Law graduates suffer from widest gender pay gap

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Nov 24, 2017
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Four firths of female law graduates earn salaries of less than £30,000 within six months of leaving university

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The gender pay gap is widest among recent law graduates, new figures reveal.

Figures from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the body that represents human resources professionals, show that 80 per cent of female law graduates earn salaries of less than £30,000 within six months of leaving university, compared with 60 per cent of their male counterparts.

The figures demonstrated generally that law graduates are among the lowest paid of university graduates, although there are professional qualification reasons to explain that low performance.

Two thirds of law graduates enter the employment market in jobs paying less than £20,000 a year, according to the figures. Many of the tens of the thousands of law graduates each year struggle to find employment paying more than the national average within six months of leaving university.

The CIPD figures will further stoke arguments that universities are milking law students, the vast majority of whom have little prospect of landing well-paid employment in the legal profession.

The research also shows that contrary to public perceptions a law degree is not a licence to high earnings, at least on graduation. Law graduates were the lowest earners along with those with languages degrees, with 93 per cent of both groups employed on less than £30,000 a year six months after leaving university.

However, the CIPD research appears not to take account of the fact that those law graduates intending to qualify as lawyers are required to complete another year of postgraduate study before launching themselves on the jobs market. Therefore, almost all law degree graduates are likely to be earning very low if any salary at all within six months of obtaining their first degree.

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