News

Female law graduates set to earn an extra £460,000 from their degree

By on
27

While an LLB is worth an additional £300,000 to men

A law degree is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to its holder, a new study suggests. The average female law graduate can expect to earn close to half a million quid more over their lifetime than if they hadn’t gone to university, while males who scoop a legal degree will boost their pay by £300,000.

The research, by centre-right think tank Onward, ranks law 4th out of 22 disciplines in terms of the expected “lifetime graduate premium”.

📷 Onward

Onward’s report looks at the financial value of different types of university degree. It compares what the average grad can expect to earn over the course of their whole working life with what they would get without a degree.

The number-crunchers say that women have a much higher lifetime graduate premium from university than men. The report states:

“Women who do not go to university have much worse labour market outcomes; primarily because not going to university puts them on a different life-track, making them more likely to have children earlier and be working part-time.”

As a result, the average female law graduate comes in £460,000 ahead of a non-graduate at the end of her working life, even after making allowances for paying more tax. That’s higher than for any discipline bar maths, economics and medicine/dentistry.

The 2019 LPC Most List

Men have a lower graduate premium, as their earnings don’t drop as much if they don’t go to uni. But a male nailing a legal degree can still expect to earn £300,000 more than his non-graduate counterpart.

Not all degrees are worth the same — or even worth doing, the figures suggest. A male English grad is £120,000 worse off from studying (obviously not enough of them are doing the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) afterwards) and most “creative arts” graduate don’t earn enough to trigger student loan repayments even after a decade. Onward argues that the number of “low value university courses” should be cut.

Predicting the future earnings premium of the average graduate is admittedly an uncertain business, and the researchers admit that their “stylised conclusions” are “experimental”.

The calculations are partly based on data from the Department for Education, which keeps tabs on how much different degree holders earn after graduation. One year after completing their degree, students earn £17,200 on average — not particularly impressive compared to other disciplines, but then many will be sitting the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). As we reported last year, two-thirds of students earn under £20,000 six months after graduation, likely due to further study.

After ten years, the average law graduate earns £33,600 — around the same as computer scientists and 8th in the earnings league table.

📷 Onward

Onward is a new think tank closely associated with the Conservative Party. The report was co-authored by Neil O’Brien, a Conservative MP.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

27 Comments

Anonymous

Female PM, female head of the police force, female monarch…

Really ?

These people will never be satisfied.

I mean a female head of police….

Triggered Loon

So university benefits women more than men? Excellent. All is as it should be.

First person to suggest that we should be closing the ‘gender university benefits gap’ is a Nazi.

Anonymous

Really? How can you tell? Have you prearranged it? Like a secret code?
Is this how you nationalist socialists signal your presence on the web to each other?

Anonymous

Triggered Loon is one of Legal Cheek’s unsung gems.

Data Scientist

Shhh, don’t mention the fact that the ‘pay gap’ that has been pushed erroneously has not only been proven to be false, but that this data demonstrates that if anything, it goes the other way!

I don’t see many feminists decrying the blatant difference in earnings between the genders (all other factors being equal) in this case…

Anonymous

How is the median salary so low for law students after ten years? A trainee salary in London is higher?

Anonymous

A lot of them go off and do something else or join a small firm

Anonymous

Unless it only considers graduates in employment, the LPC will skew the statistics quite a lot.

Anonymous

The earnings data only include graduates in sustained employment who filed PAYE tax returns with HMRC in all of the years of observation. Since the supply of law graduates exceeds demand by a factor of three most of these graduates will not be working as solicitors or barristers.

The female graduate premium is spuriously large because non-graduate females from similar backgrounds work much fewer hours, real earnings for female law graduates are 15% lower than male law graduate earnings by the age of 29.

Anonymous

Skewed results

Anonymous

Well that’s a terrifying prospect. Imagine only earning £33k p/a after ten years.

anonymouse

In all honesty, if you live somewhere rural that 33k p/a is technically the equivalent of 70k p/a in London. Yes, still not a lot of money, but considering the job probably entails 9-4pm work (and not even a stressful one), then it wouldn’t be abhorrent pay.

Anonymous

Wow. LC has now deleted some 100% non offensive comments about how it might be better to work in the regions for better work life balance.

What is going on? Are comments now being censored for relevance to the original article?

Anonymous

They’re back.

Anonymous

I’m on 55k after 7 years pqe in regions. Dual qualified too. It’s shit.

Anonymous

But you can probably buy a house.

Country Mouse

…and be home in time to put the kids to bed, not have to house-share, weekends off (mostly), time to see friends and family. Not to mention lower stress, nicer home and working environment…

Overall quality of life is not just about the salary.

Anonymous

Sh*t the bed, this is amazing.

Anonymous

You’re a neb

Sheikh Rahtul Ahnrol

Aha! At last I am back from short spell of imprisonments on misunderstandings to offer you top quality incontinent pant to stop as you put it sh*t the bed!

Sherona Mahabeer

Unfortunately, it isn’t worth even a fraction of that in South Africa…
#SincereRegrets

P. K. van der Klott

Becuz all de bliks are givun free hamburger, ya?

Anonymous

This is racist against white South Africans!

Anonymous

What are the rates like over at Phillips Nizer Benjamin Krim and Ballon LLP on NQ?

Opressed Sapien Man

The above data must be incontrovertible evidence that the “gender pay gap” is a hoax made up by the female sovereign overlords to keep oppressing the the less well-off male. Now the sun is finally shining through clouds on this insidious plot.

Men must rise up and fight against this inequality of salary.

#MenToo

Anonymous

I know – some people don’t even acknowledge that the ‘gender pay gap’ is due to different jobs paying different salaries! Next they’ll be arguing that a lot of ‘sexual harassment’ allegations are fabricated! Lord help us!

Join the conversation

Related Stories