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Law Society ups recommended trainee minimum salary by 2.6%

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£22,121 in London and £19,619 elsewhere

The Law Society has suggested a 2.6% rise to the minimum salary for trainee solicitors across England and Wales.

As things stand, the Law Society recommends trainees be paid at least £21,561 in London and £19,122 outside of the capital. Under the new guidance, it has suggested firms should offer trainees a minimum salary of £22,121 in London and £19,619 elsewhere, a rise of 2.6% across the board. The new rate comes into effect on 1 May.

Unfortunately, Chancery Lane’s pay pointers are completely unenforceable, meaning law firms can simply ignore them if they wish. And many do. Recent research found that roughly 25% of trainees were being paid below the recommended levels.

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Commenting on today’s modest increase, Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “Entry to the solicitor profession should be on merit and nobody should face unnecessary financial barriers.” She continued:

“I urge all law firms to adopt this recommendation for their trainees — which represents a fair salary — and to consider how else they can contribute to greater social mobility to the benefit of their business, society and the profession. Our vision is of a profession in which all solicitors — present and aspiring — can be confident that talent, ability and application are rewarded irrespective of background, gender or ethnicity.”

The minimum salary for trainee solicitors had previously been enforceable by law. This, however, was scrapped by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in 2014.

Earlier this month, a group representing young legal aid lawyers issued a public plea for the regulator to review its decision. The Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) warned that low pay was one of the “biggest challenges” facing junior lawyers wishing to pursue a career in legal aid.

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30 Comments

Anonymous

Still less than a barista with no degree and any other qualification lol

(8)(0)

Anonymous

A barista, you say

(2)(11)

Anonymous

Yep per legal cheek previous article on Barrister Vs Barista pay

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Anon at 10.59 thought they were being clever then.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

They should give an hourly rate

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Laughable

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I know we’re going to get the usual ‘ahh MoneyLaw lads lads’ stuff on here, but it really is a disgrace to pay trainees any less than this, and shameful that so many firms do.

(21)(0)

ahh MoneyLaw lads lads

My dog’s bed cost more than the minimum recommended annual salary.

(2)(1)

Harry Thotter

Who is this society meant to represent – because it’s certainly not us.

(3)(0)

Anonymantle

Is it even possible to survive with £22k p.a. in London?

Imagine completing law school and a professional vocational course and not being able to rent a place of your own in the city you work.

Although we never hear about high street firms and their employees (rightly so, given that these journal is focused on the top commercial firms which naturally work on the most significant commercial deals), the truth is that the majority of junior legal professionals do work in such type of firms, and the fact that they have to endure such dire financial conditions is really sad.

The problem is that there is no clear “right answer” for this issue. I hope to see some good comments on this thread; some brainstorming could go a long way this time.

(18)(0)

Anonymous

Not without significant financial assistance, usually from parents (or if you are lucky, a high earning partner). Neither of those help accessibility to law, which is already pretty difficult.

(7)(0)

Anon

It is certainly possible without assistance (I have done it on about 13-14k net) but not the nicest lifestyle.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

How?

13k net in London will have you living in a cardboard-subdivided converted living room in a drafty HMO in Catford with seven sweaty Romanian builders.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

There’s nothing wrong with Catford. Fuck off back to oxfordshire or wherever…can’t stand all these fake londoners who grew up watching made in chelsea from their 4 bed in the home counties and have zero idea about the reality of this city for the vast majority.

(1)(3)

CATFORD PEASANT SPOTTED

LMAO touched a nerve have we

(3)(1)

Anon

£800 rent, £150 bills and a walkable commute. Left decent amount for food etc.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Of course it’s possible to survive on 22k, pull your head out of your privileged arse. Don’t you realise millions are on that sort of money? Junior civil servants, retail workers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, paralegals etc etc etc.

(7)(1)

Anonymarmite

Exactly, all jobs which are NOT akin to being a trainee lawyer.

12.40 Anon, you’re completely missing the point!

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Trainee lawyers aren’t special.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

How’s paying off your student loan going?

(0)(1)

Amused

I:

– Work in a london firm;
– Get paid just a bit less than 22k;
– live in London (shared house);
– Am not a trainee, but offer my example as a general precedent that it is possible.

Grow up. It’s not that hard to live on that amount of money.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Total mug ^

The lack of money in this profession really gets you down

(3)(0)

Amused

No. I’m part-time, non-fee earning and have a TC lined up. They’d be “mugs” if they paid me more at this point and time.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Sounds shit; sucks to be you

(0)(0)

Pennies

It is possible – I’m living on around £13,000 at the moment. Every month it’s £548 rent, £35 bills, £100 or so each month on travel, £70-80 groceries. Leaves enough for the odd meal out or treat. I’m looking forward to starting my TC though and not having to watch the pennies constantly.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Yeah, it’s possible…if you spend £548 on rent. Based on standard rents for London, you’re not living anywhere particularly nice..

(2)(0)

Anonymous

But it’s still optional not a compulsory minimum so this is largely lip service.

Firms who pay less than the existing minimum, ie the real problem, are going to ignore this like they ignored the old recommendation.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Basically get trained on minimum wage of over 25 it’s 7.83 do 8 hours for 62 pounds a day for a yearly total of just above 15000

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Grim, sweaty, fantastic

(0)(0)

So what

It really doesn’t matter as it’s still only a recommendation. I know for a fact my former firm wont pay it just like they didn’t follow the previous recommendation. 17k in London is disgraceful.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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