Careers in Crime & Salary Reviews

Welcome to the careers pages of Crime Solicitor Recruitment. If you are a Crime Solicitor, Police Station Representative or Partner requiring careers advice, including salary reviews, career paths, partnership issues and moving with a following, please contact us in complete confidence by emailing us at:

Should I stay or should I go - click here

If you are a solicitor or legal executive considering a career in crime, but not sure how to begin, or want to know about the conditions, salaries, legal recruitment policies of firms and long term career prospects, please email us at the address above:

A criminal career can be a long and rewarding one, but in a similar vein it can also be fairly short and sweet! Crime advocacy work is not to everyones liking, and it is certainly not a career to embark upon without having researched the work thoroughly. We strongly recommend anyone considering a crime career to visit their local magistrates court and sit in and watch court work for a morning.

If you are starting out on the quest and are a student, graduate, police officer or similar wanting to find out more about how to become a crime solicitor, please visit our careers centre at by clicking the link. We will post relevant crime career articles from the careers centre on this page below.

Keep up to date with developments in the Crime arena, LSC/LAA reforms (LSC stands for Legal Services Commission, who were the predecessor to the LAA, the Legal Aid Agency), cuts and funding et al - by reading the Law Society Gazette online. Very important as the law and funding arrangements change every year.

City lawyers wanting to do a "John Grisham" and get down on the street.

Every year we get a load of lawyers from magic circle firms wanting to "do a John Grisham" as it is known in the trade, and get down with the boys on the street. The phone call usually goes like this:

"hello - this is a general query really and I am not sure if you can help me." "I work for Linklaters/Clifford Chance/Allen & Overy/some US firm/etc.. and I want to change my career direction - I feel it is important to do something I will enjoy, and I have decided to do crime work. Can you tell me about jobs X Y and Z?"

At this stage many years ago I used to get quite excited. Afterall, this is a high calibre candidate looking for work, and someone with considerable talent. However, as I have become more hardened to the job, I now ask two questions.

1. Have you heard of the Legal Services Commission?
2. What do you consider a reasonable salary to live off?

Sometimes they have heard of the first body, and say yes they realise it is going to be hard to get in with lots of committed Legal Aid lawyers already fighting the good fight and that cuts are a problem but hey we all have to go through them, tighten our belts and work harder.

However almost every one of them will give a salary level that is way beyond the dreams of most crime solicitors - I think the average they expect to get whilst learning the ropes is around the £45k mark, rising to £60-70k plus out of hours once they are fully up to speed, say in about 3 months...

It is at this point that I revel in giving a harsh reality check and explain that the only lawyers who get this kind of money as a basic in crime are the partners (some of them anyway), and then ask if they have any crime experience. This is usually indicated as being negligble, but that they have done advocacy and enjoyed it. As a former crime solicitor myself, experienced in being yelled at and abused by district judges, magistrates, police officers, prison officers, clients, ushers, a boss and anyone else who wanted to have a pop, I usually suggest they go and sit for the morning at the local magistrates court and experience the humdrum ordinary world of the crime solicitor and the tediousness of applying to adjourn a case or deal with a pre-trial review.

Most do not want to listen, and have got it into their heads that their career move is to find something more exciting than corporate finance. What they do not think about is the house they are going to live in when they can only get a £100k mortgage, and what it is going to be like sat at a police station at 3am followed by a full day trial the following day.

Some do make the switch, and then the next telephone call will be "Hello, I am looking to get into corporate finance - I'm a crime solicitor but I'm not sure it is for me - can you help me find a job?"

Jonathan Fagan, MD of the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment group of websites.

Thinking of paying a law firm to complete your Police Station Accreditation? Article here with our advice on this.

Salary Reviews

Should I stay or should I go - click here

These salary reviews are based on our placements in the past 6 months together with the offers made by firms as well as other intelligence we receive from candidates and clients.

The NQ range for Solicitors is a bit difficult to gauge at the moment. The market remains awkward. We think the range is from £18k for the smaller firms exploiting their trainees to about £25k at some of the larger and Legal 500 firms without police station accreditation, and from £21k up to around £26k with police station accreditation. There are some firms out there looking to pay £30k this year.

At 1 year PQE, there is recruitment going on, with the range being from £22k for non-police station accredited solicitors in the worst instances, through to about £32k with police station accreditation and progressing towards duty solicitor status.

Duty solicitor vacancies are now virtually non-existent, but the range is from about £25k through to £35k if you are lucky. The average is somewhere about the £34k mark at most firms, but there some Middlesex, Central London and South London firms who have a cap on their wages of about £37k. Duty solicitors are not getting above 35k with one large specialist London firm, with current contracts being amended to reflect this.

Out of hours payments remain at 50%, although we know plenty of firms offering duty solicitors 100%.

Bonus schemes not common, but we know a central London firm offering 20% above 2.5 times salary, which is not bad at all.

Perks for work - mobile phones are common, car insurance, golf club membership and gym membership not so common!

Outside of London salaries do not alter very much at all. The range at duty level is about £25k upwards, with a good rate being around £30k plus 50%. At senior level this increases to around the £35k mark, although there are some firms who pay considerably more (Liverpool, Hull and Southampton all been fairly good in recent times) NQ level with accreditation is about the £22-25k mark.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you if we can assist. - specialists for freelance duty solicitors, salaried duty solicitors, police station representatives and crime solicitors across the UK - LSC funded, VHCC panel members, Grade A fee earners, Grade B fee earners, white collar, fraud, private crime and general crime positions for duty solicitors, police station accredited solicitors, NQ solicitors, barristers, in house advocates, solicitors with higher rights, overseas lawyers, police station reps, probationary police station reps, outdoor clerks and fee earners.

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