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Hours

5.9 / 10

(based on 8 ratings in 2019)

2019

"The hours vary a lot depending on department and workload."
First year trainee, London
"My hours have been ok. I work late in the office when I have to but (depending on who you are working for) you will probably be able to work from home in the evenings in practice. There is generally little face/time culture and the main thing is that you just get your work done. The latest I have stayed in the office is 1.00 am but that was a bit of a one-off."
First year trainee, London
"Hours can vary depending on how busy the team is. If there's a big project or deal on with tight deadlines, we are very likely to work 12-hour days (or longer) and over weekends. However, if the team is relatively quiet, we would work eight or nine-hour days and not at weekends."
First year trainee, London
"The firm is not very flexible when it comes to working hours and outside-of-work commitments."
Second year trainee, London
"Hours depend on the practice area you are in so this is hard to assess. In the regulatory practices you consistently work until around 8.00 pm or 9.00 pm, occasionally earlier, but rarely do very late nights. In the litigation practice the hours are generally longer. In corporate you either leave very early or very late depending on the work floating around. You only stay late if necessary."
First year trainee, London
"The hours can be long and there is a heavy emphasis on client service and getting the work done. That said, most people are reasonable and holidays and appointments are respected as far as possible. There is generally not much of a prospect of flexible working, which is a downside."
First year trainee, London

2018

"Most trainees have good hours and exceptions to this are usually for short periods. There is a really good balance in terms of workload in most departments and fee earners are generally sympathetic to pre-existing plans and important events. Weekend work is not common at all, I personally have never had to come into the office on a weekend. It may be that you have to log on from home for a short time, but this is rare and I usually manage to leave before 7.00 pm on most days."
Second year trainee, London
"I sometimes need to stay late. The hours seem similar to most London City firms and probably less than other US firms."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are what you expect for a big law firm, but can vary a lot between departments."
First year trainee, London
"I've had to work from 9.00 am to 11.00 pm fairly regularly since starting. However, the seat I'm currently in is known to be the heaviest for hours. Most of the other trainees in other seats usually leave between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm. If there is work to be done then the expectation is that you stay, but no one expects you to hang around past 6.00 pm if you're not busy."
First year trainee, London
"The hours are not flexible and maintaining a work/life balance can be hard, though some teams are more accommodating than others. This is the reality of the job and, unfortunately, true across all corporate firms working in a similar field."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours have been better than I was expecting, but still not great. Staying until 8.00 pm or later can be quite standard. You need to account for at least eight hours in the office per day and the firm is not very flexible on this. Working from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm is the minimum required."
First year trainee, London

2017

"There are often late nights and some senior lawyers are less flexible than others."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours here are actually pretty good in comparison with many other City firms. I could count the times I've worked past midnight on one hand and the times I've worked past 9.00 pm on both. The hours are fairly consistent (particularly in the regulatory seats) though transactional and litigation can vary due to the nature of the work."
Second year trainee, London
"The hours depend largely on the department you are in and the case/transaction you are working on. On a relatively quiet day, it is possible to leave at 6.30 pm. However, when the team is working on a deal towards a transaction deadline or on a case filing, the hours can be long for continuous periods of time. Trainees and new qualifiers can finish work between 10.00 pm and 2.00 am during busy times. Hours can therefore be unpredictable so making plans during the week can be challenging. The firm is not particularly flexible when it comes to hours and working remotely is not an official firm policy in the London office yet. This means that people (especially on the more junior front) work predominantly from the office. However, working from home is tolerated on occasion if there is a good reason for it and if the person notifies their relationship partner or supervisor."
Other - NQ, London
"It depends on the department. I did not expect them to be as long as they are, which probably has to do with the fact that the firm is more busy in general. However, I have personally been lucky and my hours have been more than manageable. Some other trainees have not been so lucky."
First year trainee, London
"We have long and unpredictable working hours so a work/life balance can be difficult to maintain at times."
First year trainee, London
"The hours vary considerably depending on what you are working on. If there is an upcoming deal then you will be expected to put in long hours. However, if you have finished everything that you need to do then you will not be required to stay late. There is no face-time culture."
First year trainee, London

2016

"Hours are comparable to any City law firm. If it's not busy, you are not expected to stay late. Likewise, if it is very busy, people are understanding."
Entry level, London
"The workload varies but generally my hours are 9.00 am – 6.00 pm."
Graduate, London
"They can be unpredictable but, as a general rule, on a normal day I finish between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm. Logging in from home after hours is accepted and a lot of people log in after work if needed."
Graduate, London
"My hours are generally very good for a US firm, although the work load is unpredictable and you have to be available at short notice and on weekends if required."
Entry level, London
"As a trainee, it's not that flexible. The hours are long and you have to be prepared to get involved last minute. It can be very difficult to make (and keep) plans during the week."
Entry level, London

2015

"I have found that the hours can be tough at times, although comparable to friends at other City firms, from my knowledge. We have fewer lawyers, so the firm cannot afford to be as flexible (at times). That said, there is no 'face-time' culture and supervisors do their best to ensure that trainees aren't overstretched."
First year trainee, London
"Working hours are unpredictable at times. Generally they are fine, but there have been some shockers (which you would expect). Some people seem to want to work all hours of the day, whereas others are good at creating their own boundaries. As a trainee I find that it is incredibly unpredictable from day-to-day."
First year trainee, London
"Working hours vary from seat to seat and your enthusiasm to get involved. There is a complete absence of a 'face-time' culture. If you are done, you go home."
First year trainee, London
"All-nighters are very rare, thankfully, but my hours have typically been fairly long throughout my training contract. That said, typically working hours come in peaks and troughs."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Firm hours vary by department. Regulatory seems to be more regular, while corporate can be very up and down. You stay as late as you need to get the work done."
First year trainee, London
"Working hours do vary, but are generally long. Late evenings, weekends and bank holidays are not uncommon. The firm is not at all flexible when it comes to hours, and work always takes precedence over any other commitments that you may have."
First year trainee, London
"Work hours are generally very reasonable. I have had a few runs of late nights on particular projects, but these are not as bad as people lead you to believe and there are often lots of others around too."
First year trainee, London
"As a trainee, hours are very inflexible. You are expected to be in between 8:45am-9:15am irrespective of how late you were working the night before. Official office hours are 9:00am-6:00pm but 95% of the time you will work later than this."
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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