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Canary Wharf law firm asks students to pay to do work experience

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“You will be charged for us providing you this opportunity”

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A law firm based in the same Canary Wharf skyscraper as HSBC and JP Morgan is asking students to pay them to do work experience.

Kawa Guimaraes & Associates, which specialises in employment law and clinical negligence, has an ad on the jobs site Indeed punting its “Chargeable Assessed Placement” to desperate wannabe lawyers.

The “unique program [sic] that offers you an opportunity to see how a law firm in the heart of London operates” is, says the ad, “a chargeable assessed placement”. That means, explains the copy, “you will be charged for us providing you this opportunity and assessing you”.

However, the firm does not disclose just how much hard-pressed interns will be expected to cough up for the privilege.

The ad also claims that the “reference letter” received by students “can improve immensely your future chances of employment including Training Contract [sic]”.

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This morning Legal Cheek contacted Kawa Guimaraes & Associates — whose motto is “Protecting the Vulnerable” — and spoke to senior partner Dr Mehedi Rahim. He told us that it also has unpaid “voluntary positions” where candidates are permitted to do work experience without being charged.

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Rahim added:

If people are struggling and need a good reference that is assessed, they will be charged. It is hard to get a good reference. There is no obligation to pay.