Culture

9.2 / 10

(based on 17 ratings in 2017)

2017

"Socialising depends on the departments. Smaller departments are, understandably, a bit tighter and socialise together more. That said, even the biggest departments have regular social events; it's just harder to cultivate a genuine social feeling among so many people."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The culture of this firm is amazing. The partners are incredibly approachable and the culture from the top down is one of inclusivity and friendliness. Socials are the BOMB too. Who else do you know that hosts a Got Talent show and a Strictly Dancing competition!?"
First year trainee, Bristol
"There is a lot of socialising among colleagues and the trainee intakes are always going out for drinks and socialising after hours or at weekends. It depends on the department, but there's mostly no hierarchy and everyone is very approachable. We have a great social club that the majority of employees are members of, meaning we can attend socials and sports clubs with everyone across the firm. This breaks down barriers between fee earners and others, which is a unique aspect of Burges Salmon."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm has a very friendly and collaborative culture. This is reflected both within work and outside of work in terms of the events organised for staff. The trainees in particular form close connections meaning that we are able to approach each other for help easily. There is a hierarchy in terms of the position and title of individual lawyers but I do not feel that there are any barriers to approaching those higher up. I have found it easy to build good and friendly working relationships with lawyers at all different levels."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Even though there is a hierarchy in place, it is not evident when working as part of the team. Trainees are valued and get responsibility. Teamwork is an essential quality that is highly valued throughout the firm and there is a fair amount of socialising (more in some departments than others)."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm has an open-door policy. It also has a collaborative culture and this can be seen through teams of people of varying levels working on matters. There's also a keen level of uptake for sports clubs, volunteering and the firm's social club. There are numerous social events throughout the year including a talent show, charity nights and summer/Christmas parties. It's not all seminars and networking!"
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm has a strong sense of culture. Various events are held in the office or they get pop-ups, such as the local doughnut shop, coming in once a month for treats as well as the cake trolley on Fridays. There are some evening socials and some departments are more social than others."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is very friendly. During the work day there is an attempt to ensure you are included and the trainees will sit together at lunch. After work we have firm socials where partners often get involved and dress up or dance for charity. The departments also make an effort with regular drinks after work and one-off events such as trampolining."
First year trainee, Bristol

2016

"Very social firm. There will always be someone to have a drink with after work."
First year trainee, Bristol
"There is a hierarchy but politics is generally kept to a minimum and everyone is able to approach senior members of the team for support."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The culture is fantastic, both in the office and after hours. Cooperation and teamwork in the office is strong – I can approach people with any questions I may have and brainstorm ideas with colleagues. There is obviously a hierarchy but I feel I can approach any of the partners. There are often firm socials, team socials, team lunches and Friday night drinks."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is extremely friendly and everyone is very approachable. There's an open-door policy and everyone works well together. Trainees are very much made to feel like a valued part of the team. Each department organises socials and, as trainees, we often meet up outside of work hours and each year we go on a trainee weekend away."
First year trainee, Bristol
"During office hours the firm has a fairly relaxed culture and the hierarchy is quite informal. I've sat with a mixture of associates, senior associates and partners without any sense that they treat trainees differently. There's no standing on ceremony here. When it gets very busy there is a culture of everyone mucking in at all levels. Outside of office hours there are lots of fun social events, often organised by the trainees and revolving around charity fundraising. For example, we've had dragon boating and a recent event 'I'm a partner, get me out of here'. There aren't many firms where the trainees would get away with covering partners in gunge or making them eat insects. It's a firm that knows how to have a laugh and not take itself too seriously."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is very friendly. Smiles in the corridors and lifts are easy to come by. Chatting in the coffee queue is a great way to get to know people (just make sure you know the managing partner's name... because they are likely to know yours!). The firm obviously has a hierarchy and this is clearer in big team matters. However, this never prevents you from feeling like instructions are clear and the work has been thought about. Partners are approachable. Some are supervisors and are willing to discuss work or take questions. There are plenty of social activities to get involved with after-hours too."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The hierarchy varies between departments but generally it's a fairly flat structure where all are respected equally and work is genuinely collaborative. The social life for the trainees is great – there are always Friday drinks, meeting up outside of work and weekends away. In the firm, people are always popping into each other's offices for a chat."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm adopts a collaborative culture and everyone is very friendly. We operate an open-door policy and supervisors are (normally) extremely approachable if you have an issue or query. There is the usual hierarchy that would be expected of a law firm. However, this works to the firm's advantage, rather than causing tension, as there is always a point of contact to raise queries or concerns with or discuss work."
First year trainee, Bristol

2015

"On the whole, the firm is very collegiate and team-centred. There is very little politics or back-stabbing. Some departments can be a bit rigidly hierarchical but there is a usually a good level of socialising at the firm (again variable by team though)."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is very good at keeping staff involved and organising firm-wide social events. In working hours, people work hard but are approachable."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is friendly, approachable and social. We have mild working hours which are getting longer but are still nowhere near the London culture. There is lots of inter-departmental cooperation and teamwork. Partners are very approachable and operate a genuine 'open-door' policy. Could be a better social life with other lawyers in the firm but many have families, etc."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Burges Salmon encourages staff to have a life outside of work. Everyone respects that you need personal time away from the office to go and live life. Inside the office there are lots of events to socialise (firm-wide, department-specific and especially amongst the 27 trainees in my intake)."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm has a strong culture. There is little hierarchy in most departments and partners and senior associates are as approachable as more junior fee earners. The firm is not overly sociable at present but this is constantly improving."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"I think you would be hard pressed to find a firm that works together as well as this one. Being mainly in the one office we have a truly collegiate environment. I have lost count of the number of times I have walked across to a different department to ask a question to someone and the 'open-door' policy is a real catalyst for those conversations. The social side of life is also well structured; with departmental, unit, firm-wide or trainee-only events a fairly regular occurrence. And when the firm gets together as a whole, there is always a really positive feel about what we are doing and what we can achieve - whether that is in the work or the corporate social responsibility sphere."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Hours are becoming increasingly long, however the firm is putting increasing efforts into helping staff maintain a work/life balance (including putting on socials, corporate social responsibility activities and by improving employee benefits). The culture is very collaborative and collegiate, all departments work effectively together and it is much easier having everyone under one roof. I find partners on the whole approachable. There is mutual respect from all levels."
First year trainee, Bristol

2014

"Everyone is very friendly and the firm really tries to get the balance right between work and home life. Sometimes when it's really busy this slips, but that is just part of life."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"There is an emphasis on getting involved in activities both inside and outside of working hours. Not coming from Bristol this has made the transition to a new city that much easier."
First year trainee, Bristol
"There is a good social life among trainees and the wider firm. End of month drinks, departmental socials and charity events bring people together."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Generally the culture is friendly both in the office and out; there is a strong team ethic and plenty of socialising opportunities. The structure and hierarchy is clear but the majority of senior staff operate an 'open-door' policy and are very approachable."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Partners are generally very approachable and the more senior fee earners often seem enthusiastic to help trainees and genuinely want you to succeed. The vast majority of employees are very friendly and approachable if you ever had any concerns. The firm is also quite social."
First year trainee, Bristol
"It's a very open, collaborative and collegiate environment. The fact that the firm is based in a single office means that there is a lot of cross-firm work. There is a genuine 'open-door' attitude, where no-one (from junior lawyers to partners) minds you dropping in to ask questions or discuss the work you are doing. Socialising is also pretty good, with a number of all-staff events throughout the year, including a monthly staff social held at the offices. Individual departments also organise their own social events with trainees within the seat being invited along."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"In general the hours are quite reasonable and face-time is actively discouraged. Teamwork is good - a real 'everyone knows everyone' environment which is impressive given the size of the firm. That's helped by the single site, the social events and clubs and the cross-departmental functions."
First year trainee, Bristol
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