Dreaming of becoming the next Harvey Specter? It’s probably best if you take those dreams out of South Australia.
A new law firm in Adelaide, the Adlawgroup, is being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman for plans to charge graduates and junior lawyers $22,000 to work there for two years.
A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesperson told the Hip Pocket it has not received any requests for assistance from workers in relation to the matter.
“However, we have concerns, and are making inquiries. As those inquiries are ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further,” they said.
Adlawgroup, which opens in July, labels itself as a “gateway opportunity for new lawyers in South Australia”, by giving them the opportunity to get legal practice experience, as well as business, marketing and practice management skills.
According to the firm, the $22,000 fee is based on the cost of the practising certificate and its continuing education program, while giving the employee a chance to earn income through fees earned (assuming they do client work).
On its website, Adlawgroup says it’s solving a supply and demand problem.
“There is a huge pool of law graduates entering the market with few prospects of finding employment as a lawyer in South Australia. In South Australia alone there are currently in excess of 2000 law graduates who have no immediate employment prospects.
Most employers seek 2-3 years post admission experience. The same barrier applies to other employers of new legal talent such as corporations and government agencies.”
So, Adlawgroup provides the two years of supervision required for admitted lawyers before they can practice independently (in South Australia), selling the $22,000 fee as an “investment in the future” and a “cost-effective alternative to higher legal education or the pursuit of alternate tertiary qualifications.”
So forget unpaid internships. These days it seems you have to pay to go to work.
Main pic: We Heart It