Law students share their true motivations for pursuing legal careers

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By Legal Cheek on


From protecting rights to cold hard cash

Legal Cheek readers have been sharing their true motivations for pursuing careers as lawyers, with factors such as job status, the ability to help people, and the opportunity to earn lots of money featuring highly.

In a flash survey conducted among our 100k Instagram followers, we asked the question: “Law students: why do you really want to be a lawyer?”.

Many of the 70 plus responses flagged the ability to assist others as a major career motivator. “I genuinely want to help people,” one student wrote. Similarly, another follower told us they “want to be able to help people navigate a system that wasn’t necessarily built with them in mind”.

“I want to help asylum seekers and refugees like myself feel protected and have someone who can speak their language while helping them access the law,” added a third student.

For others, perhaps not surprisingly, cold hard cash was a significant pull.”Money and helping people,” said one aspiring lawyer. “But mostly money.” Several others simply responded, “Money!”

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The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that student pursuing careers in the City can earn a salary of £50,000 or more as a trainee, with pay typically jumping to six-figures upon qualification. However, salaries in publicly funded areas of law are much (much!) lower. The Law Society currently recommends a minimum salary of £26,068 for trainees in London and £23,122 outside London.

Money aside, other responses included students expressing a desire to follow their parents’ career paths and pursue a profession they perceive as “prestigious”. Additionally, some students mentioned the pride that comes with being able to refer to yourself as a “lawyer”.

Some offered what we hope were more jokey responses. “I don’t [want to be a lawyer],” one career confused student told us. “I’m bad at maths xx,” another quipped. A further student added: “So that I’m the only one in the room that knows what ‘actus reus and mens rea’ are lol.”

What are you motivations for pursuing a career in law? Let us know in the comments 👇



my grandfather was a government solicitor. But the main reason was my grandma before passing away while having Alzheimer’s genuinely believed that I was already qualified and working in London. I was 15 at the time and I never looked back from there.

Now I have my TC, I qualify in December.


Your grandpops done u dirty

Kirkland NQ

For the ability to own a Lambo at 24 years old, and still have enough in the budget for a townhouse in Chelsea.

In the absence of BOMAD

Got to pay the student loan somehow…


Not sure that’s right, though. Your student loan repayment plan is effectively a progressive grad tax – you wouldn’t have to pay it at all if you were earning below £29k, and you only have higher payments if you have a higher salary. So setting aside the question of why so many people go to university in the first place, the “debt trap” argument doesn’t really apply in this country.


I have many reasons why I want to become a lawyer. Being undermine and belittled that lead to being bullied. These triggers me that law or becoming a lawyer would be a representative of unheard voices. Victims of injustices need help.


You OK, hun?

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