Many prospective lawyers choose to qualify as a solicitor as they see it as an exciting career path that is also very lucrative, however the costs of qualification are also very high making many prospective lawyers intrigued in how much solicitors earn. This article will lay all out and explain this.

A solicitor’s salary is not a definitive number but instead can depend on a large array of factors, these include but are not limited to:

  • Location
  • Employer
  • Area of expertise
  • Experience

The later a solicitor is in their career the more they can expect to earn. While there is no minimum amount for trainee solicitors to be paid, the Law Society do set recommendations of a minimum of £20000. However, in reality trainee solicitors often earn more than this, especially in London, the Magic Circle firms offer their trainees salaries of around £40,000 to £45,000 and the American firms such as Latham & Watkins pay their trainees up to £50,000. It is important to note that these firms are the elite firms across the whole world and operate in London, first year trainees for other firms (especially for those outside of London) tend to see salaries of around £23,000 to £28,000.

For those who are newly qualified they can see their salaries rise by a nice amount. When discussing Magic Circle firms their newly qualified solicitors tend to be paid £90,000 to £100,000 and American firms can even pay upwards of £100,000. Notably Kirkland & Ellis pay their newly qualified solicitors over £120,000. Outside of London those who are newly qualified are typically paid between £35,000 and £50,000. However, it is important to note that the higher salary a newly qualified solicitor is paid is usually reflective of the hours you would be expected to work. Magic Circle workers report working long and unsociable hours with a lot of unexpected work dropped on them last minute. So, the salary is high, but the expectations are there to match.