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We found 2,910 Legal Jobs in the UK
The UK legal industry is both varied and strong, with the UK’s top 100 law firms netting over £26 billion in revenue in 2018/2019. According to recent figures there are approximately 11,000 practising legal employers in the UK, covering everything from workplace disputes and corporate patent law to real estate and probate. Traditionally seen as being an industry full of old white men, things are changing, with nearly half of all new legal jobs filled by females, and over 34% of those taking the Bar exam coming from ethnic minority backgrounds.
What you do daily will of course largely depend on the area of law you select, with the most common legal jobs being solicitor, barrister, paralegal, legal secretary and patent attorney. Whilst legal jobs in this industry generally try to adhere to a 9-5 routine, evening and weekend work is not uncommon, as will the need to visit other premises such as a client’s home or a police station.
Working in the legal sector is likely to be busy, but again depends on your speciality and what legal employers you seek. For example, a personal injury lawyer may be expected to manage upwards of 100 small cases a year, whilst a commercial lawyer may only have one large, very complicated case to work on over the same period.
Despite the tough requirements of getting into law school, thousands of law students graduate every year in the UK. As such, competition for legal jobs continues to be high. In general, you will be required to have either a degree in law or a degree in another subject combined with a postgraduate qualification in law or the Common Professional Examination (CPE). As with most legal jobs, legal employers will favour those with related experience, especially when looking for your first job in the industry.
Legal services continue to be of the most important and influential industries in the world. Showing continued steady growth, legal jobs in the UK can be considered a good long-term career choice, with higher-than-average salaries reflecting the important role of working in the legal sector.
In general, newly qualified solicitors working in small, regional firms can expect to earn between £25,000 – £40,000, with this rising up to £65,000 for firms based in London. Corporate law is one of the highest-paid sectors, with wages anywhere between £70,000 to £200,000. Promotions can vary wildly depending on which legal employers you wish to work for, but in general it can take 5-7 years to reach associate and 10-15 years to become a senior associate.
There are of course many advantages to working in the legal sector in addition to the high salaries. For example, you will be constantly learning new things as part of the job, as well as regularly facing new challenges. Furthermore, legal sector jobs will likely give you real social standing and possibly open many other opportunities that would normally be closed.
However, perhaps most importantly is the job satisfaction you will get from working in the legal sector and helping some of your clients, many of whom may be in very real trouble and in desperate need of your help and expertise.
Once you get past the cost and challenges of law school, you will quickly see that the legal job market is incredibly competitive; meaning you will have to try and impress legal employers.
Common complaints from those working in the industry include clients thinking they know more about the law than you and unreasonable demands on your time for legal employers in the sector. Long hours are another common issue, with average working weeks being around 60 hours – resulting in you having much less leisure and family time.