find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
More pay but less work for graduates

More pay but less work for graduates

New and improved standards for graduate lawyers entering the work force may be good news for them, but insiders fear the new Legal Services Award means more pay, but less work.

NEW and improved standards for graduate lawyers entering the work force may be good news for them, but insiders fear the new Legal Services Award means more pay, but less work.

Law students are getting more expensive. The new Legal Services Award 2010, which came into effect this year, drastically changes the requirements for work hours, remuneration and study leave for pre-admission graduates.

Under the new rules, graduates will be subject to a minimum wage, 25 per cent more than the current NSW standard. They will be entitled to overtime for every hour worked past a 38 hour limit, and will be entitled to four days of paid study leave for each subject in their practical legal training courses and attendance at lectures.

For law firms and other employers, it means forking out more money for the same level of lawyers that they could get last year.

The Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA), has this week welcomed the changes, but has raised concerns around what the cost of employing law graduates means for the number of positions being offered.

The gradual increase in the number of law schools and law graduates in Australia has not necessarily been met with a proportionate increase in job vacancies.

ALSA cites a 1998 survey showing that 50 per cent of law graduates choosing to enter the private practice of law, the law graduate recruitment market is already very competitive, especially in the current economic climate.

ALSA is concerned the new standards may discourage graduate recruitment. The cost of maintaining these new standards may have a detrimental impact on small, boutique, regional and rural law firms, it said.

ALSA vice president of education, Fiona Cunningham said rural, regional and remote firms “are in need of incentives, not obstacles, in order to entice graduates into taking up employment in these areas”.

“The lack of access to legal services in rural, regional and remote areas may be further accentuated by the inability to employ graduate lawyers,” she said.

She corrected media claims that ALSA believed the effects of the award would be disastrous”, as reported in Lawyers Weekly magazine.

ALSA president, Jonathan Augustus, said of the reports: “It is important not to overreact and simply paint an increase in remuneration for law graduates

as ‘not good for anyone’. Like many stakeholders, ALSA will keep an eye on the long-term effects of such changes, however the objective of reducing potential exploitation of law graduates is one ALSA commends”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

More pay but less work for graduates
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...