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Culture

8.8 / 10

(based on 24 ratings in 2016)

2016

"The firm has incredibly friendly and approachable lawyers. It's less hierarchical than other similar City firms. The structure and the atmosphere of the departments is open and collegiate, which makes for a positive working environment."
Second year trainee, London
"My team is quite big in Edinburgh but everyone works together very well. The team is nice and approachable and everyone is very willing to help. The hours in my team do seem a bit longer than other teams though."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Everyone is approachable no matter how silly the question. We had a drinks trolley during my first week to help with meeting the team and also had a night at the Fringe, which was a great way to meet everyone outside of work. However, even at work, everyone is really nice and has time to talk to you."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"The culture is great at the firm – it's relaxed but also extremely hard-working and I have not met someone I have not liked yet. There is a great focus on socialising inside and outside of the office and teamwork seems to be a key part of the firm between all offices and within teams. The hierarchy can seem a little confusing as it's such a huge firm and there are hierarchies within hierarchies."
First year trainee, Glasgow
"People are generally very grateful if I ever have to work over time. A high standard is expected of trainees and that encourages me to push myself further."
First year trainee, Rio de Janeiro / London
"While there is certainly a hierarchy in the office, I have found the partners I have worked with to be approachable and willing to take the time to speak to trainees. The socialising is reasonable and varies from department to department. Each department will usually have an 'away day' at least once a year, which is always enjoyable. Booze trolleys occur maybe once a month and there are various other socials that get organised on an ad hoc basis. It's not like there are departmental drinks every Friday, but there are plenty of pubs nearby and, given the size of the trainee intake, there are usually people to grab a drink with if you get out at a reasonable time on a Thursday/Friday."
First year trainee, London
"My team are really friendly and always have something organised. Whether that be 5k runs, after-work drinks or celebratory lunches. You are made to feel part of the team from the get-go."
First year trainee, Glasgow
"The culture is good within teams as they all tend to be friendly. You can ask anyone anything and they will help. There's good socialising among colleagues and a certain importance placed on integrating trainees well into most teams."
Second year trainee, London
"The hierarchy is quite flat in general, which has been helped by the recent transition to open-plan offices. All partners in the teams I've worked with have been approachable and willing to engage. Culture is, by and large, very friendly. Hours vary according to department but it's rare that there is a face-time policy in place."
First year trainee, London

2015

"In terms of the culture at the firm, my colleagues are friendly, supportive and happy to help you. The new office should in the long run help to foster a collaborative working environment, but it for now has made the office much less social as people whisper around open-plan desks."
Second year trainee, London
"I think the culture of the firm as a whole is a good one. It's friendly, but people work hard and produce good quality work as well. Sociability with trainees is great and I consider many of them to be friends, as opposed to just colleagues."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture here is friendly and active with strong teamwork and support. There is socialising throughout the firm."
First year trainee, London
"As I see it there is no real hierarchy at the firm: there is an open-door approach. There are lots of social events too."
First year trainee, London
"During office hours the firm is hard-working, and after-hours there is a real sense of camaraderie. I feel that the firm is a little hierarchical, but overall it is cooperative and social."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture is created by friendly and approachable people while in the office, and many people love to socialise after work. There is great emphasis on corporate social responsibility and a lot of challenging events are put on."
Second year trainee, London
"In my opinion, there's very little hierarchy in Scotland, with partners being just as approachable as NQs - the open plan set up probably helps with this. There's a good after-work drinks scene, and as many of the trainees as possible try to eat lunch together most days."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"In the office, the culture is relatively open and there are approachable partners. From what I have seen so far there is a sense of camaraderie within the teams. Out of the office there is an abundance of social events. Trainees are regularly asked to assist at vacation scheme socials, there is the always fantastic annual Trainee Ball in January."
First year trainee, Munich

2014

"I have found that there is a certain amount of presenteeism and a clearly defined hierarchy, although people are friendly so it isn't an issue. Also frequent appearances of the drinks trolley keep morale up."
Second year trainee, London
"As with all large law firms, there are unpredictable working hours in a lot of departments. For those that want a consistent work/life balance, CMS may not fit. However, unlike a lot of city firms, there is a strong collegiate atmosphere and if you are working late, you will not be alone in the office. There is a relatively horizontal structure at the firm. Partners are nearly all very approachable and at firm events (of which there are many) partners and trainees will freely chat and interact."
First year trainee, London
"There is a lot of socialising. This shows that the people genuinely get on with each other. Hierarchy is not that important at this firm - each person is approachable."
Second year trainee, London
"Colleagues are friendly, socials happen fairly regularly although in my experience there isn't a huge culture of associates and trainees socialising outside of organised events. There is not a culture of staying to be seen and people genuinely do leave when they have done their work."
First year trainee, London
"My department is not very hierarchical at all; all the partners, senior associates and NQs are very approachable and friendly. It is a very friendly firm, where most people are happy to help and there are very few 'huge' personalities that are difficult to get along with. People work very hard here, but are also very sociable. Thursday and Friday evenings are generally spent at the pub, and we've had a few firm socials."
First year trainee, London
"The culture is office hours is friendly and people (regardless of their grade) are usually easy to approach. There is also a cohesive feeling amongst the Bristol office at after hours events, such as the Christmas party. Generally, there is a group of colleagues (across different departments) that go out after-hours and enjoy the social side of the city."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"The culture varies so much between teams. In general everyone is extremely hard working meaning there are often late nights. It is rare to leave on time. However the size of the projects and high-profile work is very rewarding."
First year trainee, Glasgow
"The office at Glasgow is very friendly and CMS always ensure that they are open and honest where possible."
Second year trainee, Glasgow
"Great efforts from the management to encourage socials and it feels like they are working hard to develop a great culture of openness, honesty and collegiality in the merged firm."
Second year trainee, Glasgow
"The culture is friendly during office hours which are not ridiculously long although the odd long day is not uncommon. Out of hours there are plenty of social events, CSR events and opportunities for client entertaining to be involved in. There are some very big names in the firm which are hit and miss on approachability, but the next level of partners and senior associates below that are pretty consistently supportive and approachable."
First year trainee, London

2013

"I know that the partners are currently trying to develop a much more meritocratic model with respect to the firm's hierarchy (rather than basing it on the length of your employment), there is also a 'Trainee of the Year' programme to foster the same approach amongst trainees. The firm is very friendly and Friday drinks are a long-standing/weekly fixture. There is also a very much anti 'face-time' culture here. The policy is tends to be, 'if you aren't busy, enjoy it; go on the internet, do all the things you haven't had time to do (personal and work related) and then go home'. The teams here are very strong, yet approachable and there is a very good relationship between associates and trainees - which is great when you are starting."
First year trainee, London
"There is no hierarchy. Everyone is incredibly helpful and friendly. There are lots of social activities to take part in, including football and netball. The trainees in my intake go out for drinks regularly and meet for lunch every day."
First year trainee, London
"The firm has a genuinely, friendly culture. In Scotland, there is no culture of competition and no constrictive hierarchy. Trainees are made to feel extremely integrated in the firm as a whole. There is no clock-watching culture and we are encouraged to manage our own workload and trusted with the flexibility of that."
First year trainee, Aberdeen
"For trainees, there are loads of social events. As there is around 120 trainees at any one time, you have a large support network and a huge social life. I count numerous trainees as extremely good friends. In the team that I have qualified into, we have regular team drinks and often meet up outside of work also (e.g. theatre trips/rugby sessions). Inside of work, as a junior member you are generally always working as part of a team. Everyone I have ever worked with, including partners, have been extremely approachable and supportive."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"Give and take. You're expected to work hard and put in the long hours whenever it's needed, but you are rewarded with a great team-working ethic (i.e. the whole team will usually be staying late) and amazing opportunities. Also when you're quiet, you're not expected to stick around."
First year trainee, London
"In corporate, there was a strong team feeling. As a trainee, I wasn't left in late without supervision and my work was always noticed and appreciated. The trainees (both within that department and firm-wide) socialise together regularly, and we still meet up now that we're all out on secondment."
First year trainee, london
"Good work/life balance. Not a firm where you need to show 'face-time'. If you have nothing to do you can be out of the door at 6:00pm to compensate for the times when you have to work all night."
Second year trainee, London
"No one wants you to work late longer than you have to. There are plenty of socials provided by the firm e.g. office party, trainee ball etc and everyone is encouraged to get involved with extra curricular activities."
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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