Hours

7.5 / 10

(based on 22 ratings in 2017)

2017

"Hours at the trainee level are definitely not as bad as people commonly associate with the life of a trainee solicitor. Hours can sometimes be unpredictable as a trainee, because work that needs to be done at short notice can come in late in the day. Otherwise, it's a very relaxed start (compared to banks etc) and you can generally leave when you want in the evening provided you are in control of your work and have done what you need to. Hours are increasingly flexible, although the nature of a trainee's role makes it difficult to work from home in practice."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours vary depending on department. My average hours are currently 8.30 am to 7.30 pm, which is manageable. I have only had to work on weekends a couple of times in each seat."
Second year trainee, London
"They can be long but there is no face-time culture. People are encouraged to leave when they aren't working."
Second year trainee, London
"I tend to be finished by 7.00 pm, but have worked longer when required."
Second year trainee, London
"I am in the pensions department, which has very stable hours compared to other departments and other firms. I typically arrive around 9.00 am and leave around 6.30 pm but the firm is flexible and I have always been able to get away at 5.30 pm if I need to. There is a big push towards remote and agile working across the firm that is being taken up at all levels."
First year trainee, London
"There is a number of options for associates including agile working and flexible hours, which a significant number of people now go for. It's more straightforward as a trainee, you have to stay until you've done the work! Working from home is possible on occasion but there has to be a valid reason for doing so. Your options open up a bit as an associate, though."
First year trainee, London
"The firm is extremely flexible and allows you to work from home when required."
First year trainee, London
"Hours vary between departments (corporate tends to have longer hours), but it's very good generally. Trainees tend to arrive around 9.30 am and leave around 7.45 pm. The firm is very good at agile working and I have worked from home a number of time with no raised eyebrows."
Second year trainee, London

2016

"Can't pretend that the hours are great (esp. in corporate) but you're never working alone and it gets appreciated. There's down-time too and they are good with days in lieu."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are generally very reasonable and you only need to stay when there is work to be done. The firm is trying to become more flexible with working from home etc. This is a new initiative being trialled at the moment."
Second year trainee, London
"Mostly the hours are much better than magic circle/American firms. I have only worked on a weekend once in my training contract."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours in pensions are quite regular. There are a number of people on fixed hours and/or working part-time in my department. I think the firm is flexible where it can be, but realistically certain jobs are not suited to flexible working."
First year trainee, London
"The firm has standard City hours, which can be long at times. These tend to fluctuate in corporate (when a deal is on you may be leaving at 3.00 am or working all night; when no deal is on you will be leaving at 6.00 pm) and other departments tend to be consistently later. The firm is flexible with hours when there is no urgent work and they are happy for you to make up the time if you have to take a few hours out."
Second year trainee, London
"This varies from department to department. Wherever you are there is definitely a culture of getting out in good time when you're quiet, which is great. A new agile working scheme has also just been introduced."
First year trainee, London
"Hours in some departments are longer than others but it also depends on who you are sitting with, a lot of it comes down to luck. Hours are flexible; if there are commitments that you want to get out for this is usually achievable."
First year trainee, London
"My hours have been very reasonable compared to my peers at other firms. I probably work 9.00 am to 7.00 pm on average. Crucially, there's no face-time culture and no billable hours targets so you leave once you've done your work."
Second year trainee, London

2015

"I worked the hours that I had expected to at a top London firm, but I found that the firm was always flexible with working hours if you needed to be somewhere or to work from home."
Second year trainee, London
"As with all City firms, there will be times where you are working in the early mornings or over the weekend. The firm, however, tries to ensure that if you do work until the early morning that you get to catch up on your sleep. As long as you show you can manage your own workload and communicate effectively, you can make your work fit around your social life."
Second year trainee, London
"Like any City firm, the hours can be long, although this can vary considerably between departments. The key thing, however, is that the hours are only long when they need to be: there is certainly not a culture of staying late unnecessarily. I found working long hours as a trainee to be appreciated by the partners when it is necessary."
First year trainee, London
"Given the pay that we receive and the nature of the work, I think the hours here are very good, and a life outside work is strongly encouraged and respected."
Second year trainee, London
"Working hours are flexible when necessary, but ultimately there will be times when you have to work long hours because of client demands. It is a team effort to meet deadlines so you are rarely, if ever, left on your own when working long hours."
First year trainee, London
"I have found working hours at Travers Smith to be flexible, and I am able to go to a Spanish class most Mondays. When we have to work late we are often given time off in lieu."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Hours vary from department to department and time of year. We are provided with work mobiles and remote access capability to allow us to work away from the office out of normal office hours, (where possible)."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours have been fine - you expect to work some late nights. The unpredictability of your workload is worse."
First year trainee, London
"You are expected to put the hours in when a matter demands the time. However, no one expects you to stay late when this isn't necessary."
Second year trainee, London
"The flexibility really depends on the departments. Broadly, no 'face-time' is needed. If the work is done you are absolutely free to go and no one will think less of you for it. Working hours for me have been 9:30am to 8:00pm on average, but this changes a lot and it is hard to give an average. Hours also change depending on which room you are in."
First year trainee, London
"Partners and associates are very understanding, but the nature of the work means that at times the hours can be unpredictable."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours are usually long, although the general position is that when you're quiet, seize the chance to leave in good time."
Second year trainee, London
"As a trainee you do not have much say over your hours. But, the people I have worked for have generally been reasonable about hours and have not encouraged a 'stay to be seen' attitude."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"Not a 9 to 5 but no pressure to stay late to look good. If you are finished at 6:00pm, you can go home."
Second year trainee, London
"Peaks and troughs. When it's busy, it can get very busy, but if it isn't, you can be regularly out of the office by 6/6:30pm."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours fluctuate considerably depending on the workload of the firm. Some associates and partners have flexible working hours - the firm is improving in this regard."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"Sometimes they can be long but it is part of the job, and something you accept in becoming a City solicitor at any firm."
First year trainee, London
"You stay until the job is done (but then you know that before you sign up) but there's no stay late/jackets on chairs culture."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"Vary from department to department- which is to be expected. You only stay late if there is work to be done, which is fair enough."
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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