Here’s an interesting rumor we’ve heard. We’re a little short on details, and we’re trying to chase down additional confirmation. We thought we’d toss it out as a blind item and solicit the missing information from you, our readers.
This is what we’re hearing. One large law firm is so hard up for work that it is starting to give some summer associates what we’d call “fake work.”
To be sure, much of the work given to summer associates, in any economy, is make-work — e.g., write a memo to file on a legal issue that will never actually arise in the litigation. But this isn’t mere make-work; it’s fake-work. Summers are being given assignments for projects that have already been completed. For example, summers are being asked to draft research memos for briefs that have already been filed. And, interestingly enough, multiple summer associates — but located in different offices of the firm, to reduce the likelihood of their comparing notes — are being given the same fake-work assignment.
What are the advantages of this approach? After the jump.
First, fake work keeps the summers busy. After all, there is no real work to give them (or even full-time associates, for that matter).
Second, because some of the summers are being given the exact same assignment, the firm can conduct a side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of the summers’ work product, without worrying about possible skew due to the nature of their projects. In a climate where summer associate offer rates could go as low as 50 percent, the ability to distinguish between summers becomes that much more important.
If you think you know which firm we’re talking about, or if you have more details — e.g., which office(s), departments, etc. — please email us (subject line: “Blind Item”). Thanks.