Salary Story: I’m A Lawyer & I Still Can’t Believe I Make 100k

Illustrated by Isabela Humphrey
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Been in the workforce for at least five years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here. Published stories receive £100.
Age: 31
Location: Midlands
Current industry and job title: Law, in-house senior lawyer
Current salary: £100,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 11
Starting salary: £13,000 in 2011
Biggest salary jump: £65,000 to £100,00 in 2022
Biggest salary drop: £18,000 to £13,000 in 2013
Biggest negotiation regret: Having always just been grateful to be in the career that I am (due to a number of reasons ranging from years of rejections to my background), I have never queried or challenged any salary increase even when I felt it didn’t reflect my performance. I recently had a concern that I was being paid less than a white male colleague in the same role and still regret not raising the issue.
Best salary advice: Speak to recruiters regularly even if you aren’t looking to move roles – this will help to benchmark your salary. I would also advise discussing salary with friends/former colleagues in the same sector or role as you. I’ve found my friends and ex-colleagues are much more open to talking about this when we no longer work together as there is no longer that competitive element.