Many careers in law are highly competitive and require advanced qualifications. The vast majority of professionals in the field are solicitors, and during the early stages of a career, solicitors are traditionally required to work long, antisocial hours. Overall, there are about 200,000 people employed in legal professions within the UK, making it a relatively small sector, which accounts for less than 1% of the total workforce.
About 45% of all solicitors currently work in London, but there are nonetheless employment opportunities in every region of the UK. London is also the most highly compensated region in the nation, and pays nearly 30% more than many surrounding areas. Common positions listed by recruitment agencies include paralegal, legal secretary, and solicitor. The lowest earners in the legal profession make between £15,000 and £20,000 annually, while the highest salaries for senior solicitors and partners can exceed £40-£50K. Overall, the average income is about £25K. Despite the fact that many in the sector are employed in small firms, the largest employers in the UK are Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, and Slaughter & May. Law is also an area with many opportunities for self-employment for experienced professionals.