City scape

Culture

9.5 / 10

(based on 6 ratings in 2017)

2017

"The lack of hierarchy is noticeable and the firm's well known friendly atmosphere is indeed real. You are encouraged to go home if you do not have any pressing work and trainees will often go for drinks together."
First year trainee, London
"There is very little hierarchy. Everyone's office doors are always open, even the managing partners. Everybody is approachable and always happy to share some knowledge or answer trainee questions whether they are your level or the head of a department. Different teams socialise in different ways but several teams have regular lunches or after-work drinks together. Office-wide drinks once a month are always good fun with a good turnout. There are also several annual events that are great fun. Even trainees who have not yet started get invited to the spring dinner dance to have a chance to meet people before they begin."
First year trainee, London
"There is a very open-door culture and partners are very accessible. At some firms I have interned at, trainees would relay information to junior associates who would relay to the senior associates who would discuss with a partner. This is certainly not the case at Bristows. All associates, paralegals, partners and secretaries interact with each other and I would never hesitate to ask a partner a question. As there are no billing targets, lawyers work together to provide the best service possible rather than fighting over who gets the work. In interviews, the partners are very keen to see that future trainees have hobbies and a life. Trainees organise socials both within their year group and with the other intake. It's not unusual to find the trainees together in Heaven or having a raclette evening at someone's home."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm's culture is extraordinarily open and friendly with partners being generally approachable and easily accessible. It helps that trainees often sit in a two or three person office with a partner/senior associate and another associate. The open-door policy in the firm really is just that. Office doors are always open and people are usually happy for you to stick your head in to ask a question. The inter-department cooperation between the trainees is fantastic too. If a trainee has a pile of bundles to page-turn, a quick group email to the other trainees will always prompt a few extra hands to assist. Outside of work, trainees socialise and go for drinks on a Friday and the firm itself puts on drinks once a month. There are several annual parties (autumn, Christmas and the spring dinner dance) as well as other social events such as a pub quiz and a cycling fundraiser."
First year trainee, London

2016

"I've been busy since I arrived here, which has resulted in long hours on occasion. However, the culture here means that the work you put in is recognised and it is nowhere near what you would face at a magic circle firm, which is very important to me as that was never the sort of working environment I wanted. In addition, everyone is consistently patient, helpful and friendly, and even though things have been manic at times I've always been treated really well."
First year trainee, London
"Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. There is a hierarchy but not in an intimidating way – everyone has time to answer questions and teach. On the social side, there are a number of firm wide events throughout the year, which are always well attended and there are also departmental events. Everyone goes for drinks most Fridays."
Second year trainee, London
"It's a friendly environment and I feel that I can talk to anyone, be they support staff or partner. Most people are encouraging and supportive, which means that I don't feel afraid to ask questions or let my opinion be heard. There's plenty of opportunity to socialise in the office, whether at lunchtime or monthly drinks, as well as outside the office at team away days or sporting activities."
First year trainee, London
"The firm is very friendly – Its size facilitates this, especially being a trainee. You work in many of the departments and, as the intake is small, you often visit your fellow trainees in theirs and get to know other teams that way. Lots of social events through the year: monthly drinks, an annual pub quiz, an autumn party where you can bring your partner, dinner dance. This year they're organising tickets to an outdoor cinema. Partners are very open – I always feel comfortable talking to them, asking them questions etc. It's mixed as to how much training they give and some give regular feedback and training but others don't offer as much. Associates in IP litigation are a bit more competitive, but people still take time out to help you get up to speed with whatever complicated patent you are working on."
Second year trainee, London
"Small intake of trainees means we all socialise together on a regular basis (but have other friends outside work too, with time to see them). No billable hours targets so people work collaboratively rather than fighting to get work. The partners are very friendly and easy to talk to on both a personal and professional level. Some of the partners can be a bit old fashioned and not open to new ways of doing things."
London
"The working culture is friendly. Although people try to leave at a reasonable time, the work involved can be intense both quantitatively and qualitatively. A lot is expected from fee earners even at a junior level, with some departments being more challenging than others. Bristows fosters teamwork. It is also very keen on charitable causes and events and over half of its staff are involved in CSR initiatives on a frequent basis. Weekly drinks within teams and monthly firm-wide drinks, alongside ad hoc social events, are a Bristows staple."
First 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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