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Rise of the barista: 20% of employed law graduates work in retail, bars or catering

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What Suits lifestyle?

barista-2

A new study into tuition fees and graduate prospects will prove a tough read for City chasers seeking out the Suits lifestyle.

A paper by the Intergenerational Foundation has shockingly revealed nearly one in five (19.8%) newbie law graduates who are employed have retail, catering, waiting or bar jobs.

Employment of graduates by degree subject in retail, catering, waiting and bar jobs six months after completing a first degree

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Though graduates from other courses — like fine arts (29%), media studies (26.7%) and performing arts (23.5%) — are more likely to end up falling foul to what the foundation terms “the barista factor”, law graduates are considerably more likely to recourse into low-level, low-paid employment than some of their non-law peers. Only 9.3% of maths, 7.9% of economics and 15.4% of politics graduates who are employed find themselves in this position.

Other key findings sure to stun aspiring lawyers include the revelation that the average starting salary for a law grad is — no, not the six-figure sums paid by US MoneyLaw firms — about £18,000.

This is a hell of a lot less than is paid to economics, social work, business management, social science and education graduates.

Mean graduate starting salary by subject

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But are these stats really as shocking as they first sound?

Data like this can often be skewed when looking at law degree holders in isolation, as more often than not you need to go on to do further study (most obviously the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)) before you earn a decent salary in law.

That said, when enrolling on an undergrad law degree it needs to be borne in mind that the disparity between big money areas of law (corporate, banking) and less well paid areas of law (crime, family) is huge, regardless of your post-grad education.

Of the 5,000 training contracts offered to aspiring lawyers annually, less than 2,000 are up for grabs at the UK’s top 60 firms. Away from these, salaries dips substantially.

So while a select few law grads can make double, triple or even quadruple the national average salary, most won’t. Make sure you tell your non-law friends this when they ask you to get the next round of drinks in.

31 Comments

Proudboobs

There are many jobs that are less socially acceptable than “retail, catering, waiting or bar jobs.” E.g. ‘journalist’ at Legal Cheek.

(53)(4)

Anonymous

Ad hominem, no?

(2)(6)

Anonymous

hi alex

(8)(0)

Anonymous

but here you are, spending your time reading the ‘journalism’

(8)(3)

Anonymous

Hi Tommy.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Not surprising, since a law degree is not treated any differently to a standard arts degree.

(Assuming that you’re not wanting to paralegal)

(4)(1)

Anonymous

You pretty much devalued the whole alarmist first section and incomplete headline of your article with the statement “more often than not you need to go on to do further study”, i.e. many are working to support their LPC or BPTC study. The stats are from only 6 months after graduating – a better indicator would be to get statistics for graduates one or two years later.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Ha! For those wondering this was a comment by an obviously fake Tom saying that Katie was lovely.

That was it. Nothing bad at all.

I’d love to read this “comments policy” of theirs….

(9)(0)

Comments Stasi

Nothing bad? Are you insane? Insulting the ruling class would get you shot under most regimes. You should be lucky that in the People’s Democratic Republic of Legal Cheek you just get massively censored. All hail Alex Aldridge, our eternal dear leader!

(6)(0)

Lawyah bantah

Indeed, it is Alexander the Great Helmsman, the one who shall bring us to prosperity through mediocre attempts at journalism, pathetic puff pieces and regular hatchet jobs against defenceless barristers with mental health issues.

All hail the Great Vozhd, he who writes shit for a living, hurrah hurrah!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“Reader comments policy

Legal Cheek’s comments are not pre-moderated but are regularly reviewed. Comments that are defamatory or gratuitously offensive will be removed. To report a comment, please email info@legalcheek.com.”

Nice and vague.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

In fairness, I think it’s pretty obvious that a comment – even a complimentary one – that is obviously fake and not written by the person listed (ie: effectively fraudulent) would be removed. If you can’t understand that, then maybe you’re a bit thick.

(3)(8)

Anonymous

Sorry Alex.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

You’d have a point if such comments weren’t allowed freely until the last few weeks.

The comments here used to be fun and full of jokes, but now anything funny is removed.

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Alan

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

That’s because the Legal sector is so stupid! No other sector employs their graduates 2 years in advance (why is that even?) whilst almost every other sector employs that very same year! Its so annoying, especially when graduate deadlines are bang in the summer when, again, other sectors application window is Oct-Feb!

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Anonymous

Not really an enormous issue though if you can secure a TC two years before the end of your education…

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Anonymous

DUH! But the vast majority of students don’t

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Anonymous

I’d rather be a barista than a paralegal
Yes I would
If I only could
I surely would

(6)(2)

Anonymous

because 75% of ‘law schools’ in this country aren’t worth going to … lol plebs being sold dreams

(2)(3)

Anonymous

That’s offensive. I’m currently studying for a BTEC in Legal Skills at the Barnsley Institute of Advanced Paralegaling (founded 1996, vice chancellor: Keith Chegwin), and I’m confident that I’ll secure a pupillage with Blackstone Chambers.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

I agree! I raided the bins at Cleethorpes Elite Legal Academy and have read the front cover of a text book for A’Level Law printed in 1988 that I found. On calling the esteemed institution for advice, I have been assured I have all the skills necessary for a training contract at Slaughter and May. I’m making the application now. Has anyone heard of these “GCSE” things? If I don’t have any what should I put in the box?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Beats working at Irwin Mitchell anytime.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

“more often than not you need to go on to do further study (most obviously the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)) before you earn a decent salary in law”

I feel as though most legal jobs that aren’t obtained via a pupillage or training contract formally require practical experience, not the LPC or BPTC. Finding paralegal roles as a BPTC grad without any paralegal experience is like trying to complete Ninja Gaiden with your eyes closed.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

But then, not many paralegals earn “a decent salary”…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

My GDL friends got jobs as paralegals before doing either BPTC/LPC, they had just done other part time jobs and lots of pro bono. Obviously not an easy gig to get, but not impossible!

(0)(0)

Lord Lyle of Coffee and Cake

Good one LC for keeping it real.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Iv always wanted to work in Starbucks !! But I got Pupillage before I could, wish I had so I could have saved up for a little bit longer ha!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

are people so delusional they don’t realise that unless you start at the top you would be lucky to earn £20k as a trainee.

(1)(1)

Comments are closed.