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    Hi,

    I currently work in retail, a dead end job if you will, and have been offered a Legal PA job in a small law firm, and is an ideal step towards helping me qualify as a lawyer in the future. Problem is, I was asked to undertake an unpaid work trial for three months before I'm paid slightly more than what I'm earning in my retail position. During this work trial I will be trained on the job. The job itself will give me all the necessary Legal PA experience to apply for much higher salary Legal PA jobs in the future though.

    I have until Monday morning to decide if I want to accept this job. If I accept it, I will be relying a lot of my credit card to survive. I've done the budgeting and I can manage, but it's going to be two-three months of barely having any disposable income and eating basic foods.

    I also have one other company who said I interviewed well. It's for a Legal Admin job and the company provides services to courts, gov bodies and law firms, and isn't a law firm itself. The salary is substantially higher than what I'm currently earning which will help fund studying further qualifications, but they're still deciding. The Legal Admin job is basically transcription work, communicating with clients and general admin duties. The transcription experience should help me land better paying jobs in the future.

    If my long-term goal is to qualify as a lawyer, should I accept the Legal PA job or wait for the higher paying Legal Admin job that might be offered to me in a week's time? I'm having trouble deciding. I have an LLB and only have work experience in retail so far. I value the higher salary to help me fund a BVC or LPC, working in a law firm might be more useful to help me become a lawyer, and then there's the uncertainly of the second employer might not offer me the job. And what if I do the three months work experience and fail the performance review and then don't get hired? I know either job is much better than working in retail.
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    Can't you accept the offer and then rescind if the second place makes you an offer?
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    (Original post by Kaesuri)
    Hi,

    I currently work in retail, a dead end job if you will, and have been offered a Legal PA job in a small law firm, and is an ideal step towards helping me qualify as a lawyer in the future. Problem is, I was asked to undertake an unpaid work trial for three months before I'm paid slightly more than what I'm earning in my retail position. During this work trial I will be trained on the job. The job itself will give me all the necessary Legal PA experience to apply for much higher salary Legal PA jobs in the future though.

    I have until Monday morning to decide if I want to accept this job. If I accept it, I will be relying a lot of my credit card to survive. I've done the budgeting and I can manage, but it's going to be two-three months of barely having any disposable income and eating basic foods.

    I also have one other company who said I interviewed well. It's for a Legal Admin job and the company provides services to courts, gov bodies and law firms, and isn't a law firm itself. The salary is substantially higher than what I'm currently earning which will help fund studying further qualifications, but they're still deciding. The Legal Admin job is basically transcription work, communicating with clients and general admin duties. The transcription experience should help me land better paying jobs in the future.

    If my long-term goal is to qualify as a lawyer, should I accept the Legal PA job or wait for the higher paying Legal Admin job that might be offered to me in a week's time? I'm having trouble deciding. I have an LLB and only have work experience in retail so far. I value the higher salary to help me fund a BVC or LPC, working in a law firm might be more useful to help me become a lawyer, and then there's the uncertainly of the second employer might not offer me the job. And what if I do the three months work experience and fail the performance review and then don't get hired? I know either job is much better than working in retail.
    This is a difficult one, but technically this sounds like it shouldn't be an unpaid position, and it is possibly illegal for it to be one.

    If you have contracted hours where you are expected to be in each day and it is not optional for you to show up, technically you should receive the minimum wage.

    I know this might seem a bit bold, but if it was me, I'd be asking them either to reduce the work experience time to one month (many deem work experience of up to 4 weeks unpaid as reasonable) or to ask them to pay you a minimum wage from day 1 and see what they say.

    Explain you cannot afford to take an unpaid role and that you wouldn't be asking for a salary if it wasn't something you needed to just live on a basic level. If they refuse, then see if there is any room for negotiation - will they cover your travel costs/subsistence allowance instead?

    Some how I just think they are exploiting cheap/free labour. I wouldn't be surprised if it got to the end of the 3 months and then they brought someone else in on the same basis. If they do refuse, see if they can put you in contact with someone else in the firm who came in on a similar basis and are now in a permanent salaried role.

    They are a law firm, so they will have the money to pay you a basic minimum wage.And you could always accept the first unpaid job and should you get the second, you could leave immediately. As they are not paying you, they have no right to keep you in the job and you wouldn't have any notice period etc.
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    (Original post by Kaesuri)
    Hi,

    I currently work in retail, a dead end job if you will, and have been offered a Legal PA job in a small law firm, and is an ideal step towards helping me qualify as a lawyer in the future. Problem is, I was asked to undertake an unpaid work trial for three months before I'm paid slightly more than what I'm earning in my retail position. During this work trial I will be trained on the job. The job itself will give me all the necessary Legal PA experience to apply for much higher salary Legal PA jobs in the future though.

    I have until Monday morning to decide if I want to accept this job. If I accept it, I will be relying a lot of my credit card to survive. I've done the budgeting and I can manage, but it's going to be two-three months of barely having any disposable income and eating basic foods.

    I also have one other company who said I interviewed well. It's for a Legal Admin job and the company provides services to courts, gov bodies and law firms, and isn't a law firm itself. The salary is substantially higher than what I'm currently earning which will help fund studying further qualifications, but they're still deciding. The Legal Admin job is basically transcription work, communicating with clients and general admin duties. The transcription experience should help me land better paying jobs in the future.

    If my long-term goal is to qualify as a lawyer, should I accept the Legal PA job or wait for the higher paying Legal Admin job that might be offered to me in a week's time? I'm having trouble deciding. I have an LLB and only have work experience in retail so far. I value the higher salary to help me fund a BVC or LPC, working in a law firm might be more useful to help me become a lawyer, and then there's the uncertainly of the second employer might not offer me the job. And what if I do the three months work experience and fail the performance review and then don't get hired? I know either job is much better than working in retail.
    3 months is not a 'work trial'. If it was even a week, I would probably give it a go but 3 months - no way. Retail might only be retail, but at least it pays! Honestly, I think you should wait until you get a paid legal position.*
 
 
 
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