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Law graduates can expect to earn £54,000 when they walk into their first job – at least according to an article which appeared on the Telegraph website this week. In addition to this impressive starting salary, the article also claimed that most lawyers saw salary increases of around £5000 a year, with a salary after 15 years in practice of around £181,000.
However, according to Family Law Solicitor Rebecca Finnigan this £54,000 figure (double the national average wage of £27,000) and the other figures mentioned in the Telegraph article are misleading and misrepresentative of the situation for the vast majority of newly qualified solicitors:
“Judging by the tone of the comments appearing below the article on the Telegraph website, I don’t expect I will be criticised for talking out of turn when I label this article absolute tosh.
There are sections of the media (and the government) that will happily label lawyers as fat cats and I would question just how representative their survey of 400 lawyers was of the profession to produce these figures.
One can only imagine that to come up with such inflated (and unrepresentative) salaries, they must have polled senior solicitors from Magic Circle firms in coffee shops in and around The City of London.
The figures quoted do not represent the remuneration of the vast majority of lawyers, particularly those working in sectors providing legal aid or general high street services such as family, crime, employment, personal injury and wills.
I don’t believe this is likely to come as a surprise to many. Certainly as far back as my student days, we were all well aware that there were limited roles offering such stellar salaries and therefore entered the profession for other reasons.
Unfortunately articles like this only perpetuate the myth that lawyers are all very wealthy individuals, and money orientated.”