The Law Society released “best practice” guidelines this year that suggest law students should be paid at least the national minimum wage when engaged in any work experience. The Guidance, written together with the Junior Lawyers Division, describes the regulatory requirements of work experience placements, background, the purpose of work experience, and “good practice” requirements. The latter states the following:
Work experience should be paid to at least the national minimum wage. However, the Law Society accepts that there will be occasions where work experience placements are unpaid. Examples of when work experience might be unpaid include:
- where the work experience student is still in school or sixth form college
- where a firm does not have the means to pay individuals coming in for work experience and would cease to be able to host such placements if payment was required. This will most likely apply to sole traders, small firms or firms operating in the social advice sector.
Where work experience placements are unpaid, they should last no longer than four weeks.
If your organisation needs an individual to perform tasks for a particular period, you should consider the needs of your business. Engaging an individual as a paid employee may serve your purposes better. You may be able to recruit and retain someone who can assist you efficiently because they are familiar with your business needs and systems and ensure that you comply with relevant legislation and conduct issues
Read the full guidance on The Law Society webpage >