Colleagues smiling at camera

Hours

7.6 / 10

(based on 8 ratings in 2018)

2018

"The hours in the corporate team are probably the most difficult in the firm. On an average day I arrive at the office around 8.30 am and will leave around 6.30 pm. However, depending on the transactions I am working on, this could be significantly later and there have been occasions where I (and the rest of the team) have worked until past midnight. That said, the firm is flexible and there is the potential to work from home at higher levels. The firm also accommodates appointments if you require time off."
First year trainee, Solent
"It really depends on what team you're in and your attitude. If you're in corporate or real estate then you can expect to work long hours as standard. In the other teams, there'll be enough work for you if you're really keen and want to put the hours in but, at the same time, there isn't a face-time culture so you have to take responsibility yourself to make sure you are keeping a healthy work/life balance."
Second year trainee, Milton Keynes
"My hours are generally consistent but can be erratic at times. To its credit, the firm does not have a face-time culture, nor does it expect you to work a rigid 8.30 am to 5.30 pm."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"We are agile and are allowed to work from home, which means that we aren't stuck in the office all of the time and can leave if we have something on."
First year trainee, Manchester
"There's usually a great work/life balance. I tend to be out of the office by 6.30 pm. The team is usually pretty flexible and understands that you have a life outside of work."
First year trainee, Whiteley, Southampton
"Work hours vary depending on seats but they aren't as arduous as a lot of other similar-sized firms."
First year trainee, Northampton

2016

"It depends what work I currently have but I normally stay beyond my contracted hours during the day. However, Shoosmiths is not one of those law firms where you are expected to be the last person out of the door."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Trainees aren't expected to stay and work for the sake of it. That said, it isn't sensible to rush out of the office at 5.30 pm every night without checking if anybody needs a hand with anything."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"Hours are fair. Busy when the work is heavy but with no expectation of being there all hours when not. There's encouragement to get out at a reasonable time if work can be done the next day."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"You're not expected to work late unless there is something that can't wait."
Second year trainee, Southampton

2015

"There is no need to be in the office if you have nothing to do. Nobody judges you for leaving on time, but if you're the first, it's always best to ask others if they need any help."
First year trainee, Reading
"I work from 8:30am-6:00pm on average, but longer as and when work requires. No 'face-time' culture exists either, if you stay late, it's because you have interesting work to do."
Second year trainee, Reading
"My working hours are very flexible, and the working environment is friendly, which means that flexibility is easier, although obviously longer hours are required as and when they are needed."
Second year trainee, Southampton
"Generally I work from 8:45am-7:00pm, although it is not uncommon to leave earlier or later."
First year trainee, Southampton

2014

"Working hours depend on the seat that you are in, but generally my hours are approximately 8:30am to 6:30pm. I usually manage to leave for an hour at lunch if needed, but I don't always take this. I probably stay late one to two nights a week, but I always usually leave by 8:00pm. Home working is encouraged for junior staff to facilitate appointments, but this is not on a regular basis."
Second year trainee, Reading
"Typically I work from 9:00am to 5:30pm, although I can stay later if there is something that needs to be done."
First year trainee, Manchester
"The firm is very flexible with hours and you are never required to stay late to 'show face'. They also understand that you may have commitments out of work and try to accommodate these."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Recently, I have been working fairly long hours, but on average they are very reasonable. I think that hours are very much deal dependent at the firm."
Second year trainee, Milton Keynes
"There is a real focus on maintaining a life outside of work, e.g. on one occasion a partner attended a completion meeting in place of an associate who had run the file due to external commitments of the associate."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"The firm is flexible when it comes to working hours."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"It depends on the department, but I think that the firm is good by law firm standards. I'm rarely in the office past 6:30pm, and there is no 'face-time' culture, such that if you have nothing to do past 5:30pm then you can leave."
First year trainee, Reading
"On a quieter day my hours are typically 8:45am to 6:00pm, and on a busier day they can be from 8:30am to 8:00pm."
First year trainee, Southampton

2013

"On the whole the hours have been very manageable. Clearly there are some periods where longer hours are required but if there isn't anything urgent you aren't expected to stay."
Second year trainee, Reading
"Generally expected to stay late if you have the work on (which I normally do!) but I don't have problems if I want to book e.g. doctors appointments, etc."
Newly qualified solicitor, Birmingham
"I usually get in at 8:45am. And am usually out 6:30-7:00pm and always out by 9:00pm."
Second year trainee, Milton Keynes
"My normal hours at 8:45am-6:30pm. There is no pressure to work ridiculous hours and there is a real culture of only staying late if you really need to. There have been numerous occasions where I have been sent home by Partners who are reluctant to overwork people."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"They are better than the average City firm but I still find that, even when I am not over-stretched with work, I am in the office from 8:30am to 6:30pm so am doing ten hours a day."
First year trainee, Reading
"I don't feel like I'm chained to my desk. I have a life outside the office and this is very much encouraged by the firm."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"The teams I have worked in have given a good work/life balance. I have only worked extended hours when trials are approaching."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
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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