Trainee solicitors are investment bankers’ poorer cousins

Trainee solicitor salaries continue to earn less than graduates entering investment banking, according to a new survey published by High Fliers.

The “Graduate Market in 2011” report, published this week, revealed that the median starting salary paid by law firms is £38,000 compared to £42,000 in the investment banking sector. The median starting salary across all sectors, claimed the report, has remained unchanged at 2010 levels of £29,000. Salaries grew by 7.4 per cent in 2010 and 5.9 per cent in 2009.

The outlook for graduates is looking brighter with the UK’s leading employers expecting to increase their graduate recruitment by 9.4 per cent in this year, following a rise of 12.6 per cent in entry-level roles for university-leavers during 2010. In contrast vacancies dropped by a whopping 17.8 per cent in 2009 and 6.7 per cent in 2008.

However, nearly two-thirds of the recruiters surveyed warned graduates who have had no previous work experience are likely to fail during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer.

Meanwhile, at least half the entry-level vacancies advertised this year by City investment banks and the leading law firms are likely to be filled by graduates who have already completed work experience with the employer.

The High Fliers report is based on a study of graduate recruitment at the organisations named as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2010.