Bad Ideas, Craigslist, Job Searches

Would You Work for a New York Law School Student… For Free?

Self-awareness: it’s a really important character trait. As you go about your day, your life, and your life’s work, it’s important to have an understanding of who you are and how you are perceived.

But what if your self-perception is grossly misaligned with objective reality? Well, then things could get tricky. You might make a mistake like perceiving yourself as sober when you are really drunk. Or perceiving that you are just drunk-driving down the West Side Highway when you are really drunk-driving while black down the West Side Highway.

Luckily, not all “self-awareness v. reality” conflicts result in serious consequences. For instance, if your self-perception doesn’t match reality while you are enrolled at New York Law School — well, then that’s just going to be hilarious.

As exhibit A, I present a Craigslist ad posted by a current 2L at NYLS. She’s looking for an unpaid intern to help her out with “things I need to do.” In return, she offers the great experience of learning about the law and about law school — secondhand, of course — from a prestigious NYLS student.

Nope, I’m not making this all up. But don’t worry, once you get a look at her picture, everything will make sense…

The student who placed the ad — picture at right (and another reason why I usually end up just keeping my beads) — is evidently a bit overwhelmed by her workload at NYLS:

So I am a full time second year law student at a very good law school in Manhattan. I am also the chairperson of many groups on campus, have a part time job, and a lot of administrative stuff that I always need to do.

Lately I have been extremely busy and I have not had time to get all my school work done on top of all the other administrative things I need to do. I am looking to hire an undergraduate intern who is interested in going to law school or is pre-law to help me get some of this stuff done.

Let me just say this. If you are at NYLS and hope to one day have a job, “not had time to get all my school work done” is not a phrase that can exist in your functional lexicon. That’s like being in a shooting war and saying you “don’t have room to pack any bullets.” I can’t imagine what kind of “administrative things” are so pressing that they’re keeping you from getting your academic work done, but I can imagine that they are similar to whatever the hell you were doing in college that brought you to where you are today.

In any event, the ad continues:

Although I cannot pay you I promise I won’t bore you to death, I won’t give you a ton of bitch work, and working with me will be a great experience in learning the ins and outs of doing well in law school. I wouldn’t ask you to do my school work either. I would need you to read and review certain cases and certain articles and summarize them for a few papers I will be writing throughout the year. I might also need you to send a few e-mails.

In return you would get GREAT experience in the legal field as well as a GREAT networking connection to someone who will be an attorney in a year and half (as well as entrance into my web of legal connections). Surely the most important thing you learn in law school is that is not what you know its who you know. Please contact me if you have any interest. The hours would be extremely flexible and a lot of the work you could probably do from home.

You wouldn’t hire an undergrad to do your law school work? HOW GENEROUS! It’s a great f**king idea that you might want to do your school work yourself, since presumably you want to be an attorney when this is all over. How gracious of you to sacrifice some of your extracurricular work and take the burden of being a law student unto yourself!

I mean, I don’t even know what to do with this: “you would get… a GREAT networking connection to someone who will be an attorney in a year and half (as well as entrance into my web of legal connections).”

Every three words in that sentence is either a lie, a dream, or a fundamental misapprehension of the world we live in. It makes my brain hurt.

And, really, the whole ad is kind of a scam anyway. Notice how she doesn’t actually say she’s a New York Law School student in the ad. Don’t get me wrong — if a Columbia or NYU law student tried to pull this crap, it would be just as douchey (and not shocking) — but at the very least you’d think she’d admit that the “web of legal connections” is sprouting out of NYLS.

We only know that she is an NYLS student because a fellow NYLS-er tipped us off:

A student from new york law school posted a need for an intern because she’s so busy… well …just read…

She just doesn’t seem aware our school isn’t that hot.

Self-awareness, people: underestimate its importance at your peril.

UPDATE: The ad has been deleted from Craigslist, but we have pasted a screenshot below.

UPDATE: The NYLS 2L contacted Above the Law about her Craigslist ad. She asked not to be named, but here is her statement, in full:

I would like to put it on the record that the post was intended as a joke and it has been entirely blown out of proportion.

Well, if the law thing doesn’t work out, you can always try a career as a humorist. It’s a popular path for attorneys.

Seeking A Pre-Law Undergrad Intern [Craigslist]

Earlier: Pls Hndle Thx: But I’m in MENSA!


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