In case you weren't aware of it, there are rules against a business owner and anyone who might want to learn from business owner, getting together and agreeing that the "learner" will apprentice for the owner for free. There was even an article in a lawyer publication recently "warning" me (business owner) about how it was illegal to have free interns.

How stupid is that? It's almost like the governement wants people to fail (or to at least be kept at the same level as they, never learning anything new.) You can click here and go see the governement guidelines on the subject.

It's about as silly as minimum wage laws, which are another great killer of advancement in America.

Here's the deal. If a willing employer and a willing student/intern/apprentice want to freely agree that the student can come work for the employer for free - that's a deal the government should have no say over. None whatsoever.

If you start an internship and don't like it or think you are being taken advantage of I've got advice: quit.

The working world is a rough and tumble place. When we run ads for jobs here at the law firm we get a pile of good appications. One of the things in an application that draws my attention is the part where you show me what you have done, besides going to school (everyone does that) to make yourself more valuable to me.

That's what all employers are looking for. If that doesn't sit well with you then go start your own business and do it your way.

Until then, consider breaking the law. Find someone you can actually learn from.


Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
Actually my interns do get paid and treated very well. My point is that it's not the government's business to come between an intern and an employer and the deal they have made. There are a lot of people who want to learn from me, for example. Some would pay to be able to hang out for three months before going back to school. I guarantee they would learn more here than at most any other job available. In fact, many are jobless this summer. Thanks for reading!
by Ben June 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM
Why on earth aren't you paying your interns voluntarily? Of course, you are only using these interns to do pro bono work if you expect them to work for free, right?
by Eloise Hoke June 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM
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