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Culture

8.7 / 10

(based on 23 ratings in 2016)

2016

"It's a friendly and supportive firm with a truly open-door policy. It's easy to get on with everyone around but I'd like more opportunities to socialise."
First year trainee, London
"There are decent hours with a reasonably flat hierarchy and open-door policy. You can socialise with other trainees outside of work."
First year trainee, London
"Everyone is extremely approachable and friendly – from managing partners to support staff. There is no requirement for face-time so if you don't have any work you can leave on time. Social events are very common between trainees, departments and the firm as a whole."
First year trainee, London
"Overall the firm is friendly with a great open-door culture. Certain teams have excellent engagement programmes ensuring that trainees, associates and partners regularly socialise."
Second year trainee, London
"Great, easy going culture. Frequent drinks (and drinks trolleys on most floors on Fridays), weekly bake-off competition, sports clubs and events."
First year trainee, London
"People are friendly and approachable and there is a pretty flat hierarchy. Hours are good across most departments and you are actively encouraged to have a life outside of work. Trainees are a sociable bunch but the firm could do more in this respect."
First year trainee, London
"There is a collaborative culture at the firm. As a trainee, you will work for many different individuals, of all levels, within your team. There are frequent opportunities to attend social events in and out of the firm."
First year trainee, London
"The culture at the firm is generally excellent. As with most law firms, though, this depends on the department. My experience has been very positive. People are very receptive and understanding. While you will have to work hard, for the most part, you feel you are appreciated."
Second year trainee, London

2015

"In terms of culture at the firm, I feel like a part of a big family here. While working in the office I have made great friends who I also see outside of working hours."
First year trainee, London
"The culture varies from department to department and from supervisor to supervisor. Sometimes it can feel hierarchical and trainees know their place, but at the same time it is very friendly and there are always people you can go to for advice. There are lots of opportunities to go for drinks with colleagues after work, and regular sports matches."
First year trainee, London
"The firm has a clear open-door policy, with supervisors and other colleagues offering support when required. A significant amount of cross-team work takes place, and there is a concerted drive to increase this. The trainees often socialise together in one of the many bars nearby."
First year trainee, London
"The culture here is very varied: while some departments would rather you did the work and went home, others are very inclusive and try to integrate you as much as possible. In addition, all of the trainees here stick together, and we're always socialising."
First year trainee, London
"While there is more hierarchy here than I have been accustomed to in other professional life; the team that I currently sit with truly work as a team and there is considerable cooperation and teamwork. The firm is also sociable: I've gone for drinks and joined in at a number of events with both fellow trainees and with other team members with varying levels of experience."
First year trainee, London
"There is an excellent culture here at Reed Smith: I have not met anyone at the firm who is not likeable. Generally there is an open-door policy, and everyone is friendly and approachable."
First year trainee, London
"There is a good amount of teamwork, and people are always willing to spend time helping you out. There is a great culture among the trainees especially, and I find that firm events are good fun."
First year trainee, London
"Socialising in the firm could be improved, but aside from that the culture is very favourable."
First year trainee, London

2014

"There is a clear structure and hierarchy - but the firm has an 'open-door' policy, so no-one feels unapproachable. In my immediate department, we work as a team very closely together: everyone is friendly and professional and communicates well together. The hours are very reasonable in the department and everyone seems to strive to obtain a decent work/life balance. Social events within the department, group and amongst other trainees are frequent and well attended - I get the impression there is a genuine desire to want to get to know colleagues and to enjoy spending time with one another. Colleagues are down to earth and prepared to chip in with the team - I haven't experienced any aggression or big egos you might associate with a large City firm."
First year trainee, London
"Almost everyone is very friendly and approachable from top to bottom. The trainees are tight-knit and there are always networking events and opportunities to socialise."
First year trainee, London
"Very collegial atmosphere, very little stuffiness. Partners generally see trainees as valued colleagues rather than admin assistants. Regular social events including team-based drinks and graduate recruitment events."
First year trainee, London
"Reed Smith offers a number of opportunities to get involved with different social and sport events in the firm. We have netball, softball and cricket teams (to name a few), and other social events within the firm such as wine and beer tasting, book club, etc. Reed Smith encourages trainees to get involved in the various events as it is a great way to get to know other trainees and people associated with the firm."
First year trainee, London
"The firms culture is very inclusive, especially for future trainees who are often invited to come to the firm and meet people working here. Lots of social events are organised throughout the year, and the trainees also socialise outside of work. There is a true 'open-door' policy with very approachable senior people."
First year trainee, London
"There is no 'face-time' culture in the firm. If you have finished your work, or are experiencing a quiet period, no one will expect you to hang around past the finish time. However, when there is work to be done, people do expect it to get done on time. Out of eight months at the firm so far, there has only been one period where I have been in the office regularly past 9:00pm. There are clear reporting structures within the firm. Both of the teams that I have worked with so far have been very sociable, with regular drinks scheduled, and also have included me in business development activities. Trainees tend to go out for drinks frequently."
First year trainee, London
"Friendly in the office and out. Lots of drinks events and a summer party on a boat on the Thames!"
First year trainee, London
"As a trainee you sit with a partner or senior associate. If you need to go and talk to another senior lawyer you generally just walk into their office. The culture is collegiate and collaborative rather than being intimidating and strictly hierarchical. Some departments are more social than others, mine hasn't been great in that regard recently. The firm does make an enormous effort to make future trainees/trainees feel included and invited to events. The support and social life amongst trainees is fantastic."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Office hours vary. Regular drinks trolleys are a good way of encouraging socialising with colleagues."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"In my department it's highly collegiate and friendly. Good trainee social life - regular lunch and sometimes drinks if time allows!"
First year trainee, London
"The hierarchy is there but not oppressive - you can always go and talk to a partner and everyone mucks in together to a certain extent."
1 yr PQE, London
"Fewer trainees make for better social events and getting to know each other. No requirement for 'face-time' and partners expect you to have a life outside of work."
First year trainee, London
"Work hard but remember 'life is for living'. The firm does not feel 'American' in the usual sense associated with London of firms with a US headquarters. Reed Smith encourages personality and do not treat you as a number. Although there is obviously a hierarchy (as the case in most companies), the atmosphere is friendly and interaction with employees at all levels is encouraged."
First year trainee, London
"Good culture people work hard but don't tend to stay around without a good reason to, most people are approachable and live for more than just work."
Second year trainee, London
"Friendly culture, however as is common with most city law firms hours can be erratic at times which makes it hard to plan a social life."
First year trainee, London
"Socialising amongst trainees is great, because we were all friends from law school first. There have also been several department events since I've started."
First year trainee, London
"The culture is generally friendly and open. I don't think we have a 'face-time' culture but people put in the hours when they are needed. I think we could do with a few more social events but the ones that we do have are well attended and are a good laugh."
1 yr PQE, London
"Trainee socials could take place a bit more often. In the office the teams are quite good at making you feel valued and you are generally not left in the office whilst the Partners swan off home! Not a 'face-time' culture so when things are quiet you are free (and encouraged) to get out the office!"
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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