The minimum salary for trainee solicitors recommended by the Law Society of England and Wales has risen by 1.9% to £19,992 outside London and £22,541 in the capital.
“The solicitor profession offers an incredibly fulfilling career and nobody should face unnecessary financial barriers to entry,” Law Society president Simon Davis said.
“I encourage all law firms to adopt this recommendation, pay their trainees a fair minimum salary for their hard work and encourage greater social mobility.
“Our vision is that solicitors at every stage of their career can be confident that their talent, ability and work ethic will be rewarded irrespective of background, gender or ethnicity."
The recommended minimum salary, introduced by the Law Society in 2015 after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ended the regulatory requirement that firms pay a minimum salary above the minimum wage, is updated annually.
The new rate comes into effect on 1 May 2020. Based on previous guidance, employers are encouraged to implement the increase as soon as they can, on or after this date, and at least within six months.
The Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society (JLD) was integral to the development and introduction of a minimum recommended salary to trainees as best practice.
JLD Chair Charlotte Parkinson said: “Since the SRA's decision in 2014 to no longer mandate a minimum salary for trainee solicitors, the JLD is concerned that trainee solicitors are not being paid a fair rate. We are pleased to have the Law Society’s support on such an important issue and hope that having a recommended minimum salary helps improve social mobility in the profession.
“According to a recent survey, nearly a third of trainees are currently paid below the recommended minimum level.*
“Many junior lawyers leave education with significant levels of debt – particularly where they have had to self-fund their Legal Practice Course – and it is important that they are paid a fair rate and able to repay that debt.
“The JLD urges all employers to pay the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary and ensure that talented junior lawyers are not deterred from entering the profession because of their financial background.”
Notes to editors
*Research by Douglas Scott found that 29% of trainees – and 35% of trainees in the regions – are paid below the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary. Read the research.
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