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Law firm offered desperate graduates six months' unpaid "volunteering"

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04 August 2011 15:53

A law firm has offered LLB graduates and part time LPC students "Volunteer Legal Admin and Paralegal Training". For up to 25 hours a week. For up to six months. For no salary.

Havillands & Co is a firm based in Romford, Essex. Its website says that while it's not taking on paralegals or trainees until the end of the year, it has previously introduced a "volunteer service" for "between 3-6 months only". That included legal research, handling calls and drafting letters. The sort of thing a paralegal or trainee might do for actual cash.

A poorly written document on the firm's site explains why it's so difficult to secure a training contract, and extols the benefits of the volunteer programme which trains graduates in groups of three. But however dire the market, will aspiring lawyers really jump at the chance to do this for free? Especially as they are warned to expect "a rigorous interview process".

    Havillands yesterday 

Err, no. Henry Dele, the firm's COO, said that only one person had gone on the scheme and that was for one month. He said that the firm had envisaged running the programme in partnership with some universities but had abandoned this. It has now entered into a new scheme "in partnership with the job centre and a lot of people has benefited till date". Apparently candidates can work for up to a couple of months, and whilst  they're still not paid expenses are met by the taxpayer. Bargain.

  

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anonymous user
15/08/2011 01:06
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Talk about exploitation! I hate firms like this and I am sure clients would hate it too.
anonymous user
17/08/2011 00:07
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"in partnership with the job centre and a lot of people has benefited till date"

Now that I find unpossible to believe.