CSOL Savior Has A Job For You, Young Lawyers!

IF YOU DON’T MIND TAKING A PAY CUT We don’t know much about law schools, but our guess is when you graduate from one of them you should be earning more than $12.50 an hour.  Hell, the fast food workers protesting down in Charleston, S.C. are lobbying for more than…


We don’t know much about law schools, but our guess is when you graduate from one of them you should be earning more than $12.50 an hour.  Hell, the fast food workers protesting down in Charleston, S.C. are lobbying for more than that.

Anyway …

FITS was tipped off recently by several sources in the Holy City regarding some legal grunt work being performed by recent graduates of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) on behalf of the firm of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman.  For those of you unfamiliar with the third name in that marquee, it belongs to none other than Ed Westbrook – who styles himself as the savior of CSOL.

Westbrook’s firm was just tapped by Lowcountry U.S. District judge Richard M. Gergel as the lead counsel in a class action suit against Pfizer over its drug Lipitor, which the suit claims causes type two diabetes in women.

Is that true?

We have no idea.  We know nothing about the suit except that several recent CSOL graduates are said to be working for peanuts on the case – which could make Westbrook’s firm millions of dollars.

These aren’t paralegals, either.  These are licensed, accredited lawyers.

Hmmmmm …

Westbrook’s alleged legal sweatshop has some in Charleston crying foul, “especially when he has been the most vocal critic of the recent moves the law school has made and the detrimental impact those moves may have on the younger attorneys.”

“Grossly under-employing the same graduates you claim to be advocating on behalf of seems a bit contradictory to say the least,” one source told us.

Interesting …

FITS has been a frequent critic of CSOL and of Infilaw – the private company that’s currently in negotiations to purchase the law school.  Having said that, we unilaterally reject any effort by state government to interfere with the proposed sale of an asset from one private entity to another.

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John September 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

Offshoot of Ness Motley firm. High end ambulance chasers.

The Colonel September 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

“…These aren’t paralegals, either. These are licensed, accredited lawyers…
Wait you mean some of these “Thurgood Marshall wannabees” actually passed the Bar Exam?

well-i-am into it September 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

WHAT?? you mean the stem cell selling, treasure hunting, liar Goldfinch has absolutely NOT impressed you as a CSOL graduate, who went on to “make all the right connections” to serve our great state as a legislator for 2 years and wanting to serve more if not for that federal probe up his you know what. Alright, what about the great Trey Harrell, a CSOL graduate….buddy of Goldfinch…inheritor of dad’s connections and the rightful heir to all exclusive things South Carolina offers on a silver platter to the good ole boys club. You are NOT impressed by him either. With Toal to worry about their bar exams, why should anyone even think the exam is a hurdle to all the prosperity that awaits some. The rest CSOL graduates, of course, are there to just make money for the owners and only dream about such a future and toil away.

anonymous September 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

Nelson Mullins has a similar legal sweat shop at the old Richland Fashion Mall in Columbia. They pay $17.50 an hour. Nelson Mullins is making millions on a similar situation.

????????? September 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

Doctors are being paid less by the hour during residency…so what? if these esteemed CSOL graduates think they deserve more money, why did they take the job? If someone offered me $12.50 an hour I would probably look elsewhere. UNLESS it was with one of the best plaintiff’s firms in the South East. Sometimes opportunities are at the end of long, hard road – so it might be worth it eventually.

Yep September 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Kind of like aspiring writers…

????????? September 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

yeah. Exactly like that.

Bear OmNomNom September 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

Except aspiring writers don’t need to go $150K+ into debt as a precondition of their pursuit…

interesting hypo September 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Yeah if this was one of the best plaintiffs firms in the southeast – or even the south east of the state of SC perhaps I would be different story entirely.

A $Billion in Fees September 17, 2014 at 7:23 am

You are a fucking moron and are clueless as to the scope of this firm’s practice. They are not just a Charleston firm, nor just a SC firm, but a national firm. The four named partners all walked away from the tobacco settlement with over $100,000,000 each (payable in 25 yearly installments). They don’t chase ambulances or sue small, local hospitals when a sponge is left in a patient after surgery, they handle nationwide class action cases where the stakes are as high as they get in litigation. They make the Harpootlians and Gedneys of the world look like amateurs. Since this shitville website won’t allow me to paste a link, google “Southern Discomfort: Lawyers Suing Lawyers” for a quick read on the cash they made in the tobacco suits.

????????? September 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

It is – do your homework.

Charlestonian September 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Any “opportunity” at the end of years of earning and struggling to survive on about $24,000/year sounds more like indentured servitude to me. Yeah, sounds like one of the “best” plaintiff’s firms.

Squishy123 September 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

What does the average USC Law School graduate earn their first year… $15/hr.?

Same ol' Same ol' September 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Pharmacy school’s where it’s at.

Chemist September 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

True, Lawyers are the ones that flunked out of organic chemistry.

kaneloa September 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Not anymore. Big bubble in pharmacy as so many colleges have opened pharmacy schools.

This article is already a year old:

Squishy123 September 17, 2014 at 11:07 am

Exactly, automation is coming into pharmacy for faster and more accurate drug distribution. Does South Carolina need two schools of pharmacy? Does South Carolina need two medical schools?

TontoBubbaGoldstein September 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

Effing lawyers making $12.50 an hour?

TBG fails to see the downside.

Jackie Chiles September 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

More desperate lawyers tend to lead to more lawsuits.

Squishy123 September 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Have you watched daytime or late night television? All it is is commercials for class action law suits. “Did you wear a t-shirt to bed which made you wake up in the middle of the night because you were hot, did someone give you a peanut at school, have you ever sat in the backseat of a moving vehicle without a seatbelt fastened…

TontoBubbaGoldstein September 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

$12.50 an hour will eventually lead to less lawyers…

Squishy123 September 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

$10 too much.

Pete Moss September 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

It’s the old law of supply and demand. The CSOL should never have been started in the first place. The USC Law School was producing enough lawyers for the state so that graduates were marketable. Now there are so many flooding the state that many of them can’t find jobs. Demand low, supply high= $12.50 per hour jobs. Not only that, but when the CSOL was started, the initiators said they were going to train a new breed of lawyers who would truly be advocates for the public good. From what I have seen, the lawyers coming out of the CSOL are just like every other lawyer, they are interested in making the big bucks. Apparently, no one told them that they were going to rack up big debts going to the CSOL (35-40K per year) and many of them wouldn’t be able to find jobs even if they passed the bar exam. Even before the CSOL, there were a lot of lawyers in the state who weren’t making big bucks. I know, because I’m one of them. I’ve had clients who were truck drivers and steel fabrication workers who made more than me some years.

southmauldin September 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Excellent post on the bullshit that was pushed by CSOL about it being a law school founded to further the public interest. It was a shitty school for (1) rich kids who couldn’t get into USC, (2) out of state dumbasses ready to borrow $150,000 for a degree that isn’t worth a crap, and (3) that Goldfinch bastard. I wonder how many of these $12.50/hour lawyers will say that they were associates in Westbrook’s firm on their resumes.

TontoBubbaGoldstein September 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

…a law school founded to further the public interest.

Yeah…that could happen…

Mike at the Beach September 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

On a unicorn ranch, perhaps.

well-i-am into it September 17, 2014 at 11:12 am

I agree. Also, today I heard from a CSOL graduate that some judges around the Charleston area are (or at least were) offering CSOL students a summer “internship” where they get to shadow the judges and see the backstage (and courtroom) action, if interested students are willing to pay upwards of $5000. The internship is independent of CSOL. Anybody heard of such a very profitable arrangement for the judge(s)? Its a good business model, I suppose, but my God! Is public money and interests not in direct conflict with this situation? Any experts out there to comment on this?

truthmonger September 18, 2014 at 6:36 am

Rich kids can ALWAYS get into USC…. it’s the average kids with good scores who can’t.

Jackie Chiles September 16, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Yes, this is called Document Review. It is nothing new. The “new” part is that major law firms are using doc review monkeys in the Southeast (Charlotte, Columbia, Richmond) because they can get away with paying lawyers lower amounts of money than they would in larger cities like NYC or Boston.

Native Ink September 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Document review is increasingly being done overseas in India and other places. Now lawyers in America have to compete with these lower paid workers, so $12.50 an hour sounds about right.

Lawyers are just another example of a white-collar profession who thought it was too high up the food chain to be affected by corporate off-shoring.

Unemployed_Northeastern September 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm

And within 18-24 months, a lot of it is going to be performed by predictive e-discovery software suites, i.e. automation.

SamAdams2010 September 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

But the lawyers said when NAFA was ratified that it would only effect Mexicans doing the lawn work and cleaning and all the pixie dust jobs would migrate to the USA for all the professionals. Neo-liberal tripe strikes again..

Native Ink September 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Infilaw is known for hiring its recent graduates on a short-term contractual basis and paying them fast-food wages. The only reason it does this is to scam prospective students by inflating the employment rate of its grads. As soon as the inflated employment rate is entered in the surveys, Infilaw sends the grads away to sink or swim.

I don’t know if Westbrook is doing the same thing. Maybe he hopes to make CSOL look stronger by inflating the employment rate of its grads?

hofstramagna September 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Does anyone have information as to how I could get one of these lucrative jobs?

Boocephus September 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Take out a 150k loan and complete CSOL and you too have can a lucrative work from home job.

pablum September 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Sue those eeeevil drug companies! John Edwards needs another jet!

Cake Eater September 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Here is the thing about law school and new lawyers – they don’t know anything and can bring no value to a firm. Law school doesn’t teach ANYTHING practical. So a new lawyer has to hope they can get a job with an office with resources to train them and bring them up to speed (usually a multi-year process). Lawyers don’t have residency like doctors do. So document review pays so little because thats what the new lawyers are worth – and the firms aren’t overpaying them to get them to stay around after the training period.


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