LOL Legal Aid.
Attention wannabe charity lawyers:
For all of you Bitter Lawyers out there in the morass of layoffs, bonus freezes and rescinded offers who are thinking of making that proverbial lemonade by turning your job loss into an opportunity for being a bleeding-heart do-gooder, I have four words for you: Back the truck up. Pro bono law is not what you may think it is.
The pro bono world, with all those sappy, well-intentioned charities, coalitions and foundations is ugly, people. Ugly. Both on the non-legal and legal side, you will find megalomaniacs, media whores, glory seekers and, worst of all, politicians. They will employ you for peanuts and squander your JD on stuffing envelopes, only to then take credit for your brilliance (should you ever have the good fortune to display some).
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Say it ain’t so! Despite our initial skepticism, reports have confirmed the truly unimaginable: Britney Spears has stiffed her lawyers. Court documents have shown that the fallen pop star recently racked up almost half a million dollars’ worth of legal bills in her custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline—in addition to the quarter mil she’s already agreed to pay to his attorneys.
The lawyer with the biggest gripe against Spears is apparently Stacy D. Phillips, who states in court filings that she is owed nearly $407,000 for four months of work—after, she claims, already writing off $125,000 in fees for the singer. The Los Angeles court commissioner has yet to approve any payments to Phillips or the other jilted lawyers, and, in another shocking twist, the attorneys currently representing Spears have indicated that they “intend to contest Phillips’ bill.”
Hm, good call. One quick question for the new attorneys, though: Ever hear of a thing called precedent? Might be worth looking into—just ask these guys. [HuffPost]
I’m sorry, but I can’t take it anymore. This is the fifth time in three weeks I’ve received (and—yes, fine, I’ll admit it, deleted without opening) the “Urgent Pro Bono Staffing: Please read!” email from Mr. Of Counsel, who is tasked with harassing everyone in the firm about taking on pro bono work. Call me heartless, call me a horrible person, an obnoxious, selfish little snot, but I’ll go ahead and say it: I hate pro bono.
I just can’t understand why BigLaw associates are constantly guilt-tripped into not only having to care about this nonprofit, Skid Row crap, but also having to spend time working on it, for no credit. No other professionals are strong-armed into doing random work for people who can’t pay out of some outdated sense of noblesse oblige, so why are lawyers? Because we get paid pretty well? Please. Know any i-bankers who’ve clocked a few hundred pro bono hours selling bonds for asylum refugees recently? What about your friendly neighborhood hedge fund manager, cosmetic surgeon, or real-estate developer?
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