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

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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You’re a trainee a SullCrom and you are on legal cheek at 2.23pm during a weekday?

SullCrom trainee

Shhh, I’m hiding in the toilet cubicle trying to fit in a powernap. Had only two hours sleep over the past two days.


Half the comments on here are written by bullshitters and dreamers.


I can think of more than one firm that pays that amount..

Killa Kubs

Well, it isn’t as though people wanted to become laywers for the money, is it?
… where did everyone go?

Irwin Mitchell Newcastle Trainee

When I told my supervisor I’m paid £18,546 under the minimum, he withdrew my toilet privileges.


If he didn’t take the corresponding vat of lube off you – you could always sell it…

Irwin Mitchell Newcastle Trainee

He uses his spit. I don’t think I can sell that.


Looks like Alex and Tommy got blackballed by KWM into deleting it.

Nice stuff, spineless flogs.


I can hear all the criminal pupils in London on 12k crying in sympathy…


As a regional trainee could I point out the trainee salary threshold is actually 16,500 or somewhere around that not 18k. At the end of the day it’s an apprenticeship and a career in which hopefully your salary will go up. we all know if you want the money you go into the big city I don’t know why anybody would be surprised by this law is not a well paying job unless you are a city lawyer


If you read the solicitor regulation authority it is £16,650 outside of London. Seeing as it the sra who authorise and control training contracts I would follow there figures over the law societies who have nothing to do with censoring and monitoring training contracts


I think your supervisor at Irwin Mitchell was lying to you about minimum salaries…


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