Need to fix minimum wages for young advocates

The need to fix a fair living wage or a minimum wage for junior advocates was recommended at the release event of a report on the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on advocates. The research was carried out by the Madurai-based Lawyers Fraternity Tamil Nadu and the Bengaluru-based Indian Social Institute.

Launching the report titled ‘Corona unlocks: the vulnerabilities of advocates,’ via video conferencing, former Madras High Court Judge D. Hariparanthaman said that advocates faced financial vulnerability during the lockdown. He said that this called for fixing a stipend for young lawyers as they need to stabilise.

Senior Advocate Sudha Ramalingam pointed out the need to fix a minimum wage for young advocates. Not only the government but also senior advocates must reach out to their juniors. Apart from this, the advocates must also be provided with medical insurance, she said.

The report looked at four major objectives: the financial vulnerability of advocates during the COVID-19 lockdown, impact of the lockdown on the advocates, efficacy of using technology and recommendations to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the State government and the advocates fraternity to reach out to the needy advocates.

The need to implement a stipend scheme to address these issues was recommended.

If such a scheme was in place financial stress of young advocates can be substantially reduced, the study said. However, proper steps must be taken to ensure that only genuine advocates who were practising regularly were benefited by the scheme.

Further, the report states the need to create a corpus or emergency fund to aid advocates during the times of emergency. With advocates finding it difficult to get bank loans, a cooperative bank or thrift society in all bar associations can be created so that advocates can avail loans, the report said.

Most of the offices do not have the practice of paying monthly salaries to juniors. This must change, the study recommended. The State and the advocate fraternity must wake up to the hard realities and explore ways and means to safeguard and protect the dignity of the profession, the report said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2022 3:56:34 am |