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If you read our related article on the best paying sectors for graduates you’d have read that the law sector was voted as the number one sector for the highest average salary for graduates.
The best-paying training contracts in London in 2022:
|Law firm||1st-year trainee salary||2nd-year trainee salary||NQ salary|
|1||Davis Polk & Wardwell||£60,000||£65,000||£160,000|
|2||Weil Gotshal & Manges||£60,000||£65,000||£160,000|
|4||Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld||£57,500||£62,500||£164,000|
|5||Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton||£57,500||£62,500||£140,000|
|7||Ropes & Gray||£57,500||£62,500||£147,000|
|10||9. Kirkland & Ellis||£55,000||£60,000||£150,000|
|12||Sullivan & Cromwell||£55,000||£60,000||£145,000|
|13||Willkie Farr & Gallagher||£55,000||£60,000||£145,000|
|16||White & Case||£52,000||£57,000||£140,000|
|17||Allen & Overy||£50,000||£55,000||£107,500|
|22.||Debevoise & Plimpton||£50,000||£55,000||£145,400|
|24||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||£50,000||£55,000||£125,000|
|25||Herbert Smith Freehills||£50,000||£55,000||£120,000|
|27||Latham & Watkins||£50,000||£55,000||£150,000|
|32||Shearman & Sterling||£50,000||£55,000||£145,000|
|35||Slaughter and May||£50,000||£55,000||£115,000|
|37||Vinson & Elkins||£50,000||£55,000||£159,500|
|38||Norton Rose Fulbright||£48,500||£53,000||£95,000|
|39||Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner||£48,000||£52,000||£95,000|
|40||Covington & Burling||£48,000||£53,000||£128,000|
|43||Squire Patton Boggs||£47,000||£50,000||£100,000|
|46||Simmons & Simmons||£46,000||£50,500||£100,000|
|47||Bird & Bird||£45,000||£50,000||£88,000|
|50||Mishcon de Reya||£45,000||£50,000||£90,000|
All the contracts listed above have a commonality: they are all in London. This is no surprise as London is often referred to as the world’s legal capital – if this is so it does make sense that the top firms will not only have a presence here but will also offer lucrative sums.
While firms in London award their trainees with the highest salaries, it does not mean that there are no other regions in the UK where you can enjoy a very good play. Other top regions in terms of payment include Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham. Quite a few of the top firms usually have offices in this region and offer considerable pay (even though it may be less than that obtainable in London).
The highest paying training contracts in Bristol in 2022:
|Law firm||1st-year trainee salary||2nd-year trainee salary|
|2||Simmons & Simmons||£40,500||£42,500|
What To Do If You Want One?
Before we go on, we must state that there are more London firms out there that offer great sums, we have just started the top 50. For example, the firms Taylor Wessing and Watson Farley & Williams both offer £45,000 for the first year of the training contract. Thus if money is your goal then a training contract with one of the above firms will make sure that you are set for a while.
If you intend on getting one of these firms’ slots you’ll need to do a few things
- Check the firm’s recruitment process: do you satisfy their criteria? For example, some of these firms only recruit from their vacation schemes. So it would be of no use applying if you have not done a vacation scheme with them
- Create an Excellent Application: when you make an application to these firms you are struggling with hundreds of other applicants for a spot; for some firms, you’ll compete with thousands. For example, the 41st placed firm on the list, Addleshaw Goddard receives about 2,000 applicants for its training contract programme. A great application will have a great cover letter, CV (if requested), relevant experiences, and in most cases good grades. A large chunk of the firms on this list ask for a minimum of 2:1. If you don’t satisfy this requirement, it’ll be hard for you to get a spot in the firm.
- Use the resources at Congrapps: there are very few sites that offer the services that we offer: the compilation of hundreds of successful applications that you can use for your good. Make use of the resources we offer
One of the reasons that London is often viewed as the legal centre of the world is because English law is often chosen by parties as the law that will govern their commercial contracts. This disposition by parties has no bearing as to wheher the parties have or have no connection with the UK. As we said earlier, because of this truth, top law firms will always want to have a foothold in the City. And one of the ways for them to do so is to attract the best talent. Something that has been successfully used to appeal to graduates is top pay. It appears that there will always be training contracts with great salaries. It even appears that in the foreseeable future that these outstanding sums will still increase.
Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
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