A increasing number of trained attorneys in the Department of Justice are working for free, with 13 uncompensated positions for “experienced attorneys” listed on the agency’s website, ProPublica reports. The program “provides a valuable support to the Justice Department as we continue to address the staffing challenges imposed by sequestration and still fulfill our commitment to protect the American people,” said a spokesperson.
There are 96 unpaid special assistant U.S. attorneys working for the department. Paid assistant U.S attorneys have starting salaries ranging from $44,581 to $117,994. The sequester slashed $1.6 billion from the department’s budget. “The government can't run itself that way,” said Carrie Cordero of Georgetown University Law Center. “Every department can't just start hiring free labor.”