Revealed: What law firms pay their solicitor apprentices

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By Sophie Dillon on


School leavers starting on up to £28k

Legal Cheek has compiled an official round-up of solicitor apprentice salaries across the UK’s leading law firms.

There’s no doubt that solicitor apprenticeships are on the rise, with 2024 seeing Slaughter and May become the fourth Magic Circle player to announce an apprenticeship programme. But, have you ever wondered what law firms across the UK are paying their fresh-faced school leavers? Well, wonder no more.

Compiling the data from almost 40 firms across the new Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List, we’ve broken down how much new recruits earn in their first year, and how this might progress over their journey to qualification as a solicitor.

With the typical apprenticeship lasting six years, rookies can expect to earn the salaries listed below whilst completing a fully-funded law degree and SQE qualifications, spending one day a week at university, and four with their firm.

The Legal Cheek 2024 Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List

A far cry from the National Apprenticeship Wage, which currently sits at £5.28 an hour for first-years, Legal Cheek data shows that some apprentices in London earn in excess of £25k in their first year.

You can view all of our salary data on our Legal Cheek Solicitor Apprenticeship Most List.

How much will I earn as a first-year apprentice? 💷

Law firm First year salary
Norton Rose Fulbright £28,000
Bates Wells £27,352
Osborne Clarke £27,000
Dentons £26,500
Ashurst £26,000
Gowling WLG £25,500
Pinsent Masons £25,400
Mayer Brown £25,000
Mischon de Reya £25,000
Taylor Wessing £25,000
Fieldfisher £25,000
Charles Russell Speechlys £25,000
CMS £25,000
Wedlake Bell £25,000
Bird & Bird £25,000
Simmons & Simmons £25,000
Allen & Overy £25,000
Wiggin £25,000
Linklaters £25,000
Stephenson Harwood £25,000
Eversheds Sutherland £24,000
Farrer & Co £24,000
Bristows £23,950
DWF Group £23,300
Weightmans £23,000
Kennedys £22,000
Burges Salmon £22,000
Irwin Mitchell £21,749
Womble Bond Dickinson £21,480
Hill Dickinson £21,255
Shoosmiths £20,000
Cripps £20,000
Michelmores £19,850
Addleshaw Goddard £18,500
Express Solicitors £15,171
Brabners Undisclosed
Bevan Brittan Undisclosed
Gateley Undisclosed
TLT Undisclosed

With scores of solicitor apprenticeship programmes still in their infancy, many firms have yet to confirm their salaries for years two, three and four. But, there are a selection of outfits, including those with more established programmes, who have been able to provide us with a more detailed breakdown.

How will my salary progress? 💷

Viewing on a mobile? Please scroll right to view the whole table 📲

Law firm Second year salary Third year salary Fourth year salary
Stephenson Harwood £30,000 £35,000 £40,000
CMS £27,000 £31,000 £36,500
Bates Wells £30,000 £35,000 £35,000
Burges Salmon £24,000 £28,000 £32,000
Weightmans £24,000 £26,000 £29,000
Cripps £23,000 £26,000 £27,500
Addleshaw Goddard £19,500 £24,000 £27,000
Express Solicitors £15,171 £22,000 £22,000

In their final two years, apprentices will typically progress onto the firm’s training contract programme, where they usually move to the same salary scales as their graduate trainee colleagues.

The Legal Cheek 2024 Solicitor Apprenticeships Most List