Cambridge law grads out-earn those at LSE, UCL and Oxford with average salary of £69,400

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Five years post-graduation

Cambridge University law graduates out-earn those at LSE, UCL and Oxford with an average salary of £69,400 five years after they graduate, new government data has shown.

Cambridge came out on top of the law school earnings league released this week, beating LSE, where law grads earn a median salary of £65,500, UCL (£65,000) and Oxford (£64,600). This means that Oxford alumni earn approximately £4,800 less than their Cambridge rivals five years on from graduation, according to new Department for Education figures which focus on students who graduated between 2012 and 2013.

Yet, law grads at all of these institutions earn on average more than double the typical UK salary within just five years of graduating. The national average salary is £31,461, according to stats posted by the Office for National Statistics last year.

Earnings further down the list drop rather sharply. Coming in fifth is King’s College London, from which LLB’ers earn an average salary of £48,700 at the same point in their careers.

The rest of the top ten is made up of Russell Group universities Durham, Bristol, Warwick, Nottingham and Exeter, where law grads earn over the £40k-mark, except for Exeter, where they earn £39,400, on average, five years after they complete their course.

Average salaries five years after graduation (law) — Top ten

Rank University Average earnings No. of grads
1 Cambridge £69,400 170
2 LSE £65,500 65
3 UCL £65,000 55
4 Oxford £64,600 165
5 KCL £48,700 190
6 Durham £46,000 135
7 Bristol £43,800 130
8 Warwick £43,400 150
9 Nottingham £42,300 135
10 Exeter £39,400 180

At the bottom of the table are Blackburn and Croydon College. The data shows that their grads take home a median salary of just £17,500 after five years — that equates to almost £52,000 less than their Cambridge counterparts — emphasising the vast earnings gap among law graduates.

The data shows that those who studied business and management at Oxford have the highest earning power (£70,800) in the five years after completing the course. Close behind are Cambridge’s computing and law degrees, which both saw median earnings of £69,400 in the tax year ending in 2019.

Despite the most lucrative law degree coming in at an average of £69,400, our Firms Most List shows that this is less than half of what the top-paying City law firms pay their newly qualified (NQ) lawyers. US law firm Vinson & Elkins pays juniors in London a recently improved salary of £153,400 — though they do only take on six trainees a year.

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Blackburn lad

Clearly there’s been a mistake here



Sample size for LSE is so small because nobody will find time to fill in this survey billing 90 hours a week.



Incorrect, this is not done by survey, it’s taken from HMRC data. The small sample size reflects the small UK student cohort.



That’s interesting, I was also wondering why LSE had such a small number. Do you think UCL also has such a small UK cohort? Seems incredible, as I I think they have more than 200 graduates a year.


Nearing the end

Please no. Please not another University article. I can’t take it anymore. It’s almost as if you write these articles seeking a fight between people with absolutely no lives. Oxbridge FTW this, haha Durham and Bristol that. No, no, please God no.



Who would have thought that the cleverest people earn the most money.



The gap would be even bigger if the period of post-grad education was not included in the 5 years.



Warwick graduates are at an ever greater disadvantage, since most of them went to state schools.



Warwick even looks like a giant comp.



Also populated by the chippiest lawyers in the business.

(sincerely, a state school lawyer who didn’t go to Warwick)



Why does this site ridicule people who attend state school?
At the end of the day, they’ve got where you are with fewer resources. They’re more capable than you.



As I stated above, I went to a state school.

My point is simply that Warwick lawyers are chippy. Most often by attempting to denigrate better universities.


Not more capable, no. If fact, almost certainly less clever and definitely less well educated. And insecure, too. So hardly surprising that they do not get jobs in the most demanding fields.


If fact, you sound like an underachieving privately educated chap who has let down the parents. Chin up, try to convince yourself your six figure education has got you anywhere.


Jun 29 2021 10:51pm: try not to be so chippy. Going to a state school might have been a grim experience, and you probably still don’t know how to handle cutlery, but you can leverage off it by way of positive discrimination.


I’m still poor, I did my degree at a uni starting with B….



Imagine being on less than 70k when you could be 2PQE on 170k. Grim.

What are these graduates even doing after they finish uni? Plumbing apprenticeships?


pretty pls

Someone serious please rank Russell Groups in tiers such that I know what chances I have of attending commercial bar. Yes, I was too dumb for Oxbridge. No, I don’t want to do CILEX.


Rankings Smankings

Did you come top or at least top three in your year or are you doing a BCL? The RG pupils can usually establish they are Oxbridge top 10% material that slipped through the application process.

As discrimination against applicants from the better public schools gets worse and worse at Oxbridge the attitudes might change to good RG candidates who were excluded from Oxbridge because they went to one of the elite private secondaries.



“The RG pupils can usually establish they are Oxbridge top 10% material that slipped through the application process.”

Not usually. Never. Degree laundering via an Oxbridge post-grad does not make you Oxbridge. You are only Oxbridge if you went at undergrad level. People do not slip through. If you didn’t get in, it is because you were not bright enough. And doing a post grad, which is much, much easier to do than getting a place as an undergraduate, will not convince anyone to the contrary.


Stop Lying on the Internet

Do you honestly believe one 30-minute interview can accurately ascertain the intelligence of a candidate? Absolute nonsense. The interview is a quick and ostensibly ‘fair’ way to cut down a very large group of incredibly bright people. Virtually everyone who gets to the interview stage of the admission process would do fine at Oxbridge, i.e. get a decent 2.1. Everyone at Oxbridge knows this. So many factors can affect an interview performance that it’s not worth going into. If you can’t think of any, you’re an idiot, and here is a list of possible factors; educational background (some schools receive more prep than others, and those from comprehensive schools have likely been given no support at all), confidence, personality type (studies have shown extroverts are far better at any type of interview – including university admission interviews), links with Oxbridge (those with siblings/parents/friends/classmates from Oxbridge stand a higher chance of being admitted).

No one from Oxbridge believes what you’ve just said. You didn’t go to Oxbridge.



Jun 30 2021 5:22pm: The dons are trained to spot the best intellects. People from state schools are given every proper allowance for being gauche and lacking in confidence. You don’t get in for one reason: you are not clever enough. And I hate to disappoint you, but I went to Oxford and everyone I know who went to Oxbridge shares this view.

The only person lying on the internet is you.



The problem, 9:52, is so many of the ones that get in from the state sector were mind-crushingly dull and just had nothing fun or interesting about them. They were handy if one cared about the college soccer team I suppose.


Whatever you think of Blackburn or Croydon, that £17,500 median salary 5 years after graduation is a shocking stat about graduate employment prospects. Are half of them dead?


Kirkland Donnie

My bonus was higher in the first quarter this year. I don’t even know what i’d do with under 18 bags a year. That wouldnt even cover the cost of my gold plated toilet’s monthly maintenance.


Oxbridge Comp Legend Barrister

Gotta be a top performing candidate (1st to 5th in year) in a GOOD RG university (i.e. London, Bristol, Durham, possibly Nottingham). BCL would help.

If you are not in that category, consider other lucrative, specialist civil areas.

The point re ‘discrimination’ against public schools above is bollocks and clearly written by some idiot who went to Sevenoaks and couldn’t manage to get into Oxbridge notwithstanding an education worth a medium sized semi-detached house in the Midlands.


Try to understand time concepts in written English

You were doing well until the end. The public schools comment was referring to the future, not the present, as this was the first year when offers from unis revealed the horrific results of work policies. Look at the admission numbers from the very top private schools to Oxbridge, many are down 50% or more. That will filter into application considerations in 4-5 years. Some schools have been told that admission criteria make it all but impossible for students to get in for some subjects now. Chambers will be acutely aware that kids who were good enough to sail into Oxbridge have been denied a place simply because of the school to which they went.


Old Guy

At that point many parents who might otherwise have sent their kids to private schools will decide against it and instead opt for the state schools. The private schools will be increasingly filled with mediocre foreign kids who’s parents want a £30k a year education for their sprogs before they go to Uni and then come back to rule over the rest of the people without cutglass English accents. The average Oxbridge educated couple who work in the City may then decide that the state school in their enclave which has all the trimmings of a good public school, is a better bet than stretching themselves to send all three kids private.

We can all speculate about the future.


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