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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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6469 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2012 at 4:02 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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 [TotalFark]
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?
 
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