Hours

6.8 / 10

(based on 29 ratings in 2017)

2017

"Many associates in my team are on flexible working hours and this gives me great encouragement when considering the future of my career at the firm. I am always told to leave if I have done my work and lots of team members will stop by my office if I am staying late to check I'm ok."
First year trainee, London
"There is no concept of face-time in any of the teams I have worked in. The hours are no worse than any other City law firm of our size. If anything, I would say I have had decent hours in comparison to friends at other firms. My average work day involves arriving in the office at 9.30 am and leaving at 7.30 pm."
Second year trainee, London.
"I have had a particularly unfortunate training contract in that I worked in the teams with notoriously long hours. However, in return, I got an amazing experience. I did eight signings in six months, for example. If you give a heads-up in advance, you can usually get out if you have particular plans you want to attend. Holidays are respected and you don't get bothered when you're away. All in all, you sacrifice spare time for really good experience and training. If long hours put you off, then I don't think working in the City is for you."
Second year trainee, Mpscow
"The hours are often long and can be challenging. It is sometimes possible to leave the office and continue to work remotely but trainees are usually required to be physically present to take instructions, print and mark-up documents."
First year trainee, London
"Hours can be very long, which is to be expected at a large international firm. The firm is trying to increase flexibility with things like remote working but, in practice, this does not affect trainees who are expected to be in the office."
First year trainee, London
"It varies team to team but I have found that, as long as the work gets done, there is not a culture of face-time."
First year trainee, London
"I've been very lucky in relation to hours. I regularly leave at a reasonable time and have only had to work one weekend in my ten months."
First year trainee, London
"I have had two relatively quiet seats so hours have been quite friendly, although they can be horrendous. It depends on who you are working for as to the flexibility of your hours."
First year trainee, London
"Overall, my hours have been very decent. I've rarely had to sit around waiting for work to come in and I don't feel that I need to stay late for face-time reasons."
First year trainee, London
"It's hard work and relatively long hours. However, not as bad as American firms or some other magic circle firms on the whole (unless you're doing asset or project finance). Partners are generally quite flexible when it comes to doctor's appointments etc."
Second year trainee, Munich currently (on secondment from the London office)

2016

"Not very flexible at trainee level, although flexible working is on the agenda firm-wide. It's likely that this will only really become a possibility for senior associates and above. Hours could be better but this is dependent on the team and the business need."
First year trainee, London
"If you have something you can't miss (birthdays, weddings) people are generally very reasonable. I've spent a few long nights in the office but the people here are great so it isn't too bad. Remote working is making it easier for people to go home at a decent hour and continue there if necessary."
Second year trainee, London
"I generally work from 9.30 am to around 6.30 pm every day and have rarely stayed in late at night."
First year trainee, London
"People are generally flexible if you tell them of a commitment in advance. I have rarely had to work at weekends. It's inevitable in a big global law firm that there will be late nights, that's just part of the job."
First year trainee, London
"There is some scope for working from home, which is good. My hours haven't been crazy. My average working day is ten to twelve hours."
First year trainee, London
"Hours can be long but this is the same everywhere."
First year trainee, London
"My hours in my first seat (project finance) were at times very long as we worked towards the signing and closing of major deals. However, the whole deal team would be working late together and the extra hours put in were recognised and appreciated. My supervising partner encouraged me to leave the office early when I wanted to go to the theatre or meet friends for dinner."
First year trainee, London

2015

"Like all City firms the hours can be long, but there is no 'face-time' at the firm, and you are not expected to be at work unnecessarily. If you know you need to leave work to go somewhere you just need to discuss this with your supervisor, and they are generally very flexible with making sure that you can leave."
Second year trainee, London
"Working hours, from my experience, depend on the partner you sit with. My current partner is very flexible with hours, and doesn't mind when I clock in/out as long as I do the work. Each partner is different, but generally I find that the firm is relaxed about working hours."
First year trainee, London
"My experience has been good so far with working hours: flexibility is offered and there is no 'face-time' culture."
First year trainee, London
"I usually work 9:30am-7:30pm, but I have worked a couple of weekends and a few nights between 11:00pm and 1:00am. On the whole it's not too bad, but when things get busy I find that it can get pretty tough."
First year trainee, London
"Working hours have varied from team to team. Generally, if you have an out-of-work commitment and are willing to work hard to accommodate it, such as working a bit later the day before or after, then you can maintain out of work commitments, where reasonable."
Second year trainee, London
"My working hours have been long at times, but the people are really nice, and I feel appreciated when I do work long hours."
First year trainee, London
"The working hours can be long, but only when necessary. Early morning finishes tend to be very rare and even late night finishes are not entirely common. If you put the hours in, the firm is flexible on giving you time back when you need it. Overall, this compares favourably with peers at other firms in the City."
First year trainee, London
"Although my working hours have not been particularly flexible, I do think that long hours are part of the job, and I have never had to work a weekend."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Average hours vary from team to team, but when a team is busy I have tended to work an average of 10-12 billable hours per day. Most teams are understanding when you have prior commitments, but it does get very busy."
Second year trainee, London
"There is little flexibility as a trainee - you do not determine your workload or working hours. This makes it difficult to make weekday evening plans. This seems to improve the more senior you become."
Second year trainee, London
"It varies a lot between teams but I've never had issues with working hours and have been able to work from home when necessary."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours can be flexible at times, although when some people are finishing at 6:00pm they are still logging on at home till late into the night."
First year trainee, London
"Hours vary depending on which department you are sat in, however normally as with most law firms, work is in peaks and troughs so while you normally leave at 6:00pm, you might have a day every couple of weeks or so where a post-midnight finish is required, but handily all the staff and teams are willing to lend a hand when this happens."
First year trainee, London
"It is possible to get out of the office when you have commitments (e.g. a plane to catch or a doctor's appointment), but social events during the week are often cancelled because of work."
Second year trainee, London
"I am in one of the busiest departments but I can usually expect to leave by 7:30-8:00pm. The firm is very good at accommodating personal commitments you might have."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Like any City job we work the expected long hours, (depending on the team), but from what I've seen there isn't the 'face-time' element you might get at other firms."
Second year trainee, London
"Very varied. Occasional 100 hour weeks took place whilst on international secondment, but this is very much the anomaly."
Second year trainee, London
"My average finish time is around 8/9:00pm."
Second year trainee, London
"Extremely variable (due to transactional nature of work) first few weeks were 20 hour days + weekends. However when quieter they are very supportive of leaving early, etc. while you can."
Second year trainee, London
"Occasional long stretches involving all-nighters but often able to leave before 8:00pm."
First year trainee, London
"The hours can be quite unpredictable and very subject to those higher up the chain."
First year trainee, London
"Hours vary from team to team."
Second year trainee, London
"They can be long but this is to be expected. If you aren't willing to do long hours, perhaps corporate law is not the career for you. Having said that, I haven't had to do any all-nighters yet (unless you count my six overnight trips to Hamburg in which I stayed in five-star hotels!)."
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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