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Legal jobs outside of London

28/07/2017
Posted by: Millie Ebbrell

The capital has traditionally been the legal employment hub in the UK but now throughout the UK there are now several firms, of all sizes, creating legal jobs outside of London. However, even with property prices plateauing, the capital is still beyond the reach of many who are starting out in their careers and many legal professionals might be starting to look further afield. The options to move elsewhere to pursue a role have significantly opened up. But where can you find legal jobs outside of London?

Legal jobs outside of London

Leeds may stake its claim to being the country’s second largest legal hub outside of London, while Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester follow closely behind. The concept of ‘northshoring,’ where firms relocate their services centres into the northern part of the country, has certainly contributed to this growth and is expected to continue to do so in the coming years.

Recent figures from recruitment trade body APSCo found there was a 31% increase in the number of vacancies in the north east of England within private practice. And, in Scotland, both Glasgow and Edinburgh have a thriving and profitable legal scene.

What to keep in mind

Aside from property, salaries may be a strong determining factor in candidate’s decisions. The infamous north/south divide is not as disparate as might have been assumed. Average salaries for legal counsel in Greater London are £73,000, versus £72,000 for the same in Leeds. However, further down the seniority level, salaries for legal assistants are commanding salaries of £28,000 in London and £20,500 in Leeds. So the gap in pay remains in the mix, particularly at the lower end of the profession.

The increasing levels of student debt have been well-publicised and increasingly it looks as if it could become a barrier to university entry with some estimates putting the overall figure on the total debt being as high as £100 billion. So for many who previously may have considered entering the legal profession via the university route, their options are being re-examined in light of these statistics.

Apprenticeship options

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy earlier this year, might be part of the solution to finding legal jobs outside of London for many candidates. Not only may it lead to increased levels of diversity and social mobility as the barriers to new entrants are substantially reduced, but it also offers a salaried way in to the profession while studying on the job.

While it’s unlikely that changes in attitude will occur overnight, the opportunities the Levy affords to candidates, as more firms decide to offer apprenticeship routes into law, will open up the profession to a more diverse workforce in the long run.

Finally, for many candidates, work-life balance issues are increasingly playing an important role within their decision making process. While the law can be a tough employer, with a wide range of skills required to succeed, work-life balance has not, until now, been particularly evident in the mix.

While salaries may be lower outside London several factors may influence a candidate’s decision of where to locate themselves. For many the lack of a long commute or even the rise of the ‘reverse commute’ from cities to suburban areas, the lifestyle choice on offer, and the chance of either owning or renting a property which may be out of reach in the capital, are all appealing factors. In a pressurised environment such as law, these may prove to be the deciding factors that legal professionals are starting to consider.

If you’re looking for your next legal job outside of London, or are looking for a role in the capital, then get in touch with our expert team.

Or check out some of our other blogs to gain some great, cutting-edge legal advice

Or take a look at some of our current legal jobs


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