Associate Salaries, Job Searches, Law Schools, Money

Law School Writes in Defense of Jobs With Salaries Below Minimum Wage

Earlier this week, we brought you some news about an “excellent position” that a tipster found on Boston College Law School’s Symplicity site. As a quick refresher, BC Law touts a median starting salary of $160,000 for graduates in the class of 2010 who entered into private practice. This job… doesn’t come anywhere close to that number.

The position in question promised benefits such as malpractice insurance, health insurance, a clothing allowance, and an MBTA pass, but the starting salary was only $10,000. The MBTA pass must’ve been thrown in as a housing benefit, because the firm had to have known that on a salary that’s below minimum wage, their new associate would be forced to live in the Boston subway system.

As we noted in Morning Docket, one of the firm’s hiring partners has now spoken out about the job, and a spokesman from Boston College Law has come to the school’s defense, too. Let’s take a look at some of their bullsh*t explanations rationales for posting this “excellent position”….

The Boston Business Journal has the scoop from Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP, the firm behind the job listing:

Larry O’Bryan, one of the firm’s partners, said he’s received about 32 applications for the $10K per year job, since posting it one week ago. He said that while the pay is low, the lawyer who is eventually hired will gain valuable experience.

“What we emphasize is that we do provide the opportunity for new associates to have their own case load right from the start,” said O’Bryan.

Thirty-two desperate law school graduates have already applied to this job in the hopes of gaining “valuable experience” — and not much else. Granted, some people would give an arm and a leg to get access to health insurance, but in a state that hands out coverage like candy, why not attempt to aim for a job with a more palatable salary? You know, somewhere like McDonald’s.

Nevermind the fact that this “excellent position” might not be in compliance with wage and hour laws, as employment lawyer Joshua Davis suggested to the BBJ. Boston College Law has come to the job’s defense! Here’s what law school spokesman Nate Kenyon had to say:

“In this challenging legal environment, we feel that it’s better to post any opportunity that offers our graduates a chance to gain legal experience. Other job postings on the same site offer far more in terms of compensation. Of course there will be outliers on both the high and low sides, but our policy is to post any paid legal position that’s submitted from a legitimate source.”

Kenyon went on to state that BC Law “wouldn’t necessarily endorse a full-time job that pays $10,000 a year,” but that it’s “up to them,” the law school’s graduates, to decide whether they’d like to toil at a job for 40 hours a week only to make $4.81 per hour.

How ’bout this? Instead of posting every single job listing that’s submitted, Boston College Law should strive to post employment opportunities that don’t demoralize and insult its graduates — people who have paid six figures to attend the school. It’s almost like the law school wants to wind up with additional students seeking full tuition refunds.

Click through to the next page to see all of the details for this “excellent position” if you haven’t already….

(hidden for your protection)

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