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The fate of the young lawyer in the absence of minimum wage

Publication Type:

Paper

Source:

(2020)

Abstract:

Throughout the civilized world, law is regarded as a noble profession, which stemmed from God’s commandments, intended to protect the weak and reward the innocent.1 It is undebatable that the legal profession is revered by many. This may stem from the seemingly exuberant and luxurious lifestyle that is associated with some successful lawyers. Whereas many lawyers are known to be living a comfortable life, the opposite can be said of junior lawyers.2
It is worth noting that while there are rules3 in place that govern the remuneration of an advocate after a transaction, these rules do not apply to junior lawyers who have not yet enrolled as advocates or who even if are enrolled, are working for a salary at designated law firms. The discretion of what the junior lawyers are paid solely lies with the senior lawyers employing them.

Prior to enrolment, junior lawyers are limited in the scope of transactions that they can legally undertake. This also stems from the fact that the law4 requires them to undergo apprenticeship or training with an already practising advocate before they can be enrolled as advocates. The already practising advocates use this opportunity to exploit the junior lawyers under the guise of training or apprenticeship. This state
of affairs has ignited debate on whether lawyers need a minimum wage to protect the junior / young lawyers from exploitation.