Whether it’s called an apprentice program, internship or fellowship, another law firm has joined the bandwagon.
Rather than raking in a full salary, these apprentices will spend their first 1,000 hours learning on the job at lower pay and under stricter scrutiny. The pressure to bill will also be relieved under the program. New associates in the apprentice program will earn $80,000, but only be required to bill 1,000 hours. That’s 800 fewer hours than previous classes were expected to bill, firm chairman John Crockett told the ABA Journal today.
In the firm’s press release, Crockett addressed the ongoing debate over the current law firm hiring model. Paying top dollar for inexperienced lawyers and then immediately having them work for clients isn’t making sense to law firm managers or clients.
I am a huge proponent of these programs. So, come on, who’s next??
The idea of paying a recent law school grad $160,000 (oops, I mean $140,000), when they have no applicable skills has been a lose-lose proposition for the law firms, the associates, and the client.