A quarter of trainee solicitors paid below Law Society recommended minimum

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New figures show improvement in number of firms heeding Chancery Lane guidance

A quarter of trainee solicitors across England and Wales say they earn less than the Law Society’s minimum salary recommendation, new statistics have revealed.

The survey of over 500 trainees by legal recruiter Douglas Scott found that roughly 25% of trainees were being paid below the recommended levels set by Chancery Lane bigwigs. This compared to 38% in 2018, 35% in 2017 and 31% in 2016.

As things stand, the Law Society recommends (i.e. firms can choose to ignore it) trainees be paid £21,561 in London and £19,122 elsewhere. The minimum remuneration level a trainee receives had previously been enforceable by law. However, amid much criticism, this was scrapped by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in 2014.

According to the findings, the drop in the number of trainees who reported feeling hard done by was mainly due to positive changes in regional salaries. Twenty-six percent of regional rookies are paid below the Society’s recommended minimum, a marked improvement on last year’s figure of 41%. Meanwhile, in London, where rookies’ salaries can hit highs of £60,000 (almost triple the recommended minimum), 17% of trainees said they were paid below what the Law Society deemed fair, down from 20% in 2018.

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Jon-Paul Hanrahan, associate director at Douglas Scott, said:

“This is good news. We have been tracking trainee pay awards for some time now and this year does feel different. Law firms have reacted positively to criticism, as our research also revealed that 45% of trainee solicitors received a pay rise this year compared to 35% in 2018 and for many it brought them above the threshold for the first time.”

Elsewhere, the stats suggest that the number of hours trainees put in at the office is down slightly — from 43 hours per week to 42 hours per week. Seventeen percent of respondents reported clocking up in excess of 48 hours each week, down from 21% in 2018.

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God… it’s like you don’t understand your audience at all… We don’t want legal journalism, we want more articles about vloggers and their YouTube channels. How else am I supposed to find out how to get a TC with a top titan firm??



Or put another way, roughly 75% of trainees are paid at or above the minimum recommended rate…



You must of been top of your fucking class..



If you are, please drop me a line. I recruit trainees who are excelling in that class.


Helena Kennedy wannabe

Must have, not must of!


Irwin Mitchell Trainee

£19,122 salary?! That was what HR told me to pay as a deposit for my desk space. I’m currently pot washing in the canteen to pay off all my overheads…



How the other half live.



Gep shep gib bip



McMillan Williams those guys had a paralegal role with a LPC requirement. You had to be in the office from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening. The salary was 15000 a year, working 60 hours a week. Shite and right.



A disgrace



Strike action


A windfall tax on city greed!



Take a day off your dedication to tireless shit banter



I’m not being racist or anything but, as an observation, can’t help but see that a lot of the careers articles (which do not allow comments) appear to feature black trainees. Is it representative of what you actually see? I’m sure they are all very good at their jobs.



Love the preamble:

“I’m not being racist or anything”

A good and necessary point. Strongly made.

Are you a silk?


District Judge Wrench

Let us deconstruct that sentence:

“I am not being racist or anything”.

Contains the clauses:

“I am not being racist”.

“I am not being anything”.

If you are not being anything, how is it that you exist, live and breathe to type?

You are therefore incorrect about not being anything.

By virtue of the fact that your assertion about not being anything has been proved incorrect, doubt has now been cast onto your assertion that you are not racist.

It is therefore reasonable to presume that you might be racist.

As you are not being accused of a criminal offence, the standard by which the issue ought to be judged is “on the balance of probabilities”.

As your credibility is in doubt vis a vis the assertion that you were not “being anything” I find that, on the balance of probabilities, you are racist.

Costs in the case.



This is total nonsense. I have three black friends and I regularly go to a Nigerian food stand at the market.



You would lose that argument because most judges would simply think you are a twat.



No, it isn’t representative. Don’t forget that firms pay LC for advertising. I could count on one hand the number of black futures I met on the gdl/lpc.



And comments are not allowed in case the sponsor is offended.


Angry trainee

You could pay me 200,000 as a trainee. I’m still bailing once I finish my TC.



…makes sense. After you finish your TC you wouldn’t be a trainee and get the 200,000. Would the same amount as an NQ there change your mind?



When trainees aren’t getting paid enough to even pay back their student loans as its below the repayment threshold, you have a problem with the profession!



Either that or there needs to be greater awareness that law, in most cases, isn’t a path to riches.


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