I know that we are all still a little upset by last week’s news that the SRA are scrapping the regulations that set a minimum salary for trainee solicitors, but I don’t want any of you to lose heart. Dwelling on the negative and feeling bleak about the future won’t do any good and certainly won’t help you reach qualification!
So, with that in mind, here are my top five reasons why you should feel positive about the future:
1. Over 70% of law firms currently pay more than the minimum salary to trainee solicitors, so there is a very strong chance that you will be paid more than the bare minimum when you do get a training contract.
2. The new measures may actually inject passion back into the profession, as many students who were only in it for the money will be put off trying to qualify and we will be left with those students who have real passion and commitment to be a solicitor. And those who are passionate about their job end up being paid more eventually anyway, since they tend to self-study after qualification and improve their value to the firm.
3. It is likely that the deregulation of the minimum salary will result in more training contracts being available, which will mean more opportunities to qualify. There may be a risk that there won’t be as many jobs available upon qualification, but is it not better to be qualified and looking for work than unqualified and looking for a training contract? Besides, speaking from experience, it is a lot easier to find a job as a Newly Qualified solicitor than a training contract (and I had to do it at the start of the recession!). In addition, if you can prove yourself as invaluable to the firm during your training contract, it is highly likely that you will be taken on at the end of it.
4. There are so many cheerleaders today! When I was looking for a training contract, there wasn’t a lot of support out there for law students. Today, you have a huge network of personal cheerleaders ready to motivate you, pick you up and dust you off after a bad interview and celebrate with you when you get a training contract!
You only have to look on twitter for a few minutes to see how much support there is out there for law students today. Beyond this site, there is also the Duncan Gibbins Academy (@DG_Academy), Michael at EK Business Law (@ekbusinesslaw), LawCareers.net (@LawCareersNetUK) and the Trainee Solicitors Surgery (@TraineeSurgery) and many more! The forum at traineesolicitor.co.uk is also very useful, with lots of qualified solicitors ready to help answer any questions you might have. Really, with so much support behind you, what choice is there but to succeed?
5. You are unique. There is no other law student out there like you – with your exact interests, background and personality. You have the desire and passion to make it in the legal industry and this will stand out so clearly to potential employers at job interviews. You can and will reach qualification. Once you do you will open a whole world of opportunities and the sky will be the limit for your potential salary then. So my advice is to put the SRA’s decision behind you, plant a smile on your face and get out there ready to face the day! Your training contract is waiting for you to apply for it!
So, in the spirit of being positive – what are you most thankful for/happy about today? My happy moment today was watching my husband and baby son both sleeping at 5am while I was writing this blog post – I felt like the luckiest woman alive! Please post your happy thoughts and positive comments below so that we can spread the good feeling!