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Hours

6.8 / 10

(based on 21 ratings in 2018)

2018

"The hours can sometimes be long. However, there is generally a recognition that we can make up for these long hours by working much shorter hours when possible. For example, after one full-on deal concluded, I was given two extra days off in lieu to make up for the hours I put into the deal."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Don't come here expecting to work 9.00 am to 5.00 pm because it is a regional law firm. This is a law firm that prides itself on London work and the hours reflect this."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is a bit old fashioned with flexibility and still needs to get better with working from home. That being said, partners notice if you are in later than 7.00 pm and tend to check in with you. Busy departments such as disputes track trainees' hours to make sure no one is being overworked."
First year trainee, Bristol
"I do not think my working hours are bad at all for a firm of this size that does the type of work it does. That said, I do not feel it is very flexible when it comes to hours, not at the trainee level anyway. People are not really allowed to work from home on a regular basis and there can be a bit of a face-time culture in some departments. Being in the office early is not always taken into account when you are seen leaving."
First year trainee, Bristol
"I would say my work hours are reasonable compared to London firms. On average I work from 9.00 am until 7.00 pm (and then do some late nights on top). I would not say there is a lot of flexibility on hours, certainly not as much as I thought there would be. I thought that if people worked late nights they could recover that time the morning after but this does not seem to be the case. I would say that our emails and laptops have not increased flexible working and instead we work longer hours. I would also say that we do work long hours compared to regional firms."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Your hours depend hugely on your department. Tax and real estate are consistently reasonable while banking and disputes are consistently awful (12 hours per day minimum). Everywhere else fluctuates a lot. I'd say you're guaranteed to work past midnight a handful of times and 90% of us have worked weekends too."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"I haven't felt that there is an expectation for me to stay late for the sake of it and hours have been quite reasonable for me (although that isn't the case for all trainees). However, there isn't a huge amount of flexibility or the ability to manage your own time. If someone wants something doing, it falls to you to do it whenever but I imagine this is the case everywhere."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Hours can be longer but the average day is around 9.00 am to 7.30 pm. The firm is good at letting us take longer lunch breaks, coming in a bit late or leaving early if needs be for a doctor's appointment or similar as it is recognised that we will make the time up. There is some way to go on a 'working from home' culture but it is slowly getting there."
Second year trainee, Bristol

2017

"It depends on the department. In transnational and disputes seats, there are pressures and timelines that must be met so it is unsurprisingly less flexible. In advisory seats, although work can be busy, there is greater flexibility to manage your own time. However, as long as the work gets done, that is all that matters. Supervisors and partners are well aware that life goes beyond the office and that flexibility is needed."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The official policy is to encourage flexible working, but it's another question as to whether or not it filters down. Hours are generally good (arrive at 9.00 am, leave around 7.00 pm), but things can heat up."
First year trainee, Bristol
"This is very dependent on the department but I would say it's quite good on the whole! 6.30 pm is the average time to leave."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Hours are increasing steadily. There's no expectation of face-time but I have sometimes needed to cancel plans. Very late nights and weekend work is very rare."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"It depends on the department but I would say that, on average, I work from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. I would say that this is not unreasonable but I do think that the firm could be more flexible on agile working. I think the firm's 'agile working' policy has some catching up to do compared to other firms."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Officially our working hours are from 9.15 am to 5.15 pm. I've not worked later than 8.00 pm and that's rare, usually I get out by 6.30 pm at the latest. The firm has a flexible working policy."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Working hours can be long but are not extreme."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The official hours are 9.15 am to 5.15 pm but people typically get in a little early and leave, depending on how busy you are, an hour or two later. People are usually happy if you say you need to run off straight after 5.15 pm but, if the matter demands you stay, you may have to skip a weekday evening event. It is supervisor dependent on whether you can leave a bit before 5.15 pm but you may have to offer to come in early in return."
First year trainee, Bristol

2016

"The hours are what you should expect for a top law-firm. Applicants shouldn't be naïve about what is expected of them (expect to rearrange week-night plans on a fairly regular basis) but the firm has a far better work/life balance than its rival London firms."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Some teams are a bit inflexible about hours and have a bit of a presenteeism culture. These teams are in the minority, however. In most teams there is a healthy attitude to working hard when clients and deadlines require it but also to making the most of things when quieter periods come along."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"When there's a deal on, hours are long. When there's not a deal on, you're not expected to hang around. There's no coat on the back of the chair mentality here. When hours have been particularly long it's recognised and sometimes you get days in lieu back."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Generally, there is a level of flexibility. There's not a face-time culture. You are only required to work late when you have urgent work for the following day. The workload is generally manageable."
First year trainee, Bristol
"It varies massively between departments. In some you have virtually no control over the hours you work. In others you can manage you workload around your personal working patterns (eg coming in early and leaving early or vice versa). In my experience, even in the busy periods, supervisors are receptive to you heading out early if you let them know in plenty of time that you've got a specific social engagement of an evening. You may have to stay a bit later the next day to remain on top of things, though. Overall, it's much better than London. In most of the departments I've sat in I've been able to keep up with my hobbies, which involve evening engagements two or three times per week."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"As a trainee you have limited control over your hours and some departments mean that longer hours, or at least unpredictable hours, are a lifestyle choice. I have never felt I was working late for the sake of it and have never been 'left behind' to finish something off. When you're busy, the whole team is busy and people club together to get the work done."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is flexible in terms of fitting in appointments etc. However, tight deadlines are part of being in a services industry."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"It varies between departments and how busy they are, but on average I leave before 7.00 pm most days. Although there have been some late nights, I've never left later than 12.00 pm. I have only worked at the weekend once during my first year here. You're not generally expected to work weekends except in exceptional circumstances."
First year trainee, Bristol

2015

"Average hours vary significantly by seat and, in some areas, time of year. Flexibility varies according to supervisor and the culture of the department you are in."
First year trainee, Bristol
"I have found the firm to be very flexible indeed. I've hardly come across anyone who would EXPECT someone to stay past 7:00pm! Obviously it depends on what you're working on. If I have to stay late, I know it's because of an urgent or important deadline, it's not because I feel pressured into it and certainly not because of any "blazers on the back of seats" policy; that simply doesn't happen here."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is flexible with commitments, but Mon-Fri leaving time can be unpredictable in terms of planning social events. I generally don't leave too late, but your workload varies and cannot be planned around."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Generally the hours are quite good. Potentially longer than most regional firms but not comparable with London hours. If you are not very busy the firm are generally pretty flexible with hours and are happy for you to leave within normal working hours, but if the department is busy you are expected to stay late if necessary."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The hours you work completely depend on where you're sitting in the firm. I've experienced consecutive weeks of working 9:00am-5:00pm, yet at other times I've found myself eating three meals a day in the staff canteen. Hours in law are always unpredictable, and as the firm is evolving to take on much more of a City approach, the hours will probably continue to get longer."
First year trainee, Bristol
"I would say I work fairly good hours, certainly by City standards."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"My hours are great. We compete with City firms for the same work, but we somehow do it without a need for 'face-time'."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Hours can vary depending on the department and how busy it is at that time. However, if you need to leave for a specific reason then the firm are accommodating."
First year trainee, Bristol

2014

"Hours can vary from seat to seat, depending on the type of department you're in and just luck of the draw as to how busy it is at the time when you are there. The firm is good about recognising when you put in hours well in excess of those you are contracted to do and are flexible when it comes to health and family related absences."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Generally, hours are pretty good, although they vary between departments. Some departments still have a culture of good hours (pensions, employment, real estate) but others increasingly expect you to be in situ or contactable outside of the general 9:00am-5:00pm. Although never expressly mentioned by anyone, it is an implicit culture."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"For a firm doing this quality of work the hours are very reasonable."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Some days I leave at 6:00pm, other days I leave at 12:00am. The annoying thing is when you are in a seat where you are not in control of your work flow and things can come up and be urgent. A day that was looking like a 6:00pmer can turn into a mid-nighter just as you were brushing the dust off your gym kit. In saying that, weekend work is highly unlikely as a trainee, it seems that is a barrier most people don't tend to cross yet, although I notice at higher levels it becomes quite prevalent."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Core hours are 9:15am-5:15pm, but you are expected to work beyond that. Those hours are not flexible but in theory you could arrive early in the morning and leave at 5:30pm (although this is harder when you are a trainee)."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Generally the work hours are very good - about half eight until half six but this varies massively across departments. My hours in Disputes Resolution were slightly longer. If necessary, we are expected to stay and would stay longer."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Work hours are reasonable for a firm of this nature. There are days when you have to stay late but if you are not busy you are not expected to stay just for 'show'. Most days I work from around 9:00am to 6-6:30pm."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Hours vary between departments. They are not quite at London levels, however they are moving ever so closer."
First year trainee, Bristol
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