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Oxford Uni beats Cambridge and LSE in law grad earnings league table with average salary of £67,200

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Stats focus on pay packets five years post-graduation

With exam season coming to a close and students turning their attention once more to university course options, it’s worth mulling over which ones potentially offer the highest incomes post-graduation. With this in mind, new data has revealed that University of Oxford law grads top the law school earnings league.

The government findings (below) show that those who study law at Oxford earn, on average, £67,200, five years after graduation. Following closely behind are law graduates at the University of Cambridge, who earn a median salary of £58,200 — that’s £9,000 less than their Oxbridge rivals.

Coming in at third is the London School of Economics (LSE), from which LLB’ers earn an average salary of £45,900 at the same point in their careers.

Average salaries five years after graduation (Law)

Credit: The Telegraph

It comes as no surprise that all universities to feature in the top ten most lucrative law grad earnings list are Russell Group institutions. The department for education figures — which focus on students who graduated between 2010 and 2011 — do show, however, that Birkbeck College law grads, who feature in 11th position, earn £35,400 in the five years after they graduate. This means they out-earn those at red-brick institutions including the University of Glasgow (£35,300), the University of Edinburgh (£35,000) and the University of Exeter (£34,600).

At the bottom of the table is Blackburn College. The data shows that Blackburn’s alumni take home a median salary of just £15,000 five years post-graduation — that equates to over £52,000 less than their Oxford counterparts — emphasising the vast earnings gap among law graduates. Just above Blackburn is the University of Bolton (£18,500) and Bradford College (£18,600).

The 2019 Legal Cheek Law School Most Lists

Splitting the statistics (provided by The Telegraph in a handy tool) by gender reveal large discrepancies in LLB earnings. The research shows male law graduates at LSE earn £70,600, delivering the highest earnings of any law graduate, compared to just £43,800 by their female peers in the five years following graduation. Similarly, men at Cambridge (£69,500) earn over £15,000 more than their female peers (£54,300). Female law grads at Oxford, however, go on to earn more than their male counterparts: £68,200 versus £66,900.

Despite the highest paying law degree coming in at an average of £67,200, Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows that this is still less than half of what the top paying law firms remunerate their newly qualified (NQ) solicitors. A plethora of US law firms with London offices, such as Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins, pay juniors upwards of £140,000.

The table below shows those who hold degrees in business or computing have the most earning power. The top earners studied business at Oxford (£74,100) and computing at Oxford (£67,900) in the five years post-graduation.

Average salaries five years after graduation (all degree disciplines)

Credit: The Telegraph

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38 Comments

Anonymous

But that would mean the Guardian was just making their list up ….

THICC

Links and Macs both raise NQ whack to £100,000.

Anonymous

Macs as well? MC wannabe firm

Rupert; a US Firm associate

Pigeon feed!!!!!!

Cedric, a US firm equity partner

Surely “pigeon poo”?

Anonymous

Why so low? Even firms at the butt of jokes pay more than 67k 5 years in.

Anonymous

It’s an average isn’t it? Which means you also include those who became paralegals, went in house, are working as barristers, or straight up went and did something non-law, with salaries vastly inferior to the stacks of cash you get when working at a top law firm.

Anonymous

But those working as barristers should push the figures up. After five years if you are not raking in £250k a year at least what are you doing?

Anonymous

Remember that 5 years after graduation is not 5 years PQE. You’re looking at 3 years to complete the LPC/BPTC and then 2 years of trainee/pupil. Throw in a gap year or masters and you get to 4 years. Throw in difficulty with first year of applications then you’re already at 5.

I do not think that 5 years is a useful of meaningful number for this study to focus on. 8 and/or 10 years would be far more useful.

Anonymous

In what world does the LPC take 3 years?!

Anonymous

If you read again and apply a little common sense, OP is saying 3 years to complete LPC and traineeship or pupillage.

Anonymous

Very very few barristers are on £250k at 5 years… 10 years… or at all. The average across the bar is closer to £100k. Which is worth about the same as £60k in employed salary before tax.

That said it is an interesting and rewarding job that pays well in excess of what most people are happy to live on. Money is not everything.

Impoverished 4PQE

Didn’t notice IM would pay such top dollah mate

Anonymous

And again, when Oxford students are writing and researching 2/3 essays a week and the discussing those essays 1-to-1 with leading academics for three years, they thoroughly deserve to earn what they do after graduation. This shouldn’t be a surprise.

Other universities charge the same in tuition fees, but don’t bother setting more work for their students. One essay a month or less isn’t comparable.

I can never understand why Oxbridge gets the ire it does when they go out of their way to maintain high standards and make sure students learn something there.

Anonymous

I agree with this, but one noticeable trait in oxbridge students (having done vac schemes/interview days with them) is that they seem to place intelligence above everything else. However, in most jobs in the city, people skills are just as important. Most jobs don’t require superhuman levels of intelligence.

MC 4th seat trainee

Truer words have never been spoken. It does’t take a genius to update a CP checklist, compile originals or to bundle (which is 90% of your training contract).

Bish

McTrainee?

I’ll have my McFourth McMeal if the day, with extra fries.

You may call me “Your Eminence”.

Anonymous

Intelligence is the most important factor. Without it, you can forget doing any remotely challenging job.

Anonymous

Indeed. It doesn’t quite compare with 3 years at Warwick, does it?

Anonymous

Agree with this.

But for that very reason I’m glad I went to a Russell Group uni rather than Oxbridge. Way less work and much lower standard but still a recognised degree which got me a TC in the City.

Anonymous

But you are by definition intellectually second rate and not as well educated. Good for you!

Kirkland NQ

LOL just spat my vintage Krug out over the deck of my yacht while reading this.

Anonymous

Yeah sure mate, please get back to us once you’re done revising for your upcoming Trusts exam.

Kirkland NQ

I’ve no idea about trusts mate. I did one week of uni, the lecturers told me I was too smart so gave me a first and the number of the managing partner at Kirkland. I spent the next three years chasing hot totty and sinking champers in Chelsea with the boys.

Anonymous

Odd, because at the heart of all those PE deals you bleat on about there lies a trust or two. But then when one is a dull one-trick “comedy” pony who lacks the wit or guile to vary their material, being called out as knowing nothing would make no difference.

Kirkland NQ

Jealousy doesn’t suit you mate.

Also you know nothing about smashing PE deals. Leave that to the big boys please.

Anonymous

God, you odious little tool, if only you knew. You are not a “big boy”, you are a pathetic bore with one joke, you lack the wit to be able to vary it, and you have no clue about the big boys too. We are laughing at you, not with you.

Anonymous

Anyone who gets a “job” after Oxbridge is a sell-out. Oxbridge grads are supposed to spend their days writing poetry under trees and travelling around Italy. “Jobs” are so middle class.

Anonymous

A yacht costs millions of pounds. You earn £140k a year. Did you find maths tricky at school?

Kirkland NQ

Correct. Took a reasonable chunk of my wage last year to afford it but when you’re on the autobahn fast-track to partnership it’s doable.

Anon

Yes, and that’s not forgetting the docking fees, staff salaries and maintenance. I used to spend time on a yacht in Monaco as a tutor.

So funny how some lawyers want to desperately emulate their clients’ lives.

Kirkland NQ

Yeah, it’s hilarious. Always have a chuckle to myself when it’s not the other way round.

Anonymous

Yeah, sure Henry Kravis is super jelly of Higgins’ 10 million a year. Or as Kravis calls it, a mid-range ski chalet.

Anonymous

Oxford and Cambridge are bastions of elitism. Down with them! Down with private schools! 100% BAME student populations! End the patriarchy! Smash the system!

Anonymous

*frantically calls Macfarlanes and Linklaters in an attempt to negotiate fees to publish NQ pay increase*

Anonymous

Who on earth answers a survey about how much money they are earning 5 years after they left uni?

I just wish they would stop sending me those useless yearbooks and forms asking for my cash. I suspect with the number I’ve already thrown away I could construct a small garden shed.

Anonymous

“The cleverest people in the country earn the most” shock.

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