It’s been a while since we took a look at how little lawyers are willing to pay new attorneys. But today we’ve got two jobs which pay a combined salary of $1,000 per/month. I guess these employers are trying to ensure that whoever takes these jobs will show up to work on time because the new employees will leaving for work from the subway station bathroom.
Actually, saying that these two jobs have a combined salary of $1,000 per/month is a little misleading. Our first job pays $1,000, our second one pays nothing at all. It’s always nice to see lawyers who want other lawyers to contribute their legal expertise for $0. It really says a lot about how lawyers themselves value their own profession.
Let’s get to it. I’m sure some of you are at home, ogling daytime cable news anchors, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall into your lap…
Our first job, the one that pays, comes from the fine state of Illinois. Here’s the exciting Craigslist ad:
small personal injury firm seeking a 0-2 year experienced lawyer. No experence in persoanl injury required. The job will not pay as well as some others, but the candiate will get a lot of experience immediatedly. The candidate will attend deposition, court hearing, write briefs, and interact with clients, and experts. If you would like to learn personal injury law, or start a personal injury pratice, this is the position for you.
* Location: downtown chicago
* Compensation: $1000.00 a month, and a percentage of fees from cases that the candidate brings to office
Yes, I think they are right when they say this job does not pay as well as “some others” in downtown freaking Chicago. I suppose the first month will be the toughest. But by the start of your second month you should have eaten enough deep dish pizzas that you’ll be able to construct your very own cardboard shelter, and then things will get better.
This job is listed as “part time.” From the description it seems pretty obvious that this will not be a part time gig. But they have to call it part time because the full time minimum wage is $8.25 in Illinois. Assuming 160 hours a month, this job would be in violation of that regulation. So they’ll call it “part time” expect their new hire to work pretty much full time, but count on the fact that the lawyer dumb enough to take this job will also be unaware of his or her rights. Brilliant.
At least they are paying something. That’s a treat that the federal government still has a hard time producing. That’s right, today we have another United States Attorney’s Office who is happy to take advantage of struggling recent graduates and pay them absolutely nothing for their efforts. This time we’re talking about the Western District of Missouri, which has its office in Kansas City.
Here’s the job description:
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri is seeking applications from attorneys who are willing to accept temporary positions that, while unpaid, offer attorneys a valuable opportunity to gain exposure to the office while also obtaining litigation and potentially trial experience. Successful applicants will serve as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys (SAUSAs) with responsibilities that include researching legal issues, drafting briefs, providing support at hearings and trials, and attending judicial proceedings. These positions require a minimum commitment of six months and may continue for up to one year. SAUSAs will be assigned to work with Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a variety of criminal and civil matters. SAUSAs will research legal issues, draft pleadings and briefs, provide support at hearings and trials, and attend difference court proceedings.
Apparently, the show me state doesn’t like to show people the money. And to be clear you are not allowed to do anything else that might make you money:
Salary Information: Positions are without compensation. Note that employees of the Department of Justice, including uncompensated SAUSAs, may not engage in the compensated practice of law outside of the office.
SAUSAs also may not receive ongoing payments from any law firm during their employment with the Department of Justice; those who have received severance or other one-time payments, or who have an unpaid, future commitment to join a law firm, are welcome to apply.
I don’t know how it feels to go through three years of expensive education only to be told by your own government that your skills are in fact valueless, but it must suck.
In any event, have at it. If you read all the way to the end of this article you are already late in applying to these positions. The ability of people to rationalize failure (“$1,000 a month is better than nothing AND I’ll be gaining valuable business experience”) and ignore insults (“I’m sure the experience I’ll get from the USAO will be worth it’s weight in GOLD. Somebody will have to hire me after I spend six more months of trying to turn this J.D. into something other than a flaming pile of poo”) is truly amazing.