Volunteer Interns


In response to an inquiry from the Chief Justice of Administration and Management of the Trial Court, the Massachusetts Committee on Judicial Ethics advised that, with conditions, the trial court may accept as volunteer interns law firm associates who have had their start dates deferred and who will be receiving stipends and/or health benefits from their respective law firms during the deferral period. The inquiry had noted that, "in response to the current economic crisis," many law firms have delayed die start dates for incoming first-year associates by several months to a year but, to reduce the adverse economic impact, will provide the deferred associates with a stipend or portion of what would have been their firstyear salary and/or health benefits. Some firms encourage or require die deferred associates to volunteer with a public interest entity during the deferral period.

The conditions imposed by the advisory committee create a double-blind structure to prevent both the public and the judges from knowing that a law firm's deferred associate or associates are working for the courts. The Flaschner Judicial Institute will handle the application process. Law firms will be prohibited from publicizing dial their deferred associates are serving as volunteer interns for the court on any web page, brochure, or other promotional materials and from publicly acknowledging their "sponsorship" of volunteer interns. …

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