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Hours

7.4 / 10

(based on 15 ratings in 2016)

2016

"Core hours are 9.30 am – 5.30 pm. People typically stay longer but are encouraged to go home if work is not urgent. You're given generous deadlines for such tasks. Fee earners are very conscious of your time and will not expect you to stay late unless necessary."
First year trainee, London
"Not very flexible in my first seat and the hours can be long. It is recognised if you are working long hours however, and you are not expected to stay late if you are not busy."
First year trainee, London
"I have had pretty good hours so far. I would say I average 9.15 am – 6.45 pm. In transactional seats, there is very little flexibility due to the pressing nature of the deals. In advisory you have much more flexibility to manage your time due to the usually softer deadlines."
First year trainee, London
"There is not really an hours culture here (in the departments I have been in) but you are likely to have to work some long hours. You are only expected to stay if you have work on, although sometimes you can be very busy and need to stay to get work done/help on a matter. One thing I have learned, is that although long hours can be tough, it is better to be busy that to have no work on."
Second year trainee, London
"Some departments are more flexible than others. Secondments are usually very 'nine to five', but the corporate and finance departments have longer hours. It is primarily because of the international element and dealing with clients and local law firms in different time zones. The firm is currently considering rolling out agile working and the finance department is happy to accept flexible working hours. Logging in from home for example."
Second year trainee, London

2015

"Hours are good in non-transactional seats for a firm of this calibre."
Second year trainee, London
"I am currently sitting in a department that is a bit understaffed and therefore the trainees have been working until midnight pretty much every night since we started in the seat (for six weeks now). I believe it is quietening down now. My other seat was very 9:00am to 5:00pm, so it varies depending on department."
First year trainee, London
"Litigation is quite steady in terms of hours, whereas transaction has more peaks and troughs. Hours have rarely been gruelling/punishing to the point where it becomes an issue. Flexibility will depend on the case/transaction timetable, but I think teams are broadly accommodating."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours are generally fine in my department. There is no hours culture and you will even be told to go home if you are here late! I have a lot of work and this is the only reason I would need to stay late."
First year trainee, London
"It goes without saying that you are expected to work hard when needed, but most departments don't expect you to stay late when there's nothing to do."
First year trainee, London
"The hours in my transactional seat were very long, and often came at the expense of doing anything but sleeping during the week. I now tend to work more sociable hours - usually around 9:30am to 7:30pm."
First year trainee, London
"Generally my hours have quite reasonable unless I have been working on a closing or to a tight deadline."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Your hours depend on how busy the department is. I have had days when I left at 7:00pm and days when I left at 10:30pm. I have never left later than 10:30pm though."
First year trainee, London
"I work relatively long hours but I expected this of a City law firm. If I have an important commitment then I can usually tell my team and I will be able to come in early and leave earlier. We have a doctor on-site which is really convenient and useful."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm is very trusting in how you manage your work load. For the most part, you will be given the task and the deadline; how you manage your time is up to you. The firm just want quality work done to the deadline."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are long but no more so than what I was expecting, and no longer than other firms."
First year trainee, London
"Hours will depend on which department you are sitting in and what you're working on. They can be long but if people you are working with know you have something very important to attend they will try and work around it."
First year trainee, London
"Hours vary by department - most are extremely flexible and will appreciate that you can manage your own workload as long as you stick to the deadlines set. At worst, I have worked all-nighters on a transactional deal but, at best, there have been phases of weeks at a time when I am able to leave at 6:00pm."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"Varies between departments, but I never expect to spend fewer than 50 hours a week in the office."
First year trainee, London
"I work long hours during the week but this is what I expected. I have not had to work a weekend as yet."
First year trainee, London
"Insurance - Litigation was fairly consistent (average 9:30am - 7:30pm). Corporate Environment is also consistent (average 9:30am - 7:00pm). Corporate deals can be quite volatile so expect some very long hours."
First year trainee, London
"I am happy with the number of hours, but the predictability of the hours can be an issue, even though I am not in a transactional seat. I like to come in early in the morning, but will often end up being roped into staying as late as those that come in an hour and a half after me because I am not informed of some work that needs to be done earlier in the day."
First year trainee, London
"I work in the Insurance department at present, which is steadily busy. Come in for 9:00am and usually leave at 10:00pm."
First year trainee, London
"Hours are generally very good. I have never had to work at the weekend."
Second year trainee, London
"In general, hours depend heavily on the seat but transactional seats have very long hours."
Second year trainee, London
"There is a poor work/life balance in some departments which means that a social life will be impossible for six months. However, this varies between departments and this is not the case everywhere."
First year trainee, London
"It varies from department to department, but I would usually work at least 55 hours per week, including a lot of weekends. However, other trainees in my department do not put these hours in. It's very much case/deal specific."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours are unpredictable and there is a certain amount of facetime."
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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