atothez
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I’m an A level student who is looking at potentially doing a law degree, however after some research it seems like many people think law is oversaturated and underpaid. Can anyone confirm/refute this? Thank you
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rola05
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(Original post by atothez)
I’m an A level student who is looking at potentially doing a law degree, however after some research it seems like many people think law is oversaturated and underpaid. Can anyone confirm/refute this? Thank you
Im also looking to do law, Im in year 12 btw. What I would say is commercial law is where the bread is. Criminal lawyers do not get paid that much whereas if you are a commercial lawyer at a big london firm you may be looking at 6 figures
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atothez
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(Original post by rola05)
Im also looking to do law, Im in year 12 btw. What I would say is commercial law is where the bread is. Criminal lawyers do not get paid that much whereas if you are a commercial lawyer at a big london firm you may be looking at 6 figures
Ah thank u! Yeah, I wasn’t really interested in criminal law to begin with lol.
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Joleee
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law is not oversaturated - law graduates are oversaturated and so is the amount of applicants in general. like, there is a reason why they say getting a training contract is very competitive.

you need to bear in mind as well that law degree =/= legal career; they're too separate things and you can do plenty of other things with a law degree, so the question is really what do you want to study at university
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rola05
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(Original post by atothez)
Ah thank u! Yeah, I wasn’t really interested in criminal law to begin with lol.
Neither am I tbh, im deffo gonna go into commercial law after uni. Good luck btw
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legalhelp
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(Original post by rola05)
Im also looking to do law, Im in year 12 btw. What I would say is commercial law is where the bread is. Criminal lawyers do not get paid that much whereas if you are a commercial lawyer at a big london firm you may be looking at 6 figures
For anyone reading this: this is rubbish. Criminal lawyers can be paid 6 figures. You just need to be doing the right work, at the right firm/chambers.

Also, if you think commercial practice is going to be more interesting than crime, let me tell you you are in for the rudest of awakenings.
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Johnny ~
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This would depend on the area of law you're going for and the type of firm. Geography can also be a killer (e.g. there are comparatively few spots for trainees in each regional office of large commercial firms because that office doesn't generate enough work for more of them).

(Original post by rola05)
Im also looking to do law, Im in year 12 btw. What I would say is commercial law is where the bread is. Criminal lawyers do not get paid that much whereas if you are a commercial lawyer at a big london firm you may be looking at 6 figures
I think that most people would find criminal more interesting, at least from my limited knowledge. There's a degree of novelty and client management (at the very least) that you don't get as a junior in commercial law. Obviously both require a lot of sitting down and poring through procedure and filing paperwork and going through the motions, but criminal does have a spark that commercial law usually doesn't.

Now, as for white collar crime, that may well have the best of both worlds!
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by Joleee)
law is not oversaturated - law graduates are oversaturated and so is the amount of applicants in general. like, there is a reason why they say getting a training contract is very competitive.

you need to bear in mind as well that law degree =/= legal career; they're too separate things and you can do plenty of other things with a law degree, so the question is really what do you want to study at university
Excellent points. Only thing I'd add for the OP's sake is that law only appears oversaturated because the application to place ratios tend to be very high. However, most hard working students (e.g. good RG, high 2.1 at uni, interesting CV that isn't just grades or football) do tend to end up securing something, at least if they're aspiring to become solicitors. When I see people complaining about being unemployed etc, it's usually people who are aiming too high or who have enormous weaknesses in their CV.

Also the app to place ratio in law isn't that bad compared to the likes of FMCG, banking, tech, engineering, etc. I guess the issue arises when you have incredibly low-paying jobs at e.g. high street firms and boutiques that take years to secure (because the firm takes half a person a year and only one person can ever be a winner) and which don't offer much in the way of remuneration, work life balance, job security or prestige. When it comes to those, the difficulty of getting in isn't worth it, so in that sense the profession is indeed oversaturated. No law firm is worth spending most of your 20s paralegalling in order to get a TC, people should be moving on with their lives.
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atothez
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(Original post by rola05)
Neither am I tbh, im deffo gonna go into commercial law after uni. Good luck btw
Thanks ! U too❤️
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atothez
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(Original post by Joleee)
law is not oversaturated - law graduates are oversaturated and so is the amount of applicants in general. like, there is a reason why they say getting a training contract is very competitive.

you need to bear in mind as well that law degree =/= legal career; they're too separate things and you can do plenty of other things with a law degree, so the question is really what do you want to study at university
Thanks very much for the clarification!
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camapplicant530
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You can make pretty crazy money (US firm salary at 3/4 pqe but net, so about £200k gross, not including decent bonuses, this goes a lot higher the longer you stay) if you’re prepared to go offshore and stay there the 5 years HMRC require for negating a capital entry charge.

People tend to avoid doing this though because, aside from the 5 year thing mentioned, it’s not a great place to raise a family and you will have no practice if you ever decide to go back to London.

Source: my brother is a 5PQE making roughly what a salaried partner at a MC firm would get gross. But his marriage is collapsing so go figure.

On the other hand statistically you won’t make partner in the UK anyway so it’s always something worth thinking about if you hate dealing with the idea of a family/kids.
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random1997
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Other posters have made some excellent points here. The other thing to note is that the 'Applicant:TC places' ratio is not a true indicator of how 'oversaturated' the market supposedly is. Everyone applying for TC will be applying for multiple (many) TC in the same year, therefore there are many, many duplicates. The other thing to note is that not every 'applicant' in that ratio really in truth counts as 'competition' -- in a recession (like now) graduates are scrambling to get any job, so widen their net and apply for more things than they otherwise would have, regardless of whether they are qualified for the job. For example, during the 2009/10 era, there were far more non-law graduates applying for TC than in previous years, and we are seeing the same trend this last application cycle. So again, the 'Applicant:TC places' ratio is not an accurate indicator.

Personally, in general I would say that the 'legal market' is oversaturated (there are so many more students graduating with a law degree than will ever fully qualify as a solicitor/barrister, even if that's their career goal). However, if you are a good candidate, put in the work, then you will be able to find a good legal position for you. It's those who graduate with a so-so degree classification (i.e not a high 2:1+) and have minimal experience who will really struggle. The best advice I can give you is to just not be in that latter group.
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