New research highlights law as best-paying graduate job as average salaries rise 4.3%

Law firms have been identified as the highest-paying graduate employers in the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ (AGR) summer survey.

According to the research, the legal sector offers the highest starting salaries for graduates with a median of £36,500, a 4.3% increase on the average figure of £35,000 reported in 2009.

The report found that salary levels for most university leavers had remained stagnant for two consecutive years.

Investment banks and fund managers, who topped the graduate salary chart in 2009 with an average starting salary of £38,250, have dropped to second place with a median salary of £35,000, while salary levels in the banking and financial services sector have remained stagnant at £28,500.

Law was one of the few sectors to predict an increase in salaries in 2010, alongside retail and construction.

However, the difficulties many graduates are currently experiencing in their efforts to secure a training contract were highlighted by the survey’s finding that law firms are predicting an 11.8% drop in vacancies from 2009 to 2010 – significantly higher than the 6.9% decrease in graduate vacancies expected across the board.

The AGR report canvassed 215 members of the organisation which, between them, are estimated to offer a total of 17,920 graduate vacancies.

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