By DebbieH 17 Oct 2018 7 min read

Salary Statistics: What’s the average salary for a career in Law?

The Office of National Statistics has released figures showing that those pursuing a career in law earn £15k over the national average.


For those in law the average salary is £50,078 per year, whereas the UK national average salary for full-time work came in at £35,423, for men and women combined. Furthermore, salaries in law have increased between 3% and 9% year on year (depending on the role) compared to other industries which saw a decrease of up to 12%.


How much can you earn with a career in law?


Unsurprisingly, senior managers, directors and officials scooped some of the highest wages of the survey, earning an average of £58k with a full time job. Amongst the lowest paying industries were those working in care and leisure, earning an average of £19k full time.


The legal professional, however, outstrips the average on nearly every count.


Legal professionals earn an average of £88,099 a year, which is considerably higher than the £58k of full-time senior managers. The survey also showed that solicitors take home £53,100, legal associates £32,551 and legal secretaries £22,957.


Part-time workers saw slightly lower salaries, with legal professional earning £50,416 solicitors £30,681 and secretaries £13,514. Legal associates who worked part time earn significantly less than their full-time counterparts, taking home an average of  £13,573 per annum. All part time workers in the legal profession were still earning over the UK average of £12,083 per annum for a part-time role.


However, the figures also showed there was a wage gap between men and women in the same full-time professions. Full-time male legal professionals earned nearly 50% more than women, with the average salary for men sitting at £104,192 and women at £69,474. Across the breadth of the profession, the gender pay gap is estimated to be a much lower mean of 17%, taking into account all roles and whether they are part-time or full-time. For legal professional, the survey showed that men earned an average of 23.9% more across the board.


Women earn more than their male counterparts as legal secretaries


Women, however, who worked full time in legal secretary roles not only saw higher salaries than their male counterparts, but also a higher percentage increase year on year. Male full time legal secretaries earn an average of £18,147, a figure which has decreased by 2% since the previous year. Women on the other hand earn an average of £23,168, which has increased 3.1% based on the previous year.


The ONS also reported that wages are on the increase, with people earning on average 2.5% more year on year. This is where wages were sitting just before the 2008 financial crash, which saw a 300,000 people made redundant and an average wage decrease of -2.5% across the board.


You can see a full breakdown of the statistics and figures on legal salaries in the table below:


  Male Full Time Female Full Time Male and Female Full Time Male Part Time Female Part Time Male and Female Part Time
Legal Professionals



£69,474 £88,099 £40,529 £53,458 £50,416
Solicitors £60,086 £49,189 £53,100 No figure recorded £34,028 £30,681
Legal Associates £38,023 £29,234 £32,551 No figure recorded £14,909 £13,573
Legal Secretaries £18,147 £23,168 £22,957 No figure recorded £13,514 £13,514
UK Average £39,003 £29,891 £35,423 £12,906 £11,835 £12,083