Young lawyers are demanding “living wages” because many law firms do not pay them enough. This issue was brought up during a panel discussion at Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) titled “Law Firm Economics in Pakistan: What are you worth?” Junior lawyers complain about low pay, poor benefits, and difficult working conditions. Some firms expect fresh graduates to work unpaid internships for months or even years. The minimum wage in Pakistan is Rs. 35,000 in Sindh, but young lawyers believe they should be paid more for a normal standard of living. Currently, junior associates are paid a fixed monthly salary regardless of how many cases they work on. The starting salary for junior associates is around Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month, which is not considered a living wage. Female lawyers face additional challenges, including discrimination in hiring, promotion, and low pay. There are no formal employment contracts for junior lawyers, which means employers have no obligations to provide benefits or paid time off. The issue of low pay affects both litigation and corporate law, but rates are generally lower in litigation firms. There are no laws regulating lawyers’ salaries in Pakistan.
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