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AIBU?

To ask what alternative job I could do for a similar salary

114 replies

Hunetp · 04/01/2024 20:02

I work in law and earn 70k. I’m so fed up of it but as a single parent the money is needed. My mortgage is 950 and I’ve no way of cutting this back and if I was renting I’d be paying even more.

I feel like I have no options as I’m not qualified in anything else. I hate the culture and the arrogance and, being honest, the men! Mostly (not all) very difficult to work with. I’ve only been back a year since maternity leave. I suspect I am paid less than most men there too, I’m already 37 so feel like I’m on the back foot financially and would rather be on the back foot but doing a job I don’t despise the environment. Do I just have to suck it up? I am not skilled in anything else sadly and looking online tonight it doesn’t seem I would get any other work.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

211 votes. Final results.

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51%
halesie · 04/01/2024 21:35

Hi OP,

Some great suggestions from
PPs above.

It might be worth looking at some of the newer boutique style law firms like Keystone, Halebury (which now seems to be Elevate), Lawyers on Demand etc?

A PP is right that the law firm recruitment market has generally turned and (separately but related IMO) a lot of firms (especially in London) are now insisting on eg 3 days a week in the office, but not all are - and there are a few firms with decent cultures and fair pay out there.

The Big 4 accounting firms are also growing their legal practices so may be worth looking at those (though I suspect culture may vary from place to place).

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Mayge · 04/01/2024 22:00

Civil service

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Sallyh87 · 04/01/2024 22:03

I earn 60k public sector HRBP. I don’t love it but it’s good holiday, flexibility and benefits.

What type of law do you do? Are you willing to retrain?

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Wakemeup17 · 05/01/2024 22:38

istoodonlegoagain · 04/01/2024 21:05

@Wakemeup17 can I ask what qualifications you have or how you got into it? I have a LLM but no legal undergrad, but I'd like to get into something law related. Any advice?

I don't have any legal qualification, just learnt on the job.
You need to apply directly and not through the agencies, in house is easier to get to than private practice but training roles are private practice only.
I do IP law, with an LLM you should be able to get trainee trade mark paralegal (maybe attorney? How old are you?) with no problem.

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Lookingforward01 · 06/01/2024 21:35

Hunetp · 04/01/2024 20:09

I don’t think I could do hr or teaching that would be on 70k and I just can’t afford the drop in salary as ex is very unreliable regarding his contribution.

@Hunetp I am on 120k in HR - mid level management, corporate world. 70k is very achievable. That's a HR Advisor salary in my company.

People still perceive HR as personnel. It's not. And hasn't been for 20 years. You could easily pivot into transformation/change management for example.

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Lookingforward01 · 06/01/2024 21:40

Caggers · 04/01/2024 20:23

My sister is in HR and on over £150k. She studied employment law.

Yes ^

Very easily. Look at CIPD.

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Vonesk · 06/01/2024 21:40

To be honest I could be wrong but I think you are suffering from ' stress/ burn - out/ exhaustion' It takes Five years to fully recover from Maternity. All I can say is: it plays havoc with your mind too. Eat well, take extra vitamins. See if you can get some temporary help at home. Hire a AuPair .
This is a difficult transition. Pay attention to IRON rich foods.

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Jl2014 · 06/01/2024 21:40

Management consulting? Excellent salary and you may have valuable transferable skills depending on what you do ‘in law’.

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istoodonlegoagain · 06/01/2024 21:43

@Wakemeup17 I'm pm'ing you.

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OwlWeiwei · 06/01/2024 21:44

Find a few firms you like or admire and approach them about in-house work. You have expertise that is worth a lot. I know so many people who think they are 'sick' of law or finance and want to change, then can't believe others do similar or longer hours with just as much or more stress for half the salary. Don't underestimate the stress of lower pay either.

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grinandtakeit · 06/01/2024 21:51

@Hunetp you need to switch sector, not switch away from law. I work in Higher Education and I'd put money on the fact that our legal team wouldn't have the same beefs as you. (They may have other beefs, but not the same beefs).

Realistically, you won't be able to walk into a completely different job at £70k with no experience.

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AnonoMisss · 06/01/2024 21:56

Hunetp · 04/01/2024 20:02

I work in law and earn 70k. I’m so fed up of it but as a single parent the money is needed. My mortgage is 950 and I’ve no way of cutting this back and if I was renting I’d be paying even more.

I feel like I have no options as I’m not qualified in anything else. I hate the culture and the arrogance and, being honest, the men! Mostly (not all) very difficult to work with. I’ve only been back a year since maternity leave. I suspect I am paid less than most men there too, I’m already 37 so feel like I’m on the back foot financially and would rather be on the back foot but doing a job I don’t despise the environment. Do I just have to suck it up? I am not skilled in anything else sadly and looking online tonight it doesn’t seem I would get any other work.

Have you thought about changing the environment?

Either doing the same job but for a different company or a different role in law entirely.

For example in my role in insurance we have a lawyer to run everything past along with second line compliance and its working with a small friendly team and not high pressure!

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AnonoMisss · 06/01/2024 21:57

IceLollipop · 04/01/2024 20:30

OP what are your qualifications - are you a solicitor, legal executive, barrister or other occupation working in law? I’m asking because my advice is likely to vary depending on that.

Agree we need more detail here quite vague

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pinksheepbeep · 06/01/2024 21:58

Definitely check out civil service legal roles. If your specialism is corporate disputes you may qualify as a litigation specialist (?) and be able to go in at G6 which (IIRC) pays around £60-65k in the regions (whereas G7 is about £10k less I think). Alternatively if you have some solid non-contentious corporate experience too, a corporate in-house role could be an option.

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Passingthethyme · 06/01/2024 22:00

I feel you would have loads of transferable skills in any industry. But what about doing law but in an organisation, eg for the council, an electricity company, an unsyatbec company etc. Many of these have in-house lawyers/legal teams so you'd get to utilise your skills but without working in the same kind of environment

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VanityDiesHard · 06/01/2024 22:01

morbidd · 04/01/2024 20:29

Christ, on that basis you can certainly afford to drop down a lot more than £60k

Depends on what the OP wants. Maybe she wants money for school fees.

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JaceLancs · 06/01/2024 22:05

CEO level in voluntary sector is 40-70k in my experience - I’m on 55k after a lot of years experience
I think HR would be a better option for you

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Verbena17 · 06/01/2024 22:11

I just googled and found a ‘head of legal & compliance’ post at £70k-£100k
Would that kind of thing be good?
Also, have you applied to/sent your Cv to any headhunter agencies?

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afuckinggoat · 06/01/2024 22:13

There are international, London-based law firms who also have banks of freelance lawyers. These lawyers have more control over their working patterns, can still command a high wage, and are able to have big law firm experience on their CVs.

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Verbena17 · 06/01/2024 22:13

Could you become a consultant lawyer and work for yourself or a consulting firm?

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isitalloveryet · 06/01/2024 22:13

What about legal publishing? Depending on your area of expertise you could look at the 2 x market leaders in legal publishing and write commentary/guidance?

Another option is corporate sales - maybe in legal software as this would pay over what you are currently on?

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SirQuintusAurieliusMaximus · 06/01/2024 22:13

I hate the culture and the arrogance and, being honest, the men!

This sounds like its an environment problem rather than law itself. Not all places where law is practiced is the same.

So first port of call I'd suggest is look for other options in law with a better culture so if you are a litigator, maybe consider a move to non-contentious, or look for in-house roles.

Most people I know who've moved in-house have loved it - its much calmer and if things are tricky you can instruct external solicitors or barristers.

Government Legal Dept is also worth considering although not sure how much there is outside of London if you are set on staying there.

Also have you considered applying to sit as a judge or disciplinary roles - there are lots of openings from lower level tribunals, magistrates clerks, deputy district judges. Obviously a lot of them are competitive but not as competitive as recorders or deputy HCJ.

Keep an eye out for random adverts for things like professional disciplinary tribunals (medicine etc) periodically advertise for lawyers for paid roles.

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Mummasals · 06/01/2024 22:20

Im 9y PQE, qualified while working for a national firm (doing insurance litigation).
If I’d stayed there or in a similar role I’d likely be at least an associate by now
and earning similar to you. As soon as I got married I knew I wanted kids so took a job in an insurance co - they have employed me as a solicitor and are SRA registered. It helps that I love the nuances and technicalities of insurance so I took a gamble and started off with low value PI claims but I’m now handling high value injury claims and couldn’t be happier - I really enjoy my job, there’s not nearly so much bravado as there is in private practise and the flexibility is fantastic when the wheels come off (my husband works shifts and is often late finishing so I’m the ‘default parent’). Financially it’s not as lucrative as private practise but it’s certainly not badly paid. I’d love to get into the more judicial side of things one day but probably alongside my current role.

Private practise is hard hard going, burn out is high and there are lots more ways to be legal outside of the traditional law
firm! Good luck!

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Switcher · 06/01/2024 22:20

Judging from what my friend is tell melaw seems to have the same issues as other office based jobs. It's quite dull, political, elitist, meaningless work. I work in financial services. I have no plans at all to leave because I also have no other skills. But only 20 years left!

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Hellnope · 06/01/2024 22:25

Sorry to miss the point but I earn £32 and my rent is 950

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