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Hours

5.5 / 10

(based on 44 ratings in 2015)

2015

"My working hours are flexible. Although you are sometimes expected to work long hours and there can be some unpredictability; the firm give you a great deal of freedom in how you choose to allocate the rest of your time."
First year trainee, London
"I find that working hours are varied, and can be unpredictable. That said, the firm does respect holidays and weekends away, and other team members will help you to cover your work to ensure you are not disturbed."
Second year trainee, Singapore
"Working hours vary: when I am working on a deal they can be long. Conversely, during the window of time between each deal, it is usually a 9:00am-5:00pm job."
First year trainee, London
"I feel that there is no 'face-time' culture here, so working hours are flexible in the sense that if you are finished with your work you can go. Also, given the nature of the department I am in, you can be either extremely busy or very quiet."
First year trainee, London
"I have found the working hours to be very long, and although flexibility is often not possible, many of the staff do try to accommodate existing plans."
First year trainee, London
"Although working hours depend entirely on your work load, I think that as you get more senior in your training contract, you improve your time management and pushing back."
Second year trainee, London
"The working hours can be long, but this is not a problem because the work is interesting, and the team is supportive. There are also quieter periods when working hours become more regular."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Firm is quite flexible, but when work needs to be done, you have to be ready to do it. If you aren't ready to work hard Freshfields may not be for you."
First year trainee, London
"Our hours are not very flexible - as trainees we do not have much control over them."
First year trainee, London
"My hours have been very up and down - in Corporate and Finance there are weeks where you leave by 7:00pm every day, but weeks where you leave well after midnight every day."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours can be incredibly long, including working weekends. If you have important plans though, efforts are made to ensure that you can make them."
Second year trainee, London
"If there is work, you need to do it, but the firm is flexible about whether it is done at home, early in the morning or late at night. The work allocation is also something good to note."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours you work completely depends on the team, but I rarely leave the office at 5:30pm, averaging 7-8:00pm. Working from home is usually fine in the evenings unless something is particularly urgent (i.e. a deal is closing)."
First year trainee, London
"In terms of hours, you are at the mercy of the supervisor or deals you end up working on. The city is fast-paced and so are our clients. You could also end up being in a situation where things are quiet. It is a lucky dip, but if you end up in a busy seat then be prepared to work hard."
First year trainee, London
"When you are not needed to stay late, you will be told that you should go home. When you are needed you will be asked to stay. I do not feel I need to put in 'face-time'."
First year trainee, London
"In my experience it is unusual to leave before 7:00pm in the evening. When a matter is busy I have worked weekends and all-nighters."
Second year trainee, London
"Your hours vary dramatically. Can be 9:30am to 6:30pm, which is fine. Can often be working till 10:00pm or later. The worst is when you suddenly have to work at the weekend. However the firm is very good at honouring plans you have made where possible."
First year trainee, London
"It does vary from one department to another, but I have had to work very long hours and multiple weekends. It can be unpredictable which makes it very difficult to plan your social life. That said, there is not a 'face-time' culture (certainty not in the departments I have sat in), and you are very much encouraged to get home when you can."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"Varies hugely between 100 hour weeks and 40 hour weeks."
First year trainee, London
"Hours can be unpredictable and long. I have worked several weekends and worked remotely on Boxing Day."
First year trainee, London
"My hours are typically tied to transactions meaning that there are peaks and troughs. However days in lieu may be given when a deal ends."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"I have finished at any time between 5:30pm and 3:00am, so it is quite difficult to predict finish times. I think I have been a lot luckier than some and have not had constant long hours in my current department. It does get slightly depressing when you begin to think that finishing at 7:30pm is 'early'."
First year trainee, London
"Better than expected. Still always over 50 a week."
First year trainee, London
"Can be unpredictable and long."
First year trainee, London
"They vary considerably. You have absolutely know idea what time you will be getting home when you turn up for work each morning."
First year trainee, London
"Hours are long but as expected. Typically 9:30am to 9:00pm. Expect to cancel weekday plans fairly regularly."
First year trainee, London
"Hours are typically MC - 9:30am-7:30pm is realistic, often later. However, if you can leave you are encouraged to do so - there's not really a 'face-time' culture and people are generally respectful of after work/holiday/weekend plans if you give them enough notice. When deadlines are looming and the hours are long, everyone pitches in - right up to partner level. Working prolonged long hours is definitely noted and often rewarded with time off in lieu."
Second 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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