£22,541 in London and £19,992 elsewhere
The Law Society has recommended a 1.9% rise to the minimum salary for trainee solicitors across England and Wales — but law firms can chose to ignore it.
Prior to today’s boost, the Law Society recommended rookies be paid at least £22,121 in London and £19,619 outside of the capital. Now, under new guidance it has suggested solicitors-to-be receive £22,541 in London and £19,992 elsewhere, equating to a not-so-hefty rise of 1.9% across the board.
But like with all the Law Society’s recommended uplifts, the minimum remuneration level is completely unenforceable (i.e. firms can simply ignore it) after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) decided to scrap the rule in 2014. The new rate comes into effect on 1 May 2020.
Law Society president Simon Davis said: “The solicitor profession offers an incredibly fulfilling career and nobody should face unnecessary financial barriers to entry. I encourage all law firms to adopt this recommendation, pay their trainees a fair minimum salary for their hard work and encourage greater social mobility.”
“Our vision is that solicitors at every stage of their career can be confident that their talent, ability and work ethic will be rewarded irrespective of background, gender or ethnicity.”
A recent survey found that 30% of trainees were being paid below the recommended levels — a rise of five percentage points on last year.
Junior Lawyers Division chair Charlotte Parkinson said: “Many junior lawyers leave education with significant levels of debt — particularly where they have had to self-fund their Legal Practice Course — and it is important that they are paid a fair rate and able to repay that debt.”
She added: “The JLD urges all employers to pay the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary and ensure that talented junior lawyers are not deterred from entering the profession because of their financial background.”