, I'm getting a kick.

Wait, no I'm not.
 
2012-11-24 04:43:52 PM
An interesting precedent. Can we also eliminate salaries for congressmen, judges, and the president, on the obvious assumption that the job carries such prestige, that it is easy to find people willing to serve for free?
 
2012-11-24 04:45:04 PM

que.guero: In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.


i775.photobucket.com">
 
2012-11-24 04:45:06 PM
At first I was outraged like the rest of you. But on second thought, I'm torn. This Judge is giving a third person an opportunity that otherwise wouldn't exist. A clerkship with a federal judge is a greatly valued. Yes it sucks that this is a non-paying position, but if someone has put the years into school to be a lawyer, wouldn't you consider investing one more year to obtain an elite position?
I agree that spending a year without pay is easier for someone who's rich, and that bothers me. Again, if this judge had to make this a paying position, it wouldn't exist. Is the opportunity worth the investment of a year? For many, I'm going to guess it will be. In the end, if people are willing to take this position, knowing that they won't be paid, who are we to say that they shouldn't be allowed to choose for themselves?
 
2012-11-24 04:47:19 PM

Candygram4Mongo: An interesting precedent. Can we also eliminate salaries for congressmen, judges, and the president, on the obvious assumption that the job carries such prestige, that it is easy to find people willing to serve for free?


IIRC the Constitution prohibits that, or at least cutting the pay of people already on the job.

/on phone or I'dlink to it.
 
2012-11-24 04:48:22 PM
cdn.bleacherreport.net

Moral

Commitment

/Your honor, I don't think these words mean what you think they mean.
 
2012-11-24 04:48:22 PM

BigBooper: At first I was outraged like the rest of you. But on second thought, I'm torn. This Judge is giving a third person an opportunity that otherwise wouldn't exist. A clerkship with a federal judge is a greatly valued. Yes it sucks that this is a non-paying position, but if someone has put the years into school to be a lawyer, wouldn't you consider investing one more year to obtain an elite position?
I agree that spending a year without pay is easier for someone who's rich, and that bothers me. Again, if this judge had to make this a paying position, it wouldn't exist. Is the opportunity worth the investment of a year? For many, I'm going to guess it will be. In the end, if people are willing to take this position, knowing that they won't be paid, who are we to say that they shouldn't be allowed to choose for themselves?


Exactly. If I was a law school grad (I'm not) I'd be willing to live off of ramen for a year in my parent basement for another year for this.
 
2012-11-24 04:48:59 PM

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Unpaid Internships = Jobs for kids of wealthy parents only.

Very effective at keeping children of the poors from getting entry level experience in well paying careers


Yes, it is a conspiracy. The reptilian folk refuse to let humans get into any position of power.
 
2012-11-24 04:50:41 PM
Is clerking with judges more for lawyers wanting to work in criminal justice or is it desirable for lawyers working in any field?
 
2012-11-24 04:50:47 PM
this is a funny article because my friends and i all had several interviews for paid internships. of course, we didn't major in liberal arts and then try to dig our way out by going to law school. a good rule of thumb for choosing a major is anything that has more than 25% women is useless. exception for nursing of course.
 
2012-11-24 04:50:57 PM
On the other hand, the judge isn't paying salaries from his own pocket. He has a taxpayer-funded budget and I'm sure he'd be happy to have a paid clerk if the budget allowed it. It's either this or not have a clerk at all, most likely. So what would people rather have: an opportunity available only to a few, or no opportunity at all?
 
2012-11-24 04:55:40 PM
Isn't there some kind of minimum wage law? Wouldn't that kinda sorta cover this?
 
2012-11-24 04:57:51 PM

DeathByGeekSquad: I wish colleges would tell their students that despite having a degree in a specific field, it doesn't mean they're all worth hiring. Some people are academically capable, but practically ineffective. it's like an apathetic individual with a Psychology degree lamenting that they're not getting any job offers.


This issue has nothing to do with whether or not the applicant fails to be qualified. On the contrary, only highly qualified applicants will be considered. This issue is about unethical employers exploiting people during the second of two greatest recessions since the great depression that this country has had in my life time. The same thing happened in the 90's. There were college career counselors who accepted "placement fees" from companies to put unpaid interns to work for 40 hours a week. These interns received zero compensation. They were frequently told interning was an excellent way to build a resume and get a foot in the door to paid employment. Instead, in some industries, such as publishing, employers let paid employees go and replaced them with unpaid interns.
 
2012-11-24 04:57:58 PM
Exactly. If I was a law school grad (I'm not) I'd be willing to live off of ramen for a year in my parent basement for another year for this.


Then you're part of the problem. Grow some self-esteem and sense of self worth and start demanding better treatment and stop sacrificing for the crums people throw to you.
 
2012-11-24 04:58:19 PM

Dracolich: Isn't there some kind of minimum wage law? Wouldn't that kinda sorta cover this?


Considering that we live in an age where legislating from the bench is normal, no, there wont be any minimum wage law to the rescue.
 
2012-11-24 04:59:41 PM
For what it's worth, if you want to be a solicitor in the UK (the other main type of lawyer being a barrister) there used to be a minimum wage of £16,650 a year (£18,590 in London) to undertake the compulsory 2 year training contract with a law firm. You can't qualify as a solicitor without doing this training contract.

Solicitors Regulation Authority just dropped this wage requirement and replaced it with the minimum wage, which is just over £6 per hour.

Big firms habitually pay £35,000 a year to their trainees in order to attract the best staff, although you will generally work 50+ hours a week, often much, much more. Big firms are unlikely to change their pay rates, but small firms may well end up dropping their pay to the minimum wage rate.
 
2012-11-24 05:00:40 PM

cman: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Unpaid Internships = Jobs for kids of wealthy parents only.

Very effective at keeping children of the poors from getting entry level experience in well paying careers

Yes, it is a conspiracy. The reptilian folk refuse to let humans get into any position of power.


My nephew had a gig like this a few years ago. Neither of his parents are wealthy.
 
2012-11-24 05:02:20 PM
Even though this magistrate is a douche, I see the draw.

That being said, after hundreds of thousands in student loans, what's another $30k in living expenses? But who pays for the health care? As a Federal position does the intern get govt. coverage?
 
2012-11-24 05:02:24 PM

que.guero: In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.


Many American confectioners use a similar line of reasoning to justify buying and using cocoa produced on plantations that are worked by slaves. It isn't merely unfair. It is morally indefensible.
 
2012-11-24 05:02:33 PM

Super Chronic: On the other hand, the judge isn't paying salaries from his own pocket. He has a taxpayer-funded budget and I'm sure he'd be happy to have a paid clerk if the budget allowed it. It's either this or not have a clerk at all, most likely. So what would people rather have: an opportunity available only to a few, or no opportunity at all?


I'm sure the judge would be more than happy to have an additional unpaid intern to go along with the two paid ones...as the article stated.
 
2012-11-24 05:02:42 PM

cman: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Unpaid Internships = Jobs for kids of wealthy parents only.

Very effective at keeping children of the poors from getting entry level experience in well paying careers

Yes, it is a conspiracy. The reptilian folk refuse to let humans get into any position of power.


Whether it's intentional or not unpaid internships like this are a huge barrier to people whose parents can't bankroll them, pretty much the only people who can do this are children of wealthy parents. Want to be an intern for a Rep or Senator as a stepping stone to getting into politics? Do you have enough spare cash to pay rent and living costs in DC for a year? If not no internship for you. Intern for a judge? Only if you have the $$$ lying about in a trust fund. Newspaper/News-Site internship? If your parents aren't wealthy I hope your parents live in New York and are OK paying for your meals and transportation for the next year.

If you don't have access to money to support yourself for a year or more none of these opportunities are available to you, because you will starve. Then when you and someone with the internship are both going for the paid jobs... Sucks to be you. Such a system flies in the face of anything resembling a mertiocracy.
 
2012-11-24 05:02:46 PM
Yes, it is a conspiracy. The reptilian folk refuse to let humans get into any position of power.


Or it could be the system genuinely is set up in a way that makes it much more difficult for poor people to succeed.

You need money to make it ahead in life, so it bears to reason those who don't have any money will have that much more difficult of a time making it ahead.

It's not that difficult if you actually use more than 2 brain cells but I know that's asking a lot from you evidently.
 
pla
2012-11-24 05:03:56 PM
Apos : Unpaid internships stop being cool after college.

Unpaid internships stopped being cool after January 1, 1863.

Despite the happy fuzzy ad campaigns trying to con everyone into volunteering a year of their life away, volunteerism (and unpaid internships come in only a hair better) very literally means stealing a job away from someone who would otherwise get paid to do it. This drives wages down overall and decreases the number of paid positions available for people trying to make a living.

Somewhat funny, actually, that the oligarchy has managed to put a socialist spin on something that benefits the industrialists more than anyone else.
 
2012-11-24 05:06:14 PM
Unpaid internships, working for free with the "promise" of a better future.

Probably why the US has one of the worst Economic Mobility of most 1st world countries.

http://morallowground.com/2012/01/05/americans-enjoy-less-economic-mo b ility-than-canadians-europeans/

We really are a bunch of farking idiots in the US for the most part.

Science, logic and reason have been replaced with religious zealotry, ignorance and beliefs.
 
2012-11-24 05:06:52 PM

AbbeySomeone: cman: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Unpaid Internships = Jobs for kids of wealthy parents only.

Very effective at keeping children of the poors from getting entry level experience in well paying careers

Yes, it is a conspiracy. The reptilian folk refuse to let humans get into any position of power.

My nephew had a gig like this a few years ago. Neither of his parents are wealthy.


Out of curiosity - was he able to live at home? I'm looking at this in the context of stuff I see in DC - if you're not working then you need several tens of thousands of dollars lying about, or access to someone who does and really likes you.
 
2012-11-24 05:07:29 PM

Lunaville: que.guero: In the new America employers would rather hire those who don't *need* the job as those workers are invariably less motivated by wages and more motivated by doing what they want to do/are good at. Would you rather have a lawyer who is stressed about about paying off their student loans or one who can devote all their time to innovating ways to increase billable hours?

It may not be fair, but it is sound business.

Many American confectioners use a similar line of reasoning to justify buying and using cocoa produced on plantations that are worked by slaves. It isn't merely unfair. It is morally indefensible.


We happily buy cheap Chinese crap made by virtual slaves. Everyone biatches and moans about it, but in the grand scheme of things, offer them an American alternative with the higher cost of doing business, and consumers would still buy the cheap Chinese crap. No one gives a shiat as long as they can get their $199 android tablet. We want more, more, more, and more, for less, less, less, and less, and American made goods are too damn costly to produce.

You have to change the consumer to stop overconsumption. We are depleting our natural resources by our rampant consumerism along with bringing misery to third world countries.
 
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