Outrageous: Higher Education Stats Agency finds ‘social studies’ students paid more than law graduates

Avatar photo

By Will Buckley on

You know when you’ve been quango’d


In a series of stats appearing to rock the world of law a quango has claimed that UK law graduates who completed their course in 2014/15 are earning less than their peers.

The research states that the aspiring lawyers, with a mean annual salary of £19,500, earned £3,000 per annum less than social studies students and £9,000 less than medicine and dentistry graduates, who were the top earners. The average mean salary across all disciplines was £21,500.

It also revealed that out of the 5,255 law graduates who went into employment, 62% went into a professional occupation, while 33% went into non-professional occupations such as administrative or secretarial roles or sales and consumer services.

However, fret not lawyers because the mean average salary is markedly deflated by the number of law graduates embarking on further study being 31%, which is higher than any other discipline and twice the national average. And also, rather obviously, this includes the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

In short, the very people who, after their training is complete, will be trousering the show-stopping salaries on offer at magic circle outfits and commercial chambers.

The figures for other graduates going into further studies are often a half or a third of those racked up by wannabe lawyers. In other words, the stats actually show that the employed earn more than students. Hardly a seismic shock.

Particularly as the figures are further skewed by the fact that law graduates are also the most likely to pursue a ‘combination of work with further study’. 11% taking this option, once again over twice the national average.

And unless your drug-dealing career really takes off there is a limit to how much you can earn while cramming away for your professional qualification. And even if it does, you are unlikely to admit those earnings to a government funded quango.

Given all the above and given that only 46% of law graduates are earning salaries (compared to 99% of table-topping medics and dentists) it is little wonder that law should languish in the relegation zone because the very law graduates who will soon be pocketing the salaries of champions are specifically excluded.

There are — as we reminded day after day and hour by hour in current times — lies and darned lies. And then there are statistics. These ones are equivalent to comparing various sports mean salaries and excluding all premiership players from the football figures.