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Cite as: (2002) 76(10) LIJ, p.10



Benefits from the Law Institute/American Express Gold credit card have recently been enhanced to include, from 1 October 2002, redemptions for frequent flyer points from a larger selection of airline partners. These now include not only Qantas, Air New Zealand and Malaysia Airlines, but also Cathay Pacific Airways, Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines.1 The enhanced Membership Rewards™ program, known as Ascent, also allows you to use your rewards points to stay in luxury hotels and for shopping vouchers2 from such stores as David Jones, Polo Ralph Lauren and Country Road. The program normally costs $59 per annum, but for Law Institute members there is no annual fee – ever. Other features of Membership Rewards Ascent include:

  • Vouchers for air travel with Virgin Blue.
  • Travel cash certificates (redeem points for a travel cash certificate to put towards travel on any airline, hotel or travel package purchased through any of the American Express Travel Service Network offices in Australia).
  • Points for credit (redeem points for credit on your card).


  • 1.5 membership rewards points for every $1 spent between now and 1 February 2003.
  • After 1 February 2003, receive 1 point per dollar for the first $5000 spent on the card and then 1.5 points for every $1 spent on the card for the rest of that year.
  • 8.99 per cent per annum interest on purchases for your first six months from account opening, followed by a competitive 15.49 per cent per annum.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free.3


American Express has announced the doubling of rewards points for purchases made from 11 August 2002 to 31 December 2002 at leading supermarkets and service stations, including all major national and regional brands plus a range of independent supermarkets and service stations. This means that Law Institute members will receive three membership rewards points for every $1 spent between now and the end of the year at supermarkets and service stations.

For further information, call American Express on 1300 366 220 or the Law Institute’s Members’ Information Centre on 9607 9470.

An application form can be downloaded from Information on the doubling of rewards points offer can be obtained by visiting

Subject to terms and conditions. Fees and charges apply. All interest rates are quoted as an annual percentage rate. Fees, charges and interest rates correct as at 1 August 2002, and are subject to change.

1. Subject to the rules and terms and conditions of the American Express Membership Rewards, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Air New Zealand Air Points, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programs. A fee may be applicable for frequent flyer programs.

2. Retail shopping vouchers are subject to terms and conditions and cannot be redeemed for cash.

3. Depending on when you make your purchases, when your statement is issued and whether or not you are carrying a balance on your account from the previous statement period. There are no interest-free days for cash advances. The Law Institute receives a financial benefit from members’ use of the Gold credit card to help further fund members’ services.


A new program offers a sensible, subsidised means of recruiting and training quality support personnel.

With the average Australian now changing jobs three to five times in their working life, your firm, no matter what size, can expect to face constant recruitment, induction and training challenges. One way to address the need to fill an administration vacancy or to create a new position for a growing business is to employ a legal admin trainee.

This traineeship allows you to carry out the recruitment process as you would normally. There are some restrictions on the type of person who is eligible for the traineeship and this information can be accessed from a New Apprenticeship Centre before you advertise the position.

Depending on the applicant’s prior education and training, work experience, age etc., the employer attracts between $2750 and $4400 in federal government funding. The state government further subsidises the trainee by providing funding for the majority of the trainee’s course of study – the Certificate III in Business (Legal Administration). Depending on the training provider selected by the employer, outgoing costs should include $290 enrolment and administration fee and the cost of the training and assessment materials.

The employer does not pay payroll tax for the trainee and can pay the trainee the national training wage (about 80 per cent of the normal wage) for the 18-month duration of the traineeship.

Once the trainee has been employed, a tutor from the selected training provider (registered training organisation) will visit and create a training plan for the trainee. Depending on the provider, the training can be done on-the-job, off-the-job, online or in a combination of all three.

The tutor will visit the trainee at least four times during the training period and will provide online and telephone support. At the completion of the 18 months there is no requirement for the employer to keep the trainee on as a permanent staff member, statistics show that this investment in training results in productive, desirable members of staff.

For further information, contact Aspire Training and Consulting, tel 1300 134 099/ 9820 1300, or email, visit, or call the Law Institute Human Resources department, tel 9607 9411.


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