Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad Dreams

Recently, I haven't been one to post twice in a day. In fact, I'm lucky if I post twice in one week, but I just couldn't pass up commenting on this:

An anonymous commenter tipped me off to the University of Dreams. Apparently, it was also recently profiled in the Chicago Tribune.

With a name like "University of Dreams" you'd have to believe that this is just another silly on-line school trying to get a slice of Aunt Sallie Mae's pie. You'd be wrong, however. No, the "University of Dreams" is much worse than that.

It's a program designed to let you buy your way into a summer internship program. No, it isn't just a consulting service to help you land a good internship. It actually guarantees you an internship. All for the low, low price of several thousand dollars. (More than a semester's tuition at some schools.)

Yes, people are now desperate enough to PAY to work for someone. Remember that Simpsons episode where Lisa tells Bart that in the nation of "Rand McNally" hamburgers eat people? That fib was even less strange than this.

Look, I'm a chump. I bought the law school snake oil. I even paid my own transportation costs to commute to an unpaid legal internship or two. Still, paying several thousand dollars to do work for someone else? That's just absurd.

I remember that when I was in college, students would settle for unpaid internships while most would try to finagle at least a minimal hourly wage. People are now actually parting with the big bucks just so they can say they did something interesting over the summer?

It used to be a bad joke on JD Underground that the market for attorneys was so bad that pretty soon we'd be paying practicing attorneys to work for them. After learning about this program, I'm not so sure that day is too far off.

Maybe, I should start "Attorney Dreams". You can work for a plaintiff or insurance defense firm for $2,000. Criminal defense and wills and trust law is going to cost you $5,000. If you want to work in the skyscrapers that house the major corporate firms, it's going to cost you $10k. (Please add $2,000 if you want to work in entertainment or sport law.)

I wouldn't even need to collect all the money upfront. I could offer installment plans or even loans. "The University of Dreams" offers both. You only need to put up $900 to be approved for their generous financing plan, and then it's only payments of $248 a month for the next three years!

Unless, I'm now living in a bizarro world where someone is also going to pay me to watch TV and play video games, I'd like to thank "The University of Dreams" for reminding me what a nightmare the higher education system in this country has become.

(NB: Anyone who is interested in the Esq. Never internship program, please e-mail me ASAP. It's only $10,000 per person. I won't even make you do anything. Act now!)


  1. Can I put the Esq. Never internship on my law school application?

  2. Are we returning to the pay-to-apprentice days of Ben Franklin?

  3. Lynx...If it'll keep you out of law school, then I highly encourage it.

  4. But it's a great 'profession,' isn't it? What an embarrassment to humanity.

  5. The article is entitled " College Students Pay for On-The- Job Lessons and it appeared in the Chicago Tribune March 1, 2010. the writer of the article is Kiah Haslett, if any of you would like to read the online version along with some of the comments.

  6. I know someone participating in a similar "pay for internship" program. Fashion internship (AFTER graduating and being unable to find a job) Australia. Yes, she had to pay for her ticket down there, and, unlike U of Dreams, pay her own living expenses, including finding an apartment. Insane.

  7. You may be on to something there Esq Never anout "Attorney Dreams", however could you ethically do something like that? I know I couldn't since I kind of like the idea of waking up every morning with a clear conscience. I'm sure what University of Dreams is doing is perfectly legal because they probably paid some attorney $300.00 plus and hour to find all the loop holes to make it legal. Ethically, however it is just plain wrong. In law school, the deans pound the concept for ethics into your head, then make you pay money to take the MPRE, when their behavior is anything but ethical. They have no problem taking your money, knowing full well that unless you graduate in the top 5 to 10 percent of your class, you will never be able to secure a job that pays you enough to pay back the loans. After the first year, these law schools know who their stars are, and they are the ones who get treated like royalty, and become privy to the extra perks that star law students receive. You say you finished your first year in the bottom half of your class? Too bad, pay us our money! You say you can't find a job clerking in one of the more prestigious firms after your first year? Too bad, pay us our money! You say you have to spend hundreds of dollars on Emmanuel Case Notes in order to decipher cases such as Pennoyer v. Neff, Marbury v. Madison, and Palsgraff v. Long Island Railroad? Too bad, pay us our money! You say you will never be able to fully explain the Rule Against Perpetuities no matter how long you live? Too bad, pay us our money!

  8. and your point is???? im in college as we speak and INTERNSHIPS at my school are not free, we pay the school per credit so its around 6 grand or so and that does not include housing, utilities, food, or transportation, you add them all up together and thats more than what the dream internships cost and they include everything. for ex this apt in nyc wanted 1200$ a month for rent plus utilities that puts me at about 8400$ and i still have utilites, food and transportation to think about!!!!!!


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