Research: Over a third of trainee solicitors are being paid BELOW the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary

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By Thomas Connelly on

Chancery Lane figure is being ignored by many firms


New statistics have revealed that more than a third of trainee solicitors in England and Wales are being paid less than the Law Society’s minimum salary recommendation.

The research, produced by Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment, states that 35% of fresh-faced trainees are pocketing lower earnings than Chancery Lane bigwigs deem fair. This marks a 4% increase on last year’s figure of 31%, perhaps because the Law Society recently increased its salary recommendation.

As it stands the Law Society advises that a trainee in London should earn a minimum of £20,913, while their counterparts in the North of England should take home at least £18,547. Because the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) scrapped minimum pay requirements for young lawyers in 2014, the Law Society figures are completely unenforceable. Now, based on these latest stats anyway, it seems the increases are more symbolic than they are actual robust industry guidance.

The new research — which was compiled using the pay data of over 500 wannabe lawyers — shows 25% of London-based trainees are paid below the £20,913 recommendation. And for trainees outside London, the figures are even worse. The report shows that 37% of trainees in the regions earn below the £18,547 salary threshold, rising to an eye-watering 50% in the North of England.

Commenting on the new data, Douglas Scott’s managing director, Kathryn Riley, said:

At entry level the competition for talent comes not just from rival law firms but other service sectors. The legal profession is still a great place to be but stagnating trainee salaries have the potential to damage that perception.

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