The Legal Cheek Podcast: Leaving the City after making a quick buck — is it as easy as it sounds?

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The New Year period is a time for resolutions. Aside from plans to lose weight, stop smoking and cut down on meat eating, many students spend January mulling their future career plans.

For many, City law is the dream — interesting workloads, big name clients, what could be better? But, other law students see the City less as a passion and more as a route to making a quick buck. There’s no doubt corporate firms pay good salaries and, after all, you could always practise for a few years then leave to do something more suited to your interests and skillset, right? Right?

In the podcast, embedded above and linked to here, Legal Cheek‘s publisher, Alex Aldridge, features editor, Katie King, and events coordinator, Aishah Hussain, discuss the pros and cons to this ‘get rich quick’ mentality. Spoiler alert: it’s not as foolproof as it seems…

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“Events co-ordinator”




Getting Alex’s latte every morning from Pret is very important, you know!



Good that you have a podcast full of experts who have done what you are discussing.


Actual practitioner

After tax, the salaries at Magic Circle firms are nowhere near high enough to enable an associate to retire early (particularly when you take into account the high cost of living in London and the inevitable trappings of a six-figure lifestyle).

There are really only “get rich then quit” options: (i) become a commercial barrister at a top 10 set, where you really can earn a very large amount of money in your first 10 years; or (ii) somehow become a partner at a solicitors’ firm, and then quit after 5 years of partnership. Both strategies are very difficult, and few will succeed. In any event, the fundamental problem with both strategies is that, just as you plan to quit, your earning power will be at its highest. It is hard to walk away from a seven figure income.



A rare contribution to LC that is entirely correct.


Trendspotter 5000

What is this obsession with quitting early?

Fam, if you have a First from a top uni and have secured a TC at a US law firm, chances are that you’ve been working moderately-to-extremely hard since your GCSEs. I don’t see as to why the cut-off for no longer working as hard should be set at a few years PQE.*

*Obviously, there may be extra-monetary concerns that may motivate one to abandon ship at 7QPE, such as partnership prospects or having a family, but I’m assuming that we’re talking about the relation between being worn out by work and wanting to stay in work to make more money.



It’s pretty simple – sit at a desk for 14 hours a day and eat paid 200k per month – that’s about 8/9k net per month + a big bonus. Do this for three years and you could easily save 150k. That is enough to quit law, buy a decent property, a Rolex, a nice car and some travelling and then kick back in a 9-5 job.

Who wants to spend their life in an office looking at documents!



200k per year*



Where are you buying a nice house for 150k with enough £ left for a Rolex and nice car?



Obviously a deposit to buy a house and get a decent mortgage



Has KK every worked in the City?


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