Law firm attempts to charge students for work experience

A law firm has attempted to charge training contract hopefuls for work experience.

Canary Wharf-based Kawa, Guimaraes & Associates Solicitors placed an advert on jobs site, offering an ’assessed placement’ for aspiring lawyers, legal blog RollonFriday reported. 

It stated: “The legal market is incredibly competitive at the moment and this opportunity will give you an edge when looking for a contract in the future,” and promised that at the end of the placement a reference letter would be provided ”with an assessment of your abilities which can improve immensely your future chances of employment including Training Contract.”

The advert, which has since been removed, added: “This is a chargeable assessed placement i.e. you will be charged for us providing you this opportunity and assessing you. Apply only if you are willing to agree the above.”

Paying to train as a lawyer used to be standard practice, but now any suggestion of payment for training or work experience is frowned upon as exploiting students or hindering diversity. In 2013, the elite Westminster School was condemned after it auctioned off a mini-pupillage in a bid to raise money for a new building.

The full advert is below.