Internships and Higher Education: Legitimate Educational Endeavor or Too Risky ...

Gulfport, Florida
Monday, September 09, 2013

Internships and Higher Education: Legitimate Educational Endeavor or Too Risky after Fox’s Black Swan Case?

Monday, September 09, 2013

Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, Florida 33707
United States

Phone: 727-562-7392, Email:
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Webinar- ​Recorded ​
In ​June, ​2013, ​a ​federal ​district ​court ​ruled ​in ​Glatt, ​et ​al ​v. ​Fox ​Searchlight ​Pictures ​Inc. ​that ​certain ​unpaid ​interns ​providing ​services ​on ​the ​motion ​picture ​Black ​Swan ​were ​actually ​“employees” ​under ​federal ​and ​state ​wage ​laws, ​and ​thus ​entitled ​to ​compensation. ​ ​This ​ruling ​comes ​on ​the ​heels ​of ​similar ​high-profile ​claims ​against ​companies ​like ​Conde ​Nast ​and ​the ​Hearst ​Corporation.

These ​disputes ​have ​re-ignited ​the ​debate ​over ​the ​use ​of ​internships ​as ​part ​of ​a ​university’s ​curricular ​program. ​ ​Defenders ​of ​academic ​internships ​point ​to ​accreditation ​encouragement, ​professional ​practice ​standards, ​and ​general ​academic ​benefits ​flowing ​from ​such ​efforts. ​ ​Critics ​have ​questioned ​whether ​higher ​education ​institutions ​are ​condoning ​students’ ​exploitation ​as ​free ​labor ​while ​schools ​collect ​tuition ​dollars. ​ ​Certainly, ​recent ​developments ​have ​made ​clear ​that ​internships ​are ​not ​without ​some ​legal ​risk, ​and ​institutions ​of ​higher ​education ​need ​to ​understand ​and ​mitigate ​this ​risk ​if ​they ​hope ​to ​be ​able ​to ​provide ​opportunities ​to ​students. ​

In ​this ​webinar, ​we ​will ​explore ​some ​of ​the ​reasons ​behind ​fostering ​internships ​for ​academic ​credit, ​the ​legal ​issues ​companies ​face ​in ​accepting ​interns, ​and ​how ​institutions ​of ​higher ​education ​can ​respond ​by ​structuring ​internships ​to ​both ​minimize ​risk ​and ​enhance ​the ​overall ​student ​experience.
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