britishfrenchie
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Hi all, I'm looking for some advice as to which degree to choose/career to go into. I'm currently doing AS Levels in Law, Business, French and Maths. I've not really been liking law but really liking business. Maths is ok, I like some topics more than others (surds are fun haha). I love the maths we do in business though (profit and loss accounts, budgeting 😍).
I took french to improve my grammar and widen my vocabulary but I'm already quite conversationally fluent (my ex spoke only french, my mum is french, spent holidays in france with french family) albeit not perfect or even good enough to say work a job exclusively in french. Although I'd really love to work in Paris someday and I have french nationality so I'd be set if I could find a good job there.
I got straight As at GCSE and predicted As at AS so I guess you could say I'm a high achiever academically. Basically I'm not sure what to go into though. I want to end up with a well paying professional job, definitely no crazy hours though (I work to live!) and with flexibilty to move to France and still have a job in my chosen sector.
I'm interested in possibly being a solicitor, or an accountant or maybe a financial adivisor. A degree where I could qualify in both the French and English professions would be ideal. I know KCL has such a degree for Law but I have no idea for finance sectors. Basically looking for some advice from current law and finance graduates. What are you doing now? What does your job entail? How much do you earn? Do you like your job? What are your hours like? Is the job market really competitive? Are there opportunities to move abroad? Do I seem more suited to a law or finance career?

I know this has been very long and apologise, but thank you so much for reading if you've gotten this far! Hope some people out there might be able to help! If there are any other forums you think might be relevant or could help me out please feel free to link below!
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username853993
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(Original post by britishfrenchie)
Hi all, I'm looking for some advice as to which degree to choose/career to go into. I'm currently doing AS Levels in Law, Business, French and Maths. I've not really been liking law but really liking business. Maths is ok, I like some topics more than others (surds are fun haha). I love the maths we do in business though (profit and loss accounts, budgeting 😍). I took french to improve my grammar and widen my vocabulary but I'm already quite conversationally fluent (my ex spoke only french, my mum is french, spent holidays in france with french family) albeit not perfect or even good enough to say work a job exclusively in french. Although I'd really love to work in Paris someday and I have french nationality so I'd be set if I could find a good job there. I got straight As at GCSE and predicted As at AS so I guess you could say I'm a high achiever academically. Basically I'm not sure what to go into though. I want to end up with a well paying professional job, definitely no crazy hours though (I work to live!) and with flexibilty to move to France and still have a job in my chosen sector. I'm interested in possibly being a solicitor, or an accountant or maybe a financial adivisor. A degree where I could qualify in both the French and English professions would be ideal. I know KCL has such a degree for Law but I have ever no idea for finance sectors. Basically looking for some advice from current law and finance graduates. What are you doing now? What does you job entail? How much do you earn? Do you like your job? What are your hours like? Is the job market really competitive? Are there opportunities to move abroad? Do I seem more suited to a law or finance career?

I know this has been very long and apologise, but thank you so much for reading if you've gotten this far! Hope some people out there might be able to help! If there are any other forums you think might be relevant or could help me out please feel free to link below!
You dont need a specific degree to go into finance (most areas) so a law degree into finance would be fine (assuming you do a internship)

I cant speak personally about the sectors but you say you want a without crazy hours, what would you define as crazy hours? As a lot of areas of both law and finance require a (relatively) large amount of hours

Both sectors have opportunities to move abroad if you become fluent in the required language. I dont think, from the info you have given, that anyone can tell you what you will be more suited to
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britishfrenchie
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(Original post by madmadmax321)
You dont need a specific degree to go into finance (most areas) so a law degree into finance would be fine (assuming you do a internship)

I cant speak personally about the sectors but you say you want a without crazy hours, what would you define as crazy hours? As a lot of areas of both law and finance require a (relatively) large amount of hours

Both sectors have opportunities to move abroad if you become fluent in the required language. I dont think, from the info you have given, that anyone can tell you what you will be more suited to
Thanks for the reply! I guess for me crazy hours would be any more than 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I've heard in france though the average work week is only 35 hours! Got to say, that would be nice! I don't mind earning less if it means I get a life! As long as I can be comfortable financially in a city lik Paris.

In terms of which degree I just want to choose something I'm not going to hate! I know law requires a ton of reading and memorising and I haven't been liking the A level so I've been considering accounting more seriously as I've been loving business, especially the maths we do.

But I don't know much about the job market, is it as competitive as law? How does the salary compare? Is there a need for english accountants or dual qualified accountants in Paris? I've been trying to research this myself of course but having trouble finding anything helpful.
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username853993
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(Original post by britishfrenchie)
Thanks for the reply! I guess for me crazy hours would be any more than 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I've heard in france though the average work week is only 35 hours! Got to say, that would be nice! I don't mind earning less if it means I get a life! As long as I can be comfortable financially in a city lik Paris.

In terms of which degree I just want to choose something I'm not going to hate! I know law requires a ton of reading and memorising and I haven't been liking the A level so I've been considering accounting more seriously as I've been loving business, especially the maths we do.

But I don't know much about the job market, is it as competitive as law? How does the salary compare? Is there a need for english accountants or dual qualified accountants in Paris? I've been trying to research this myself of course but having trouble finding anything helpful.
I wouldnt pay attention to the average work week in france, the average isnt what you will be doing, you will be doing whatever your chosen role requires (example - technically you cant work more than 48 hours on average in the uk but that doesnt stop people in IB, accounting (at peak season), various types of lawyers in MC firms etc working many more hours than that)

From what I have read getting into a higher up law firm is much more competitive than accounting but you would be best placed asking someone in the law section about that. I know you dont need a degree in law to become work in it (you can do a different degree then do GDL) but you might want to ask how it compares to working as a solicitor to make sure you will like it.



I have no idea how the salaries compare afraid
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RiddIes
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(Original post by britishfrenchie)
Thanks for the reply! I guess for me crazy hours would be any more than 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I've heard in france though the average work week is only 35 hours! Got to say, that would be nice! I don't mind earning less if it means I get a life! As long as I can be comfortable financially in a city lik Paris.

In terms of which degree I just want to choose something I'm not going to hate! I know law requires a ton of reading and memorising and I haven't been liking the A level so I've been considering accounting more seriously as I've been loving business, especially the maths we do.

But I don't know much about the job market, is it as competitive as law? How does the salary compare? Is there a need for english accountants or dual qualified accountants in Paris? I've been trying to research this myself of course but having trouble finding anything helpful.
It honestly really depends on where you work. In Law at a top city firm most trainees are racking up 9-10hour days on average with some doing even more. Commercial law is brutal theres stories of trainees sleeping in the office when deals are getting close etc. Again depends on the firms and stuff. Where this is the case they are paid exceptionally well, most earning well above £45,000 with some on more than £50,000 in their first year.

Finance is a broad field, many investment bankers are also working extremely long hours with a pay check to match.

For law, you can earn a bit less by going into a smaller sized firm in a different sector, such as family law or employment. Most city firms also have regional offices where the pay is less but the hours are slightly better. Going into a different sector completely such as family includes alot less hours but the firms are much smaller than the top London sets therefore the pay is no where near as extravagant.

A law degree is hard, lots of reading, analysing information, remember case names and dates, judgements etc but if you enjoy it it is fun.

With regards to how salaries compare they are around the same. I think the average is about £7,000 higher for Investment banking as compared to law, but law is on average better off compared to the whole finance sector (accountancy etc).

Top London law firms pay their partners millions whereas smaller firms outside the city scrape up barely a 6 figure payout. The trainee wages vary between 20-25k between top city vs low end high street, but the biggest difference is when you make partner you get ALOT more in the city.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by britishfrenchie)
Thanks for the reply! I guess for me crazy hours would be any more than 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I've heard in france though the average work week is only 35 hours! Got to say, that would be nice! I don't mind earning less if it means I get a life! As long as I can be comfortable financially in a city lik Paris.

In terms of which degree I just want to choose something I'm not going to hate! I know law requires a ton of reading and memorising and I haven't been liking the A level so I've been considering accounting more seriously as I've been loving business, especially the maths we do.

But I don't know much about the job market, is it as competitive as law? How does the salary compare? Is there a need for english accountants or dual qualified accountants in Paris? I've been trying to research this myself of course but having trouble finding anything helpful.
Ok, a dose of reality: any "high paying" job in law or finance or accounting will have hours approaching 60-80+ hours a week. In accounting, that's restricted to a few times a year (busy season). For (high) finance and law, those hours are mainstays really until you gain seniority.

In-house lawyers don't work as hard as private practice I suppose, but you'd still have to go through the wringer of long hours in your training contract years.

Often to get to that cushy, high paying but moderate lifestyle job you'll need to put in the hours for a few years in a law firm, consulting firm, accounting firm or finance firm before "exiting" to an industry/corporate role at a higher position than you'd have otherwise got had you joined straight from uni.

Outside of these situations, there are plenty of decently paying gigs. Graduate schemes in corporate functions are usually 40 hours a week on an average starting salary (think £25-30k), and have moderate but not amazing salary growth. Lawyers in the regions and working for smaller firms will have more modest salaries but far less hectic hours. Back office roles (both finance specific roles and regular corporate functions) at finance firms pay more than their typical corporate equivalents with lower hours but the work is pretty mind numbing

Commercial banking, private wealth/private banking are avenues with lower hours but above average pay. The work is slightly interesting, at the right firm.

Overall, there's a pretty significant trade off between money and lifestyle. When looking at these industries specifically.

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Princepieman
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(Original post by RiddIes)

With regards to how salaries compare they are around the same. I think the average is about £7,000 higher for Investment banking as compared to law, but law is on average better off compared to the whole finance sector (accountancy etc).
Not sure I agree with this.

A first year in a front office role is looking at ~£50k base + £4-6k signing bonus + £12.5-20k half bonus in winter or a £25-45k full year bonus in summer depending on bank. All-in they're looking at ~£62.5-70k stub year or a full comp year of £75-95k.

The trainee solicitor is still in their LPC or GDL year. By the time they're done with their LPC, the finance person is a second year on £85-100k and they're on £40-50k. By the time, the non-law grad is a trainee on £40-50k, the finance person is on £100-120k total comp and the law grad £45-55k.

On qualification, the solicitor working for a city/mid-antlantic firm is on £60-90k or £95-120k at a US firm. The finance person is an associate on ~£130-190k total comp.

So on average, the solicitor makes half as much.

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RiddIes
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Not sure I agree with this.

A first year in a front office role is looking at ~£50k base + £4-6k signing bonus + £12.5-20k half bonus in winter or a £25-45k full year bonus in summer depending on bank. All-in they're looking at ~£62.5-70k stub year or a full comp year of £75-95k.

The trainee solicitor is still in their LPC or GDL year. By the time they're done with their LPC, the finance person is a second year on £85-100k and they're on £40-50k. By the time, the non-law grad is a trainee on £40-50k, the finance person is on £100-120k total comp and the law grad £45-55k.

On qualification, the solicitor working for a city/mid-antlantic firm is on £60-90k or £95-120k at a US firm. The finance person is an associate on ~£130-190k total comp.

So on average, the solicitor makes half as much.
Definitely agree, when you compare top to top on either spectrum banking wins. I was merely comparing the basic averages as given on many graduate websites. The averages are based off the whole finance/banking industry and includes; advisers etc so probably why the averages are much lower than you say but again this is subject to you getting into those top firms/banks in the first place.
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