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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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