Opportunities for Newly Qualified Solicitors (NQs) in London
Every year more than 6,000 newly qualified solicitors complete their recognised training period to enter the profession. Some NQ solicitors secure jobs within the law firm where they trained, but for those looking externally, the area of specialism, the type of law firm and the size of the organisation can all influence the next move. Location will also have some bearing on the decision and as a major international legal centre, London is an obvious first choice for many.
London is home to every type of law firm, which employ around 40% of all lawyers in England and Wales1. These include the prestigious magic circle law firms such as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters, esteemed City law firms including Ashurst, Hogan Lovells and Eversheds Sutherland and highly regarded American law firms like Kirkland & Ellis, Lathan & Watkins and White & Case. There are also many smaller high street and boutique law offices covering a vast range of practice areas.
London is a busy, exciting, multicultural city adding to its allure for many NQ solicitors to progress in the next stage of their law career.
How much does a NQ Solicitor make in London?
Salaries for NQ solicitors in London can vary widely across different law firms. According to Glassdoor2 the average salary in 2023 is £64,700 per annum. However, research by Chambers Student3 shows that magic circle and international law firms can offer salaries for NQ solicitors in excess of £100,000.
Living costs for a NQ Solicitor in London
There is no getting around the fact that London comes with a price tag and living costs will be higher than in other parts of the country. At the same time, no other location will attract quite the same level of income. A single person wanting to live close to the centre can expect to pay over £2,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. A more viable option is to live a little further out and commute to work. For example, a one bed property in Ealing might only be around £1,200 a month and a three bedroom family home up to £2,5002. London council tax rates are historically lower than other areas. A band D property in Chelsea is only £1,420 a year in 2023 and in Ealing it is £1,240.
Using public transport is an inherent part of living in London. Purchasing a Travelcard offers the most freedom and best value for travel around the city. For zone 1, a Travelcard is £156 a month while travelling in zones 1-3 will cost £184.
Things to do as an NQ Solicitor in London
If you are an NQ solicitor with one of the large London law firms, you will likely be based in the central business district of the City or Canary Wharf. Here you will find an abundance of cafes, bars and shops as well as attractive green spaces between the high-rise office buildings.
London is home to world-renowned museums and galleries, the West End Theatre district and multiple tourist attractions. Weekends can be spent experiencing the sights and sounds of one of the niche local markets and the eclectic mix of cultures in London makes eating out an adventure, with a wide range of choices from street food to high end restaurants.
London is full of unique venues for music, from small gigs at local pubs to international artists performing at Wembley or the O2. Sporting events also play a big part of life in London. With 17 professional football teams, an international cricket ground and the annual tennis championships at Wimbledon there is always a game to watch or a match to see.
The world famous Tube and the vast network of bus routes makes getting around London easy for work or pleasure. In addition, the city has a total of 18 mainline train stations making commuting a viable option and gives you the opportunity to get out of town in your time off.
NQ Solicitor Job Vacancies in London
After qualifying, London is often the top choice for solicitors to get their next job. The number and variety of law firms make it a great option for finding the best role to gain the experience in your preferred specialism as you take the next step in your legal career. You can search our NQ solicitor jobs in London to see the roles currently available.
How Can Chadwick Nott Help?
The Chadwick Nott office is located close to the City, placing our London recruitment team in the ideal position to maintain long-standing relationships with multiple law firms across the capital. It also means our consultants have first-hand knowledge to advise and assist you if you are new to living and working in London.
Through our experience and connections, Chadwick Nott can support you throughout the search process to find a newly qualified solicitor (NQ) job that best fits your future legal career goals. We have previously placed candidates in roles including NQ Construction Solicitor, NQ Trusts and Probate Solicitor, NQ Corporate Solicitor, NQ Real Estate Solicitor and NQ Clinical Negligence Solicitor.
To discuss further how we can help you find a newly qualified solicitor job in London, contact a member of our team.
- Pirical. 2019. The UK Legal Market in Numbers. [Online]. [26 June 2023]. Available from: https://www.pirical.com/blog/heres-the-uk-legal-market-in-numbers-infographic#:~:text=There%20are%20146%2C418%20practising%20solicitors,with%205%2C901%20lawyers%20among%20them.
- Chambers Student. 2023. Law firm salaries compared. How much do trainee lawyers and NQs earn? [Online]. [7 July 2023]. Available from: https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/law-firms/law-firm-salaries-compared
- Glassdoor. 2023. NQ Solicitor Salaries in London. [Online]. [September 2023]. Available from: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/nq-solicitor-salary-SRCH_IM1035_KO0,12.htm?clickSource=searchBtn
- Numbeo. 2023. Cost of Living in London. [Online]. [26 June 2023]. Available from: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/London