We have spent a lot of time discussing internships on this page. Notably, the revelation that the Charlie Rose Show utilizes unpaid interns provoked a post, as well as a few follow-ups where I attempted to tease out the issues with one particular commenter. I tend to come out in favor of unpaid internships because of the opportunities they can afford those who take them on, while the strongest counterpoint is that not everyone can afford to take them.
The team at Above the Law has rekindled the debate in response to a note from the American Bar Association to the U.S. Labor Department suggesting law students should be able to do unpaid pro-bono work. While most readers at that site seemed to take it as an opportunity to comment on the ineffectiveness of the ABA when it comes to protecting student interests, there may also be something to what they are proposing. More on the story (as well as the open letter from the ABA) can be found here.