Brooklyn DA Seizes Opportunity as Law Firms Defer Associates
Posted Sep 25, 2009 11:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is taking advantage of the recession by hiring 30 associates whose start dates were pushed back by large law firms.
But the DA’s office won’t be footing the bill. Instead, the associates are being paid stipends by the firms amounting to some $2 million in all, the New York Law Journal reports.
“While the prosecutor's office benefits from the influx of free attorneys, the firms and the associates call the program the big silver lining of the economic meltdown, a chance for associates to, among other things, get more trial experience in a year than they would get in several years at the firm,” the story says.
Hynes, first elected in 1989, has long seen the benefit in free workers. He brought about a dozen veteran volunteers to the office with him after winning the first election. In 2003, he set up a pro bono program after placing an ad in the New York Law Journal that sparked interest from “scores and scores” of aspiring volunteers, according to the article. Since then about 300 volunteers have worked at the office, committing to at least two days a week for at least three months.
ABAJournal.com: “Brooklyn DA Interns, a ‘Bumper Crop,’ Compete for Work and Chairs”