The Junior Lawyers’ Division (JLD) of the Law Society is calling for the trainee minimum salary consultation to be delayed until the conclusion of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR).
The JLD believes that the UK legal market is currently too unstable for such a decision to be considered, due to a range of concerns surrounding legal aid, alternative business structures (ABS), diversity and social mobility.
JLD executive committee member Camilla Graham Wood said: “The reasons for not consulting on this now far outweigh the reason for doing so, apart from the obvious fact that the economic climate remains unstable, there is also the uncertain matter of what impact ABS’s will have on trainees and their pay.
“With legal services going through drastic change, removing the minimum wage could be a risk. There is a real danger that without the minimum salary protection in place, those from less affluent backgrounds could be denied entering the profession.”
The legal body has made a freedom of information request to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on a range of questions on its key concerns.
The news follows the SRA launching an online survey as part of its consultation on removing the annual minimum salary for trainees this month (9 March 2012).
This followed several face-to-face focus group sessions held across the country following the initial announcement in January (12 January 2012).