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The WA Law Society guidelines had been in place for some time, guiding the way for graduate recruitment and providing some certainty around getting a job in large law.
Justinian, the Australian legal gossip site, reported the news after it obtained a copy of an email from large law firm Blake Dawson, and specifically its PR consultant Jaclyn Green.
In the email, published on the Justinian site, it is explained that several firms have since the beginning of the year indicated they were opting out of the prescribed guidlelines "in favour of a priority offer system to seasonal clerks".
The Blakes email said: "Until yesterday, we understood the remaining top tier firms, Allens, Mallesons and Freehills, were, like us adhering to the Law Society Guidelines. Law night we received communication from Freehills that they have decided to opt out."
Freehills, Allens and Mallesons would instead favour a "priority offer system" instead.
In order not to be left as the only major firm adhering to the Law Society Guidelines, Blakes said it would also be opting out.
"A number of applicants have advised us that they have already received offers from other law firms. We have also been advised that many of these firms are not keeping their offers open until 9 September 2009 and are encouraging students to either accept or decline offers within a week or a shorter time frame.
"If we adhere to the Law Society Guidelines, we would not be able to commence interviewing applicants until 17 August or make an offer until 9 September. For most applicants, this is now too late as they will have to make a decision on priority offers that will expire well in advance of 9 September."