Tuesday, June 28, 2005

(Il)legal Experience

One rite of passage in the legal profession I have always found absurd to the point of insulting is the internship. (Okay, so it's definitely not the only rite of passage that deserves that title, but I'm sure I'll hit on the rest at some point.) For those of you who don't know, the internship is the last acceptable form of slave labor, and by accepted I really mean encouraged. I think that, logically speaking, the idea of requiring people who are already paying $50,000 a year for school to work for free is pretty much indefensible. Even worse than the standard internship, though, are the ones where you actually pay your school for a credit for working for free. That way, not only is the employer getting free help, the school actually gets to make a buck, too! Genius! The only way people can make this idea sound more like charity and less like Amistad is by relying on everyone's favorite euphemism: EXPERIENCE.

I'm sorry, but experience? Really? Is that the best everyone can come up with? Only law students - and future law students - are dumb enough to fall for that one. Can you imagine a prostitute giving it away for free because she's getting good experience? What about a drug dealer? Or, to keep it legal, a secretary? I don't think so!

At my current firm, there's a guy who is an "intern" named D. He seems to mostly concentrate on the clerical end of things, and the other day I idly wondered whether they paid him for his efforts. Today paychecks were distributed, and he got one. Of course he got one! Silly me. Why the hell would anybody choose to spend a perfectly good summer filing and making copies if they weren't getting paid? Unless...you throw a little (non-legal) Internet research into the mix and then, lo and behold, you have N, an unpaid college intern getting EXPERIENCE. Never mind that my cats could do what she does (and given their affection for pretending to type, often do pretty much exactly what she does). Never mind that she is not learning a single skill that will help her, either as a law student or as a practitioner. Never mind that she could work at Kinko's doing the same shit and at least make minimum wage.

My first summer, I worked for free for a firm doing exactly the same stuff the 2Ls were paid (very poorly) to do. Memos, motions, blah blah. I would have been okay with the arrangement, since I was getting EXPERIENCE and had been told that no one was making any money that summer, but then I looked more carefully at my billing program. Hmm. It seemed that the firm was billing me out to the clients for a tidy sum! Let me get this straight! Not only do you not pay me, but you are actually making money off the sweat of my brow? Why, in that case, why not hire ten interns? A hundred? What a sweet deal! How come the Professional Responsibility code doesn't speak to this ?

Look, I'm not saying that there are no benefits to a legal internship. And I'm just some dumb kid out of college with my whole life to pay back my loans. But since the average age of law school entry is going up, and I have friends who are working for free this summer and actually have families (and better grades than I do), perhaps it's time to reconsider this system. Or maybe I should have just been a drug dealer.


Blogger oakleyses said...

kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, jordan pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, louboutin pas cher, nike roshe, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, nike free, christian louboutin, polo outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, longchamp outlet, ugg boots, prada handbags, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses wholesale, longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, nike outlet, nike free run, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton, uggs on sale, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors pas cher, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, tiffany and co

11:21 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban uk, nike air max, kate spade, michael kors outlet, hogan outlet, north face, true religion jeans, hollister uk, uggs outlet, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, replica handbags, true religion outlet, new balance, nike tn, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch uk, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike roshe run uk, hollister pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet online, ray ban pas cher, burberry handbags, burberry outlet, ralph lauren uk, coach outlet store online, mulberry uk, nike free uk, michael kors outlet online, oakley pas cher, coach purses, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, north face uk, nike air force, converse pas cher, timberland pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, true religion outlet, sac hermes

11:25 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike trainers uk, ghd hair, asics running shoes, new balance shoes, wedding dresses, insanity workout, vans outlet, soccer shoes, hollister, beats by dre, north face outlet, baseball bats, jimmy choo outlet, north face outlet, louboutin, oakley, hollister clothing, hermes belt, ferragamo shoes, celine handbags, abercrombie and fitch, reebok outlet, ralph lauren, chi flat iron, nike air max, bottega veneta, hollister, mcm handbags, giuseppe zanotti outlet, vans, iphone cases, timberland boots, converse outlet, converse, nike roshe run, instyler, mac cosmetics, gucci, soccer jerseys, babyliss, nike huaraches, lululemon, mont blanc pens, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, nike air max, ray ban, longchamp uk, valentino shoes, herve leger

11:28 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

links of london, swarovski, coach outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, thomas sabo, swarovski crystal, moncler, barbour uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, canada goose, pandora uk, supra shoes, toms shoes, doudoune moncler, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, wedding dresses, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, lancel, moncler outlet, hollister, canada goose, pandora charms, moncler, moncler, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, montre pas cher, ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, moncler, ugg, karen millen uk, moncler outlet, replica watches, ugg uk, barbour

11:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Website Counter
Website Counter