4 King's Bench Walk's six month unpaid internship is only for rich people
10 August 2012
Commercial chambers 4 King's Bench Walk is offering a six month, full time internship open to anyone who has passed the BPTC. There's only one catch: it's completely unpaid.
The internship is being advertised both online
and on 4KBW's website
and was first spotted by legal blogger Amanda Bancroft (@_millymoo
). It is being pitched as a "unique
" legal internship at "dynamic commercial law set
". The successful applicant will work full time, from 9:30am to 6:00pm, and is promised practical experience of civil and commercial litigation as well as training in legal drafting and advocacy. All they will need is a BPTC under their belt and thousands of pounds to live, work and eat in London for six months.
||Some interns yesterday |
The internship has been running since July last year and 4KBW's website features the profiles of beaming former interns praising their experiences. Maresa Vaciannia loved giving six months of her time for free because she got to do interesting research and "I also answered the telephone
And while according to former intern Nicola Delaia "You are given real work"
and "real responsibility
", it seems the work is not real enough to deserve remuneration, which doesn't say a great deal about 4KBW's stance on diversity. Its website trumpets its commitment
to a pro bono scheme aimed at "breaking down elitist barriers
". But when it comes to its own house, it seems 4KBW is only prepared to help those wealthy enough (or with rich enough parents) to support themselves. Would it really make a massive dent in profits of a commercial set to pay an intern £6.08 an hour for their troubles?
4 KBW declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Bar Standards Board said that they didn't regulate internships, but pointed to Equality and Diversity Rules
coming into force in September, which will "require that the affairs of chambers be carried out in a manner which is fair and equitable
". And, after umming and ahing all week, the Bar Council chickened out of providing a comment. So excellent work there from the body responsible for promoting diversity across the profession.