The recommended rates of pay for trainee solicitors will not change for the second year in a row, due to the ongoing economic impact of coronavirus, the Law Society of Scotland has confirmed.

The Society’s governing Council has agreed that the recommended remuneration rates for trainees will be held at £19,500 for first-year trainees and £22,500 for those in their second year. The rates are effective from today, 1 June 2021.

The recommended rates are advisory only, but are often used by employers as a benchmark. Despite the continuing impact of the pandemic, more than 95% of current trainees are paid at or above the recommended rates. For those that fall below the recommended rates, the Society will only accept trainee contracts that at least meet the National Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Over the past year, our members’ firms have faced the most difficult trading year in living memory and many continue to endure the effects of the pandemic. Despite a reported upturn in business for some fields of practice, we understand that firms remain under intense pressure to control their costs, including salaries. This is why we have chosen to hold the recommended remuneration rates for trainees at current levels.

“Trainees are integral to the profession and we want to ensure that they are paid fairly for their work. However, it is important that we continue to strike the right balance when setting our recommended pay rates, so as not to discourage trainee recruitment.”

The traineeship

Finish your legal education by learning 'on the job' working as a trainee under the supervision of a Scots-qualified solicitor. Traineeships last for a period of two years and, after its successful completion, you are ready to apply to take out a solicitor's practising certificate.

Essential information for trainees and traineeship providers

There are various mandatory regulatory processes and requirements that trainees must be aware of before and during their traineeship.

Trainee salaries

The Law Society of Scotland has a recommended rate for trainee salaries, in addition to a minimum salary stipulation in order for a training contract to be registered.