Hours

7.1 / 10

(based on 27 ratings in 2017)

2017

"My average hours are 8.30 am to 7.30 pm. The firm is not very flexible on hours when you are a trainee and you are expected to work very hard. I can see that individuals have more flexibility in their hours once qualified."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"It is difficult to make evening plans but the flexibility is dependent on your department."
First year trainee, Leeds
"You obviously have to work long hours in a big corporate law firm but there is generally a willingness to try to accommodate your life outside of work wherever possible. On occasions, it isn't possible to be flexible but at other times, if you've done your work and nothing is on by 5.30 pm, there's no need to stay for the sake of it."
Second year trainee, London
"This varies greatly depending on the department both in terms of the hours you are likely to work and the flexibility. In certain departments you are almost guaranteed to leave by 6.30 pm, while in others there is an expectation that you will be visible until at least 9.00 pm."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"On average I work from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm. My firm is flexible and, if I tell them I have something on in the evening, they will try to accommodate that."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Hours vary. When there is work to be done it is expected that you will stay to complete it. However, I have found that departments try to manage things so that you are aware of deadlines more often than not. On the odd occasion that I have worked very late, departments have allowed me to come in later the following day (work permitting)."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"My hours have been great for a City firm. I generally work from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm and often finish earlier on Fridays (6.00 pm). It is seat dependent but I have only had to stay really late a few times. If I don't have much on I can go home when I am done. Hours are flexible and you can ask to work in the other regional offices if your circumstances mean you need to be in a different office for a day or two."
First year trainee, London
"Like all firms, hours are dictated by business needs. That said, there is definitely not a face-time culture and you are encouraged to leave by 5.30 pm if you are finished with your work."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm is keen for you to manage your own workload. If you need to leave for appointments or take a slightly longer lunch and work later, senior fee earners are usually fine with this."
Second year trainee, Edinburgh

2016

"My current department is always flexible enough to allow me to make my weekly sport commitment. Some departments are very unpredictable though, which can make planning difficult."
First year trainee, London
"There is no unnecessary face-time. If we are busy, you are expected to stay as long as possible. When we are not busy, you are free to go home. No mandatory weekend hours. The work hours strictly depend on the seat and the deals. This is not a 9.00 am – 5.00 pm job and this is a fairly obvious and common trend in City firms."
First year trainee, London
"My department does not do the sort of work that keeps you in much later than 6.30 pm most days, so I am very happy at the moment. However, colleagues in litigation and corporate have pulled a few all-nighters and rarely leave before 7.30 pm/8.00 pm."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"Some of the hours can be terrible, especially in corporate. The corporate team does a lot of small- to mid-market deals meaning that the churn is extremely high and there is very little down-time. There is no provision for flexible working as a trainee or working from home, though I would suspect this is the case at most law firms. Flexibility depends entirely on your department."
Second year trainee, London
"This depends on which department you are in and who you work for. When there is a big project or a closing on, you will obviously be expected to do long hours. In general, if you make it known that you have plans and organise your work so that it doesn't affect others, people will be flexible."
Second year trainee, London
"Not very flexible at a trainee level due to the need to be supervised. They are good at giving days in lieu in departments like corporate though."
First year trainee, Leeds
"There are late nights, but you are very rarely left alone. The entire team will be working with you and you get a real sense of achievement from completing a deal."
First year trainee, London
"It depends on your seat. In some they can be long ie 9.00 am – 9.00 pm or later on occasion. In others they are consistently 9.00 am – 6.00 pm."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Standard work hours are 9.00 am – 5.30 pm but it's quite rare to leave on time. However, if you have an appointment or need to leave on time then it's not frowned upon. The firm are quite flexible and I have on occasion started late due to morning appointments and then made up the hours later. In terms of flexible working for fee earners, this isn't really seen very much at the moment but some people have started to work part-time and/or work from home one day (mostly female fee earners with children)."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Days are given in lieu after particularly busy periods and you can arrive late/leave early for appointments."
First year trainee, Leeds

2015

"The working hours vary from department to department. Generally working hours span beyond the contracted 9:00am-5:30pm, but this does not occur in all departments. In my experience there is no 'face-time' culture at the firm, and you are encouraged to have a healthy work/life balance by not staying too late once your work is finished."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Working hours are flexible, and can depend on the department, depending on what is going on at any given time. In the corporate law department I had a quite intense work schedule, with long hours on a regular basis, but in some departments, such as litigation, longer hours were compensated by more predictable work, which made it easier to plan around busy times."
Second year trainee, London
"I am currently sat with the Corporate Department, so while I do work long hours, I never feel that I am staying in late needlessly. There is always a reason for me to be at work during later hours, and most often it will be assisting an associate when we are working towards completion."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"I tend to work 9:00am-6:00pm. Trainees are expected to work until they are needed so do be prepared to be flexible. The hours vary by department, and sometimes people do work very long hours, but late night finishes are definitely the exception and not the norm for most departments!"
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"I have found that by being efficient the working hours throughout my training contract have been fair."
First year trainee, Leeds
"I have found that there is little flexibility with my hours at work, and even if I end up working late, that I am still expected at work at the usual time the next day, so I feel under appreciated. Naturally, departments do differ, so experiences elsewhere may not be quite so negative."
First year trainee, Manchester
"I think I have been fortunate in my first two seats as generally I have worked from around 8:30am-6/6:30pm each day. However, I expect that in my next two seats that the working hours will get longer. Intellectual Property and Technology in particular has very long working hours."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"While it can feel like DLA Piper's lawyers do work longer hours than most do in Leeds, I would rather be surrounded by people with that attitude than those who can't wait to leave work."
First year trainee, Leeds
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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