The Law Society has set a recommended minimum wage for trainee solicitors, just over a year after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) abolished its minimum salary requirement.
In February, Lawyer 2B reported that since the abolition of the SRA required minimum wage, trainees at firms outside the City limits have been taking second and third jobs to make ends meet.
The Law Society’s new recommendation is that trainees should be paid at least £20,276 in London, and £18,183 elsewhere. This is based on the living wage plus the average yearly Legal Practice Course repayment. It will be reviewed every November.
Max Harris, the chair of the Junior Lawyers Division said: “The JLD welcomes the Law Society’s introduction of the recommended minimum salary for trainee solicitors, and considers it a huge step forward for social mobility in the legal profession. It is of utmost importance that as a profession we ensure access is open to all, regardless of background. By adhering to at least the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary, firms will encourage better access.”
He added: “Of course there are sound commercial reasons for social mobility, which many firms and employers around the country recognise. By creating a profession that is open to all, the profession will attract the best calibre of candidates in all areas of practice. Firms, the profession as a whole and consumers of legal services all benefit.”
Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon said: “The recommended minimum salary for trainee solicitors will contribute to better equality and diversity within the solicitor profession, enabling and supporting entrants from all backgrounds.”
28 Jan 15: JLD rails against minimum wage abolition
29 Mar 12: SRA scraps minimum wage for trainees
20 May 07: Minimum trainee salary spared the axe