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Hours

6.2 / 10

(based on 18 ratings in 2016)

2016

"Hours can vary greatly depending on the department and time of year. There are periods of time when I can work over 12 hours a day regularly plus weekends but also periods where I can get away at around 6.00 pm. From the point of view of a trainee or a commercial lawyer, I can't complain too much. Relative to the wider community, however, the kinds of hours worked are not great. Flexibility is there if you ask for it (unless there is a pressing deadline or a special need to be in the office), so long as the work gets done. It does vary a bit depending on the team and your trainer."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours are unpredictable. If work is urgent and needs to be done then you will be expected to be here (which can include weekends, albeit rarely). My average hours are usually 9.30 am – 8.00 pm, which does impact the ability to make evening plans during the week. The time off in lieu policy is good but thresholds are quite high. Most people are happy for you to take an hour to go to the gym/go out for something to eat if you are going to be here late in the evening. Additionally, there is a good working from home policy (beyond trainee level), although I have been able to work from home on a couple of occasions when I have needed to be at home for maintenance etc. While I don't think there is much of a face-time culture, I don't think it's fair to say that this has entirely fallen away and does vary from department to department."
First year trainee, London
"A number of great trainers adopt a very flexible approach to working hours. If you've got something to go to, provided it's not outrageously inconvenient timing, then leaving for it is never hindered."
First year trainee, London
"Long hours, but I have protected evenings in my dept (this is not available in every dept)."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours can be very up and down depending on departmental business, which is often impossible to predict. Some trainees work 12 hour days and have all-nighters (although these are quite rare, even in the busiest departments) while others regularly leave at 6.00 pm. My first seat had very bad hours in the run up to Christmas. In my second seat, I left between 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm for almost the entire seat."
First year trainee, London
"There's not much flexibility. If you're quiet you can go. If you're busy you need to stay extra hours."
First year trainee, London
"It's inflexible –– if you are needed then you stay. The hours in my dept go in peaks and troughs so I may have one or two weeks of heavy hours where I leave at midnight at the earliest, followed by a two-week period of calm where I leave at 6.00 pm every night. At times, when a few transactions are on at the same time, it can get quite heavy but working weekends are still rare among trainees from what I've seen."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are often long. However, in my experience there is not a face-time culture and if there is nothing left to do at 6.00 pm, you are told to go home. There are increasing opportunities to work from home (mainly for associates) and, at more senior levels, the Peerpoint consultancy system allows lawyers to work more flexibly on a project basis."
First year trainee, London

2015

"The hours vary from department to department but are generally pretty long across the firm."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours are long, but generally senior staff try to accommodate if you have specific evening and weekend plans. This is not always possible, however."
First year trainee, London
"The hours you work depends on the department. I think there are tougher hours in litigation seats than in transactional seats."
Second year trainee, London
"Personally, I've had a reasonable experience of hours. I've never done more than an 11 hour day, which around here is pretty good! It isn't very flexible though. As a trainee you don't get any real say in how long you work."
First year trainee, London
"My hours tend to be about 9.30 am until 7.30 pm but it really depends on the day and how busy I am, etc. There is also the option to work off-site from home."
First year trainee, London
"Working hours vary significantly based on what seat you are in, however, generally the hours are to be expected for a firm of this size and calibre."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours can be incredibly tough with 60 hours a week being the norm in a number of areas. That said, these can sometimes be the most exciting and enjoyable times."
Second year trainee, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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