An additional barrier to employment in the legal profession is the subjective system of "character tests" regulated by the Victorian Board of Legal Admissions (Letters, 6/12). The funny thing is that the character test doesn't seem to always work. Many lawyers that I've interacted with find it difficult to be honest when it comes to fees – inflating billed hours is a common trick. There's no better proof than the hundreds of disciplinary cases lodged against lawyers across Australia.
I would urge politicians to abolish the character test – not just for law, but for all professions. This would encourage competition and bring down prices for consumers of these services. Bad character can instead be sorted out by consumer protection organisations where customers can rate individual lawyers just as they rate cars or hotels.
(Published in The Age, letters to the editor, 7 December 2016)