The minimum salary for trainee solicitors recommended by the Law Society has increased by 2.6% to £19,619 outside London and £22,121 in London.
‘Entry to the solicitor profession should be on merit and nobody should face unnecessary financial barriers,’ said Law Society president Christina Blacklaws.
‘I urge all law firms to adopt this recommendation for their trainees - which represents a fair salary - and to consider how else they can contribute to greater social mobility to the benefit of their business, society and the profession.
‘Our vision is of a profession in which all solicitors - present and aspiring - can be confident that talent, ability and application are rewarded irrespective of background, gender or ethnicity.’
The recommended minimum salary, introduced by the Law Society in 2015 after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ended the regulatory requirement that firms pay a minimum salary above the minimum wage, is updated annually.
The new rate comes into effect on 1 May 2019. Based on previous guidance, employers are encouraged to implement the increase as soon as they can, on or after this date, and at least within six months.
The Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society (JLD) was integral to the development and introduction of a minimum recommended salary to trainees as best practice.
JLD Chair Amy Clowrey said: ‘The JLD is concerned that firms are not paying their trainee solicitors a fair rate.
‘We welcome the ongoing support of the Law Society on such an important issue. Access to the profession should be based on merit alone.
‘There has been a fall in average pay and the gender pay gap has widened since the minimum salary for trainee solicitors was scrapped, according to data published by the SRA in 2018.
‘25% of trainees are paid below the Law Society’s recommended minimum levels according to a recent survey*.
‘The JLD urges all employers to pay the Law Society’s recommended minimum salary. This will ensure that talented junior lawyers are not deterred from the profession because of financial barriers.’