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Culture

8.0 / 10

(based on 13 ratings in 2016)

2016

"The firm is relaxed and friendly. During office hours there is a hardworking ethos with the expectation that you will 'stay until the job is done'. However, this is rewarded with regular social events (the Bristol office has office drinks every Thursday and there is an annual firm-wide summer party and Bristol office Christmas party). Junior members of the firm are encouraged to attend events wherever possible and there is a nice network of trainees and paralegals who regularly have lunch together and meet up outside of work. Colleagues socialise across all levels (including partners). The Bristol office is fairly partner-heavy but this does not impact upon the relaxed and friendly attitude of the office. Everyone is approachable and departments often collaborate and encourage trainees and other juniors to develop cooperative relationships with those in other departments to assist with the efficient delivery of services to clients."
First year trainee, Bristol
"While there are charity and social events, there is not a culture of casual drinks after work. This is probably because the location doesn't really lend itself to that. However, yoga classes are run at lunch times alongside other fitness activities and people have been very welcoming. The firm funds a number of social events throughout the year within departments, offices and firm-wide."
First year trainee, Exeter
"The teamwork is great within the firm and the people really make it. The trainees are all great friends and lots of social activities are organised outside of the working day. For example, there's a planned outing to Go Ape."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Trainees are encouraged to attend seminars and networking/marketing events. Junior members of the firm have been given a budget to partake in marketing initiatives and it has been great to be given this level of autonomy."
Second year trainee, London
"Good culture on the whole with the majority of supervisors being friendly and down to earth. However, more could be done to look after and nurture trainees."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"The firm's culture is driven by the expected desire to satisfy our clients and to succeed and grow as a firm. The firm encourages people to get involved in activities outside of work. People are always happy to help and provide advice and you will be expected to be able to work independently or as part of a team. Socialising with colleagues is not forced so it is very much your choice."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"Lots of partners who get involved in all of the inter-office and external events. All levels and members of staff are encouraged to participate in socialising and work events. The firm has a good grasp of work/life balance."
First year trainee, Taunton
"As the office is open plan, there is no clear hierarchy in the office. This is great as you can sit near, chat to, and learn from the partners and other experienced lawyers. There is a reasonable focus on social events for junior staff, although there could be more events put on to integrate people from different offices."
First year trainee, Exeter

2015

"For a large firm, there is a very friendly atmosphere around the office. All members of staff are approachable and the general impression is that you can ask questions of anyone. Socialising outside of office hours varies from department to department, but trainees tend to get on well and will socialise among themselves. The firm-wide summer party is always a fantastic event!"
Second year trainee, Exeter
"The culture is generally very relaxed but with a hard working ethos. There is a good work/life balance as working hours in the Exeter office are between 9:00am-6:00pm with staff achieving a lot within that time period. Staff socialising is not always common outside working hours except among close friends, but the firm do try to organise office-wide social events. Staff are mostly married and have families."
First year trainee, Exeter
"Ashfords has a very positive and friendly culture. All members of staff are approachable no matter what their job title. Teamwork is key to the way we work and is very much encouraged and rewarded."
First year trainee, Exeter
"It would be impossible to avoid any kind of hierarchical environment in a law firm, but I do not feel it is more than it should be. In particular, staff are involved in decisions and are given the opportunity to get involved with things that include staff of all levels, for example on corporate social responsibility and charity."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm offices are all open-plan and juniors regularly work closely with senior partners in the team. The team is very supportive of one another and work is distributed to appropriate capacity levels. The team and my trainee intake have been very sociable with regular department dinners/evenings out."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"The firm is a very friendly place to work, and as it is open-plan, allows interaction with all members of the team. This enables you to learn more through hearing comments and to become closer to those that you work with. Outside of work hours, each department organises their own social activities, however the firm organises a summer party each year for all to attend. Some of the smaller offices also organise regular office outings."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"There is a good atmosphere within the department where all colleagues are approachable. There is a good work/life balance with the average day being 8:30am to 6:00pm. The department has two partners, two associates, two assistant solicitors and a trainee. We occasionally socialise as a team, but the trainees socialise more often."
Second year trainee, Exeter

2014

"Ashfords is a very sociable firm, with a range of social and CSR activities to get involved in. As discussed previously, there is no sense of hierarchy and every member of staff is valued."
First year trainee, Exeter
"The culture here is generally good and supportive but inevitably inter-office communication could be improved."
Second year trainee, Plymouth
"Partners interact well and often with trainees. Most partners are incredibly approachable and are keen on providing good training to the trainees. Staff of all levels participate in charity events out of hours. The degree of socialising amongst colleagues depends on the department."
First year trainee, Exeter and Plymouth
"We have a decent office culture - the office itself is open-plan with all levels of the hierarchy sitting together and a general willingness to help. The occasional events are good and there are lots of activities in support of a local charity or local networking events."
Second year trainee, Exeter
"The office is very friendly and there is always someone interested in what you have been up to. The teams I have worked in have all been really helpful and don't mind having their brain picked for information. At busy times, especially in litigation, the team all pulls round to help with urgent matters and ensure they are completed on time. The offices are very social with regular events to attend and take part in, and the Exeter Office holds a monthly drinks evening for staff."
First year trainee, Exeter
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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