A Penny for your Thoughts? The Law Society charges £60 an hour for careers advice

July 1, 2019

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2 min read

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What's going on here?

The Law Society, the paid solicitor’s membership body, is charging £60 an hour for careers advice for solicitors in England and Wales with under 3 years Post Qualification Experience.

What does this mean?

Newly qualified and junior lawyers will now be able to seek one-on-one careers advice from The Law Society who will supply a careers development professional. However, the cost of this is £60 (inc VAT) which many have said is far too expensive. According to The Law Society website, these sessions aim to give you practical tips “to make your cover letter shine”, help to develop your CV and prepare you for interviews. These sessions are available in person or over the phone.

What's the big picture effect?

With more people than ever before pursuing a career in law, more needs to be done to help potential lawyers secure a job. This move seems to be in response to the increasing number of people who complete a law degree, and then subsequently their LPC, but still have no job to move on too. It is hoped that this advice will help people embark upon their legal career sooner by providing tailored advice.

Whilst The Law Society should be commended for trying to help, the £60 cost for the advice seems far too steep. The potential users of the service are likely to be unemployed or their earnings are low. This means that this service is most likely a financial burden they can’t afford, rendering the advice practically useless. This has been highlighted by a solicitor who stated “it is not City workers who will need to use this service; it is unemployed juniors and people facing redundancy at smaller firms who can little afford it”. This extra cost can be coupled with the fact that members of The Law Society already pay membership fees. Should members really be expected to pay extra for a service that arguably should already be provided?

However, The Law Society has recognised people’s concerns and offers free 30-minute appointments. That being said, this does come with the caveats of eligibility, which typically means you must be unemployed or facing unemployment, and limited supply. As a result of this, it will probably be near impossible to get free careers advice.

In an industry trying tirelessly to improve diversity and access through grants and schemes, The Law Society does not seem to be pulling its weight. Given the fierce criticism, it is likely there will be changes to the system in the near future.

Report written by Mohammad S

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