Passing the bar means no one wants you anymore

This was probably the biggest let down I experienced out of law school. You strive to pass the bar and study like mad. Everything you have been doing for over three years comes down to the moment when you find out you passed. And suddenly, no one wants you around anymore.

It was a strange concept to wrap my head around. One day I had no problem working at an internship / fellowship, and the next I wasn’t allowed to work there. I try to volunteer at legal aid, and I’m told that since I don’t carry my own malpractice insurance, they don’t want me. While before, your offers to work for free are met with grateful acceptance, once you become barred no one will let you darken their doorway.

Part of this is because of labor laws. Interns are allowed to be taken advantage of by employers with impunity so long as there is some ‘educational benefit’ to the intern. Whereas the day you become verifiably employable, they drop you and find the next unemployable intern to replace you.

I am literally unable to give away my expert services. In every CLE you have to sit through in your first year (and beyond) you hear how (depending on your state) you either are required to do pro-bono work, or you are encouraged to do pro-bono work. I have contacted numerous organizations around me and not a single one, including my local legal aid office, wants to use an unattached attorney.


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