Rookie solicitors shouldn’t be ‘owned by their lifestyle’, says QC, as new MP, 23, pledges to give more than half of her salary to charity
Many students go into law dreaming of changing the world, are helped to qualify by City law firm’s generous training contract sponsorship packages, and then having got used to the money quietly drop the ideals of their youth.
With Britain’s new youngest MP, Nadia Whittome, pledging to only take home £35,000 of her new £79,000 salary, a top QC who combines his lucrative tax practice with high profile public interest work has a message for future lawyers hoping to make a difference: go and get the necessary training “to be really useful” but keep your expenses down so as not to be “owned” by the lifestyle.
I get asked a lot by young lawyers what they can do to help: eg should they abandon training contracts in the City? I tend to suggest they go and get the training they need to be really useful – but critically to keep their expenses down so they're not owned by their lifestyle.
— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) December 14, 2019
Jolyon Maugham QC, who is well known for pro bono work that has battled, among other things, to hold the government to account over Brexit and make Uber pay more tax, added:
“Live to have the space to be the person you want. You’ll find it much more rewarding in all the ways that really matter.”
Maugham’s career offers an interesting blueprint for future lawyers hoping to combine big earnings with a social conscience.
The barrister made it to Durham University after a tough childhood. Then having qualified as a barrister he climbed the ranks in the lucrative area of tax law, before developing a public profile through blogging and Twitter and launching the Good Law Project in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. He has since combined his tax practice with high profile pro bono work.