Don’t try to pretend otherwise: a glance at the Gazette’s website traffic shows that there’s nothing like a story about salaries to pique solicitors’ interest. Especially one that suggests new lawyers are (a) grossly overpaid or (b) distressingly underpaid.
So it was last week when the Higher Education Statistics Agency quango revealed the unsurprising news that a degree in law is not the route to an instant fortune.
Rather, its latest figures show that 2014/15 law graduates were pulling in an average of £21,000 a year, compared with £22,500 for graduates as a whole. Predictably, the top earners were those with directly vocational degrees in medicine and dentistry – but Obiter was slightly alarmed to note that graduates in ‘social studies’ also did better than legal types, to the tune of £3,000 a year.
There is better news, however. Of the 5,255 law graduates who were in employment, 62% were in a professional occupation, compared with 47% of those who graduated in ‘historical or philosophical studies’. So old jokes about what you say to a philosophy graduate – ‘Double fries with that, please’ – can still be told with confidence.