The Legal 500 Future Lawyers Trainee Solicitor 2023 Survey Findings
The aim of our survey has been the same for 19 years: to tell prospective lawyers what it’s really like to train at a law firm.
Using direct quotes from current trainees, we offer you an unbiased insight into the training experience at firms across the UK.
But as well as asking survey respondents about their training, we collect a whole host of other information too.
This data gives us a more detailed picture of the ethnic, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds of trainee solicitors, as well as into the legal profession more broadly.
Below we set out our findings from the 2023/24 survey.
When it comes to ethnicity, the legal industry has a long reputation for being very white. And it’s not unfair to say that the sector has been a bit slow to diversify.
Black solicitors in particular are still an underrepresented group, at trainee level but especially at more senior levels.
Asian solicitors fare better, but there is still a way to go.
On a more positive note, law firms have been making a concerted effort over the past decade to recruit a more diverse workforce.
79% of this year’s respondents were white.
10% of respondents identified as Asian or Asian British.
5% described their ethnicity as mixed or multiple ethnic groups.
4% of this year’s trainees identified as Black or Black British.
1% described their ethnicity as Arab.
62% of this year’s trainee solicitor respondents identify as female.
36% identified as male.
0.2% described their gender as non-binary.
Oxbridge graduates and Russell Group students have long been favoured by law firms.
But things are changing, and this year 32% of respondents attended a university that does not fall into either of the above categories.
We expect this trend to continue in the coming years.
12% of respondents attended Oxbridge
55% attended another Russell Group university (excluding Oxford and Cambridge).
32% attended other UK universities.
1% studied abroad.
While the trend towards non-law degrees has been growing for the past decade, law is still a popular choice at undergraduate level.
62% of respondents studied law as their undergraduate degree subject.
38% studied a non-law subject followed by a legal conversion course.
The SQE has opened up the non-law route even more.
Most of the current trainees will have been recruited before the SQE was introduced so it will be interesting to see how this number changes in the next few years.
If you would like to find out more about our survey findings, get in touch.