Law firm Simpson Grierson, based in New Zealand, shared the image on its Instagram account on Monday.
Eight young lawyers were pictured in the post, but an edit had been made before it was made public.
The law firm had edited out champagne glasses being held by some of the graduates in an attempt to minimise any controversy the photo may have caused.
Law firm Simpson Grierson shared the image on its Instagram account on Monday, with eight young staff members pictured
All of the graduates pictured are older than the legal drinking age limit.
Poncho Rivera-Pavon, a human resources consultant in charge of law graduates and summer clerks for Simpson Grierson, said the decision to remove the glasses was made in order to keep the focus on the graduates themselves.
‘We’re very aware of the media sometimes misconstruing things and making it look like it’s all about the young lawyers having a drink at work.
‘We wanted to make it all about their admission to the bar and how important it is for them, so we decided to remove the glasses,’ he told Newsroom.
Mr Rivera-Pavon said recent reports of alleged misconduct at other New Zealand law firms was a factor in their decision to edit the photo.
A former human resources manager at the firm, Jo Copeland, said there were no issues regarding alcohol when she worked there.
The post was deleted by Simpson Grierson and replaced by a different photo showing the graduates without any editing.
The post was deleted by Simpson Grierson and replaced by a different photo showing the graduates without any editing (pictured)
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Simpson Grierson for comment.
The original post was captioned ‘congratulations to our 2018 law graduates’.
‘This talented bunch was recently admitted to the bar – keep up the good work team,’ it read.
A Simpson Grierson spokesman told Stuff the photo was deleted as a result of media attention.
The law firm had edited out champagne glasses being held by some of the graduates in an attempt to minimise any controversy the photo may have caused
‘We’re proud of their achievements and shared the photo externally, taking the champagne glasses out so the focus would be on graduates’ awesome milestone and not about them having a drink at a work function,’ the spokesman said.
‘By doing so we seem to have created the opposite effect, which was certainly not what we intended. We’re sorry for any unwanted attention that our graduates received as a result.
‘We asked our graduates if they’d prefer the photo to be taken down and replaced with an alternative, and several of them said yes.’