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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
    More: Unlikely, law schools, job opening, federal judges, Fair Labor Standards Act, open positions, web application, morals, court system  
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6490 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2012 at 4:02 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



168 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
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.
 
2012-11-24 05:07:33 PM  
Hahahahaha

You said moral in the same sentence as lawyer ...
 
2012-11-24 05:07:53 PM  

Lord Zoranov: 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.


I did cellphone support for a couple of years. I know exactly what you're talking about.
 
2012-11-24 05:08:29 PM  

Masta Kronix: 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.


No, it's called weighing the costs and benefits. After a year as a law clerk for a federal judge you have many more job opportunities opened up and likely will be making $50k a year more.
Like I said earlier. I would be singing a different tune if all law clerk positions went this way but this is a case where the judge has figured out a way to add an additional opening that otherwise wouldn't exist
 
2012-11-24 05:10:11 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?


Or I can frame the issue this way. Say there are two law students in the world, Privileged Pete and Pauper Paul. Privileged Pete is wealthy, would like the most prestigious job available to him, and is not concerned about money in the short term. Pauper Paul just wants to start earning a living. Without this clerkship available, Privileged Pete gets a job as an associate at a law firm, beating out Pauper Paul for the position. But if Privileged Pete is able to take this clerkship, the law firm job becomes available to Pauper Paul. Pauper Paul could never have taken the clerkship given his circumstances, but nevertheless, its existence has benefited him, albeit in a way he'll never see.
 
2012-11-24 05:11:43 PM  
This is already happening around the country. This trend was created not by judges like this but by the supply of extremely talented workers (top 10% of their class) blanketing offices with resumes saying, "I'll 'intern' for free for you..." The implication therin is that if a job opens up he or she will have an advantage. The collapse of the private sector has simply increased the competiton for government jobs to an obscene level.

The larger crime which has been documented elsewhere is the ongoing practice of law schools sellling the dream that, "If you just go here, we have a 98% job placement rate! So it doesn't matter if you give us a quarter million dollars! It's totes worth it!" They don't tell you that the recent grads are working at local gas stations pumping gas. Heck, even the grads themselves are sometimes embarrassed to put that down because the surveys are never anonymous. It will never stop because too many 20 year-olds still think being able to say "I went to law school!" makes them super farkable.
 
2012-11-24 05:11:48 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: 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.


No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.
 
2012-11-24 05:13:08 PM  

Massa Damnata: Kinda funny its happening to lawyers. I'm trying to feel some outrage....really


Don't think I'm picking on you because I clicked your comment to respond to, however, I think everyone on this thread needs to be reminded that not all lawyers are corporate lawyers. There are lawyers who work for legal aid and similar groups. Such lawyers work with the indigent, with domestic violence victims, with people trying to save their homes from foreclosure, and with veterans who have been wrongfully denied their benefits. The legal field is big and encompasses a lot of different areas and many different kinds of people.
 
2012-11-24 05:13:12 PM  

Super Chronic: 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?

Or I can frame the issue this way. Say there are two law students in the world, Privileged Pete and Pauper Paul. Privileged Pete is wealthy, would like the most prestigious job available to him, and is not concerned about money in the short term. Pauper Paul just wants to start earning a living. Without this clerkship available, Privileged Pete gets a job as an associate at a law firm, beating out Pauper Paul for the position. But if Privileged Pete is able to take this clerkship, the law firm job becomes available to Pauper Paul. Pauper Paul could never have taken the clerkship given his circumstances, but nevertheless, its existence has benefited him, albeit in a way he'll never see.


Except Wealthy Walter is also on the scene and did an internship at the law firm or a year and is first in line for the new job opening.
 
2012-11-24 05:13:44 PM  
The ABA should limit the number of lawyers that can apply to the bar each year, like the AMA and doctors.
 
2012-11-24 05:14:36 PM  
No, it's called weighing the costs and benefits. After a year as a law clerk for a federal judge you have many more job opportunities opened up and likely will be making $50k a year more.
Like I said earlier. I would be singing a different tune if all law clerk positions went this way but this is a case where the judge has figured out a way to add an additional opening that otherwise wouldn't exist


Look I understand you don't get it, but you're still part of the problem.

It doesn't matter how better off you are after making the sacrifice, you're activity participating in, accepting of and holding up the system in place that causes the damage, so you are part of the problem.
 
2012-11-24 05:14:40 PM  

Masta Kronix: 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.


Do you also believe that GMO's cause cancer and autism is caused by vaccines? How about 9/11, was it an inside job? Are you one of those people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya?

There are significant forces right now making employment opportunities scarce ensuring that employers can pick and choose, and you hop on the conspiracy wagon claiming that it only because they are trying to keep the poor man down. When the employment market is scarce, employees wont get the best damn deals out there, when there is an labor shortage, employers pretty much offer the moon to perspective employees. This judge is offering experience. Although it is not as good as cash, the judge is doing this simply because he can. It saves his courthouse a lot of money. Simple as that.
 
2012-11-24 05:15:58 PM  

al's hat: 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.


Fine, but it doesn't change my premise by one iota. He had the budget for two, and I'm sure he would have happily paid a third if he had the budget for it. If he paid 100 clerks and offered this to a potential #101 it would still be the same. Whatever it is: compare {state of the world without this opportunity} with {state of the world with this opportunity}, and I cannot see any justification for preferring the former.
 
2012-11-24 05:16:22 PM  

AbbeySomeone: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: 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.

No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.


Congrats to him.

Out of curiosity - again, this is coming from the perspective of someone used to high cost of living areas, how did he earn enough for food and accommodation for a year (or however long) if he was working full time for his unpaid internship?
 
2012-11-24 05:17:07 PM  
Do you also believe that GMO's cause cancer and autism is caused by vaccines? How about 9/11, was it an inside job? Are you one of those people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya?


Yes because I understand that being poor in the US does actually drastically restrict that persons life I also believe in conspiracy theories :lol:

Go read a book or something. Seriously educate yourself.
 
2012-11-24 05:17:35 PM  
"It's a cheap generosity that promises the future as compensation for the present."
 
2012-11-24 05:22:07 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: Super Chronic: 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?

Or I can frame the issue this way. Say there are two law students in the world, Privileged Pete and Pauper Paul. Privileged Pete is wealthy, would like the most prestigious job available to him, and is not concerned about money in the short term. Pauper Paul just wants to start earning a living. Without this clerkship available, Privileged Pete gets a job as an associate at a law firm, beating out Pauper Paul for the position. But if Privileged Pete is able to take this clerkship, the law firm job becomes available to Pauper Paul. Pauper Paul could never have taken the clerkship given his circumstances, but nevertheless, its existence has benefited him, albeit in a way he'll never see.

Except Wealthy Walter is also on the scene and did an internship at the law firm or a year and is first in line for the new job opening.


And Pauper Paul will have a thinner resume. In addition to having a thinner resume, he will be repeatedly subjected to an asinine and cruel line of questioning wherein it will be implied that he is lazy or lacks commitment.
 
2012-11-24 05:25:18 PM  

Loki009: 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.


And given that supply has outstripped demand basically forever, I'd be very surprised to learn that no lawyer has ever taken an unpaid clerkship before.
 
2012-11-24 05:25:51 PM  
No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.


How was your nephew able to support himself during this unpaid internship?
 
2012-11-24 05:28:40 PM  
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.


Look look look I know for the first year we bent you over the table and ass raped you repeatedly but now we're gonna pay you actual money now!!

You should be thankful!!! Aren't we such nice people!!!
 
2012-11-24 05:30:27 PM  
Step'n Fetch'it alive and well in the US.
 
2012-11-24 05:31:57 PM  
the USA might turn into a democracy some day, but only after every federal judge is hanging from a rope
 
2012-11-24 05:35:06 PM  

Masta Kronix: No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.

How was your nephew able to support himself during this unpaid internship?


I'd like to see the answer to this question as well.
Even among people who have the parental support to work a full-time, unpaid internship it is still exploitation. Not only is it exploitation of the individual, it is exploitation of the parents. Particularly in the case of corporate internships, wealthy or not, why should parents subsidize a corporation?
I have children on the cusp of their teen years. Am I now expected to provide for them through out their childhoods, send them to college, send them to grad school, and subsidize their first year of "employment"? My attitude is "How about 'NO'?"
 
2012-11-24 05:36:43 PM  
Good luck filling that Job your honor. No pay and they can be fired at anytime for anything? sorry can't see many if anyone interested especially as many may have large amounts of student loan debt to pay off.

This kind of a job maybe the key to getting into a lucrative job in a major law firm but with no pay many can't afford to take it,
 
2012-11-24 05:39:46 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


Why would anyone want to do that?
 
2012-11-24 05:39:51 PM  
Good luck filling that Job your honor. No pay and they can be fired at anytime for anything? sorry can't see many if anyone interested especially as many may have large amounts of student loan debt to pay off.

This kind of a job maybe the key to getting into a lucrative job in a major law firm but with no pay many can't afford to take it,


That's the whole point.

Only those who are well off in life will be able to "afford" unpaid internships thus once again keeping the cycle of poor staying poor and rich staying rich until people finally realize what is going on.

Can't get the best jobs unless you can afford to work for free for a year.

Can't afford to work for free for a year, tough shiat go be poor somewhere else.
 
2012-11-24 05:40:39 PM  

that was my nickname in highschool: As a 2011 jd, I'm getting a kick.

Wait, no I'm not.


Yes, you are... in the teeth.
 
2012-11-24 05:42:27 PM  
What a dick.
 
2012-11-24 05:42:38 PM  

Super Chronic: al's hat: 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.

Fine, but it doesn't change my premise by one iota. He had the budget for two, and I'm sure he would have happily paid a third if he had the budget for it. If he paid 100 clerks and offered this to a potential #101 it would still be the same. Whatever it is: compare {state of the world without this opportunity} with {state of the world with this opportunity}, and I cannot see any justification for preferring the former.


Trickle-down employment?
 
2012-11-24 05:43:32 PM  

Lunaville: Masta Kronix: No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.

How was your nephew able to support himself during this unpaid internship?

I'd like to see the answer to this question as well.
Even among people who have the parental support to work a full-time, unpaid internship it is still exploitation. Not only is it exploitation of the individual, it is exploitation of the parents. Particularly in the case of corporate internships, wealthy or not, why should parents subsidize a corporation?
I have children on the cusp of their teen years. Am I now expected to provide for them through out their childhoods, send them to college, send them to grad school, and subsidize their first year of "employment"? My attitude is "How about 'NO'?"


He had savings and he wasn't fresh out of school.
 
2012-11-24 05:43:33 PM  
Why would anyone want to do that?


Because poor people are lazy and horrible people.

Why else would they be poor?

Or at least that's what the majority of people out there think.

That and racism plays a big part. Don't you know all people on welfare drive Cadillacs and are some sort of minority?

Don't you watch FOX NEWS!! WHITE PEOPLE ARE LOOSING THIS COUNTRY TO FILTHY POORS AND MINORITIES WHARBLEGARBLE.

Or something like that :shrug:

Or something like that.
 
2012-11-24 05:48:26 PM  

Lunaville: Masta Kronix: No, he was in another state. He got a great job out of it.

How was your nephew able to support himself during this unpaid internship?

I'd like to see the answer to this question as well.


It's very simple: just find a woman who will buy your BS about the fantastic money you're going to be making after she supports you for a year.

Don't you people watch Judge Judy?
 
2012-11-24 05:49:12 PM  
He had savings and he wasn't fresh out of school.


So you're telling us that your nephew had enough money saved to pay for everything for an entire year without any assistance or help.

Was he living at home with his folks or paying a mortgage/rent the entire time?

Seriously details matter. What was your nephew actually paying for the entire year?
 
2012-11-24 05:52:20 PM  
He had savings and he wasn't fresh out of school.


How was your nephew getting Health Insurance?

How was he getting back and forth to work?

If by Car, who was paying his insurance/car note/gas money?

Seriously you want us to believe that your nephew was able to afford all of these normal expenses for an entire year without any help and just had the money saved up to pay for all of this.
 
KIA
2012-11-24 05:53:43 PM  
When plumbers, computer repair guys and electricians all charge $100.00 or more an hour, for some reason it's attorneys who get dumped on?

Howsabout we do away with minimum wage and unions altogether. Then we will see whose skills are worth more.

/ not bitter

// willing to entertain the alternative of limited government so fewer attorneys are needed
 
2012-11-24 05:55:38 PM  
Howsabout we do away with minimum wage and unions altogether. Then we will see whose skills are worth more.


Really bad idea.

Unions actually help the US Economic Mobility Rate.

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/labor/report/2012/09/20/ 3 8624/unions-boost-economic-mobility-in-u-s-states/

"But what makes a state more or less mobile? Gov. Daniels and other conservatives may be interested to learn that strengthening labor unions-a group that they have often attacked-would help increase economic mobility."
 
2012-11-24 05:55:39 PM  

Lord Zoranov: 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.


Libertarianism!
Bootstrappy!
Right To Work!
Bring back indentured servitude and debtor's prison!
Death penalty!
Destroy all unions!
Feudalism, YAY!
ME!! ME!! ME!!! MEEEEEE!!!!
 
2012-11-24 05:59:58 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?


Kind of this. It is an incredible opportunity that will look spectacular on a law resume. Plus the fact that, once you're out of law school and have just taken the bar and are either waiting for or have just gotten your results, nobody will hire you. All law firms and most solo practitioners want someone with a MINIMUM of 2-5 years experience--and your law school internships don't count. A year of federal judicial clerkship might, especially if you can get a good letter of reference out of the judge to go with it.

If you can talk your parents or friends into free rent, and don't mind living without health insurance and living on ramen for the year; or doing contract work on the side or working nights in retail (all options my friends are using)--then take the clerkship. You have to keep your eyes on the long term, long term being the extra $2500/mo you're going to need to pay off your student loans.
 
2012-11-24 06:01:55 PM  
If you can talk your parents or friends into free rent, and don't mind living without health insurance and living on ramen for the year; or doing contract work on the side or working nights in retail (all options my friends are using)--then take the clerkship. You have to keep your eyes on the long term, long term being the extra $2500/mo you're going to need to pay off your student loans.


Yeah make those who have already sacrificed their whole life for you sacrifice more, not the business who is actually going to benefit and make money from your hard work.

Sounds legit.
 
2012-11-24 06:02:46 PM  
At first I didn't see a problem with this, it sounds exactly like a volunteer or internship position. Yeah it's usually a job that comes with a salary, but the applicants will probably be the ones desperate enough to work for free. But then the guy said that he already has two federal clerks that were being paid, and he wanted a third one to do the same job for free. I agree that is unethical if not illegal. If he wants a third clerk, he'll have to wait until the next year and hire 3 new clerks who will be unpaid interns, or he pays for the third clerk with his own salary.
 
2012-11-24 06:04:05 PM  
 
2012-11-24 06:05:45 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.


you mean the lazy farkheads who have never done an honest days work in their life because they've been on mommy and daddies teat for 25+ years? the most worthless people i've seen in any workplace have been silver spoon fed snobs.
 
2012-11-24 06:18:40 PM  
Only a fool is not leery of unfeed lawyers.
 
2012-11-24 06:22:15 PM  
*clicks on article*

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

www.myfacewhen.net
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-24 06:24:30 PM  
As I work for the Federal government, I don't get it. The government cannot buy anything for free, even labor; its illegal. Nor can you work for free. You'd think a judge would know that.

Guess he bought into that whole "Run government like a business BS."
 
2012-11-24 06:26:01 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: 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.


Or people who graduated debt-free from T1 schools because they knew that taking on $200,000 in loans for a 25% chance of a biglaw job at best from the T14 was stupid and took the scholarship money instead.
 
2012-11-24 06:26:32 PM  

one of Ripley's Bad Guys:
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?


It's another $30k for their quarter of a million dollars in loans to sit around and collect interest as well.
 
2012-11-24 06:29:54 PM  
On one hand this judge is an asshat.


On the other hand, we have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy too many lawyers in this country.
 
2012-11-24 06:29:56 PM  

Masta Kronix: If you can talk your parents or friends into free rent, and don't mind living without health insurance and living on ramen for the year; or doing contract work on the side or working nights in retail (all options my friends are using)--then take the clerkship. You have to keep your eyes on the long term, long term being the extra $2500/mo you're going to need to pay off your student loans.

Yeah make those who have already sacrificed their whole life for you sacrifice more, not the business who is actually going to benefit and make money from your hard work.

Sounds legit.


The floor is going to cost them the same, whether someone is sleeping on it or not. Unless you have some kind of strange mortgage that goes up when there is a body lying there and goes down when one less person is staying in the house. Perhaps you should have a serious discussion with your finance officer.
 
2012-11-24 06:36:52 PM  
Unpaid work? Welcome to the film industry.
 
2012-11-24 06:39:35 PM  
Am I the only person working for a company where the interns are actually paid?
 
2012-11-24 06:43:00 PM  

EyeHateOnlineIdiots: the USA might turn into a democracy some day, but only after every federal judge is hanging from a rope


If you mean democracy in the original sense of mob rule, then yes.
 
2012-11-24 06:43:51 PM  
It is exactly this kind of thinking that has completely screwed artists. EVERYONE seems to think that we should work for free because it would be "Great for our portfolio"...

It's insulting and stupid and it screws over artists all the time.
 
2012-11-24 06:44:37 PM  
What happens to the birth rate of the professional class once nobody makes money until their early 30s because of the decades of education and underpaid internships required to enter the professional class? How about social security solvency? How about the economy in general? $150k/year might sound like alot, but its really not when 1/3 is gone in tax and you're making $2500/month student loan payments and living in a high cost of living area and retirement is only 30 years away.
 
2012-11-24 06:47:06 PM  

Gordon Bennett: Unpaid work? Welcome to the film industry.


amateur porn industry?
 
2012-11-24 06:47:12 PM  

LiberalEastCoastElitist: What happens to the birth rate of the professional class once nobody makes money until their early 30s because of the decades of education and underpaid internships required to enter the professional class? How about social security solvency? How about the economy in general? $150k/year might sound like alot, but its really not when 1/3 is gone in tax and you're making $2500/month student loan payments and living in a high cost of living area and retirement is only 30 years away.


www.voght.org
 
2012-11-24 06:50:16 PM  

jayphat: Am I the only person working for a company where the interns are actually paid?


I was paid as an intern working summers while at college ~15/hour, 40 hours a week with an additional $5k/year sponsorship on the agreement I'd work there after graduation. This was about 10 years ago.

I just think its messed up that we're rapidly headed to a situation that put seven more barriers to entry to kids who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths, particularly given some of the areas where unpaid internships are more the norm.
 
2012-11-24 06:54:51 PM  
What's next? Unpaid whores?
 
2012-11-24 06:55:37 PM  

phrawgh: What's next? Unpaid whores?


omg.. I hope so... as long as they swing both ways
 
2012-11-24 06:58:12 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?


I have the opposite idea, pay those guys a buttload of money, enough that they don't need to beg wealthy people for cash and try to work an high paying lobbyist gig or 'consulting' gig when out of office. And better, pay politicians to run in the general election. That's right, pay them. Win the primary, then you job is running for office and the government pays a salary.
 
2012-11-24 07:06:17 PM  

gibbon1: 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?

I have the opposite idea, pay those guys a buttload of money, enough that they don't need to beg wealthy people for cash and try to work an high paying lobbyist gig or 'consulting' gig when out of office. And better, pay politicians to run in the general election. That's right, pay them. Win the primary, then you job is running for office and the government pays a salary.


it would never be enough. greed knows no ceiling.
 
2012-11-24 07:13:07 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?


This. John Stossel wrote a story about unpaid interns at NBC (IIRC). The decision was made at some point to start paying them, and as a result, far fewer interns were hired.

Maybe instead of crying about how people are abused, we should let them decide for themselves whether the experience gained in an unpaid position is worth it.
 
2012-11-24 07:13:32 PM  

Summoner101: Is clerking with judges more for lawyers wanting to work in criminal justice or is it desirable for lawyers working in any field?


Any field. Clerking for a federal judge (most especially a SCOTUS justice) is pretty much the most prestigious thing that a law student can get right out of school. A would be willing to bet a very large percentage of current federal judges, US attorneys, attorneys general, and district attorneys (along with many of the high and mightys in private firms) clerked for federal judges
 
2012-11-24 07:15:08 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: So, rich kids with connections.


Came for this.
 
2012-11-24 07:16:37 PM  

Super Chronic: al's hat: 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.

Fine, but it doesn't change my premise by one iota. He had the budget for two, and I'm sure he would have happily paid a third if he had the budget for it. If he paid 100 clerks and offered this to a potential #101 it would still be the same. Whatever it is: compare {state of the world without this opportunity} with {state of the world with this opportunity}, and I cannot see any justification for preferring the former.


Judges at this level have a staff to help them do their jobs. While clerks actually perform some real work, the position they fill isn't necessary. I liken it to the summer associates we had at the law firm I worked for. When the summer associates left at the end of the summer they weren't replaced. Their work went back to the regular associates and legal assistants whose load they somewhat lightened while they were there. Judicial clerk internships are a great opportunity for a law student but they provide very little real substance for a judge other than perhaps repaying or currying favor from someone with power and influence whose bright little crotchfruit wants to be a lawyer in the big leagues. There's no real social benefit or altruistic value in judge clerkships. Your premise is based on an optimistic view and assumptions and kudos to you for that but we as citizens don't benefit either way. The state of the world doesn't come into play, sorry to burst your bubble. :(
 
2012-11-24 07:20:57 PM  
An unpaid intern would not be allowed where I work. It's an insurance and security requirement, among other things. Hell, high school coop students are paid, which isn't normal. My license forbids me to work for free. It must suck to work in a profession where you are even less valued.
 
2012-11-24 07:21:03 PM  
"We hear much of the civilization and christianization of the barbarous tribes of lawyers. In my judgment, those ends will never be attained, but by first teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that "in the sweat of his brow he should eat his bread," and teaching them to work, and feed, and clothe themselves."

--Alexander Stephens, 1861
 
2012-11-24 07:22:05 PM  
Just call it an internship and avoid the bad publicity.
 
2012-11-24 07:28:43 PM  

Rostin: 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?

This. John Stossel wrote a story about unpaid interns at NBC (IIRC). The decision was made at some point to start paying them, and as a result, far fewer interns were hired.

Maybe instead of crying about how people are abused, we should let them decide for themselves whether the experience gained in an unpaid position is worth it.


If it made little difference whether or not the interns were there to the company, it sounds like they were making coffee and fetching print jobs and other worthless activities for free. Also, are you unaware that the company might pretty much just lie about the experience the interns will gain? Or maybe instead of hiring a new entery level lawyer they'll split that job among four free interns.
 
2012-11-24 07:37:13 PM  

KIA: When plumbers, computer repair guys and electricians all charge $100.00 or more an hour, for some reason it's attorneys who get dumped on?

Howsabout we do away with minimum wage and unions altogether. Then we will see whose skills are worth more.

/ not bitter

// willing to entertain the alternative of limited government so fewer attorneys are needed


OK, so long as we can also strip away any limited liability for corporations. Each investor/owner is jointly and severally liable for any harm done by or debts incurred to the business.

Then we'll see whose business is worth more.
 
2012-11-24 07:39:04 PM  

Loki009: Masta Kronix: 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.

No, it's called weighing the costs and benefits. After a year as a law clerk for a federal judge you have many more job opportunities opened up and likely will be making $50k a year more.
Like I said earlier. I would be singing a different tune if all law clerk positions went this way but this is a case where the judge has figured out a way to add an additional opening that otherwise wouldn't exist


Sorry, if you are doing actual work for your employer then you should be getting paid, period. The fact that you are getting good experience or that it might open doors in the future doesn't really matter. I get lots of great experience at my job, I learn new things every day, and if I work hard I will have opportunities for promotions and raises in the future. They still have to pay me a salary, and if they didn't I wouldn't be showing up.

If it's suddenly ok to stiff people on pay if you can prove you're providing them enough good experience and future opportunities then what's to stop universities from requiring tenure track professors to work for free? "Hey these positions are highly competitive, if you stick with it for 5 years you'll probably make tenure!!" Or requiring top managers at large corporations to work for free for a year or two while they get more experience for a big promotion? You could even look at lowly positions like McDonalds cooks, hey that company offers people good experience they can put on a resume, and they have the opportunity to become a franchisee if they stick with it and work hard!!

Sorry, but "experience" is not a legitimate excuse to pay someone zero who is providing a monetarily significant service for you. Experience is something that goes along with any job, anywhere, it's a side benefit.
 
2012-11-24 07:53:25 PM  

diaphoresis: phrawgh: What's next? Unpaid whores?

omg.. I hope so... as long as they swing both ways


Don't we have that already...except the word is "slut"?
 
2012-11-24 07:54:18 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: Benevolent Misanthrope: So, rich kids with connections.

Came for this.


Might want to rephrase that.
 
2012-11-24 07:58:20 PM  

Loki009: 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.


You're assuming people have parents with basements who live in the area and can afford to give them ramen. You're assuming they already have a car to get to work, already have presentable clothing for the job, etc. An unpaid position isn't free. It has a cost. In a case like this a significant cost.
 
2012-11-24 07:58:58 PM  
Although Judge Martinez isn't going to pay the successful applicant, and reserves the right to fire this person arbitrarily at any time, the judge is asking whoever takes the job "to morally commit to the position for one year." (In other words, don't think for a moment it's OK to quit this non-paying job just because a paying job comes along.) As an added extra bonus, the posting states unequivocally that "there is no possibility of the position turning into a paid position with Judge Martinez."

Please let me know who takes this guy up on this "job" so I know to never go to them for legal help. What is Martinez going to do if you walk off the "job"? Refuse to release your last $0.00 paycheck?
 
2012-11-24 08:01:57 PM  
Yes, this was indeed bound to happen when you have law schools like Mississippi College of Law giving out legal educations. No one will pay to hire people who have a degree from a place like that, but those schools will definitely take poor saps' money.

Here's my advice to all budding lawyers: if you can't go to a Top 14 institution or have some means of avoiding the inevitable, crushing debt (like living from your parents' home), don't go to law school. It's not worth sacrificing three of the most productive years of your life just to say you have a law degree. Go do something else.
 
2012-11-24 08:02:49 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: What is Martinez going to do if you walk off the "job"? Refuse to release your last $0.00 paycheck?


No reference. Your time working for him would mean nothing.
 
2012-11-24 08:03:15 PM  
I will go a step further on this too. If paying someone a wage of zero is OK if you offer them really good experience and future opportunities why not take it a step further? For TOP position maybe you could charge your employees for the privilege of working for you!

What about a top position as an aid to a senator or something? I mean that's a huge opportunity that could open a lot of doors in the future. Making a contribution of say 25 k for a one year position would not be out of line right?

Or what about an internship at Google? I mean if you intern there you have a good chance at getting a job there, or founding your own startup later, something. That's a huge opportunity!! paying Google ten thousand bucks for the privilege of doing some coding work for them for a few summers is money well spent, and perfectly reasonable right?

I'm just taking things to their logical conclusion here. At what point do you say "enough"? This is where the government needs to step in and set a minimum wage. If someone is doing work for you then you must pay them. It's bad enough they will be getting far below market rate for the work they are doing. When I was an intern I was doing engineering work that, had they hired a "professional" to do would probably have cost them 50 k a year, plus benefits. I was getting 8 bucks an hour, no benefits. There was really no difference between what I was doing and what a lot of the full time engineers were doing right down the hall, except they had been doing it for a little longer and had a degree.
 
2012-11-24 08:04:10 PM  
I wonder if all his peers think, "oh yeah, Martinez, what an idiot...god help any kid that's taught to be just like him, because none of us want a mini-Martinez in our office..."
 
2012-11-24 08:05:52 PM  

ElBarto79:

Or what about an internship at Google? I mean if you intern there you have a good chance at getting a job there, or founding your own startup later, something. That's a huge opportunity!! paying Google ten thousand bucks for the privilege of doing some coding work for them for a few summers is money well spent, and perfectly reasonable right?


Google pays software engineering interns over $6800 a month.
 
2012-11-24 08:08:10 PM  

ElBarto79: I will go a step further on this too. If paying someone a wage of zero is OK if you offer them really good experience and future opportunities why not take it a step further? For TOP position maybe you could charge your employees for the privilege of working for you!

What about a top position as an aid to a senator or something? I mean that's a huge opportunity that could open a lot of doors in the future. Making a contribution of say 25 k for a one year position would not be out of line right?

Or what about an internship at Google? I mean if you intern there you have a good chance at getting a job there, or founding your own startup later, something. That's a huge opportunity!! paying Google ten thousand bucks for the privilege of doing some coding work for them for a few summers is money well spent, and perfectly reasonable right?

I'm just taking things to their logical conclusion here. At what point do you say "enough"? This is where the government needs to step in and set a minimum wage. If someone is doing work for you then you must pay them. It's bad enough they will be getting far below market rate for the work they are doing. When I was an intern I was doing engineering work that, had they hired a "professional" to do would probably have cost them 50 k a year, plus benefits. I was getting 8 bucks an hour, no benefits. There was really no difference between what I was doing and what a lot of the full time engineers were doing right down the hall, except they had been doing it for a little longer and had a degree.


Actually, come to think about it, if you are paying tuition to a university that hosts the unpaid internship, that is exactly what you are doing...
 
2012-11-24 08:10:16 PM  

Impaciente1: Here's my advice to all budding lawyers: if you can't go to a Top 14 institution or have some means of avoiding the inevitable, crushing debt (like living from your parents' home), don't go to law school. It's not worth sacrificing three of the most productive years of your life just to say you have a law degree.


Ehh, actually regional schools count, too.

A particular example I am familiar with - Loyola Chicago may not be a national powerhouse, but in Chicagoland it's a recognized and valuable brand. I work with a lot of Loyola grads who make a very good living.
 
2012-11-24 08:11:37 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: ElBarto79:

Or what about an internship at Google? I mean if you intern there you have a good chance at getting a job there, or founding your own startup later, something. That's a huge opportunity!! paying Google ten thousand bucks for the privilege of doing some coding work for them for a few summers is money well spent, and perfectly reasonable right?

Google pays software engineering interns over $6800 a month.


But having Google on your resume is so valuable, software companies will be tripping over themselves to hire you. Google shouldn't pay their interns anything. Believe me those internships are so coveted there will be no shortage of applicants, even at a price point of zero.
 
2012-11-24 08:19:50 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.


Unpaid servitude is even worse than grad school, where you get almost enough to live (if you eat nothing but ramen and live with three roommates).
 
2012-11-24 08:21:14 PM  

ElBarto79: I will go a step further on this too. If paying someone a wage of zero is OK if you offer them really good experience and future opportunities why not take it a step further? For TOP position maybe you could charge your employees for the privilege of working for you!


Yes, I believe that is an internship worked for academic credit. Typically, the student may not accept payment and must pay the university for so many credit hours in order to receive academic credit. It works out very nicely for the universities. I think it also points us to the source of the unethical practice of expecting people to work for free.
 
2012-11-24 08:22:00 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: LouDobbsAwaaaay: What is Martinez going to do if you walk off the "job"? Refuse to release your last $0.00 paycheck?

No reference. Your time working for him would mean nothing.


I was under the impression that this pledge was meant to keep people from taking off if a real job-offer came around. If you're being asked to drop this "job" to pick up paid work, what can he do? Who gives a shiat if he won't provide a reference - you've got a job offer already.
 
2012-11-24 08:25:34 PM  
Worse than Indentured Servitude. The prospective clerk gets bupkiss for his effort.
 
2012-11-24 08:34:46 PM  

Rozinante: An unpaid intern would not be allowed where I work. It's an insurance and security requirement, among other things. Hell, high school coop students are paid, which isn't normal. My license forbids me to work for free. It must suck to work in a profession where you are even less valued.


Slaves have always been highly prized throughout history.
 
2012-11-24 08:41:24 PM  

Ishidan: StoPPeRmobile: Benevolent Misanthrope: So, rich kids with connections.

Came for this.

Might want to rephrase that.


It would'nt be funny then.
 
2012-11-24 08:48:18 PM  

GF named my left testicle thundercles: 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.


My class of almost 30 physicists included 9 women.

\Yes, our year was weird.
 
2012-11-24 08:57:00 PM  

diaphoresis: Gordon Bennett: Unpaid work? Welcome to the film industry.

amateur porn industry?


No- Porn pays.

No reference. Your time working for him would mean nothing.

perfect - do you really think he's going to write a glowing reference anyway?

last year - can't remember where-made regional news, perhaps national news - young attractive female lawyer busted for hooking. My thought was, musta gotten tired of Ramen and wanted Lucky Charms for breakfast.
 
2012-11-24 09:16:55 PM  

phrawgh: What's next? Unpaid whores?


Those are wives.
 
2012-11-24 09:38:05 PM  

Gyrfalcon: phrawgh: What's next? Unpaid whores?

Those are wives.


You really think husbands don't pay for it in one way or another?
 
2012-11-24 10:29:02 PM  

Gyrfalcon: phrawgh: What's next? Unpaid whores?

Those are wives.


I just got you a damn dishwasher and ironing board. Aren't you ever happy?
 
2012-11-24 10:40:49 PM  

al's hat: Super Chronic: al's hat: 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.

Fine, but it doesn't change my premise by one iota. He had the budget for two, and I'm sure he would have happily paid a third if he had the budget for it. If he paid 100 clerks and offered this to a potential #101 it would still be the same. Whatever it is: compare {state of the world without this opportunity} with {state of the world with this opportunity}, and I cannot see any justification for preferring the former.

Judges at this level have a staff to help them do their jobs. While clerks actually perform some real work, the position they fill isn't necessary. I liken it to the summer associates we had at the law firm I worked for. When the summer associates left at the end of the summer they weren't replaced. Their work went back to the regular associates and legal assistants whose load they somewhat lightened while they were there. Judicial clerk internships are a great opportunity for a law student but they provide very little real substance for a judge other than perhaps repaying or currying favor from someone with power and influence whose bright little crotchfruit wants to be a lawyer in the big leagues. There's no real social benefit or altruistic value in judge clerkships. Your premise is based on an optimistic view and assumptions and kudos to you for that but we as citizens don't benefit either way. The state of the world doesn't come into play, sorry to burst your bubble. :(


Uh, what? That's not true at all. Clerks ARE the staff for a judge. They have a secretary as well, and the court itself has support staff, but in terms of actual staff for the judge that are qualified to do anything other than purely administrative work, it's the clerks and no one else.

And staffs are small. Appeals judges, including members of SCOTUS, get to hire five- the secretary and 4 clerks. District court gets three hires, and bankruptcy and magistrates get all of two. Clerks do real work, and they get a lot of it. It's not an internship, nor anything close to one.
 
2012-11-24 10:49:40 PM  
So it slavery for a little while? Like the Greeks?
 
2012-11-24 10:59:35 PM  
AKA a job only for privileged children who have parents wealthy enough to support them.
 
2012-11-24 11:07:09 PM  

jaytkay: Impa


Absolutely. Some lesser known schools can still lead their graduates to lucrative, successful careers. But they are more of a gamble in that regard, and while the education at Loyola may be good (I'm basing that off the assumption that it's a Jesuit school) there are a ton of shady places willing to put "J.D." behind applicants' names solely as a way of making money. When those unfortunate students graduate, they are almost invariably disappointed at not being able to find a job that meets their expectations. That's why I think law school, outside of the elite ones, is a huge risk.
 
2012-11-24 11:09:26 PM  

luthia: AKA a job only for privileged children who have parents wealthy enough to support them.


It's farked up when the aristocrats shove this shiat in our faces.
 
2012-11-24 11:13:15 PM  

cptjeff: al's hat: Super Chronic: al's hat: 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.

Fine, but it doesn't change my premise by one iota. He had the budget for two, and I'm sure he would have happily paid a third if he had the budget for it. If he paid 100 clerks and offered this to a potential #101 it would still be the same. Whatever it is: compare {state of the world without this opportunity} with {state of the world with this opportunity}, and I cannot see any justification for preferring the former.

Judges at this level have a staff to help them do their jobs. While clerks actually perform some real work, the position they fill isn't necessary. I liken it to the summer associates we had at the law firm I worked for. When the summer associates left at the end of the summer they weren't replaced. Their work went back to the regular associates and legal assistants whose load they somewhat lightened while they were there. Judicial clerk internships are a great opportunity for a law student but they provide very little real substance for a judge other than perhaps repaying or currying favor from someone with power and influence whose bright little crotchfruit wants to be a lawyer in the big leagues. There's no real social benefit or altruistic value in judge clerkships. Your premise is based on an optimistic view and assumptions and kudos to you for that but we as citizens don't benefit either way. The state of the world doesn't come into play, sorry to burst your bubble. :(

Uh, what? That's not true at all. Clerks ...


So...what function do these job titles fulfill? Staff Law Clerk, Staff Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines Specialist, Pro Se Law Clerk, Judicial Assistant, Clerk of Court, Chief Deputy Clerk, and Assistant General Counsel. http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/

Clerks do real work but judges in no way depend on only a couple of clerks and an administrative assistant to help them. They have an entire bureaucracy as their staff. Many of those are not direct reports to the judge but that doesn't mean they aren't part of his staff. Do you think a judge doesn't have access to a staff attorney or counsel when a clerk's research or information is suspect? Judges don't operate in a little tiny bubble.
 
2012-11-24 11:20:26 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.


or for people who saved enough money to last themselves through the internship, via hardwork.
 
2012-11-24 11:23:27 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.


it's not unpaid. He is learning and gaining experience and gaining something to put on his resume.
 
2012-11-24 11:24:35 PM  

giftedmadness: 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.

or for people who saved enough money to last themselves through the internship, via hardwork.


Or for people that work a second job.

Right?

I bet a drug-dealing attorney would love that job.
 
2012-11-24 11:31:04 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: giftedmadness: 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.

or for people who saved enough money to last themselves through the internship, via hardwork.

Or for people that work a second job.

Right?

I bet a drug-dealing attorney would love that job.


Exactly. My brother is finishing up law school and will soon have his door bashed down by the Student Assistance folks. There is not even an ounce of opportunity for him to take a non paid position.
 
2012-11-24 11:32:48 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?


this

very well put
 
2012-11-24 11:43:34 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.


It used to be called "apprenticeship". Although even then an apprenticeship provided room and board.
 
2012-11-24 11:48:06 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.


You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.
 
2012-11-25 12:08:16 AM  

clyph: Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.

You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.


You pay her to go away. In both cases.

/renting is cheaper than owning
 
2012-11-25 12:09:54 AM  

clyph: Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.

You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.


What's the difference between a wife, a mistress and a whore?

A whore says, "Aren't you done yet?"
A mistress says, "Are you done already?"
A wife says, "I think the ceiling needs painting."
 
2012-11-25 12:11:34 AM  

phrawgh: clyph: Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.

You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.

You pay her to go away. In both cases.

/renting is cheaper than owning


In the words of some rich guy whose name escapes me: "If it floats, flies or fornicates, renting is cheaper than owning."
 
2012-11-25 12:18:42 AM  

phrawgh: clyph: Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.

You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.

You pay her to go away. In both cases.

/renting is cheaper than owning


That whole "paying to go away" thing is a killer...
 
2012-11-25 12:51:13 AM  

al's hat: So...what function do these job titles fulfill? Staff Law Clerk, Staff Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines Specialist, Pro Se Law Clerk, Judicial Assistant, Clerk of Court, Chief Deputy Clerk, and Assistant General Counsel. http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/

Clerks do real work but judges in no way depend on only a couple of clerks and an administrative assistant to help them. They have an entire bureaucracy as their staff. Many of those are not direct reports to the judge but that doesn't mean they aren't part of his staff. Do you think a judge doesn't have access to a staff attorney or counsel when a clerk's research or information is suspect? Judges don't operate in a little tiny bubble.


Do you know what those positions are?

The Law Clerks mentioned are what we are talking about, but rather than rotating are perm hires, Judicial Assistant is the judges secretary. Clerk of Court, and Deputy Clerk of Court are responsible of running the day to day operations of the court, and by that I mean the clerical and operations side. They are more responsible for supporting the public than the judges. For the most part the meat of the work is performed by the Law Clerks and the JA in terms of assisting the Judge. The others positions are more a national position rather than something you would see on a local level and are not positions that would interact directly with the judge and his staff.
 
2012-11-25 01:27:10 AM  

pla: 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.


Not true. Most interns are given non-vital things to do. After all, you don't want the intern screwing up the big project, right? I know I'm in a tinfoil hat thread, but there is no way a company would pay to put someone in a position where they aren't given anything important to do.
 
2012-11-25 01:29:28 AM  

Loki009: al's hat: So...what function do these job titles fulfill? Staff Law Clerk, Staff Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines Specialist, Pro Se Law Clerk, Judicial Assistant, Clerk of Court, Chief Deputy Clerk, and Assistant General Counsel. http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/

Clerks do real work but judges in no way depend on only a couple of clerks and an administrative assistant to help them. They have an entire bureaucracy as their staff. Many of those are not direct reports to the judge but that doesn't mean they aren't part of his staff. Do you think a judge doesn't have access to a staff attorney or counsel when a clerk's research or information is suspect? Judges don't operate in a little tiny bubble.

Do you know what those positions are?

The Law Clerks mentioned are what we are talking about, but rather than rotating are perm hires, Judicial Assistant is the judges secretary. Clerk of Court, and Deputy Clerk of Court are responsible of running the day to day operations of the court, and by that I mean the clerical and operations side. They are more responsible for supporting the public than the judges. For the most part the meat of the work is performed by the Law Clerks and the JA in terms of assisting the Judge. The others positions are more a national position rather than something you would see on a local level and are not positions that would interact directly with the judge and his staff.


We're talking about a federal judge's clerk position. Federal judges interact with staff attorneys and counsel and lots of other staff in capacities paralleling law clerk duties and knowledge. I'm also sure that a judge's judicial assistant or administrative assistant or whatever you want to call them is more valuable than any law clerk assuming that the admin/legal assistant has had the position for a couple of years. Ask any practicing law firm partner if they would rather give up their legal secretary or legal assistant (paralegal) with ten years of experience or the new attorney fresh out of law school. Federal judges have many more resources than just their clerks and an admin assistant.
 
2012-11-25 02:32:29 AM  

phrawgh: clyph: Gyrfalcon: Those are wives.

You've never been married, have you? A whore is MUCH cheaper than a wife.

You pay her to go away. In both cases.

/renting is cheaper than owning


I'd rather own a condom than rent one.
 
2012-11-25 11:32:39 AM  

al's hat: Loki009: al's hat: So...what function do these job titles fulfill? Staff Law Clerk, Staff Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines Specialist, Pro Se Law Clerk, Judicial Assistant, Clerk of Court, Chief Deputy Clerk, and Assistant General Counsel. http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/

Clerks do real work but judges in no way depend on only a couple of clerks and an administrative assistant to help them. They have an entire bureaucracy as their staff. Many of those are not direct reports to the judge but that doesn't mean they aren't part of his staff. Do you think a judge doesn't have access to a staff attorney or counsel when a clerk's research or information is suspect? Judges don't operate in a little tiny bubble.

Do you know what those positions are?

The Law Clerks mentioned are what we are talking about, but rather than rotating are perm hires, Judicial Assistant is the judges secretary. Clerk of Court, and Deputy Clerk of Court are responsible of running the day to day operations of the court, and by that I mean the clerical and operations side. They are more responsible for supporting the public than the judges. For the most part the meat of the work is performed by the Law Clerks and the JA in terms of assisting the Judge. The others positions are more a national position rather than something you would see on a local level and are not positions that would interact directly with the judge and his staff.

We're talking about a federal judge's clerk position. Federal judges interact with staff attorneys and counsel and lots of other staff in capacities paralleling law clerk duties and knowledge. I'm also sure that a judge's judicial assistant or administrative assistant or whatever you want to call them is more valuable than any law clerk assuming that the admin/legal assistant has had the position for a couple of years. Ask any practicing law firm partner if they would rather give up their legal secretary or legal assistant (paralegal) with ten years of experience or the new attorney fresh out of law school. Federal judges have many more resources than just their clerks and an admin assistant.


Well, first, I am a practicing law firm partner, and my response is you've created a silly false dichotomy. Fortunately, it's a completely irrelevant question that doesn't have to be answered. The important point is that judges lean heavily on their clerks, including the vast majority of opinion writing. In turn, it's considered a huge bit of experience for the young attorney. Your whole little "I worked at a law firm and I know things" schtick is amusing, but here's where I give you a condescending little pat on the head, pull rank and just say you don't know what you're talking about. (Apparently you also don't know what typically happens to summer associates at law firms.)
 
2012-11-25 11:34:04 AM  
In any event, I came back to the thread because I found this:

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2012-11-25 05:22:20 PM  

Super Chronic: al's hat: Loki009: al's hat: So...what function do these job titles fulfill? Staff Law Clerk, Staff Attorney, Sentencing Guidelines Specialist, Pro Se Law Clerk, Judicial Assistant, Clerk of Court, Chief Deputy Clerk, and Assistant General Counsel. http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/

Clerks do real work but judges in no way depend on only a couple of clerks and an administrative assistant to help them. They have an entire bureaucracy as their staff. Many of those are not direct reports to the judge but that doesn't mean they aren't part of his staff. Do you think a judge doesn't have access to a staff attorney or counsel when a clerk's research or information is suspect? Judges don't operate in a little tiny bubble.

Do you know what those positions are?

The Law Clerks mentioned are what we are talking about, but rather than rotating are perm hires, Judicial Assistant is the judges secretary. Clerk of Court, and Deputy Clerk of Court are responsible of running the day to day operations of the court, and by that I mean the clerical and operations side. They are more responsible for supporting the public than the judges. For the most part the meat of the work is performed by the Law Clerks and the JA in terms of assisting the Judge. The others positions are more a national position rather than something you would see on a local level and are not positions that would interact directly with the judge and his staff.

We're talking about a federal judge's clerk position. Federal judges interact with staff attorneys and counsel and lots of other staff in capacities paralleling law clerk duties and knowledge. I'm also sure that a judge's judicial assistant or administrative assistant or whatever you want to call them is more valuable than any law clerk assuming that the admin/legal assistant has had the position for a couple of years. Ask any practicing law firm partner if they would rather give up their legal secretary or legal assistant (paralegal) with ten years ...


I'll have to defer to your rank. My nine years with King & Spalding was in a support role...care and feeding of the servers and their data and applications. I do know that many, but not all, summer associates come back as fall associates and that some of the partners at my former firm held their legal secretaries in the highest regard. I'm expect that you have seen partners move from one firm to another and take their secretary with them. I saw that much more frequently with legal secretaries than I did with associates. Perhaps that was a peculiarity of K&S. Peace...
 
2012-11-25 11:42:07 PM  
This is old news to anyone in a creative field. Graphic designers and photographers constantly have to deal with cheapskates who expect them to work for free because it will "give them exposure". And, unfortunately, there is a never-ending supply of clueless n00bs desperate for work who continue to fall for the scam.
 
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