lawyer salary

(59 Posts)
tg95 Thu 26-Dec-19 21:03:13

hi, any lawyers on here with some advice?

currently half way through my TC in a small regional firm (7 offices, 10 partners) in the NE

what sort of salary can i expect on qualification, after 5 years, 10 years etc?

currently on 17,500k and looking to specialise in company commercial law and employment

OP’s posts: |
tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 13:48:02


OP’s posts: |
HugoSpritz Fri 27-Dec-19 14:48:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:07:47


most are from the biggest cities like London, Bristol etc and the advertisements don't tend to give salary estimates

OP’s posts: |
emsyj37 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:14:58

How long is a piece of string?? Your best bet would be to find a decent local legal recruiter and ask them. I was quite friendly with someone from one of the big recruitment firms when I was in legal practice and I met her through a local networking group for trainee solicitors. If you can find someone like that who you trust to advise you, they will know the local market.

8by8 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:16:57

Roll on Friday publishes a list of lawyer salaries but those may only cover the bigger city firms.

It honestly varies a lot between firms. Even somebody on here who worked for a similar size firm to yours wouldn’t be able to give you an accurate prediction.

You can ask about career and salary progression at your firm, but tbh I wouldn’t bring it up unless/until they offer you a job on qualification.

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:21:25

hi emsy, is it permissible to message one of the recruitment agencies just to ask for the typical salaries?

OP’s posts: |
Snipples Fri 27-Dec-19 17:23:04

At a rough guide - assuming qualification salary is about 25k your best bet is to add 5-6% raises from that each year to give you a rough guide. And you may get a few incremental rises for reaching associate etc of a few grand.

I'm lawyer but qualified at a big international firm and now work in the UAE so my salary is well out of sync with UK regions.

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:33:14

thanks snipples, as a company/commerical lawyer would that mean my salary would be slightly higher than those who practice in, say, conveyancing and are of the same experience?

OP’s posts: |
kingsassassin Fri 27-Dec-19 17:37:39

Differentials for different practice areas are very firm dependant so probably not a general rule.

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:56:03

hi king assassin,

yes i get that, just wanted to see if anyone had any idea as most searches on the web yield results from London, you'd swear there are only lawyers there

OP’s posts: |
tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 17:56:05

hi king assassin,

yes i get that, just wanted to see if anyone had any idea as most searches on the web yield results from London, you'd swear there are only lawyers there

OP’s posts: |
emsyj37 Fri 27-Dec-19 18:01:44

You can contact recruiters for general career planning advice - they may be willing to chat to you in order to build relationships as the job of a recruiter is all about networking. I would imagine they would expect you to be asking about prospects on qualification and beyond, so you could call or email and say you plan to stay at your current firm on qualification but you're interested in what opportunities are out there for the future. Bear in mind small firms are less likely to have fixed salary bands like big firms do and any offer they make may vary considerably depending on how desperate they are to fill a specific vacancy or how keen they are to recruit a particular individual.

Snipples Fri 27-Dec-19 18:16:56

I think salary really depends on the firm and the type of clients you have rather than the practice group. So I'm an employment lawyer. My husband is corporate and he only earns slightly more than me now but mostly due to moving firms quite a few times. For several years we were pretty evenly matched.

Try and pick a specialism that's relatively recession proof. So for instance there was a huge over supply of property lawyers a few years before I qualified and so they were all made redundant as there was no work. Then when things picked up they could pretty much name their salary as there was a huge demand for 2-3 year pqe property lawyers. Employment is good as whether business is doing well or not to they'll always need employment advice (hiring or firing). Some areas are more volatile.

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 18:28:20

hi snipples,

do you mind me asking what salary ranges you and your husband qualified on and how they progressed say, every 5 years? i don't mean to be rude!

I enjoy company/commerical work and i feel it is pretty recession proof. Also with our firm trainees don't tend to do seats per se but 2 years predominantly in an area in order to specialise and then a few months here and there in other areas

OP’s posts: |
LauraMipsum Fri 27-Dec-19 18:41:04

I was on £14.5k as a trainee sol and then went to £21k on qualifying - that was in London in 2007. So I would say you could probably expect £25k ish on qualifying.

If you stick with employment then you climb quite rapidly in terms of salary but then plateau out unless you go to a really huge firm (probably heading south). Commercial you are more likely to keep climbing, but it's less interesting (IMHO).

I'm not in the NE but that's what I get from friends who've moved there, usually moving back to where they grew up after a few years in London.

eurochick Fri 27-Dec-19 18:42:19

It varies hugely. One of the big recruiters used to publish an annual salary survey that you could get by emailing them. Maybe Michael Page? But I found it fairly optimistic for London salaries. I agree a local recruiter is likely to be a helpful source of info for your particular region.

Katrinawaves Fri 27-Dec-19 18:48:25

I’m not and never have been in NE and do a different type of law so my salary info won’t be helpful but if you check out ads in Law Society Gazette and The Lawyer you should get a good feel. Also worth looking at LinkedIn jobs postings though they don’t always give salary ranges.

PilatesPeach Fri 27-Dec-19 18:48:25

Wow when I started my TC in 1996 in Fleet Street, I was on 18k - I know that was London but even so am surprised by today's salaries not being higher. When I went in-house in Hampshire in 1999, less than 1 year PQE I was on 30k. When I left law in 2009, my salary was 64k for a 4 day week and that was in-house in Hampshire so 78k full time (after qualifying in 1998)

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 18:52:47

lauramipsum - i love commercial work so it's interesting how everyone's interests are different! i have never been in it fr the money but it is nice to know that the area i want to qualify into is one of the higher paying. at the end of the day it's a long and difficult route to qualifying so getting paid well is a must imo!

OP’s posts: |
LauraMipsum Fri 27-Dec-19 21:30:35

A good place to ask might also be Roll On Friday, if you're not already there:

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 21:52:46

thanks laura

OP’s posts: |
LauraMipsum Fri 27-Dec-19 21:57:46

It is a much more expensive and difficult route to qualifying than it was only 10 or so years ago, so definitely worth staying in the more lucrative end of things if you enjoy it!

tg95 Fri 27-Dec-19 22:16:04

i do genuinely enjoy going into work which is rare i think!. A colleague of mine has been qualified for 3 years in the conveyancing department and is on 30k... by that what do you think a company commerical 3 PQE would be on?

OP’s posts: |
LauraMipsum Fri 27-Dec-19 22:23:16

Assuming the company is doing well - I'd guess at £35k - £45k. It depends on so many things though, is the company doing ok, what is the structure like - is there a clear trajectory from trainee to newly qualified to associate to senior associate to partner, or is it one where everyone who isn't a partner is an associate and there's no real movement - do they do claimant and defendant work, is commercial subsidising a pro bono department, etc etc.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in