‘Do something that feeds your soul not your wallet,’ advises London lawyer earning over £100k

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By Bradley Fountain-Green on


Viral TikTok

An experienced London lawyer has advised those seeking to follow in her footsteps to do something that feeds their souls rather than their wallets.

In a video posted earlier this week by popular Tiktoker Aydan Alsaad, the unnamed lawyer is asked what advice she would give to anyone who wants to be a lawyer. “It’s really not worth it,” she replies.

@aydanalsaad Lawyer📍London 🇬🇧 #money #whatdoyoudoforaliving #salary #salarytransparency #paytransparency #interview #fyp ♬ original sound – Aydan | Pay Transparency

Despite revealing that she pulls in between £100k and £200k annually, the mystery lawyer encourages law students to “do something that feeds your soul and not your wallet”.

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But before you abandon that TC application, there are some upsides to a life in law, with the lawyer confessing that it does bring her fulfilment to “use her brain”. “I like that a lot,” she explains. “I like it when a problem is cerebral and I can solve it. I like that it requires a lot of IQ to deal with my clients, so those things together make it pretty good.”

Despite looking at her chosen career path unfavourably, the lawyer admits that she doesn’t know what she’d like to do instead: “If I knew I would be doing it,” she quips

Commenters were quick to relate, with one repliying: “This girl speaks on behalf of all lawyers fr (I am one).” Another added: “Me currently dying in law school”.

The clip has so far attracted a whopping 1.6 million views and 140,000 likes.

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i don’t just “have money” ma’am

I’ve been told this so much over the last couple of years by people who have no intention to work in commercial law “oh haha sure you make money but it I’m sure you’ll regret it in 10 years” and that’s such a privileged perspective to me like bro I come from a family of immigrant refugees and I’ve watched my father slog much harder than a commercial lawyer to make less than a tenth of what we make. it’s 100% worth it for many people like me because it changes the kind of opportunities we can afford for ourselves and our family – the first time I mentioned a 6 figure salary to my father (converted to local currency) for working 9-9 (UK firm), he thought I was being scammed.

also if she’s making between 100k-200k after 10 years in law (7-8PQ, assuming none of those years were as a paralegal), I imagine (or at least hope) she’s not billing some of the ungodly hours that US firms sometimes require – I think “it’s not worth it for me” would’ve been a much better way to put it instead of assuming everyone has the same priorities as you.



As a single parent and first generation immigrant, I completely agree. Being able to pay bills and support the family is alway my No.1 priority. Im no where near earning 6 figures but I’d love to see that happening one day and I’m ready to work for it. Staying in the profession and ‘selling my soul’ allowed me and my child to have the privilege to stay in this country (with an employer that sponsored a work visa) and explore more benefits that it offers. Having a bit extra money just opened up so much opportunities for my whole family. People shouldn’t assume that money isn’t worth it for someone like me


I come from a family of immigrant refugees too 🙂


The point she’s making isn’t “forget the money, follow your dreams”

As I read it, she’s saying you don’t have to accept misery and shoot for the most money. Very very very good money is there to be had and you don’t need compromise your needs.

I was in a US firm for 2 years post-qualification at £175K. Left that for an in-house job. I make more money (it happens! and it’s not unusual), work about 35 hours a week, get the usual benefits plus “block leave” during which I am locked out of my phone and laptop for a week, i.e., I literally cannot work even if the company is burning down.

I do work I find interesting, I get to scratch my itch of working directly with the business rather than being a step removed and because the stress levels are lower, my team is just a bunch of great people to work with.

Top G

That’s brokie mentality. “Follow your passion” does not pay the bills. Solving problems and providing solutions does. And being a lawyer is one of the easiest ways to do that. We literally make one of the highest salaries in the country for sitting behind a computer screen typing words lol.

So if you’re complaining or think you have it too hard, feel free to leave the profession to play guitar and sing kumbaya by a camp fire in Australia with a bunch of dorks whilst you “find yourself”, or one of these other lame Gen Z privileged activities – see how far that gets you in terms of “feeding your soul”. The grass ain’t always greener…


I hope this is satire


Easy for her to say from her position… I’ll be taking that with a pinch of salt.


You’re can’t pay for bottles with “the soul”


she’s feeding her soul with ice cream bought with money she complains about

3PQE PE Lawyer

Couldn’t agree more. This career lures you in with sound bites and ‘prestige’ only for you to realise it’s all a lie. It is full of backstabbing snakes who would sell their own mother for career progression and think they are more important than they really are. The work you do seems important until you realise that it isn’t… no one is gonna die if you make a mistake on an SPA, send the DD report past the deadline, not have an answer for the client on a call. It’s difficult to properly articulate but it’s all just abstract noise. Try and run into a burning building to save a life, pick up a gun and defend your country, work 16 hours in a hospital ward and see people’s dying moments everyday – those are difficult jobs with real world consequences. All of my friends who aren’t lawyers are healthy, in good shape, have clear skin and aren’t psychologically insecure… is it worth it? No. Do I have regrets? Absolutely.


You chose PE. Ofc you regret it lol


Shall I get the violin out mate?


This comment screams Weil or Travers…


Unfathomably based comment sir


It’s 100% worth it for me. Maybe she has rich parents or something? I earn more than i could have ever imagined.


It’s so true I really hate this narrative at times that being commercial/corporate lawyer means “woe is me, your life is over”. Don’t like it? Quit but stop spewing this narrative that earning lots of money, doing work that has an impact on the economy and society, travelling, being able to look after parents, having people respect you, being able to potentially be financially free, and meet well-varied interesting and smart people is a bad this. Yes, there are negative points but any job has that. Any job. Unless you get paid lots of money to day stupid words on tik tok. Then you’ve won life.

Citizen Bane

Corporate law may help the economy but it certainly doesn’t help society, in fact it has a negative effect. Those foreign criminals that your firm represents pay your fees with embezzled money. English law firms are butlers to the scum of the world.


“The hate my life I’m a corporate lawyer earning lots of money” is boring now. Ask the warehouse worker who’s doing 16 hours shifts how he/she feels.


Agree 100%


The consequence of a mistake by a (commercial) lawyer could cause unimaginable damage, affect hundreds of employees and lead to a huge (negligence) claim.

Less so for someone staking the shelves.

After clocking out of the 16 hours warehouse work, the 8 remaining hours are completely his/her own.

Less so for someone perusing the contracts.

We get it, lawyers are the supreme race

Are you Kendal Roy?


I must have missed the part of the interview where she said what she did was harder than a factory worker or that she would rather be a factory worker. What she said is the emotional/physical price she paid to get there and the price she pays to keep doing it is not worth the monetary pay. Her comments are not directed to factory workers and those who cannot be lawyers. They are directed to those who have the option to be a lawyer and are considering whether high emotional/stress cost of that kind of a job is worth it. She said it is not. And she is right.

Don’t do it

As a senior at an elite US firm in the City, I make a tad above £300k plus a generous bonus. I have been in finance (RE first and now leverage) for over a decade and can confirm that this ain’t worth it having experienced multiple breakups and a divorce. If I had a choice again I would have pursued a different career that it offers better balance.


Yeah, but it’s funny you’re saying this after earning that amount…also you can always move somewhere that offer better work/life balance you’re not a tree.


The truth is it is often quite difficult for US senior associates to move firm because of their narrow practice / high end deal experience. In-house opportunities can also be limited.


That’s BS. US associates have a broader practice area than those at MC as US firms have fewer headcount and therefore do more whereas MC firms split departments into smaller practice areas. Duh.


then why have you not moved to a better work life balance firm or moved in house?


So many critical comments from non-lawyers who don’t understand what happens. Clearly, these folks don’t have the intellect to be lawyers anyway, so not sure why they are bothering to comment on this article. Your question is like asking a professional athlete why they don’t quit the league if they don’t like always being on the road and away from family. When you have dedicated your life to reaching the top of a certain ladder, you are emotionally and financially locked in even if you find that you hate it. I have been practicing litigation for 18 years at a big firm and absolutely loathe every day of it, but after so long, your self-worth and identity are dependent on the career you’ve built. And I also have a family that has come along with me on this journey and I can’t just start over now without imposing some huge sacrifices on them.


I am very sympathetic to your comment but I think it betrays some deep issues with your own philosophy. You have defined yourself through the lens of your career. Why have you done this if it is a career that you detest?

I know of many people in this profession who simply play the game – they appear to be fully committed from the outside but really they are aware of the shallowness of the the corporate ladder and so do not define themselves through their ability to climb. The feelings you have about your job and your profession are brought about by the worldview that you have constructed and that worldview is not inevitable. You can reformulate it any point if you are willing to reflect, although you will have to admit you have led yourself astray, which is hard to admit for many of us.

Rattle and clank

What the freshers don’t appreciate is the ugly side of all these “prestigious” city firms – only 5% of the associate group will end up becoming partners and the rest will be managed out one way or the other. You might be earning decent bees and honey today but this is unlikely to continue 5-10 years down the road.

Nah bro

Agree with other comments. Earning over 100k has literally changed my life and my family’s life, and I plan to work my ass off so that this continues. Yes, the hours can be shitty, yes you’re sometimes doing something that is incredibly boring or stressful. BUT I never ever ever have to worry about money, which – to someone who grew up with basically none – is the biggest blessing I could hope for 🙂

Archibald O'Pomposity

No issue with this comment. Honesty is refreshing.

Money isn't everything, but it helps

To be able to say, “Do something that feeds your soul not your wallet” is to be in a super privileged position and signals that you have reached a certain level of wealth. As Kanye once said, “Having money isn’t everything, not having it is.” Don’t discourage people from joining the profession because it doesn’t align with your luxury beliefs. The money can be life-changing.

Wise man

Money cannot buy happiness. But an absence of money almost certainly results in unhappiness.

building on "money doesn't buy happiness".

*however, it can be a hell of a down payment. You never see a miserable chap on a ski-jet.


I love this story because it really annoys the Daily Mail Brexit voting type.


I love this comment because it fails to recognise that the top comment is allegedly from a child of immigrant refugees – who by your description is the “daily mail brexit voting type”


So? I enjoy when the Brexit types get angry. Or more angry. Base anger is endemic among them.

Competition for the thinnest skin?

How dare she put forward her own experience when it isn’t the same as my own? So privileged! My job is all I have so I’m incapable of taking this anything else than a personal attack! So rude! And how can she criticise while she’s eating an ice cream that she would NEVER have been able to buy without her job?! So entitled!

Archibald O'Pomposity

If, as you imply, you’re still doing the same job, then it’s fair to assume that you would have made exactly the same choice at the outset.


Well I’m pretty content on my 90k. Guess it all goes downhill when you cross that 100k mark.

Mr Five Per Cent

Pretty much true with the tapering of the personal allowance above £100k.

MC darling

So I’m first generation lawyer, earning the most in my family, I can’t even tell my family how much I earn but they know I’m comfortable. The opportunity has opened doors I couldn’t have imagined and this lady comes and says “it’s not worth it”?! Ok. If I wasn’t fortunate to get into law, only God knows what I would be doing but I highly doubt I would be making what I’m earning now (neither would I own my house, have a nice car, have 5 figure savings)

I can’t lie… despite the rumours about US firm hours, I’m still considering doing it for a year at least because how can I give up such an opportunity?!


I have children, and will therefore continue to work my a** off as a commercial barrister, to ensure they have every opportunity afforded to them. My soul can wait.


If you look at most people in public life who bleat on about doing good and not chasing money, almost every single one of them has serious financial backing from some source close to them. Whether it’s Tony Blair with a wealthy father and wife, Cameron and Osborne, Shami Chakrabarti with an ex husband partner in a City law firm, Theresa May with a rich banker husband, Nick Clegg with rich parents and wife who was a City law firm partner, all the criminal barristers and civil servants and SPADs that can afford to earn £40k salaries in London and still own properties and travel…..the reality is that most of us who didn’t grown up rich need this cash and it changes the lives of family members.


As a lawyer who is a child of immigrant parents I completely agree with her. Yes I make more money than I ever imagined I’d be making at this junior stage of my career, but the sheer level of distress working in a big city firm in a busy practice area is absolutely not worth it. The cycles of burn out, the anxiety, the stress, all the meanwhile knowing the work does not justify the damage (ie we’re not saving lives as someone has alluded). At the end of the day, whilst we need money, we don’t need the exorbitant 6 figure salaries to be happy or comfortable unless your happiness is tied to range rovers, massive houses and kids in private school. You can have a more modest loving affording the necessities and some luxury on less than six figures

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