Cheapness, Job Searches, Money, Small Law Firms, Summer Associates

Law Student Turns Down Summer Job With Salary Of ‘McDonald’s Hourly Worker’

Would you like fries with your entitlement?

Back in March, we brought you a story about a law student gunner who questioned his way out of a summer job with a law firm. It was awesome and awful, all at the same time.

Today, we’ve got yet another law student employment train wreck. When you’re searching for a summer job in this economy — or really, any job at all, even after graduation — you don’t have very much bargaining power as to your starting salary. Apparently some law students aren’t familiar with this fact.

Pay close attention, 1Ls, because this is a teachable moment. If you want to negotiate for a higher salary, please don’t tell a law firm managing partner that you consider his firm’s summer wages to be on par with those of a “McDonald’s hourly worker”…

Last week, a small law firm in Philadelphia was conducting interviews for full-time summer law clerk positions. The firm typically hires three law clerks each summer, and the pay is $10 per hour. According to our tipster, that salary was non-negotiable. One law student — a 1L evening student described as “driven” and “aggressive” (read: a gunner) — received an offer from the firm, but he wanted more cash.

This is how our darling 1L gunner responded when he found out his monetary demands wouldn’t be met:

I very much appreciate the offer, and I definitely would like to work for [firm name redacted]. However, making $10/hour would put me on the same level as a McDonald’s hourly worker and relegate me to a bad neighborhood in the city. I don’t see how anybody could get by on that amount of money. The bump in pay I was looking for seems modest: $15/hour. If Mr. [redacted] can’t do that, then I need to stay at [local personal-injury mill].


[Name redacted]

Thankfully this law student already had a full-time job at another firm, because this obviously isn’t a very good way to make an impression in the legal space where you’re trying to get a new position. Said our tipster, “I’m tempted to email his law school employment office and complain… but I’m not really vindictive, nor do I really care what happens to him.” Don’t worry, we think you’ve already sealed his fate.

These days, law students come dime a dozen, and they’re lucky to be getting paid at all. Don’t be so cocky as to your salary requirements — or else you’ll just be another McDouche without a summer job.

Earlier: Gunner FAIL: Firm Rescinds Offer After Offeree Asks Too Many Questions

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