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Hours

8.4 / 10

(based on 12 ratings in 2019)

2019

"Many teams are flexible in terms of working from home and having a good work/life balance."
Second year trainee, Liverpool
"Teams differ but flexibility is encouraged on the whole."
First year trainee, Manchester
"The firm is really flexible and there's an understanding that, as long as you make your hours up, there's no issue with you attending things like doctors' appointments. Some trainees also have laptops so can do the occasional day of working from home too. I find that my hours have typically been quite steady (I've not often stayed past 6.00 pm), but obviously if a big case drops then you stay late to help on it, because it's a really good experience."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"We have very good hours (9.00 am to around 6.00 pm) with very occasional late nights."
Second year trainee, Glasgow
"The hours are good and every team that I have worked in has been flexible and accommodating where necessary."
Second year trainee, Glasgow
"As long as I get my work done and put in as much effort as I can, I am not expected to stay late or come in early."
First year trainee, Liverpool

2018

"I generally work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm and the firm is flexible when it comes to hours. Trainees have laptops and can work from home in the evenings if necessary. There's no culture of working late for the sake of it, although hours seem to be more variable in transactional departments."
Second year trainee, London
"I usually work between 8.30 am and 6.00 pm but have done some longer hours in the corporate team as required. The firm is very flexible and there is no culture of staying late for the sake of it."
First year trainee, Leeds
"I average around nine hours per day (including lunch). The focus is on getting the work done rather than staying in the office late. No one stays late on Fridays unless it's absolutely necessary and some smaller teams do require support on weekends but that is rare. Staying late is more likely a sign of exposure to interesting work since trainees are considered solicitors in training rather than trainee solicitors."
First year trainee, London
"The firm is flexible and accommodating so long as you get the work done."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"I think the hours are pretty good for a large commercial firm. There are occasional late nights of course, but they seem far less frequent here than some of my friends experience at other firms."
First year trainee, Glasgow
"I am able to leave early on some occasions and the work requires me to stay late on others. However, I have never stayed past 7.30 pm so far! The key thing is completing your hours every week and getting the work done. If you've done that then there is no reason for you to stay late."
First year trainee, Manchester
"My firm has been so flexible when it comes to work hours. Sometimes I have had to be in the office early (before 8.00 am) and sometimes I have had to stay late (after 9.00 pm). I am very happy with my hours on the whole though and feel I have a good work/life balance."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"DWF are very accommodating to flexible working, particularly as we have now gone agile as a legal business. More colleagues are allowed to work from home or work particular hours/days in the week to the extent that it serves the business needs."
First year trainee, Manchester

2017

"It varies from seat to seat but, generally, I spend about 42 to 48 hours a week working. As a trainee, working from home is not particularly encouraged, though it is generally permitted if necessary."
First year trainee, London
"It's fairly flexible. If you need to go to the doctors or if there is a train strike, you can leave early or start late."
First year trainee, Leeds
"This depends on your seat but my average working hours are probably from around 8.30 am to 6.30 pm. I have found the firm to be flexible on hours when necessary."
Second year trainee, Liverpool
"The work/life balance is appreciated. If you have a reason why you need to leave on time, you can generally get away. You aren't expected to stay late just to be seen to do it."
First year trainee, Leeds
"They're generally very good. A good day would see me working from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, while busy days mean I stay until around 7.30 pm. The latest I've worked was around 10.30 pm but these hours are the exception not the rule. It's noticed when you work late but there is definitely no obligation and no one would penalise you if you didn't."
First year trainee, London
"We have recently adopted agile working so the firm is very flexible regarding working hours."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm is flexible when it comes to hours. The general rule is that you can leave any time from 5.30 pm and you're not expected in before 9.00 am."
First year trainee, Edinburgh / Glasgow

2016

"Hours are generally very good for a law firm in comparison to competitors. Hours are usually 9.00 am – 6.00 pm. However, what hours you work is very much dependent on what practice area you are working in."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"Very much seat dependent. Average leaving time is 6.00 pm – 6.30 pm (seat and deal dependent). Never expected to stay late for the sake of it."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Completely department dependent. In corporate/commercial/banking/projects, the hours are deal specific and so can either be as late as 2.00 am or allow you to leave on time. Other departments are more constant so you leave around 6.30 pm – 7.00 pm each day."
Second year trainee, Edinburgh
"The hours are very reasonable. There is no face-time culture."
First year trainee, London
"While still a first year trainee, in the seats I've worked in most people are of the view that you should work the hours you need to work. Beyond that, simply staying late and putting in face-time is of no benefit to either the individual or the firm. I've always had the flexibility to work the hours I need to and balance this with any out of work commitments."
First year trainee, Manchester
"9.00 am – 5.30 pm is standard. I usually work 8.30 am – 6.00 pm and sometimes work at home."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"As a trainee I was surprised about how much flexibility there was. People accept that you are a human being with a life."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"The hours aren't generally 9.00 am to 5.30 pm. But teams are usually very flexible if you have other commitments outside of work."
Second year trainee, Manchester

2015

"I believe that the firm's hours are reasonable. Other members of the team have flexible working hours, for childcare, for instance."
First year trainee, Manchester
"I think the hours that I work are good. As with any commercial firm working late comes with the territory, but it is certainly not expected unless something urgent needs to be done. If you let them know you need to leave on time and explain why, then they are good at being accommodating in these circumstances."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Working hours vary depending on the department you are in. I have had to stay late at times, and you will be expected to if there is work that needs completing during a seat. However, there is no value placed on 'face-time'; if you have finished anything that needs doing for a day, don't stay after 5:30pm to impress - it won't."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Working hours are what you would expect for a mid-tier city firm. If I have work to do, I stay and get it done as I'm part of a team all working together. If not, I go home shortly after 5:30pm. There isn't a working late culture - especially for the sake of it!"
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"My working hours have varied considerably as I move between departments. I have put in some seriously long days, working over 12 hours, and then also having days of 9:00am to 5:30pm. As a trainee there is an expectation that you have to be flexible, and if work needs completing you will ensure that it is, and put in the extra hours if required."
First year trainee, Manchester
"In general, I have found that I will typically work from 9:00am until 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Hours vary depending on practice area, clients and workloads."
Second year trainee, London
"I work 9:00am-5:30pm and get a full lunch hour. They are flexible in terms of making up time on the odd occasion that you might need it for an appointment."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"Working hours seem good and working from home is available once you are qualified - we are encouraged to make space in the office."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Working hours are 9:00am-5:30pm and although longer hours are often required, it isn't the sort of firm where you are expected to stay late just to be seen to stay late. If you have finished your work by 5:30pm then nobody would have a problem with you leaving then."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"Generally the firm is very flexible on hours. If you have work on you aim to get in finished and sometimes can work late, however if you don't have too much on you can make the most of it and go home."
First year trainee, Manchester
"The hours are dependent purely on work load and in most seats, there is no culture that you should be seen to be at your desk even if you have finished all that needs to be done that day."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"My average working hours are 8:30am until 6:00pm, which is very reasonable. DWF's motto is work smarter not longer,"
First year trainee, Newcastle upon Tyne
"Your hours change from seat to seat. Overall however they do not expect you to stay just to look good. If you have nothing to do then you can go home at 5:30pm, however if there is a big completion coming up you are expected to stay to help out."
First year trainee, Newcastle upon Tyne
"My current department is quite flexible. We have contracted hours and I'm not expected to stay particularly late unless there is a real need for particular work to be completed. When I do stay, it's because I have chosen to."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Depending on the seat you are in, the hours can vary and are always dependent on workload and impending deadlines. However in general DWF does not encourage trainees to work long hours where it is not necessary. In fact, my supervisor actively encourages me to go home on an evening!"
Second year trainee, Leeds

2013

"Much like what I have heard elsewhere - when you are busy you are expected to stay but, if you have the opportunity to leave at 5:30pm, nobody will take issue with it provided your work is done."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Work late only when needed, not a 'face-time' culture at all."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Contracted 9:00am-5:30pm although will usually finish between 6-7:00pm. This depends on the amount of work on in the team at any time. There isn't a culture of 'you must be seen in the office until 7:00pm'."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"I spend a lot of time in the office after hours, and usually work through lunch - my workload is quite heavy and I feel that unless I do the extra hours, it will get out of control."
First year trainee, Glasgow
"This will all be seat dependent. Insurance seats may find you leaving at a more reasonable hour i.e. Before 6:00pm. Other commercial/finance seats tend to be longer. However, if there is work to be done e.g. for a deal/hearing/trial, then of course it must be completed by the deadline, regardless of what time the end of the day is. Some early morning starts to catch up on work if the workloads are high."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"My hours very much depend on my workload but I am never left alone - if I am working late, others are too."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"I generally get into the office around 9:00am and leave between 5:30 and 6:30pm. On busy weeks I will sometimes work until 7:30pm or so. I have worked past 8:00pm only a handful of times."
First year trainee, London
"For the most part the work/life balance is great. There have been occasions that I have worked late but only when required. Sometimes I do feel guilty that I do not stay later but I prefer to come in early and work through lunch."
First year trainee, Leeds
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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