Seven out of 10 law students say that they would consider taking a job abroad, while more than 80% fear that the problems affecting the UK economy are set to get to worse.
The US tops the list of the countries that students would be most likely to go to with 38% of the vote, according to an annual survey carried out by The College of Law, the largest postgraduate legal training organisation in the UK and Europe.
This is followed by Australia with 18% and the UAE with 13% while South Africa, India and China come at the bottom of the wish list, with 2%, 3% and 7% respectively.
The survey was sent to all students on the College’s Graduate Diploma in Law, the Legal Practice Course and the Bar Vocational Course. At the time the survey was carried out between September 17 and 29 only a quarter of the 2,094 respondents thought that the credit crunch was media hype and 82% believed that a recession was inevitable, a prediction that could prove correct.
Kate Hayes, Director of Marketing at the College, said: “The opening up of the global market for legal services and the increasing opportunity to work overseas is clearly proving very attractive to the next generation of lawyers, at a time when the economic situation in the UK is becoming increasingly uncertain. Law firms in the UK need to work hard to attract and retain the best talent.”
The UK Government comes in for criticism by survey respondents, with 74% stating that they do not believe it is managing the economy effectively. If there was a General Election tomorrow 41% say they would vote Conservative, up from 30% last year, while only 16% would vote Labour, down from 27% last year. At the time of the survey the replacement of Gordon Brown by David Miliband might have persuaded nearly a quarter to vote Labour and closed the gap considerably.
In light of the credit crunch seven out of 10 students are reducing their expenditure with 51% buying fewer clothes and shoes, 41% cutting back on leisure activities and 35% eating fewer takeaways. However only 24% are happy to sacrifice driving and 26% prepared to drink less.
The average amount of debt that students expect to have when they start their training contract or pupillage is £15,300, up from £14,900 last year. Over half of students (52%) expect to have debts of up to £20,000, with 3% envisaging debts of over £40,000. Just 15% believe they will have no debts at all.
However students are more optimistic when it comes to their salary expectations. The average expected earnings as a newly qualified solicitor or barrister are £39,300, up from £37,450 last year.