Cost of living crisis: ‘I am worried my SQE maintenance grant isn’t enough’

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By Legal Cheek on


Is part-time work the answer?

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one future lawyer is concerned that their firm’s maintenance grant isn’t enough to support them through their SQE studies.

“I have been wondering if there has been any discussion on the cost of living squeeze on future trainees at firms where they haven’t increased the SQE grant this year. I have a TC at one of these firms which has stuck at £11,000 SQE grant for London.

Essentially, I am worried that the grant isn’t going to go far enough and am considering taking on a part time job to cover the rest. I have budgeted for rent, groceries and bills, but I am still around £1,000 short for the 12 months before I start my training contract, and this doesn’t include travel into London to go to university, or anything beyond basic groceries and bills.

I don’t want to ask my parents for yet more money given they supported me through uni and the GDL. So I see no other option but to work part-time to make up the shortfall. However, is this dishonest? My firm is giving me money to allow me to fully concentrate on my studies, but if I need to work a job then I am fundamentally not able to do that. Should I not tell the firm I’m doing this and hope they never find out? Or should I be honest and say I will have to take on part time work to make ends meet? Is it even possible to manage the SQE while working 15+ hours a week?”

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