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"It is time for me to move on to the next exciting phase of my life."
May 29, 2012 4:28 PM   Subscribe

In 2010, Rep. D.J. Bettencourt became the youngest majority leader in the history of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, as well as the youngest House majority leader of any state legislature in the U.S. On May 25, 2012, Bettencourt announced his resignation from the House, citing his upcoming wedding and his new job as executive director of the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation. Three days after his resignation, Bettencourt resigned again – this time with an apology for “misrepresenting [his] work.”

What happened between the first resignation and the second? Less than a week before his resignation, Bettencourt graduated from University of New Hampshire School of Law. This came as a surprise to the supervising attorney of Bettencourt’s spring semester internship, who alleged that Bettencourt had 1) confided to him that he needed an internship to earn the credits required for graduation, and 2) performed little more than an hour of legal work on the one day in the entire semester that he actually showed up. Upon learning that Bettencourt had graduated, the attorney contacted UNH Law and discovered that Bettencourt had submitted extensive records and reports for work he had never completed.

How Bettencourt planned to keep his plan a secret is something of a mystery, considering that the supervising attorney of his internship was his House colleague, and fellow Republican, J. Brandon Giuda. Giuda ultimately confronted Bettencourt, who agreed to resign. When Bettencourt did resign, but offered his wedding and his new job as his reasons for leaving, Giuda threatened to make the internship documents public unless Bettencourt disclosed the true reason for his resignation.

Although Bettencourt is now gone from the House, questions remain, particularly concerning the role of House Speaker Bill O’Brien, who is also the founder of the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation (which has rescinded its job offer to Bettencourt, and has scrubbed all mention of Bettencourt from its web page). A Portsmouth Herald editorial notes that this incident is just one lie of many from the New Hampshire GOP caucus, but this could be the lie that costs Bill O’Brien his seat in November.
posted by bakerina (55 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
This guy clearly has some sort of personality disorder, right? I can't see any rational person doing what he's done (and I might add, with quite a bit of success) without something being wrong with their brain.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 4:35 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


ah Republicans.

He'll be stripped of his degree and will never practice law.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:37 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


And become a Governor in about twenty years.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:43 PM on May 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


I guess the "next exciting phase" of his life involves being unemployed with an impending marriage and subsequent household to support.

Exciting, indeed.
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that is a true god dern American pulls himself up by his bootstraps! Thats goid old ingenuity!!
posted by spicynuts at 4:50 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was in school, it was discovered that a student from the class before had severely falsified their lab notebook and lab calendar to record data that was never collected, on days that they were not in lab. The school retracted their degree and contacted their current employer. This case seems similar although the scale is different - I wonder if Bettencourt figured that Giuda would cover for him, or if he was just in panic mode.
posted by muddgirl at 4:50 PM on May 29, 2012


If he's lucky, he'll go to a small community college and befriend a study group.
posted by drezdn at 4:54 PM on May 29, 2012 [53 favorites]


Even if he's disbarred, he'll be taken care of.

"Congratulations. Here's your graduation present."

"Why? I got pinched."

"Everyone does, but you did it right. You told them nothing."

"I thought you'd be mad."

"I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man...and learned the two greatest things in life. Look at me. Never rat on your friends...and always keep your mouth shut."

"Here he is! You broke your cherry! Congratulations!"
posted by zardoz at 5:02 PM on May 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


Apparently the New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation is of questionable lineage, anyway.

Board members include Tim Condon, Bob Hull (member of NH Republican Committee, largest landowner in Grafton), Paul Mirski, and William L. O'Brien.

The whole enterprise is yet another example of bullshit right-wing organizations naming themselves in deceptive ways, and the situation as a whole smacks of inner party gamesmanship which went awry.

I wonder now who Bettencourt pissed off which led to his downfall. The insiders playing the game didn't have to bring him down, just keep quiet. But down he went. So... what did he really do that earned the wrath of his protectorate party?
posted by hippybear at 5:03 PM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


This isn't, I don't think, that uncommon, although I think most people at least nominally complete the required number of hours. I worked a place for awhile that I really loved that clung to me ferociously just because they had, for several years, routinely lost people the very day they completed the required hours. Which was usually, given that my school doesn't require very much, roughly the time that they'd finished training them.

The sad part is that this probably wouldn't have even been caught if he hadn't told the guy that he needed to do it to graduate.
posted by gracedissolved at 5:11 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always wonder about this sort of thing.

I kind of understand older politicians lying about things far in the past, they didn't grow up in the age of instant communications and online fact checks. Back then, something like this you could keep swept under the rug.

But this kid, he grew up in the age of many eyes and constant scrutiny. He really should know better.
posted by madajb at 5:14 PM on May 29, 2012


Repubs take care of their own. He'll be back in a couple of years explaining this away as a silly mistake he made in his youth.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 5:15 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


...a silly mistake he made in his youth.

He's 28 years old, yes?
posted by tyllwin at 5:21 PM on May 29, 2012


"It is time for me to move on to the next exciting phase of my life" is a good start, dude, but you need to pad your vocabulary with other helpful deflections, including:

1. "Mistakes were made."
2. "Let's not dwell on the past."
3. "We can sit here and play the Blame Game all day, but it won't accomplish anything."
4. "What can I say? I was young and ambitious, eager to care for my family."
5. "Holy crap look at the size of that cat!" followed by running out of the room.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:22 PM on May 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


That's pretty young for a Republican.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:23 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


hippybear - it seems pretty clear that his legal internship adviser was not in on the scam (and/or inner party politics) and called him on it. I don't think he "pissed off" anybody per say - I think Guida didn't want someone willing to fake an entire internship linked to his practice/reputation.
posted by maryr at 5:23 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what are the odds that some Conservative somewhere brings this up as a reason to eliminate some government office that they can't even name?
posted by Blue_Villain at 5:29 PM on May 29, 2012


Did this group of winners ever succeed in their attempt to make every bill reference the Magna Carta?
posted by Copronymus at 5:30 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


To his credit, though, he did win "Preppiest Name Ever" legitimately.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:35 PM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


"We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well. "

-The Magna Carta
posted by Flunkie at 5:35 PM on May 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


When we are all applauding President Bettencourt in 2024, who among us will even remember this little youthful indiscretion? It's not like he smoked a joint or something.
posted by briank at 5:42 PM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder now who Bettencourt pissed off which led to his downfall. The insiders playing the game didn't have to bring him down, just keep quiet. But down he went. So... what did he really do that earned the wrath of his protectorate party?

Are you really so partisan that you are rejecting the possibility of a Republican having any kind of ethical standards out of hand? Even if that were the case, there is the practical matter of tying oneself to a not very hard to discover deception.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:44 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The insiders playing the game didn't have to bring him down, just keep quiet. But down he went. So... what did he really do that earned the wrath of his protectorate party?

That's not quite it. Guida, as an attorney subject to the licensure and discipline of (at least) the state of New Hampshire, was bound to report the fabrication to the appropriate authority. Moreover, if in retrospect it appeared that Guida had been a participant in or enabler of the fabrication, he would have faced certain disbarment (versus only probable disbarment for failing to report such a thoroughgoing fabrication).

Selfish motive? Maybe. But like the aversion generated by the penal code to punishment for crimes, it's a selfish motive that coincides with the public interest.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:49 PM on May 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


thewumpusisdead : I can't see any rational person doing what he's done (and I might add, with quite a bit of success) without something being wrong with their brain.

College-required internships, for the most part, count as nothing more or less meaningful than court-appointed community service. Often, the colleges have "agreements" with local businesses to provide them with a pool of slave "volunteer" labor for various kickbacks to the school.

The fact that someone faked their intern hours for a law degree? Yeah, not really all that bothered by it. Hell, for one of my two forced internships, I just wrote up my day-to-day work at my normal job; for my other, I played with frickin' kittens for four hours a week at the local animal shelter (though I didn't lie about it, I just bluntly said I had zero interest in clinical psych and only took the major so I could play with human lab-rats, which did not include "mop up junkie puke down at the local rehab").

That said, I can certainly see careers where the internship provides the real training, such as for doctors. Lawyers, I dunno - Any in the house that can comment on whether you do glorified secretarial work for a pittance, or actually get some real on-the-job training?
posted by pla at 5:55 PM on May 29, 2012


He'll be stripped of his degree and will never practice law.

Also, this. I don't know what he hopes to accomplish with murmurings about going through the school's own student discipline process - he's not getting within a mile of passing a character and fitness exam.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:55 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fortunately for him, there are no character and fitness exams for politicians.
posted by box at 5:58 PM on May 29, 2012


Fortunately for him, there are no character and fitness exams for politicians.

There are, but you're not allowed to be a politician if you pass. It's kind of an anti-profile.
posted by maxwelton at 6:11 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can certainly see careers where the internship provides the real training, such as for doctors.

And lawyers. What you learn in law-school classrooms often has little bearing on the actual practice of law, apart from learning to reason. Internships are where you pick up real training. Depending on the internship, you might interact with clients, stand up and argue in court, and even try cases. (Under supervision of course, but still, officially and in terms of workload, the student is the lawyer.)

Mileage definitely varies between law schools, and I can't speak to New Hampshire. I visited that law school as a prospective student before it was subsumed into the University of New Hampshire, and the only things I remember about it are that (1) the brochure grossly underestimated the campus's distance from Boston, (2) the lecture hall I visited had only one set of electrical outlets, and as soon as class ended several students raced over to the wall to charge their computers, (3) the school's intellectual-property program was well regarded, and (4) if you graduated from its honors program, then you didn't need to take the New Hampshire bar exam.

Maybe this particular internship was just a show-up-and-get-credit deal, and there wasn't much practical difference between showing up versus not. But that definitely wasn't my experience in law school. Third-year internships are work, and arguably the best experience you'll get before graduating. In my school, they weren't required for graduation, but there's a big difference between doing one or not. It would be a significant lie on a resume.
posted by cribcage at 6:28 PM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sounds like it's time to have a special talk with D.J.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:29 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


A window into the future...

JOURNO: "Mr. Bettencourt, what motivated this deception? Why did you lie and falsify reports? Why did you claim achievements that were not yours?"

BETTENCOURT: "Because I love America too much. I'm a good American who loves America so much I'll do anything to help her. But you wouldn't. Why do you hate America?"

He probably won't be elected to high office soon, but he'll be a big wheel in the NH GOP inside of five years. That kind of hustle with that lack of scruple makes a man a very effective campaign coordinator.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 6:49 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are you really so partisan that you are rejecting the possibility of a Republican having any kind of ethical standards out of hand?

No, I'm not so partisan. But I am pretty cynical, especially when it comes to rising stars within a political party, which Bettencourt was obviously being groomed to be.

Giuda is a pretty regular letter writer to the Concord Monitor if you want to have some idea of his views on matters. Eliminate taxes, let guns be carried everywhere, reward "job creators", defense of the Tea Party... He may be acting out of his own sense of ethics when it comes to this matter of Bettencourt, but he seems to be fully a party player all the way down.
posted by hippybear at 6:52 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


That *especially* makes it sound like Guida was acting by his own ethics and is not a "party player" - a true "party player" would have passed this on to the leadership instead of threatening to reveal Bettencourt himself.
posted by maryr at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2012


The fact that someone faked their intern hours for a law degree? Yeah, not really all that bothered by it.

I am, for reasons that have nothing to do with the type of work being done in an internship.

Full disclosure: I graduated from law school last year, and just learned last week that I passed the February bar exam (in California). I have two jobs: a graduate fellowship with one of my law school professors, and a freelance clerking gig with a solo practitioner in San Jose. I also clerked at two nonprofit legal service organizations while I was in law school.

(On preview, deleted long-ass paragraph about internships because cribcage said what I wanted to say, only with more clarity and brevity.)

No, my problem with people faking their intern hours for a law degree is that it's lying, and no matter where you live, study or practice, the bar takes a very, very, very dim view of lying. As in, it can get you disbarred, or suspended from practice. It can get you sued for malpractice. It can subject you to criminal penalties. It will cost you money one way or another. It's a breach of the lawyer's duties of competency and candor to the client, to the court, to colleagues, and to third parties.

I am aware that I sound like an uptight, pinched-nose bluestocking here. I assure you that I am not. The bar takes this shit seriously. From the first day of law school, you are reminded that you are headed for a profession where you have a fiduciary relationship with clients, and that relationship carries a heavy load of responsibility for the lawyer. It's not enough to just go to law school and pass the bar exam. The state bar conducts an investigation into your character and fitness to practice. It's a state *and* federal background check. It's time-consuming (mine took over six months), nervewracking (I had to account for work-study jobs I had held more than 20 years previously), and expensive. You get fingerprinted. And you had bloody well better be truthful when you answer their questions. I've lost count of how many times I've read, or heard, "Being arrested or in rehab doesn't mean you're unfit to practice, but being arrested or in rehab, and then lying about it, does."

(You also have to pass a multistate ethics exam prior to taking the bar exam. And you'll probably get an ethics essay question on the bar exam. You know, just in case you forgot any of it.)

So, yeah. I have no idea what kind of work Giuda would have given Bettencourt, because dude only showed up for one day out of the semester. But even if it was the gruntiest of grunt work in the world, that's still not justification for turning in elaborate reports of clients meetings and court appearances that never happened. That's lying on an epic scale, and it bothers the unholy barking fuck out of me.
posted by bakerina at 7:05 PM on May 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


Well, that's what makes me wonder what else was going on.

Just was thinking out loud. It's probably nothing. Carry on.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM on May 29, 2012


That's pretty young for a Republican.

There is a creepy underbelly of youths from the Alex P Keaton school. Ronnie was prez when they were kids, so that's good enough for them.
posted by gjc at 7:23 PM on May 29, 2012


pla: The fact that someone faked their intern hours for a law degree? Yeah, not really all that bothered by it. ... Lawyers, I dunno - Any in the house that can comment on whether you do glorified secretarial work for a pittance, or actually get some real on-the-job training?

What if he's your lawyer? What if he represents to you that he has significant work experience in x legal area when he actually doesn't? Because if he will so egregiously misrepresent himself to his law school, you had better expect him to do it to his clients, too.

For starters, I have discussed with many lawyers the question of "what is helpful to being a good lawyer." In every one of these conversations I can remember, the lawyer has referenced work experience.

Secondly, I think internships are what you make of them. I say this as someone who began an unpaid summer internship in the legal field with hopes of getting a letter of reference from anyone at all for my undergrad transfer applications, and turned it into more than I ever could have fantasized about.

I entered with zero legal experience. I started doing clerical grunt work: filing, updating files in the computer system, etc. I quickly worked my way up to law-student-level work, doing serious writing — more than I had ever done before. I stayed on past the summer, into my school semester, and was doing more writing for this internship than all my other classes combined. I earned a fantastic letter of recommendation, did a lot of networking, and will be able to put all of this on my law school applications. All this, it still blows my mind. I was (am) so proud.

I had heard about how some people manage to turn internships into fantastic opportunities and didn't think it would be me, because I assumed there was some secret to it. (After all, if the method to turning a boring entry-level internship into was common knowledge, why wouldn't everybody do it?) But in my case, it turns out that I didn't need a secret method. I just needed to put in a lot of effort.

And that's my answer to pla's question: It's input/output, just like so many other opportunities in life. If you work hard, you will find ways to make your internship useful rather than just glorified secretarial work. If you don't, then you add the glorified secretarial work to build your resume and then move on (though this does require actually showing up for your internship.)


So the fact that this guy not only blew off his final law school internship completely, but then faked records to make it look like he had worked hard at the internship? Speaking as someone who actually did work hard at my legal internship, it's hard not to feel personally pissed at him.
posted by hypotheticole at 7:23 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to give a little contrast here, a couple of years ago a Democratic member of the New Hampshire House resigned of his own accord within 24 hours of being called out for writing a comment on Facebook saying
I don't wish Sarah Palin dead ... but not merely for compassionate reasons...Well a dead Palin wd be even more dangerous than a live one...she is all about her myth & if she was dead she cldn't commit any more gaffes,
Conversely, for Republican standards, we've got this situation and things like last year's case of a Republican House member telling a constituent inquiring about his support for initiatives for the disabled, "I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population." We got a week of O'Brien hemming and hawing and saying that shucks, the guy has a right to say what he believes, before the representative in question eventually resigned without any public condemnation from O'Brien.

Bonus: Representative Harty's answers to the Project Vote Smart questionnaire, containing such gems as "I think this country is dumbing down. Encourage vasectomies on the welfare people and put more______Jewish sperm in the sperm banks..let the welfare ladies have artificial insemination" and "the age of consent is way too high in this country a 13 year old girl well into puberty is more mature that most 19 year old boys. Victim, Hell. Ask any young girl to tell you what they honestly want in life Nature dictates the answer". Also, the fact that he has ten children. And this is information that was available before he was elected.
posted by XMLicious at 7:33 PM on May 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Just this evening, I ran into a politician I know who falsified their degree (claimed they had it when they in fact did not) who was outed during a local (not state) race and lost because of it. It was a big deal and there was a lot of embarrassment. The politician continues to inject themself into local political issues with what I consider startling frequency, especially because the degree issue continues to come up just about every time. They haven't run for another office, but pop up an awful lot.

I see this person semi-regularly, and I still have no idea why they did it. I've never gotten even an inkling. I don't think it would have mattered, really.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:36 PM on May 29, 2012


There is a creepy underbelly of youths from the Alex P Keaton school. Ronnie was prez when they were kids, so that's good enough for them.

Bettencourt was five years old when Reagan left office. I really don't think the Gipper has anything to do with it.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:51 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The CEO of Yahoo (now the former CEO) falsely said he had a computer science college degree.

This isn't exactly on the same level. In fact, wasn't he already a state legislator when this happened? Couldn't he have just said that his internship consisted of being in the state House of Representatives, writing laws?

(I'm not being entirely serious--it is good when the liars lie so obviously that they can be removed from doing further harm early in their career).
posted by eye of newt at 8:58 PM on May 29, 2012


The fact that someone faked their intern hours for a law degree? Yeah, not really all that bothered by it.

It's a big deal because he lied, not because he had a soft/bullshit internship. If they catch you lying about anything even halfway important in law school, they won't let you be a lawyer. Something like this is pretty much an automatic DQ. One of the many reasons it's so important is because lawyers have powers and privileges normal people don't have, like representing other people in court.

It's the difference between being kind of half-assed, which gets a pass, and being a liar, which definitely doesn't.
posted by facetious at 9:29 PM on May 29, 2012


Lawyers, I dunno - Any in the house that can comment on whether you do glorified secretarial work for a pittance, or actually get some real on-the-job training?

Well, for those law students without sinecure through political patronage like this gormless youth, I'm pretty sure internships can be tryouts for real jobs. My niece's fiancé had two summer internships and now that he is approaching graduation the firms are heavily bidding for his employment. It doesn't hurt that he's near the top of his class and African American, of course.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:03 PM on May 29, 2012


If they catch you lying about anything even halfway important in law school, they won't let you be a lawyer. Something like this is pretty much an automatic DQ.

I wonder if that's true. I don't personally know a lot of people who graduated from law school and were disqualified from licensure based on character and/or fitness. If anyone here has anecdotes (second- or third-hand) I'd be curious.

Based on what I do know about disciplinary actions for attorneys, I would guess that there are ways to rehabilitate your character after something like this. "Yes, I did that bad thing, but afterward I..." Take ethics classes, perform volunteer work, subsequent education, letters of reference from people who are aware of the wrongdoing and have worked with you since, etc. Something like this would be a major problem, yes, but at least in some jurisdictions, I wouldn't think it would be beyond redress if the person really wanted to become a lawyer.

[Not intended to indicate my feelings on what should happen, just guessing as to reality.]
posted by cribcage at 10:25 PM on May 29, 2012


Okay, I should note that I'm now a little bit skeptical of those Project Vote Smart answers... on one hand they're plausible for someone who made the eugenics-endorsing remarks that are documented elsewhere, but on the other hand there doesn't seem to be a date on that and I'm not sure how Project Vote Smart verifies the submission.

The responses in it are verified in a newspaper editorial from a couple days after he resigned, however this blog post from two days after the story initially broke seems to indicate that the blogger was seeing no questionnaire answers at all and not even biographical information. I can't imagine he would have refrained from mentioning the stuff it says now which is quoted in the editorial.
posted by XMLicious at 10:31 PM on May 29, 2012


He'll be stripped of his degree and will never practice law.

But he'll enjoy a long and lucrative career as a lobbyist, no doubt.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:18 PM on May 29, 2012


hypotheticole : What if he's your lawyer? What if he represents to you that he has significant work experience in x legal area when he actually doesn't? Because if he will so egregiously misrepresent himself to his law school, you had better expect him to do it to his clients, too.

Don't get me wrong - I too find it distasteful that he lied about it... If he didn't like the internship he got, he should have looked for either something useful to him, or a place he could show up between classes and sleep. You'll notice in my personal example, I carefully pointed out that I didn't lie about what I did in my internships, I more used them as an opportunity to deride my uni's "corporate partnerships".

And thank you, cribcage, for pointing out that law internships do involve meaningful work - So that does somewhat temper my indifference to this offense.

Though Bettencourt went on to work as a politician, which has no qualifications beyond "good hair" and where ethics counts as a liability, so I suppose he "made good" by the education he didn't get. ;)
posted by pla at 3:42 AM on May 30, 2012


I picture him saying to himself "No one will ever know."





Using Bugs Bunny's voice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 AM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Surely you mean Dan Backslide.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:22 AM on May 30, 2012


Though Bettencourt went on to work as a politician, which has no qualifications beyond "good hair" and where ethics counts as a liability, so I suppose he "made good" by the education he didn't get. ;)

He got the degree after he got elected. He graduated shortly before he resigned. In some states, it is normal for statete congresspersons have a separate job outside of the state house.
posted by muddgirl at 7:10 AM on May 30, 2012


Looks like New Hampshire legislature is not full time and met last year January through September. Legislators are paid $200/two year term with no per diem, which seems to be ridiculously low compared to about everywhere else, including New Mexico where they receive no salary, but at least get a decent per diem.
posted by maryr at 7:29 AM on May 30, 2012


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, that Dan Backslide reference just got you enspousenated. (I probably should have asked first, but some things are just bigger than both of us.)

Of course, now I'll be muttering "UnHAND her, Dan Backslide!" all day at the office, but that's a small price to pay for a good mood.
posted by bakerina at 7:34 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It always warms my heart to hear of a new enspousenating. Congrats to you both!
posted by hippybear at 8:11 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


pla: Though Bettencourt went on to work as a politician, which has no qualifications beyond "good hair" and where ethics counts as a liability, so I suppose he "made good" by the education he didn't get. ;)

muddgirl: He got the degree after he got elected. He graduated shortly before he resigned. In some states, it is normal for statete congresspersons have a separate job outside of the state house.

Yep, that was a bit of editorial sloppiness on part. Sorry about that. Although Bettencourt became House Majority leader when he was 27, he was actually elected to the House when he was 20. So he was actually a politician for about five years before he entered law school.

And pla, while I stand by every word of my "this bugs the unholy barking fuck out of me" comment, I do recognize that you were commenting specifically on your undergraduate internships, and the link between unpaid labor and school kickbacks. If I sounded touchy, it's because law school internships/externships are a whole different animal from undergrad internships. If your law school internship consists of nothing but "organizing files," that's a problem. (I've yet to hear of this happening to anybody I know, but I'm aware that my experience is not universal, and it's likely happened somewhere.) But the solution is not "don't show up and then file a bunch of bullshit records about clients I've never met and court dates that never happened." Not even if you're House Majority Leader.
posted by bakerina at 8:19 AM on May 30, 2012


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, that Dan Backslide reference just got you enspousenated.

Yes! Wait'll I tell the lads at Pimento University!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:00 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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