Law ties with investment banking in graduate salary rankings

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By Aishah Hussain on


Some new starters can expect to earn £50k

Graduates entering law or investment banking are the highest paid in the country, new research has shown, and can expect to start on salaries of £50,000.

High Fliers Research last month examined the country’s top grad employers (based on The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2022) and forecast how much they’ll pay their new recruits this year. The figures don’t include additional benefits such as bonuses.

Trainee solicitor salaries at the country’s top law firms have shot up to a new median of £50,000, matching the average salaries of their peers starting at investment banks.

Law was beaten by investment banking in last year’s findings with trainee solicitors earning an average salary of £46,000 and junior bankers taking home £50,000.

The findings show loads of the highest grad starting salaries are from law firms — £52,000 at White & Case, and £50,000 at Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Latham Watkins, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

But our Firms Most List shows a number of US outfits pay their UK newcomers even more, with Weil Gotshal and Akin Gump topping the table with sums of £60,000 and £57,500 respectively.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Further down the table (below) grads venturing into consulting can expect to earn £47,500, on average, while those bound for the oil and energy industry can expect earnings of £40,000.

Graduates entering the public sector earn the lowest in the rankings (£23,100), followed by engineering (£28,500) and media (£31,500).

The report also showed that grad salaries at the top employers are set to increase in 2022 for the first time in eight years from £30,000 to £32,000.

Median starting salaries for grads in 2022

Industry Median starting salary
Law £50,000
Investment banking £50,000
Consulting £47,500
Oil & energy £40,000
Banking & finance £38,000
Retailing £36,800
Armed forces £33,000
Consumer goods £32,000
Technology £32,000
Accounting & professional services £32,000
Media £31,500
Engineering & industrial £28,500
Public sector £23,100

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