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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:

Am I being unreasonable?

211 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Jamesclaton007 · 06/01/2024 22:28

@ASwimADay Finance / Stock market trader, if you do training on the side for now to be better qualified ?

Arwe · 06/01/2024 22:29

Apply to be a DDJ? Two friends have successfully done so, but the competition is getting fiercer as more lawyers burn out. Otherwise, look for a different company or as pp suggest, go in-house for a calmer environment.

Some firms are bloody dire, others slightly less so. Law life is tough at the moment.

Lillanbjornen · 06/01/2024 22:41

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.

Strongly agree with this - I adore the firm I work for, it has led to making some of my best friends and there are several male partners who have backed my career at every step.

If it’s the environment but you still enjoy legal practice, then move firm! If it’s the work itself making you miserable, then there are plenty of roles within firms where having been a fee earner is a real help - PSL, Risk & Compliance, BD, strategy, firms are only getting bigger and more complex!

I’m in a business services role at a London firm and make £120k and know plenty of people who have moved into similar roles at a reasonably similar with little to no experience of their function, but were previously lawyers. Plenty of large firms with midland / northern regional offices that need decent “back office” support - Eversheds, DLA, Shoosmiths etc.

Bellyblueboy · 06/01/2024 22:42

Lawyer in civil service? Director level

parsely · 06/01/2024 22:49

You could leave private practice and work for yourself. One of the dispersed law firms like Keystone. You get paid for the work you do and the referrals you provide to other lawyers in the network. They sort out the admin and there are plenty of social opportunities. You'd probably need a bit of a following to be accepted.

Alternatively legal publishing/tech employ a lot of qualified lawyers as authors of practical guidance etc. It pays pretty well for a writing / marketing job. You are working with other lawyers, so it still does have a bit of a competitive edge but it works well with family life.

Dibblydoodahdah · 06/01/2024 23:02

I’m in house legal counsel on £88k + 10 per cent bonus. Fully remote. I rarely work later than 6pm. No sexism and a very diverse workforce generally. Will never go back to private practice.

Teenagehorrorbag · 06/01/2024 23:08

I used to work in HR for a national bank and we had an in house employment lawyer. I expect she was on that sort of money (maybe including the healthcare, bonuses and company car) and it was a great working environment. Worth looking?

Cheshire71 · 06/01/2024 23:26

Have you considered working in the civil service as there are many legal roles.

DuckDuckHiccup · 06/01/2024 23:27

Reading this message made me burst into tears. I am in the exact same position as OP and seeing all these other career options has felt like a massive relief. Sorry to piggy back onto this post, but would you have any idea how I could get into these other areas of a law firm? I think I would love to work on strategy but wouldn’t know where to start getting a job in that area. Are there additional qualification (over and above my law degree) that I could do?

LauraPausini · 06/01/2024 23:28

Have you looked at in-house and PSL/knowledge type roles?

There are also in-house roles for law firms e.g. Risk and Compliance (these are structured differently depending on the firm but can cover business acceptance, compliance, regulatory, contracts, professional indemnity etc.) Lots of UK and international firms have these types of roles based in regional offices and sometimes even remotely. Firms often look at transferability of skills rather than previous experience in compliance.

Lorralorr · 06/01/2024 23:28

Join civil service as a government lawyer and you’d be on about that. Then you’ll have access to internal civil service vacancies and could try and pivot into a different role (policy, project mgmt, operational, commercial, corporate etc) at the same grade. CS is a great employer for parents - lots of flexibility, nice people, interesting jobs and so many areas

Fernsfernsferns · 06/01/2024 23:33

Hunetp · 04/01/2024 20:28

@Warmfire where are you based? I’m north of Bham/towards Sheffield. I haven’t seen any in house jobs on a better salary than 70k but would be interested in in house!

Get rid of the car on finance and buy a decent second hand one instead?

cars on finance are like burning cash each month. New cars loose 1/3 of their value on the first year or two.

large corporates in house pay well. Many London based but post covid many will offer flexible working eg 2 days wfh.

could be worth exploring?

Chimpandcheese · 06/01/2024 23:43

What is your take home salary? I earn about £43k and take home about £2600 so I’m thinking it must be over £3k? My mortgage is £750 with similar outgoings and car and I manage.

VanGoghsDog · 07/01/2024 00:16

Hunetp · 04/01/2024 20:28

@Warmfire where are you based? I’m north of Bham/towards Sheffield. I haven’t seen any in house jobs on a better salary than 70k but would be interested in in house!

Legal Counsel

Job Opening: Legal Counsel at British Business Bank in Sheffield.

Yazo · 07/01/2024 00:20

A friend works for a local authority as a lawyer and likes it but obviously lower salary. You can't have your cake and eat it, most jobs don't pay anything near £70k so there's a trade off and single parents make it work on less so it's priorities. Could you sell and move somewhere cheaper if you have equity in the house? Or just be grateful for the money. Even a HR job would have similar environment and pressures. Insurance might be an option though but most insurers are full of qualified solicitors from call handlers to director so competitive to get in at a higher salary.

Duechristmas · 07/01/2024 00:26

Life's too short to be miserable. They switching to another firm, if it's still awful that's the stage to downsize and move both in your career and your home.

Msmbc · 07/01/2024 00:46

I'm a single mum of two in London with mortgage of 1100 who until recently had a salary of 48k, it's totally doable! But you should get out of your job for your sanity. Good luck

Summerreign · 07/01/2024 01:12

Quantity surveyors earn similar and you will also have experience with contract law Si you might have an easy transition

NoThanksymm · 07/01/2024 01:51

With a law background any government work would be easy to get into.

Endoftetherweather · 07/01/2024 06:21

Insurance and or compliance. I’m a former litigator now earning a lot more than I was previously in-house doing those things. Never work past 5, usually from home.

SweatpantPotato · 07/01/2024 06:33

Civil service/local government (city mgmt) legal advisor


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Sarah452 · 07/01/2024 06:34

Have you looked at the big four accounting firms? A senior manager level would earn you more than your current salary, which could enable you to go part time without losing too much - I won’t lie the hours can be long and demanding but very flexible and ability to go part time can offset this. Lots of working from home too.

We have in house lawyers as well as client facing (working directly for clients rather in-house), you could explore both options.

BadgerFace · 07/01/2024 06:46

If you love practising law but just hate the culture you are in try a different firm. In house, as others have suggested, is a good options or there are progressive culture firms out there, you just have to find them. Lionshead Law and Stephensons Law are two to look at to see if they offer 100% remote as they are not local to you but are female led and doing things differently.

That said, unless you are 5+ years in you will most likely progress/learn quicker in a hybrid environment in which case search for lawyers/firms who are passionate about diversity and champion flexibility. They are likely to be less male dominant and the right culture can make all the difference.

I jumped out of my 17 year career at partner level after my second baby when I felt I was being treated badly and I knew the culture where I was would never change. I landed in a great place who value flexibility and I’ve been able to do loads of things I never would have been able to in my previous role (like shape the D&I policies for 700 people!).

Don’t give up law if it’s your passion, you have worked hard to get this far. Find your people in it.

Luckyduc · 07/01/2024 08:11

Abit of a daft question when there's not many jobs out there that pay anything like 70k.....or unless you can be a dr/surgeon or geologist on the rigs ....but the tiny amount of small jobs that pay this or higher you would need to go back to uni and get get degree in and start again.

Personally think, you've got a law degree which is impressive, you earn far more than most people's combined salary even when are independent financially which can't get any better and the money will definitely give your child a great life. I know one single parent lawyer and she whisks her kid away on 10 holidays a year from disbeyworkd to lapland to Maldives. Just suck it up. Maybe think about moving away from the area you live and work . Alot of cheaper options further north you go.

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