Study sheds light on Barristers’ pay trends

New research published by the Department for Education (DfE) has revealed the median salaries for law graduates from different universities across the country that are now acting as Barristers.

According to the DfE’s report, which bases its earnings figures on PAYE data, law graduates from prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge are earning around £43,600 more than graduates of other establishments such as the University of Bedfordshire in Luton.

Oxford and Cambridge graduates who completed their studies in 2012/13 are now earning a median salary of £28,700 and £26,700 respectively, in comparison with just £13,000 for those who graduated at the University of Bolton or the University of Sunderland.

For 2010/11 university cohorts, Cambridge law graduates are now earning a median salary of £42,100 three years after they graduated.

Those who graduated from the University of Oxford are earning a median of £41,100, while those who studied at the University of Bradford or the University of Wolverhampton are earning £15,900 and £16,000, respectively.

However, the most prominent ‘earnings gap’ was found amongst those who graduated in 2008/09 and are now practicing as Barristers five years later.

Commentators have argued that the figures reinforce age-old concerns about the lack of social mobility in the legal profession, echoed by separate research carried out by the Sutton Trust and Prime.

Their research found that one in every two partners at so-called ‘magic circle’ firms have been privately educated, compared with just seven per cent of the general public.

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