Credit for my work when boss was sketchy


I copied the back story from a previous post so forgive me if it seems like a duplicate.

Last year I was hired as an unpaid intern for a wonderful lawyer and her two businesses. She recently merged it with a new partner under a new name. Before the merge she asked me to stay for another "term" and was told after the merge my new boss was considering hiring me on full-time. I was telecommuting so I have not met anyone but have spoken with the new boss.

I was trying to fact-check to write a bio, so I could get it right, for the new boss and found some disturbing things like 5 reports of people being scammed out of pay checks and the companies do not really exist, etc. Nothing was adding up! I kept searching and none of his impressive claims check out at all...things that would be publicized and easily found. I'd rather not give details but one has to do with military awards when I don't think we were even in combat with anyone and the other not finding his professional certifications (things that are public records).

I decided to resign and did not give either boss the true reason why. Now, a month later my first boss wants to credit me for the research and writing I did during my internship on the new website. I still think she is being duped by the new guy. The writing I did was totally legit and accurate, but I am hesitant to be connected to this company in any way, and at the same time want credit for the effort and time I put into my work.

A friend says I shouldn’t worry as I was just an intern and I did not know at the time the new boss was likely a fraud. She said I could explain it to future employers if it were ever an issue.

If I let my name be credited, do you think I am somehow assisting in what is probably a scam? It would be a great way to get my work out there. They’re going to use my work either way. And if I shouldn't take credit, what's a good explanation? I don't want to tell the truth as the new boss has smeared people who reported him in the past.


As a legal intern (attending Law School yourself?) you already know that lawyers are required to abide by a Code of Ethics. If what you have found is true, your wonderful lady boss is in for a major disaster which could put her own license at risk.

I encourage you to do two things. First, check with the agency which handles attorney disciplinary complaints in your state. If the new guy is as squirrely as he seems, someone will have filed a complaint against him and it will have been successfully prosecuted.

Military awards are easier to understand than you think. Here is a website which identifies Air Force awards and describes the criteria for awarding them: The other services have similar websites.

Remember also that disgruntled clients lie just to get back at their lawyer.

Second, approach your wonderful lady lawyer, tell her that you were preparing paperwork about your work with the firm and that you ran across some apparent discrepancies regarding her new partner which you think she should be aware of. If she is as good as she has appeared to be, she will be willing to discuss the matter with you in private.


Thanks for the, I was not a legal intern, just a writing/development intern and the new boss is not a lawyer so I can't check with the bar association or another professional association to see if he was legit. I do know he is using an alias and have news articles of his past offenses. I truly am wondering if my first boss has been duped or if she is involved, as anyone can say anything online and/or steal an identity.

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