All traineeships must be paid. It is up to the individual employers to set their own salaries for trainees, however, there are minimum requirements that must be complied with in order for a training contract to be registered.

Recommended rates

From June 2022, the recommended rates for trainee salaries will be:

  • £20,500 for first-year trainees (a £1,000 uplift) 
  • £23,750 for second-year trainees (a £1,250 uplift)

These rates are recommendations and are not compulsory. The recommended rates set by the Law Society are intended as a benchmark for employers, with more than 95% of trainees paid at or above the recommended rate. It is for individual law firms or in-house employers to decide how much they pay their trainees, subject to certain conditions. Recommended rates had been frozen for the previous two years, in response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minimum salaries

The Society will not accept training contracts that purport to pay less than the Living Wage (outside of London rate), as set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: ‘’We have carefully considered the needs of trainees and employers in coming to this determination, and believe these rates strike the right balance to ensure the legal profession continues to thrive now and into the future.

“We understand that many businesses in the legal sector continue to face intense cost and other pressures, none more so than those working in legal aid. But we have also been mindful of the squeeze that inflationary pressures are having, particularly for those on more modest salaries, and of the fact that recommended rates have remained frozen in recent years.”

“Trainees are integral to the profession and we have to ensure they are paid fairly for their work whilst balancing that against the pressures on many training units. It is also important to note these rates remain our recommendation only and training units have some room for discretion.

“Law graduates today have more career choices than ever before, so we must not ignore the increased competition the sector faces. It is critical that the solicitor profession continues to attract high calibre individuals, both through pay and other factors.”