Rising to the top of the legal profession can be immensely difficult, but forging a successful career in law is also incredibly rewarding, prestigious and lucrative. Though the journey is long, challenging and expensive, there are many benefits to becoming a lawyer, some of which are outlined below.
Undergraduate students often choose law in the belief that they will be accepted by a large city firm upon graduation. Unfortunately, there are far more law graduates than there are places in law firms. The availability of potential recruits enables top practices to pick the best candidates, leaving many students without a firm offer of a training contract as they enter the final year of their degrees.
High tuition fees and an ailing economy have combined to make the situation worse for recent graduates, who must be confident of achieving their objectives regardless of the odds stacked against them if they hope to become successful lawyers. If they do manage to find a place at a reasonably good firm, the legal profession ought to provide them with plenty of opportunities to succeed at every level.
When enrolling on a law degree, most students have money in mind. Hoping or perhaps even expecting to earn vast sums of cash upon qualifying as a solicitor or barrister, undergraduates should also be concerned about the burden of repaying tuition fees. So, how much can law graduates hope to earn in the UK?
In England and Wales, trainee solicitors earn a minimum of £18,590 per annum, but graduates who have been fortunate enough to earn a place at a magic circle firm will receive about twice this figure. Upon qualification (after the training period at a law firm ends), solicitors can expect to earn between £25,000 and £75,000 depending on where and for whom they work. Experienced solicitors and partners can earn substantially more, with salaries ranging from around £100,000 to more than £1 million.
Barristers are equally well remunerated, if not more so. The risks may be higher because the profession is considered to be more elitist, but self-employed barristers earn between £25,000 and £300,000 per annum. Starting salaries are lower for barristers than they are for solicitors, with the average trainee earning just £10,000. Barristers who are employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can earn up to £80,000, while experienced barristers often earn over £1 million.
Law graduates can also earn reasonably good salaries by entering other industries and sectors, such as education, law enforcement and business. Of course, money is not everything; legal work can be rewarding and challenging.
About the Author
Vicky works alongside Thaliwal Bridge Metal Health solicitors and enjoys writing law articles geared towards students.