The representative body for legal eagles based their calculation on a combination of the living wage, set by the Living Wage foundation at £9.40 per hour in London and £8.25 outside of London, and the average yearly cost of repaying Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees, which is £3,168.
The LPC is a required qualification for would-be solicitors, and the Law Society also contends that the knowledge gained on this course is ultimately beneficial to employers.
“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,” said Catherine Dixon, chief executive of the Law Society. “Qualifying to be a solicitor should always be on merit. We never want applicants’ backgrounds to be a barrier. Many firms have developed recruitment policies that promote equality, diversity and inclusion, and we hope that firms will also adopt the recommended minimum salary for their trainee solicitors.”
Firms were required to pay trainee solicitors £18,590 if they were in Central London and £16,650 elsewhere, until the Solicitors Regulation Authority scrapped this rate for 1 August 2014 onwards, replacing it with the requirement to pay at least national minimum wage.