We Won’t Ask Any Other Students to Work All Night Long, UK Law Firm Says
Posted Aug 2, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.K. law firm SJ Berwin is taking an apologetic stance for asking a student intern to work all night long.
The law firm responded after the Lawyer raised questions about the invitation. According to its story, a female student intern worked until 5 a.m. after being asked to help a female colleague on a document for an international arbitration. The story says the invitation “has divided opinion across all levels of the legal sector.” The student was interning at the law firm as part of a two-week summer program.
SJ Berwin graduate recruitment partner Nicola Bridge issued this statement to the Lawyer: “Last week a student worked through the night on a document for a big international arbitration. She willingly stayed and worked with a female colleague and did a great job, but she was actually asked to do so and that shouldn't have happened. In the future we’ll stick to our policy so this doesn’t happen again.”
Critics said students asked to work all night long will feel pressured to agree. Others said working all night long gives students a real taste of law firm life.
According to the website TargetJobs Law, vacation placements are often offered to second-year law students and final-year nonlaw students.