Catherine Henry
Catherine Henry
Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

The long walk to qualification

It seems such a long road to qualification and reaping the fruits of your labour. GCSEs, A Levels, LL.Bs, LPCs, training contracts….years of academia before the money starts rolling in. The road to becoming a solicitor can be long and arduous.

Trainee solicitor salaries have varied dependant upon location and size of firm. The mandatory minimum wage for lawyers is no more although annual recommendations are made by the Law Society as good practice. This figure takes into consideration living costs in London and the regions as well as the average yearly Legal Practice Course repayment. Whereas the former minimum trainee wage outside of London was £16,650 in 2014, now firms must pay no less than the national minimum wage of £6.75 per hour meaning it’s possible for a trainee solicitor to be paid £12, 649 based on a 35 hour week.

This year the Law Society has recommended a 3.1% rise in the minimum salary for City trainees to £20,913 and a 2% rise outside of the capital to £18,547. Yet a high proportion of trainee solicitors are still being paid lower than the recommended minimum.

You do have a certain amount of control over your earnings. Salaries can vary significantly depending on the type of work you do, the firm you work at or the location you choose to be based in. Some areas of law can become less profitable for various reasons, whereas commercial national and international firms will pay more. As you embark upon your career consider all of these things. Choosing a law firm and a practice area is a big decision upon qualification and your path is likely to be clearly shaped by your first job as a solicitor. You’re likely to progress and succeed if you have a genuine interest in a particular practice area. Stick to what you love with some commercial acumen thrown in for good measure.

For advice on salaries and qualification, contact our experienced team on 0845 241 0933 or contact Catherine Henry at BCL Legal.

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