There are a number of different job roles within the Legal Sector, and as with all other job sectors, different positions will have different wage brackets. This page should be viewed as an overview to the sorts of salaries one might expect in the Legal Sector based on average wages only and not as a definitive guideline.
- The Law Society of England and Wales's minimum recommendation for a starting salary on a training contract, which is reviewed annually, is £17,660 in central London and £15,820 outside London. In practice, actual salaries tend to be slightly higher. Salary progression throughout the training period depends on size of the firm and they type of work undertaken.
- In Scotland, the recommended starting salary for trainee solicitors is £15,000 in the first year, rising to £18,000 in year two.
- In Northern Ireland, trainee solicitors usually earn between £10,600 and £18,000, depending on the stage of their training.
After qualifying from the training contract, starting salaries in the UK range from £25,000 to £45,000.
A solicitor that reaches partnership level in a practice can expect to earn a six figure salary, usually between £100,000 and £500,000. More successful partnerships can exceed this level.
- In England and Wales, a barrister on a pupilage will earn at least £10,000 per annum, though variant factors can lead to earnings of nearer £30,000.
- In Scotland, trainee barristers remain unpaid during their 10 month training period.
The annual salary of a qualified barrister is subject to a number of conditions, such as location, specialism, type of employment (i.e. self employed; working for a private company; working in the public sector, etc).
- Earnings tend to range from £10,000 to £90,000 in the first year, rising to £40,000 to £200,000 in the second.
- Senior barristers can expect to earn anything from £65,000 to £1,000,000 per annum.
- Top QC's could earn more than £1,000,000 per year.
Typical salaries for legal executives in London firms:
- £17,000 to £22,000 for those entering the profession
- Reaching £41,000 to £48,000 for those who become members of the Institute of Legal Executives.
Salaries in smaller firms and the public sector, and in different locations will vary accordingly.
Commercial London firms pay paralegals who are graduates of the LPC and have six months plus experience in the range of £21,000 to £23,000 pounds. This will rise to somewhere between £30,000 and £35,000 after three or four years.