London crowned ‘best city for lawyers’

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Oslo and Berlin joint-second in new study

A study has revealed the top cities for lawyers based on work-life balance and pay in 2023.

MoneyNerd, a company teaching people to manage their finances and tackle debt, carried out the study, rating 25 cities on factors such as cost of living, average salary, number of job opportunities and job satisfaction to produce an overall score.

London came out top with over 3,400 legal job opportunities available and an estimated average salary of £75,000 for City lawyers.

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In joint-second position were Oslo and Berlin, which both rated highly on work-life balance and average salaries.

New York came in joint-third with Amsterdam and offered the highest average salary at around £117,000 but may have been kept from a higher position by its high cost of living score. Amsterdam scored highly for happiness and work-life balance, according to the study.

A recent study reported in Legal Cheek found that graduates entering City law are among the highest paid in the UK, beaten only by their counterparts in investment banking.

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Lol doesn’t this article undermine all those stupid articles about how the south west or the north are the great places to embark on a legal career now


Because no matter how many fluff pieces they write or how many lawyers they interview, it’s an open secret that working in the regions is a tombstone for your career.


Don’t tell Exchange Chambers that!

P from NW

Not sure about south west but north west can offer almost everything that London can’t but not vice versa


Lmao placing London above the likes of Berlin, Amsterdam and Oslo is such cap. Have you ever met a Scandinavian or German or Dutch lawyer? Have you seen how much happier, how many more hobbies, how many more friends and interests and *life* they have? I am in my third seat at a city firm in London and it’s honestly a bit depressing the amount of people I meet without any substance to their personality. The hours worked in grey buildings and lack of community and personal adventures outside the workplace have made so many of these lawyers into actual drones. UK and US lawyers never fail to amaze me with their corporate bootlicking and refusal to admit how singular their lives they have become – they are willing to die on the hill of “yeah I work long hours, but I could never move to the continent and make a measly 50k euro and not work on billion dollar deals you see in the FT!”. Guess what, there are countries where, yes, things are not exactly cheap and I am in no way saying the places mentioned above don’t require a decent salary, but the money takes you so much farther and the culture isn’t centred around spending ridiculous money to gain a sense of self-worth. You can work a 9-5 where you have time to meet your friends in the park for volleyball and beers and still afford a decent flat in the city centre. And yeah, you won’t be rich, but who cares?


Well we care… that’s why we do what we do?

I actually want to be able to afford a house that isnt a garden shed and have a family (albeit, one I likely never see)

Family Man

Family shmamily 😛


I mean you could basically live most places outside London and be and be able to afford a house that isn’t a ‘garden shed’ if you were a lawyer.

London is extortionate. You might make more money but you don’t actually have less buying power than a lawyer in Manchester or Bristol.


Jesus, that last sentence is hard to read.


You understand what they mean though. You can buy a terraced house in a nice bit of Bristol for a crap 1 bed in London, and Bristol is expensive. At some point you wonder why slave away in London just to live in some dull commuter town, or whole up in a shoebox 1 bed in Peckham.

The salary increases for living in London don’t get you more property or more buying power.

Emily In Amsterdam

I was thinking how being a lawyer in Amsterdam sounded pretty ideal to me. I had a brief fantasy of cycling to work and enjoying a nice wholesome life on the continent. Then I remembered I don’t speak Dutch and have no cultural links to the country and so my bright fantasy came crashing down to earth.

Then I read your comment and now my soul hurts. Does anyone in the comments know of colleagues who have moved across the channel in similar circumstances? Asking for a friend, promise…

Amsterdam boii

Amsterdam is basically an English speaking city by now lol. You don’t need to know any Dutch. At all. There’s tons of English lawyers working in Amsterdam getting paid much more and being taxed less (bc expats). Pretty much ideal.


Friend of mine worked in Amsterdam for three years (not in law) and could barely speak a word of Dutch by the end. Everyone can speak English there.

Whether that’s acceptable is another matter…

Also I don’t think you’ll have any cultural assimilation issues because it’s very international / western.

Emily (soon to be in???) Amsterdam

Thanks both! This genuinely made me smile on such a dreary Monday morning.

Change now

Think you’re in the wrong profession.


Spot on.


Totally agree. I’m a city lawyer who somehow has a work life balance, hobbies, makes evening plans etc. This seems an absolute rarity. The amount of people in law who just work, work, work is mental – the living costs in London are also insane now and bordering on not being worth the high salary. Your ability to buy in London might be limited to a crap 1 or maybe 2 bed flat. Is it really worth it?


Big law in Germany and proper work-life-balance? Not even in Berlin. Let alone in Frankfurt or Düsseldorf.


Do you think Oslo isn’t expensive and that associates in Berlin don’t have to do similar crap to London associates, with the same hourly targets?


They didn’t consider the tax implications of living in the UK then…


Would love to move to Europe, but being qualified in E&W and not knowing any other languages, it’s not easy.

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