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Hours

7.5 / 10

(based on 22 ratings in 2016)

2016

"Varies with seat. 55 hours a week is average."
Second year trainee, London
"If you're done with your work and nobody else needs help, you don't need to stay. That said, there can be very long hours and it can be difficult to adjust to if you have had very little experience with this (although this is quite common across all City law firms)."
First year trainee, London
"Hours can be variable, but I've very rarely had to stay very late. I normally get to take a proper lunch break too."
Second year trainee, London
"Work hours depend a lot on the department and also on how busy the department is. My experience is that you are not expected to work long hours if there is nothing for you to do but that long hours will sometimes be necessary (as they are in any City law firm)."
First year trainee, London
"In my current seat I work a reasonably regular 9.00 am – 7.00 pm. In my first seat I had much longer hours and would regularly be in the office past midnight. However, where it is possible to do so, people are normally happy for trainees to leave the office and log back on from home in the evenings if necessary."
First year trainee, London
"Long hours (finance seat), but no face-time culture, go home if there's no work. I'm working late because I'm busy on deals, which is what I signed up for. If it's not busy, I leave about 7.30 pm."
First year trainee, London
"As I am currently in a transactional seat, the very nature of the work is that as the closing of a deal approaches, you are expected to be in the office as long as necessary in order for the team to reach its deadline. Of course, this can inevitably mean working until the early hours of the morning. However, when time is less pressured/a deal is not imminently closing, the hours are a lot better. There is no expectation of face-time at the firm, so if it is possible to leave at 5.30 pm/6.00 pm, then we are encouraged to do so. No one gives you a guilt trip about doing this."
First year trainee, London
"There has been a real drive towards agile working and flexible hours over the past couple of years. I feel my hours are generally better than most of my peers at other firms of a similar calibre"
First year trainee, London
"It varies from seat to seat. Generally my hours have been good, although in one seat there were a lot of late nights and weekends in the office."
Second year trainee, london

2015

"Like any City law firm there are periods where the hours are demanding. This is made up for by working with teams who are easy to get along with and the lack of 'face-time' when we are in quiet periods. Employees are expected to enjoy the quiet periods and not be in the office for the sake of it."
First year trainee, London
"The firm tries to have a reasonable attitude to hours and won't expect you to stick around for the sake of it. But if there is work to be done you will be expected to get on with it. Work/life balance as a trainee often comes down to luck of the draw."
Second year trainee, London
"There is no culture of 'face-time', but during busy periods you can be working long hours."
First year trainee, London
"The hours you do depends on the department. Where possible, departments are encouraging with remote working and flexible around personal commitments."
First year trainee, London
"My hours are very good, regularly 9:30-6:00pm, and my current group (Tax and Employee Share Incentives) accommodates a lot of people with flexible work arrangements."
First year trainee, London
"My department is unpredictable in terms of work hours and has peaks and troughs. When there is a peak it can be quite challenging but it doesn't last forever and, because of the team atmosphere, it is easier to deal with - you will never be working late alone. The firm are good at not making you stay late unless it is really necessary. My hours recently have been much better - leaving around 7:00pm most days."
First year trainee, London
"In my experience the firm is not especially flexible - you just have to stay until the work is done! This is all part of the culture of turning out a high quality product. On the plus side, I will leave early (i.e. 6:00pm) if there's nothing urgent to do."
First year trainee, London

2014

"When there's work to do, you have to work. That's just part of being a lawyer. There's no 'face-time' concept at the firm, so when you're quieter, you go."
Second year trainee, Hong Kong
"It depends on the department, but having done two Finance seats, my hours have been quite long, although there are ups and downs at various times of the year. It is very difficult to manage your time as a trainee, and perhaps slightly easier at the Associate level when you have your own matters. Saying that, supervisors are accommodating if you tell them in advance that you have an event you'd like to make that evening and will endeavour to help you get out of the office if possible."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours are department dependent. I have worked a few weekends. In my experience, HL will be as flexible as they can be, however, imminent deadlines often don't allow flexibility."
Second year trainee, Dubai
"I tend to work 9:30am-8:30pm with a tendency to stay till midnight. I have stayed past 1:00am three or four times but have never had to come in on a weekend."
First year trainee, London
"The amount of hours you work can be subject to a large amount of variation. Some departments have very volatile hours which can mean little to do during the day and then ending up working late due to the need to accommodate different time zones on urgent transactions."
Second year trainee, London
"If you are able to give people notice then the firm tends to adopt a flexible approach to working hours. The firm is flexible in respect of childcare/health issues."
Second year trainee, London
"My department has good hours for a City firm. Other departments are more unpredictable, but I know that they do give days off in lieu if you have been worked exceptionally hard."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are as long as they need to be. There is no concept of 'face-time', so if you are quiet during the day there is no pressure on you to stay beyond 6:00pm. If the work demands it you need to do the hours though. Days off in lieu do occur however, so if a big transaction requires lots of long hours then you will get the time made up (and it doesn't come out of your holiday)."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Varies massively between departments. It strikes me as unfair that some trainees do four easy seats and have never left after 7:00pm while some do other seats and have barely had any sleep."
Second year trainee, London
"It was never going to be a 9-5, but all-nighters are rare. I've never had to use a sleeping pod and only lost one weekend in my first two seats. I have been lucky - it is unusual to be in the office past 8:00pm."
First year trainee, London
"My weekends are sacrosanct and while I sometimes have to work very late to turn documents around at client request, this is viewed by clients and partners as excellent 'service' and I get recognition for it."
Second year trainee, London
"There is a culture that expects you to work late and unfortunately some people feel that if trainees aren't in the office at all hours then they aren't doing enough, however they are generally good at allowing you to stick to important plans (i.e. trains, holidays and theatre for example and fine with you going to doctor's appointments during work hours)."
First year trainee, London
"Long hours, but generally doing interesting work. No one expects you to stay late just for appearances unless you are actually busy."
First year trainee, London
"Hours are long and unrelenting."
Second year trainee, Paris
"Really depends. I've had an all-nighter (9:00am to 5:00pm the following day) and a string of weeks where I never finished before 10:00pm. I've also had really quiet weeks where I was out the door by 6:00pm every day. There's an expectation that you know when to prioritise work and not make plans during the week, but also an understanding that when you are quiet you will take advantage of this. People openly do life admin during work hours and schedule appointments during working hours; there is a recognition that we can't fit everything in during our own time."
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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