Lawyers vs… Santas

December 12, 2012

We compare the two careers to see which should reign, dear










A month ago we looked at which were better, lawyers or clowns. Surprisingly, given their long shoes, clowns walked it. Now, with the festive season upon us, we ask: which is the better career? Wearing a garish suit, guzzling sherry and not having adults believe in you? Or being a Santa? The answer will shock you to your yuletide core.

1. Pay

A brisk walk through the wonderland of online job ads reveals that there are quite a few employees (mainly garden centres) looking for Santas over the festive period. Pay varies, with some cagily offering ‘over the national minimum wage’ and others brazenly offering the full ten pounds an hour. Assuming full time work over a six week period, this clocks up to a per annum take home of £2400. This year, over 400 partners at A&O earned over £640,000. Assuming they don’t work weekends, that means they earn more in a day than Santas do in a year. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

2. Benefits

Big firms are increasingly offering big perks. Walk into any legal office these days and it’s hard not to trip over in-house doctors, dentists and dry cleaners, gyms, creches and gold-plated fauns dropping peeled grapes into the ravenous maws of equity partners. But wait a minute. Being a Santa isn’t exactly rubbish, either. Assuming Santa visits 378 million children a year, that means he ‘earns’ at least 150 million glasses of sherry and mince pies. Given the standard price of a bottle of sherry from Tesco is £6.80, and the average number of servings per bottle is 12, that equates to £85m worth of alcohol per year and £37.5m worth of pie. Totalling £122.5 in benefits alone, that’s enough to make even Magic Circle senior partners’ eyes water. VERDICT: SANTA WINS

3. Travel

Lawyers often moan about the wasted hours spent on trains and planes, and evenings lost in bland hotels eating alone. But compare this to Santa, who has to visit those 378 million children over 31 hours of Christmas (allowing for different time zones). This equates to 967.7 locations per second – simply not enough time to check in to the local Hilton and abuse the minibar whilst watching an adult movie and emailing ridiculous requests to trainees back in the office. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

4. Location

Lawyers working in UK cities think they’ve got everything – access to cultural centres such as art galleries, nearby restaurants of international renown, private medical facilities and two-for-one offers at the West Cornwall Pasty Company. But this counts for nothing compared to what you can get at the North Pole. Plenty of ice for cocktails, no government, just 508 miles to travel to reach the nearest permanently inhabited village, and the cool fact that whichever way you look you’re facing south. VERDICT: SANTA WINS

5. Moral value

Santa is often held up as one of the good guys. Sure, he makes a few dreams come true and encourages goodwill between men. But when has he ever delivered a deal that, say, helps pay shareholder dividends of a multinational such as Starbucks and Amazon? How much swan does Santa’s work put on the table at a New Year post-hunting party, eh? Face it, Santa – until you start oiling the capitalist cogs you’re about as useful as a teapot made of leftover Quality Streets. VERDICT: LAWYERS WIN

And the winner is… It was a close call, but lawyers edged it in the end. So this holiday, rest assured that you’re better off knowing about ‘clauses’ than ‘Clauses’. Ho, ho. Ho. AB

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