Oxford law grads pocket £20,000 a year more than Durham and Warwick peers

Earning power: Oxbridge dominant over Russell Group rivals, new stats show

The average Oxford law graduate goes on to pocket around £20,000 a year more than their Durham and Warwick peers, according to new government-backed data.

The research, collated by the Department for Education, analysed the earning power of graduates from 148 institutions who have been out of their undergraduate studies for five years.

Focusing on law, the University of Oxford — a favourite among top City firm recruiters — produces the top earning graduates. According to the data, a grad who completed their law degree at the elite uni in 2008/09 will five years later be earning a median salary of £61,400. Law alumni of Cambridge secured second place with an average annual income of £54,700, £6,700 less than their Oxbridge rivals.

Further down the power list, the data shows London School of Economics law grads five years into their careers earn a median salary of £47,700, while their counterparts who studied at University College London are taking home on average £47,200 a year. Elsewhere, the stats — released yesterday — reveal that law grads who completed their studies at Russell Group duo Warwick (£41,600) and Durham (£40,400) are earning around £20,000 less than their Oxford-educated equals. Other Russell Group law graduates, from for example Bristol and King’s, can expect to earn in the thirty thousands.

At the very bottom end of the table are the law graduates of Bradford University, with a median income of just £17,300. Sitting just above them are Bedfordshire (£17,800) and Bolton (£18,300) law degree holders.

Away from law, the accolade for top earning degree course goes to students who punted for Economics and Management at Oxford University. The data reveals these graduates enjoy a five year post-grad earning average of £71,700.

Top 20 law schools by graduate earnings

University Median salary five years post-graduation (£)
University of Oxford 61,400
University of Cambridge 54,700
London School of Economics and Political Science 47,700
University College London 47,200
University of Warwick 41,600
University of Durham 40,400
University of Nottingham 37,900
University of Bristol 37,700
King’s College London 37,200
University of Manchester 35,500
University of Exeter 34,300
University of Sussex 33,800
University of Southampton 33,100
Queen Mary University of London 31,400
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne =30,700
University of Surrey =30,700
University of Birmingham 30,300
Open University in England 30,200
Birkbeck College =30,100
University of East Anglia =30,100

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24 Comments

Liberturd Leftie

So by your metric Oxford is ostensibly “better”, whatever that means, than Cambridge?

(7)(5)
In-House trainee

Five years out of your law degree and only earning £17,300? Bloody hell. You make more stacking shelves. That’s atrocious.

I get that it’s a median but still…

(26)(1)
Anonymous

Well, I would suggest that most Oxford graduates end up working in the commercial bar, hence the average salaries are higher. Or is this study only conducted amongst city firms? If so, it makes no sense whatsoever.

(1)(9)
Anonymous

Definitely not true. Of the law students from my college (not just in my year), none are at the commercial bar (out of 18 or so); most are solicitors of some description or another. I would expect this to ring true across other colleges and year groups. There are very very few commercial pupillages a year, no way enough to employ the 200 or so Oxford law students that graduate every year, especially when you consider a proportion will be taken by GDL students (and indeed graduates from other universities of both law and non-law). Indeed the 2 commercial barristers from my year and proximate years both did the GDL so aren’t counted in these stats.

(8)(0)
Anonymous

It’s neither. The data is from 2008/09… 2017 minus 5 years is 2012.

Are you drunk?

(3)(2)
LL and P

The data was probably from like 2014/15 of those that graduated 5 years before. It takes time to collate and process data you see. So no need to be rude to others.

(4)(0)
Anonymous

Even it was 2015… we are now halfway through 2017.

Again, are you drunk?

(0)(3)
LL and P

You’re clearly not an intelligent person but probably think you are. If you can’t process what was said, and don’t know how to construct correct sentences, then good luck to you.

(2)(0)
Anonymous

Which law firms are paying £61k 5 years after completion of a law degree?! This would be 2 PQE.

Not even Irwin Mitchell pay that badly.

(7)(4)
Anonymous

OK maybe not Irwin Mitchell – I think they still pay in goats and sacks of grain. But even Pinsents/Eversheds pay more.

(5)(1)
Anonymous

Outside of London, firms will pay less. DLA pay their 2PQEs around £45k in their Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham offices. I recall seeing a 2PQE Eversheds role in Manchester for £42k.

Although the figures above aren’t representative, as I’m 2PQE in Manchester and on £65k. Median is only useful if you have the range…

(1)(0)
LL and P

Not everyone goes straight from Uni to LPC to TC. Many take breaks, study further or take other jobs first.

(0)(0)
Anonymous

i graduated from one of those unis outside the top 10 precisely 5 years ago, and I earn multiple times the median stated for Oxford. No one polled me. Or do they call up 10 grads at random and that’s that? Probably is about right.

(1)(11)
Anonymous

nice to know you married rich, claimed to be earning more from your monthly allowance and now wanting to gain some dignity graduating from a uni outside the top 10

(4)(3)

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