Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another unpaid legal internship in NYC

Come one, come all. You DO NOT want to pass up on the chance to work at an unpaid internship that could possibly lead to paid full time work for the right candidates.

LEGAL INTERNS NEEDED (Financial District)

Date: 2010-06-23, 4:44PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Successful Manhattan Boutique Law Firm practicing in Criminal Defense and Immigration Litigation seeks several Legal Interns to assist its Attorneys and Administrative Staff. Although this is an Unpaid Internship for training purposes only, it can definitely lead to paid full time employment very quickly for the right candidates.
  • This is a part-time job.
  • This is an internship job

Here at BIDER, we teach our readers that if a law firm is unwilling to pay their interns, it is very likely that they are too cheap or do not have the money to take on a full-time associate. The reader who sent me this ad wisely remarked that if the firm has the money to pay people "very quickly" after starting this unpaid internship, and they've got the pick of thousands of lawyers with a ton of experience and hundreds more unemployed law students, why don't they just HIRE someone?! In this economy, it is not difficult to pick a good candidate when even document review requires 1-3 years of experience. These firms are clearly taking advantage of the imploding legal market and have no intention of paying anyone a decent full time salary anytime soon. Have fun working for free in Manhattan after investing $150k and three years for a JD!


  1. I agree. As much as it may suck for people who, like myself, are grasping at straws, firms that dig in the garbage can like that are usually terrible for the resume and for the morale. I've never heard of anybody who has worked for a bottom feeder firm like that who has ever left the place and felt better about themselves. Why? Because they are so incredibly greedy that they border on being psychopathic. They obsess over every last dime they can squeeze out of the situation and see you as somebody who stands in the way of their goal. They will never value anything that you do for them. You can work 11 hour days for Christian Children's Fund wages and they think you owe them more.

  2. I kept hoping these type of positions would stop cropping up, but my optimism keeps getting the best of me, apparently. I really hope some ambitious AG makes an example out of them.

  3. And I get complaints about the images on my blog - JK!

    We can expect to see MANY more of these "employment opportunities" - as clients and corporations are DEMANDING their legal services on the cheap. "One can do anything with a law degree" - such as working for free in Gotham, after taking on $165K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE student debt. Keep firing away at these garbage employment possibilities.

  4. I've been following your blog for a couple of months. I agree with most of what you say and your analysis of the situation.

    However, what do you propose be done? I know you advocate drastically cutting the number of JD's being awarded - and that would improve the situation over time. But what, if anything, do you propose be done in the short term?

  5. I was just purusing the wikipedia page about law firms. It continues to propagate the myth of 160,000k starting salaries!!!!!

  6. re: 9:44:

    Over the short term, we need to make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. We've seen many tens of thousands of law students brought into schools that were never going to give them a shot at employment. These people are floundering with six-figure debt, but are still looking for legal work because it is one of the only ways they might reasonably pay off their loans. The problem is, the work still hasn't materialized two years into the recession (or many more years, if you're a TTT grad). During this time, 45,000 new J.D.s are still arriving on the market every year.

    We need a way to give these indebted, unemployable J.D.s an exit strategy other than "default on loans, kill self." Bankruptcy is tough but it's a lot better than the alternatives, now. Or, if you're in the Elie Mystal camp, student loan "amnesty" altogether. But there's not the political will for that...boomers will rage against "lazy" 20somethings.

    First, a way path needs to be laid for disaffected and unemployable J.D.s to leave the heaviest burden--the debt--behind. If that exists, there still need to be efforts to stop the influx of law students into crappy schools, the cost of legal education, etc. News articles, these blogs, and just word of mouth will have a small part to play in convincing students that law is not the industry it's cracked up to be. It's going to take a lot of effort, and there will be heavy resistance from the law school industrial complex.

    If there is no way to handle the debt and give people who need an escape hatch a way out, then all the efforts at tweaking things down the road will be only partially effective. There would still be tens of thousands of disenchanted grads in the coming years with no way out.

  7. To continue with what Scammed Hard! has iterated, which I agree with entirely, I'd also add that the initial problem is that the cost of the schools regardless of rank is ridiculously high. If the salary numbers that many students actually believe they will make when they graduate and begin their "careers" actually held true, then maybe it could be justified. However, the jig is up and everyone is realizing it (because now even the BigLaw jobs that helped perpetuate the myth are becoming extinct).

    The unemployment amongst young graduates has just meant the gamble that so many made--and it was a total gamble for the majority but it was sold to them as a no-brainer huge reward investment by Higher Ed--didn't pay off with disastrous consequences.

    So like Scammed Hard! says

    1) Make debt dischargeable/actually manageable rather than soul crushing -- this isn't a population who are making off with something truly valuable, the interest is arbitrary rather than actually matching inflation so people end up paying far more than they originally signed up for in the long term.

    2) Stop adding new law schools/shrink the class size at the schools currently "approved" WITHOUT CORRESPONDINGLY RAISING tuition to make up for the profit margin -- this is getting ridiculous, just look at the tuition for California PUBLIC law schools. Next year there will be another 44K new graduates and another and another and even if the employment situation "improves," the legal profession will never look the way it was made out to be.

    3) The Schools/Governing Bodies need to STOP LYING/OBFUSCATING/DECEIVING/IGNORING the situation, take some responsibility AND make actual changes -- There's enough to go around between the ABA, state bars, but especially the schools themselves. As some of these blogs have pointed out, the career placement offices at these schools are nominal only. The little help they ever did provide ended abruptly as the next class progressed and the propaganda campaign about various "networks/internships" that come through their doors begins with the next batch of lemmings.

    I have more but I don't want to ramble.

  8. Too late, you've rambled.

  9. Well, fuck rambling then.

    "With each default, collections costs of up to 40% of the loan balance are added to the loan. This makes repayment more daunting."

    You get that? An additional 40%. 40%! That's a lot of money.

    When you have a government guarantee, you get paid either way. The only question is how much money you get paid and where it comes from, and, frankly, it's BETTER - you make more money - if the student defaults.

    And, apparently, it's not just sort of profitable to ruin someone's life. It's enormously profitable.

  10. "And, apparently, it's not just sort of profitable to ruin someone's life. It's enormously profitable."

    this makes me have a sad face. then i remember the picture on my desktop of an oil soaked wave.



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