In the middle of last year, South Australia’s WBH Legal announced the creation of Adlawgroup, a new law firm based in Adelaide, which they said would give lawyers just starting out a “unique opportunity”.
Adlawgroup came under fire after it posted on Seek of a two-year program for junior lawyers which required a fee of $22,000. The program, which received around 25 applicants before its ad was removed from Seek, was initially defended by the law firm
The law firm said that the program was in response to a dearth of opportunities amid an oversupply of law graduates.
WBH Legal, which put Adlawgroup on hold in September 2015, has canned the program and the Adelaide law firm.
“While there were a significant number of applicants willing to pay the participation fee, the partners recognise that this carried the unpalatable consequence of creating an elitist solution to the fundamental problem of too many graduate and too few opportunities in law,” the law firm said in a statement released this week.
In discontinuing Adlawgroup, WBH Legal said that “the concept is not economically viable without asking the participating new lawyers to invest in their own futures.”
Law Society welcomes withdrawal
The Law Society of South Australia welcomed WBH Legal’s decision not to pursue the program.
It said that the organisation notified WBH Legal of serious concerns when it completed an inquiry to the program in September of last year.
WBH Legal is said to have significantly modified the program in response to the Law Society’s outline of concerns but hasn’t replied yet when the Law Society expressed remaining concerns about the modified program.
A law firm which was thrashed for offering two-year junior lawyer jobs for a fee has scrapped the program, admitting that it would have been an “elitist solution.”