Law graduate salaries plummet by 17%

The salaries of law graduates dropped by 17 per cent in the five years from 2007 to 2012, according to research by the Complete University Guide.

The guide used information from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, which collects information on what leavers from higher education programmes are doing six months after graduation.

Research showed that the average salary for a law graduate in 2007 was £23,172. By 2012 this had dropped to £19,246.

Other subjects to suffer similar decreases included English, philosophy and languages while just two degree disciplines saw salaries increase: librarianship and information studies (3 per cent) and materials technology (13 per cent).

The research also showed that for law graduates the so-called ‘graduate premium’, the difference between the salaries of graduates and non-graduates working in the same industry, fell by 20 per cent in that time, with graduates earning £4,811 more than non-graduate counterparts in 2007 compared to £3,860 more in 2012.

The decrease in salary chimes with the experience of graduates across degree disciplines and industries. Overall, the average graduate salary fell by 11 per cent, from £24,293 in 2007 to £21,702 in 2012. However, the average graduate premium dropped by just £15 from 2007 to 2012, which does not even amount to a 1 per cent decrease.