‘Should I negotiate my training contract salary?’

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I have accepted an offer from a UK top 50 firm

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one soon-to-be trainee is considering asking her future firm for more money.

“I’m hoping you can help me with a question I have regarding my training contract. I have been offered and accepted a training contract at a law firm which is in the top 50 law firms in the UK but pays almost half of what other law firms pay their trainees. In addition, as I already completed the LPC, they do not reimburse my fees.

I have several years of work experience and I’m strongly considering negotiating my salary. However, how advisable is this? Could they take back their offer? If it is possible/advisable, what’s the best way to do it?”

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City rookie

Can I be there when you do it? LOL


Soon-to-be-jobless trainee

I hope this is a joke



You’re a joke



Do it mate, I’m sure it will definitely work the way you want it to and they won’t rescind the offer and give it to someone else who will work for the salary offered. This can only end good for you.


Trainee at top 50 firm

A strong no. Just ride out the two years and negotiate at NQ or depart.



You can always put “Ex Future Trainee Solicitor” on your LinkedIn after you do it.

Don’t forget to make a post telling everyone how grateful you were for the (shortlived) opportunity.



Did you receive a training contract from other firms that offer more? No. So you’re in no position to negotiate


Does anyone give their correct details for name/email?

I have seen people successfully negotiate reimbursement of LPC/GDL fees. It’s not so much negotiating as simply asking for it – if they say no they say no.

Not the salary though – every trainee has to be on the same salary. Can you imagine the outrage if other trainees discovered you were being paid more.


Legal Genius

Must be trolling. A dozen thousand people are out there wishing they got an offer from a ‘top-50 firm’. Take it and be happy with what you achieved.


NQ in five weeks

I negotiated a rise in my salary half way through my training contract – that way I could point out how much I had contributed to the company with regard to fees, billing etc and the firm were happy to pay more so it may be worth asking!



May I ask what kind of firm you’re at (city firm, highstreet etc)? Congrats in advance of the NQ status


Jim's High Street Solicitors Ltd

From 12k to 13k at Jims High Street Solicitors Ltd?



It’ll be £11,500 after the IPO and becomes Jims High Street Solicitors plc. Have to keep them shareholders happy.

Only the most top of the top 50 firms are lucky enough to go public.


Passer by

If billing is your biggest concern during your TC you have f***** up before you’ve even started. Your goal as a trainee should not be to bill large amounts and request salary increases. It should be to be TRAINED. You can bill, and you should ensure you clock in a decent amount of chargable time, but you will be shortchanging your development if that is your primary focus. Take this coming from somebody who has been overseeing the work of trainees for 12 years. Please do not follow the advice of “NQ in 5 weeks”. Only focus on being a billing machine if you previously paralegalled in that same practice area for many years.



Great response


No one

Do it, as long as you record the conversation and put it on YouTube.


Woking Pizza Express

Yes. You hold all the cards and have them over a barrel. They’ll probably quadruple your salary and make you a partner.


Future trainee

The worst they can do is say no. If you don’t ask you don’t get. People are unique and if you feel you can justify why you should be on a higher salary go for it. I’ll be negotiating my paralegal salary in the next 6 months, worst case scenario nothing changes.



The worst they can do is turn around and take away the offer. They are doing you a favour by offering you a training contract and if you don’t want to accept their terms there are hundreds of thousands of people that will. Terrible advice



Lol the cheek –


Teo Lolstoy

“top 50 law firms in the UK but pays almost half of what other law firms pay their trainees”

Sounds like a top firm. Surely not true though, as all firms pay at least 30k for a first year trainee?


Harry Redknapp

All London firms. Some firms pay as little as 16k for first year trainees in the regions.


Anon NQ

Some firms in london pay that little too, not just the regions!


Angus, Exeter University LL.B.

Be great if LC could stop publishing this claptrap. Everyone knows these salaries (in any firm which is relevant) are non-negotiable.



Should I post my TC acceptance on LinkedIn? Or do people cringe at this behaviour? Thanks


Dick Swinger

Depends what firm. If it’s MC or above you have a right, nay, an obligation, to take to Linkedin and swing your dick around.


A girl has no name

“MC or above”

What a time to be alive that there is legitimately an “or above”



Top US firms could be ‘above’ no? I.e KE, LW, CG, WG,Skadden etc



You could stick your bollocks in a vice but it being possible doesn’t make it a good idea pal



They actually can’t pay one trainee more than another.

They would have to raise everyone’s salaries too.

You’re probably not worth the increase in salaries for every trainee they have when would be solicitors are 10 to a penny.

Get qualified, negotiate your salary then and stop moaning.


Lord SoapyCheeks

You should negotiate your own office and team of PAs too. I hear all the executive trainees are at it these days.


A girl has no name

Don’t forget the keys to the executive washroom.


"Top 50" brummie firm trainee

Trainees are allowed to use washrooms???

Since when?!



Take the job
Fight from within once you’re there


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