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Culture

7.8 / 10

(based on 8 ratings in 2019)

2019

"Collegiality is key in the firm. There is no person who I would feel unable to approach with a problem."
Second year trainee, London
"The people are overwhelmingly nice and generally everyone is good to work for/with. The firm takes hiring very seriously and personality is extremely important. Because of the small teams, it is essential that everyone gets along."
Second year trainee, London
"People at the firm are friendly both in and out of the office. It is not particularly hierarchical and, as teams are generally not silo-ed, there is a good deal of teamwork and cooperation across practices. This means there is ample opportunity to work with colleagues of varying expertise. Social events are organised monthly and colleagues are always happy to socialise outside of the workplace."
Second year trainee, London
"The culture is good but the hours are demanding, which means that we don't always get to participate in the socials. Cleary is very good at arranging regular office social and drinks events throughout the year, but it is not uncommon to be unable to attend these or to have to attend for only a very brief amount of time due to work."
Second year trainee, London
"Partners, counsel and associates differ as to how much they enforce a sense of hierarchy. Some are more relaxed than others. Younger associates and trainees socialise more than the others. The nature of the work means we're all competitive, which I think can breed slightly too much focus on the quality of colleagues' work and their hours."
Second year trainee, London
"The office is very sociable, both during office hours and outside of work. We have treats in the kitchens on Friday afternoons, monthly office-wide socials, cluster group mentoring events, individual practice group social occasions and several parties annually. With respect to work, the firm has a flat and non-hierarchical structure in which every person is valued for their input and contribution. I have always felt able to ask questions and share my thoughts during discussions and meetings."
Second year trainee, London

2018

"It varies, but the culture is very liberal so long as the work gets done. Some practice groups have more organised social scenes while others are more free-flowing. Lawyers outside of practice groups are very willing to chip in and help in the office. There is also no overt pressure on billable hours, although the majority of people are from backgrounds where hard work equals personal satisfaction and many lawyers are so busy that they exceed whatever would be mandated of them anyway."
First year trainee, London, UK
"There's no pressure to go out and drink but there's a very friendly open-door culture. The cooperation is usually strong so most people don't just delegate everything they can to the bottom."
Second year trainee, London
"People in the office are generally very friendly and helpful and the hierarchy is fairly flat. Salaries and bonuses are paid on a lockstep basis so there is no element of competitiveness when helping out others, even in different departments. Firm-wide social events happen every few months and departments also organise their own events. Informally, Friday treats in the office have become a regular fixture and impromptu pub-trip emails are always welcome!"
Second year trainee, London
"The ethos at the firm is very friendly and sociable at all levels of the organisation. The trainees are particularly close, support each other professionally and spend time together socially. People are respectful of one another and the firm seems to take promoting a healthy work culture seriously."
Second year trainee, London
"Senior associates and partners are generally very accessible and happy to discuss specific issues or backgrounds with trainees."
Second year trainee,

2016

"Everyone is very friendly and very happy to help."
First year trainee, London
"Cooperation and teamwork is excellent. Everyone works hard so nobody is left to carry the weight of the team. Socialising among colleagues is good although it could be better during work (eg at lunch time). There is a hierarchy but it isn't heavily structured and teams can often be led by a junior associate with partner input."
Second year trainee, London
"Highly supportive, collegial and friendly."
Second year trainee, London
"Everyone is very friendly and you are encouraged to make your views heard, even if you are the most junior person on the team."
First year trainee, London
"There is a strong and collegial atmosphere at Cleary. There are many firm-wide social events throughout the year, such as wine and cheese or the office Christmas party. You also have the opportunity to attend practice area drinks that offer an opportunity to get to know the people you work with on a daily basis in a more social setting. There are often drinks organised on a Friday at Davy's or Corney and Barrow. However, it is usually the case that the associates and trainees will socialise separately."
Second year trainee, Buenos Aires

2015

"There is a studious and academic atmosphere, but at the same time everyone is very friendly and approachable throughout all levels of seniority. The importance of teamwork is something that has shone through right from the start, and it is supported both by the lock-step remuneration structure and the way in which different offices around the world work together."
First year trainee, London
"Cleary Gottlieb is a collegial firm. Regardless of whether one is a partner, counsel, associate or trainee there is a sense of camaraderie."
First year trainee, London
"There is a good atmosphere among colleagues, and a flat hierarchy in most teams."
Second year trainee, London
"Although the firm could organise more sponsored events, there is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere."
Second year trainee, London
"Colleagues are very friendly and willing to work with one another. Likewise, the firm is very non-hierarchical because of its lock-step system. This means it is quite structured, but nobody assumes that because they are senior to you that they can't learn from you or that they don't need to talk to you. Teamwork is key at the firm."
First year trainee, London

2014

"The firm is very collegiate and there is an 'open-door' policy."
Second year trainee, Hong Kong
"There is a very flat structure at Cleary, and all members of staff are friendly and interact with each other. The teamwork is very good - all my co-trainees are willing to help each other, and socialising amongst colleagues is encouraged."
First year trainee, London
"People are incredibly helpful, regardless of seniority at the firm."
First year trainee, London
"There is a very flat structure, everyone is incredibly polite and supportive. Socialising outside work hours is encouraged, and the firm makes an effort to encourage social events - the recent cheese and wine evening in the office being a prime example."
First year trainee, London
"Hierarchy is very flat. There are drinks every week, and regular organised social events which the entire firm participates in. There is a canteen where lots of people have their lunch and it's a great place to meet and chat at lunchtime, and makes you realise that you're not alone in whatever worries you may have. Everyone always offers to help each other out; you won't be left alone with a task if you really need some help."
First year trainee, London
"Everyone is very friendly, but there isn't much socialising. Workwise, teams work together well and there is a feeling of comradeship."
Second year trainee, London
"We are a small trainee intake at Cleary, which means everyone knows each other well. Being a small office means quickly getting know other members of the firm, as there is plenty of opportunity to work with a range of people. We are non-departmentalised, so the lawyers here undertake all kinds of work. This makes the office flexible and keeps everyone interested. There is certainly a hard-working culture, but the hierarchy is very flat - from trainees to partners, everyone contributes."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"Outside the office, there is little pressure at the firm to socialise or drink with one's colleagues every Friday. When there is time to do so, trainees and associates tend to socialise on a more informal and ad hoc basis. Inside the office, the firm's emphasis is on collegiality. Most of my colleagues have been very cooperative and there is a good sense of teamwork, particularly amongst trainees."
Second year trainee, London
"Great structure - no hierarchy here. Can talk to everyone from senior partner to newly qualified in the same way, and partners are great in that they sit with everyone in the canteen at lunch to chat. Everyone is really good at mucking in when help is needed on tasks."
First year trainee, London
"There's no 'face-time' on those few occasions where you get to leave at a civilized hour. However, other than a smattering of trips abroad, don't expect much in the way of social outings. The firm hierarchy is as flat as it could be. There are times when the deal team will consist of just a trainee, an associate and a partner, so there's no room for complicated chains of command."
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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