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Law Society of Scotland raises minimum trainee solicitor pay amid inflation

Law Society of Scotland raises minimum trainee solicitor pay amid inflation


In response to the persistent inflationary pressures and rising cost of living, the Law Society of Scotland has taken a proactive step by increasing its recommended minimum pay rates for trainee solicitors, effective from 1st June 2024

The revised minimum pay rates are as follows:

  • £23,675 for first-year trainees, marking an increase of £1,125 per annum.
  • £27,480 for second-year trainees, representing a rise of £1,355 per annum.

While these rates serve as recommendations, employers have the discretion to pay trainees above or below the Law Society's guidance, provided wages do not fall below the Living Wage as determined by the Living Wage Foundation. Traineeships failing to meet the minimum Living Wage requirement will not be accepted for registration by the Law Society of Scotland.

Sheila Webster, President of the Law Society of Scotland, emphasises the significance of regularly reviewing recommended trainee pay, acknowledging its crucial role in supporting both trainee solicitors and their employers. Webster underscores the importance of adequately rewarding and supporting the future generation of legal professionals.

The decision to raise minimum pay rates reflects the ongoing challenges posed by inflation. While there has been some easing compared to previous years, wage growth and cost-of-living pressures persist, disproportionately affecting lower-income workers. The Law Society of Scotland recognises the need to strike a balance between addressing these challenges and ensuring the sustainability of firms, particularly those operating in sectors like legal aid facing significant hurdles.

Webster emphasizes that the recommended pay rates are designed to support the wider legal sector while considering the financial and operational constraints faced by employers. By maintaining a balance between living costs, competitiveness in the job market, and financial sustainability for firms, the Law Society aims to foster an environment where trainee solicitors are adequately rewarded and empowered to contribute to the profession's future success.

Ultimately, the Law Society's decision reflects a commitment to promoting fair and equitable compensation practices within the legal profession, ensuring that trainee solicitors receive remuneration commensurate with their contributions and the economic realities they face.