LexisNexis has just kicked off registration for ASPIRE, a new program providing free access to a “robust menu of materials” including federal/state cases, codes, regulations, and law reviews to law school graduates working temporarily for public interest organizations because their law firm jobs have been deferred.
The reason for this new program? LexisNexis’ email to graduating law students states:
Some of the greatest minds throughout history have been motivated by public service. We applaud new graduates that elect to pursue public interest work while waiting for their professional law firm practices to begin.
To their credit, LexisNexis already provides public interest lawyers with access to some free public forms, United States Supreme Court cases, and certain state and federal cases from the last ten years. But it makes one pause to wonder why lawyers who have committed their life’s work to public service legal jobs with low salaries, enormous debt, and incredibly hard, often unappreciated work on behalf of the unrepresented and underrepresented should get paltry free case law from LexisNexis while those recent graduates “slumming it” at public interest organizations with a six-figure light at the end of the tunnel should get the royal treatment.
Could it be because the new program is not really about supporting the public interest, but rather about marketing LexisNexis?