Advocates For International Development (A4ID) has offered a lifeline to newly qualified (NQ) lawyers facing the dole queue upon qualification by giving them an opportunity to use their legal skills abroad.
The London-based charity has started up a scheme called the Newly Qualified Lawyer’s Programme (NQLP), a bespoke range of mini secondments that enable NQs to work with disadvantaged communities across the developing world.
A spokesman for the charity said: “Participants are able to share their skills with those in need in the developing world whilst enhancing their own expertise through working in new and challenging environments.”
Each placement is designed to fit within qualification leave and is tailored to suit the skills of NQs.
Through the programme, participants are given the opportunity to work on a variety of important initiatives such as groundbreaking legislation, promoting international best practice, comparative analysis, research and advocacy.
Alice Gartland, who qualified with magic circle law firm Linklaters, spent her qualified leave before returning to the firm producing a report on the Companies Act in India and made huge changes to legislation relating to corporate accountability.
She said: “The experience has emphasised the importance of clear communication and the challenges of communicating across different cultures. Overall I feel more confident about my abilities to work independently and to get a job done in somewhat challenging circumstances.”
More than 27 firms and chambers are involved in A4ID, including Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith, White & Case, Erskine Chambers and Fountain Court Chambers.