Top 5 law firms for informal training and mentoring

Training courses and lectures can only take you so far. The kind of mentoring and informal support that trainee solicitors receive early in their law careers will affect both their satisfaction with their work and how well they can expect to progress. Do you want to work for a law firm that will assign you a specific buddy or is it more helpful to you for managers and senior members of staff to be approachable? Whatever your preference, below are the top five law firms for informal training and mentoring as ranked by the Inside Buzz surveys on TARGETjobs in summer 2018.

You can find out what graduate recruits have to say about a range of employers from our Inside Buzz surveys.

1. Osborne Clarke – 9.0/10

‘My supervisors and partners are always approachable and on hand to help out if needed. We have weekly catch-ups with our supervisor matched with reviews every three months.’

‘We have buddies in the trainee intake above us and supervisors in the department. I feel that I could talk to anyone at the firm if needed. The feedback is very thorough, helpful and constructive. Trainees are given praise and recognition for their work and, if we have any ideas (in any sphere of the firm), we can put these forward. There are awards for hard work and good ideas.’

‘The open-plan environment means you can easily approach anyone. People are always willing to lend an ear or help out, even though they can be very busy themselves.’

2. Gowling – 8.9/10

‘My training principal seems to be genuinely interested in my progress. Performance feedback occurs every three months, which is mid-seat and end-of-seat.’

‘I have a partner mentor and a supervisor, both of whom I can go to for support. I have regular meetings with my supervisor to discuss how the seat is going and receive timely feedback on my work.’

‘Recognition and feedback are both very good. Partners are approachable and keen to help.’

3. Baker McKenzie LLP – 8.8/10

‘Everyone is very approachable.’

‘My immediate supervisor and associate team have been fantastic with feedback and positive recognition. I feel valued by my team.’

‘Everyone is very accessible because of our open-door policy. Associates are good at recognising the contributions of trainees.’

4. Shoosmiths – 8.7/10

‘People at the firm are generally happy to assist you. There is an 'above and beyond' scheme where each employee gets £75 to award to employees who have gone that extra mile for them.’

‘The large majority of colleagues are very accessible to provide feedback. Many are very willing to spend time to explain their work, and feedback is generally given in great depth.’

‘Feedback is regular and constructive. I have always felt able to ask questions.’

5. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP – 8.7/10

‘Most are extremely engaged and invested in your personal development and provide excellent mentorship.’

‘Many of the senior associates here have become excellent mentors who offer both praise and criticism when needed.’

‘This has been surprisingly good, even from very busy partners. Good work is acknowledged and you will also get picked up on things that haven't gone well.’

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