Discrimination starts early in law as male trainees receive £1,300 head start

Average salaries for male trainees in the legal profession are exceeding the £20,000 mark, with female trainees trailing by £1,319, according to the latest Law Society Annual Statistical Report, which was published last week.

The report says that 60 per cent of new trainees were women, but nevertheless male trainees earned on average £20,068 compared with women’s average earnings of £18,749. It was also revealed that more than half (56 per cent) of all new admissions to the profession were women

“It’s encouraging that increasing numbers of women are training to be solicitors. It’s clearly important that the profession reflects the society it serves,” said Law Society chief executive Janet Paraskeva. “However, it’s disturbing to see that women still face inequality in relation to their pay.” She also pointed out that the Solicitors’ Anti-Discrimination Rule prohibited unfair or unreasonable discrimination against staff on grounds of gender and that the Law Society would investigate all allegations of prejudice.

Women now account for almost 40 per cent of practising solicitors, which means that since 1992 the number of women holding practising certificates has risen by 120 per cent.