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Ex-City lawyer on £100k reveals she’s taken 80% pay cut to specialise in human rights

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She currently earns just over £18k but hopes to revert to six-figure salary in new field

An ex-City lawyer once earning just over £100k has revealed she recently took a “huge pay cut” to specialise in human rights law.

The anonymous lawyer says she’s now on a salary of £18.2k — an 82% drop in pay — but hopes to revert to a six-figure salary by taking up a new post in her preferred field.

The 29-year-old lawyer, who lives in West London, shared details of her spending habits in a money diary for lifestyle website, Refinery 29.

“I was working for a large City law firm, where I was earning just over £100,000,” she logs in her week-long account. “I quit for a smaller firm specialising in a niche area of law which I’m passionate about. It’s both interesting and makes me feel like I’m doing something good for the world.”

She goes on to explain her current job “is only for a few months” and then she’ll be “moving to a job that does something similar for a £100,000+ salary”. But the lawyer has hedged her bets, explaining “there’s always the possibility that this may not materialise”, so she’s currently interviewing for other positions, too.

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She describes how those close to her were “surprised” and “worried” about her career move, especially her parents who saw it as a “step back”. But the lawyer says she’s prepared herself for this “uncertain period of time” and has always lived as if she was on a lower salary.

The human rights lawyer takes home £1,295 after tax each month, £956 of which is her share towards the mortgage on a flat she co-owns with her sister. She saves on student loan repayments as her current salary is “too low” as well as on transport since she works from home for the most part and can “walk everywhere”.

She has just over £50k savings in various accounts and funds from her previous job to get by, and has ring-fenced £5k of that for “fun things” as her current salary “can’t cover it”. She’s also seemingly cut back on eating out by taking up cooking and instead of holidays, she’s exploring new areas of London.

During the week, the lawyer documents she spent just over £100, with most of that spent on food and drink (£73). Seeing that she’s in budget she realises she can afford to give charity donations having paused them all when she quit her high-earning career in City law.

And whilst her pay has plummeted, there are instances where the lawyer is up in the early hours burning the midnight oil. She finishes work after 3am on two days in her diary. But, she says, “I don’t mind working longer hours (even on this salary) when the work is as interesting as this.”

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30 Comments

Anon

“Ex-City lawyer on £100k reveals she’s taken 80% pay cut to specialise in human rights…for a few months, after which she hopes to move back up to the same £100k salary with a similar job.”

There. Corrected that for you.

(54)(0)

Anon

‘…she hopes to move back up to the same £100k salary with a similar job’. Yeah, but in human rights law? A practice area she appears to have little experience in. Plus, jobs paying out six-figure salaries in this area are pretty hard to come by…

(9)(0)

Kirks 4PQE (Now F-Type Jag-Driving) Cutter-of-Gargantuan-Market-Defining PE Deals

Truly woeful decision-making in every way.

Mind you, why tf would I care when I just pocketed twice her annual salary over a bet with some fellow hedge-fund/PE gurus over some mandatory lunch-time martinis at the SkyDeck yesterday?

Read it and weep betaboi pinheads.

We run the City.

That’s all for now. Got a mid-morning trim booked at Fortnum’s barber 🔪 before waltzing into a phat 6-figure bonus during Land’s quarterly rewards agenda 💸

(15)(37)

Dave

I think its time to stop the Kirk 4PQE crap, we all know you are students, and even real associates should be embarrassed to be lurking around a website predominately targeted for students, especially after 3pqe .

That is the major difference between the comment section here in Legalcheek (babies and kids) and that of Roll on Friday (real lawyers and adults)

(51)(5)

Anonymous

We’ll do fine here btl provided we have you lurking around to keep us on the straight-and-narrow.

(0)(0)

Hair brained

Why would anybody go to the barber at Fortnum when Trumpers and Truefitt and Hill are both less than 5 minutes away?

(16)(1)

Fresher Watch Ltd.

Lmao busted!

(5)(0)

Anon

sounds like an over-compensation for something there

(0)(0)

Oh Boy

This is literally only possible if you have family money for a flat or a wealthy boyfriend to pay for nights out.

The SJW work will stop once she realises living on £18k isn’t going to change the world and the worst hypocritical bullies aren’t in fact ‘the torwies’.

(53)(5)

Anon

Agree with your post other than the last sentence.

The Tories clearly are the baddies. But you don’t need to be a human rights lawyer to think that.

(13)(15)

Anonymous

There are SJW solicitors who preach ‘feminism’ and get speaking gigs, whilst having accepted cautions from the police for beating up women living within their family homes.

Other SJW charity environments are notorious for toxic bullying, as volunteers aren’t protected from harassment under the Equality Act 2010.

We have to stop believing that self-proclaimed ‘nice people’ are actually nice people. SJWs can hide all manner of sins.

(21)(2)

Anon

Fair play to her.

She’d rather do something interesting, as opposed to working as an expendable, servile, corporate lackey. Thank goodness for her she wasn’t one of the corporate solicitors who delude themselves into thinking they are important, or anything other than a cardboard postbox.

(24)(3)

FlourPour

But I am important…? HR said so. If I were expendable then why would they provide an in-house GP to help with the life limiting health issues caused by overwork, sleep deprivation, stress and sitting at a desk for 12 hours per day?

(22)(4)

Still bored

Once again FlourPour demonstrates that they couldn’t hack City law.

(13)(5)

go away

“couldn’t hack” lol imagine being so miserable and one-dimensional that one’s existence consists of looking down on other people who aren’t as miserable and one-dimensional on a site populated by first year law students

(8)(6)

#NormaliseMediocrity

Once again “go away” demonstrates that they couldn’t hack City law.

Lmaobantah

Harsh but true. Most US associates are extremely weak-chinned simps with sunken chests who struggle with erectile disfunction and a receding hairline.

Anon

Don’t forget they are often short, and wear thick shirts to disguise their lack of muscle.

Late qualifier?

28 years old and only on £100k. Tragic.

(15)(16)

go away

oh wow another student who thinks they’re gonna be ballin’ because Ashursts gave them an interview 🙄

(35)(1)

Early qualifier?

Lol I know right 28 on 100k. How did she survive? I feel for her 🤦

I feel for people on a 100k salary especially those in there 20s and 30s. It’s tragic really…😔

(9)(2)

Good luck with applications

So you’re a law student who still doesn’t know the difference between “their,” “there” and “they’re.” I can definitely see why you’d be grateful to be earning 100k at any stage in your career. Leeds?

(19)(4)

Lol

It’s a typo, grammar police lol. I have a TC offer at White & Case so no more apps for me fortunately! I just came to troll. Good luck with your apps mate!

(5)(13)

Fake News

Evidently that just isn’t the case though is it buddy.

The day’s getting on. Best get back to finishing off today’s revision schedule before an early night in prep for tomorrow morning’s Contract paper pal.

Anon

It’s unfortunate to hear that W&C have lowered their standards so much. I guess it’s only natural when a firm starts taking on more trainees. Then again, you might be one of those “mature trainees” who is due to start in 2023-24 and will only be qualified at 26. I guess they hope that the years you spend paralegalling in the meantime will teach you how to spell.

Barry

If she is were taking a 80% pay cut to explore an area of law that is interesting to her, or where her passions lie then I would say more power to her. But she isn’t is she, she is taking a couple of months out before going to yet another politically motivated ‘human rights set’ to do some SJW crap before quitting 5 years down the line and writing a book that no one will publish, much less read.

(17)(2)

Touker

Something tells me that this jump was either involuntary (because she couldn’t hack it in the City and no decent firm would touch her with a 10 foot barge pole) or this is a vanity project while her boyfriend/husband/sugar daddy is funding her lifestyle

(16)(2)

Anonymous

You may be correct, Touker; but you still present as churlish, and perhaps a little jealous.

(2)(5)

Reply to Anon and Fake news

Finished my law degree lol, currently doing my lpc…(which is not as bad as I thought)

I know, I must be one lucky guy right?!!
I’m also 22, where did you get “mature student” from loool..like I said good luck with your apps both (genuinely mean it, I know it’s hard out there).

(0)(0)

Anonymug

My God. Please tell me you have a TC starting in 2021. I really hope you won’t be sitting around for 1-2 years before you start training.

(0)(0)

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