Has it really gotten this bad? I’m accustomed to potential clients calling on occasion and requesting pro bono (free) representation because of their dire financial circumstances or family needs. Occasionally, I will accept one of these cases, and they are often some of my most rewarding experiences.
Now, it seems that the Department of Justice’s baby needs a new pair of shoes. Via two Scotts I know, it seems that the DOJ in Western Missouri needs some pro bono representation. Benefits, you ask? Well, they will call you a Special Assistant US Attorney (SAUSA) rather than “the dude they got to take cases for free.” Plus, you are able to call yourself “Special,” and that’s……..well……..special.
One Scott (the Greenfield variety) addresses the SAUSA carrot and the perception (or reality, depending on your perspective) of the experience as a resume’ builder. You see, that’s how they are able to recruit free labor with a straight face.
The other Scott (a military version) was kind enough to highlight for me an additional caveat to the lack of monetary compensation.
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.
Not only would you be working for nothing, but you’d also be precluded from taking paying clients on your own time. That’s just peachy.
Look on the bright side. You can always consider yourself akin to Tom Hagen in “The Godfather.” You’d have an exclusive practice for one very special client, Consigliere.