Knowing what you’re likely to be earning as a solicitor will be an important deciding factor when weighing up if you want to follow this route. And it’s important to bear in mind that solicitor salaries vary depending on the following: size and specialism of the law firm/organisation you work at, your location and of course, level of seniority.
Read on for the lowdown on what you could be earning if you choose to become a solicitor.
Trainee Solicitor Salaries
Trainee solicitor salaries range from approximately £19,000 per year in smaller commercial and high street practices right through to around £43,000+ per year in larger commercial city law firms.
The recommended minimum salary for a London trainee solicitor is £22,212. Outside of London, this is £19,619. The average trainee solicitor wage is between £35,000 and £48,000 in London and £18,000-£35,000 outside of the capital.
Qualified Solicitor Salaries
Starting salaries for newly qualified solicitors in larger city law firms range from £50,000 to £70,000 with some law firms paying up to and in excess of £100,000. Starting salaries in regional law firms and high street practices tend to be slightly lower, ranging broadly between £22,000 and £45,000+.
A partner at a law firm can expect to earn from around £100,000 per year. Depending on the size and type of law firm, this figure could exceed as much as £1,200,000.
In-House Solicitor Salaries
On average, in-house solicitors tend to earn less than private practice solicitors, with salaries ranging from £50,000 to £100,000, depending on their level of seniority.
Types of Law
There is a disparity between wages depending on which area of law you choose to specialise in. Naturally, areas such as corporate and commercial law are more lucrative, however, while wages offered by criminal law and family firms may be lower, the work is often more rewarding.
As a corporate trainee in London, you could earn up to £50,000. Trainee solicitors elsewhere in the UK tend to earn up to £39,375. Once you qualify, London-based solicitors earn up to £100,000 (sometimes more depending on the firm). Meanwhile, those based outside of the capital earn up to £54,000.
Working in London, criminal solicitors earn on average approximately £52,500. Outside of London, the average salary for a criminal lawyer ranges from £32,000-42,000 depending on the area. In Scotland and Wales, the average salary of a criminal lawyer is just under £43,000 whilst in Northern Ireland, the average is around £33,000.
Human rights law
A typical salary for human rights solicitors can vary depending on whether you work in a firm or another organisation, where you are based in the UK and of course what level you are at. Annual wages can reach as high as £100,000 per annum for human rights lawyers at the top of their game.
Intellectual property law
Trainee solicitors in London can expect to earn from around £38,000+, which the figure for non-London based trainees between £24,000 and 32,000+.
For newly qualified solicitors, this is likely to be from £50,000, and around 10,000 less for non-London based counterparts.
Partner salaries in and outside of London start at around £98,000.
The average salary of an employment lawyer in the UK is £32,500.
Central London boasts the highest salary bracket at between £42,500 and £97,500, with £60,000 forming the average salary. Swindon, the City of London, South West London, West London, East London, Coventry, Bristol, Leeds and southeast London make up the top ten geographies in the UK for the highest average employment lawyer salaries.
Clinical negligence law
Clinical negligence law
The average salary of a fully qualified solicitor specialising in this area is around £43,000 annually. You’ll average around £55,000 if you practice medical negligence law in London.
Predictably, partners make more. In fact, some of them can make as much as £300,000 a year. At the other end of the scale, we find the trainees. They usually make something in between £25,000-£28,000 with those practicing in London making between £36,000 and £38,000.
Not sure which area of the law to specialise in? Take our quiz!
Which area of law is right for you? Take the quiz!