Earlier this week, law student David Woodall set out some etiquette for asking lawyers for work experience on Twitter. Podcast co-host Kevin Poulter, an employment lawyer at Bircham Dyson Bell, and Barbara Hamilton-Bruce, director of legal operations at the Accident Advice Helpline, like David’s style – but advise students against moving in for the kill too early in their fledgling Twitter relationships with lawyers.
Instead the pair (pictured) recommend that students go along to events like Tuesday’s legal tweet-up, ply their targets with alcohol, then use the compromising information they obtain to crowbar themselves into training contracts.
Not that training contracts are the be-all and end-all. Barbara came up through the legal executive route. And judging by the sparkling new Lexus she arrived at Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge’s flat in, and the diamond necklace she casually gave to a tramp (pictured) as she left, the existence of an ILEX lawyer is a prosperous one.
Sadly, life has been less kind to Kevin, who has spent the last few days frantically emailing his boss to find out what the hell happened to his £35,500 bonus – the average size of a City law bonus according to research released this week.
It’s often forgotten that City lawyers get bonuses. But a survey released today shows average bonuses at the top corporate law firms stand at a whopping £35,500. That equates to 32% of salary – up from 25% last year.
In a climate where resentment against bankers’ bonus culture abounds, this is the sort of data law firms won't want overly banded around - even if the figures are a fraction of the enormous amounts paid elsewhere in the City.
Despite the rises, the number of lawyers who received a bonus was notably lower than in previous years, with 73% getting bonuses in 2010 compared to 65% in 2011. This is symptomatic of a growing trend since the financial crisis for senior individuals in firms to hoard cash at the expense of associates and junior partners.
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Working as an in-house lawyer in a company is seen as one of the less glamorous legal gigs out there – albeit usually offering an easier life than a position in a law firm. The money also tends to be less. But according to a newly-released survey, the rewards are still pretty good.
Research by Incomes Data Services (IDS) puts average salaries for in-house solicitors “with little or no experience” at £43,720. Meanwhile, IDS says in-house heads of legal typically earn £132,310 – up 2.5% from last year (but with the Retail Prices Index currently running at above 5%, this figure represents a real terms decline in salaries).