The Legal Cheek View
Outside of the magic circle, Norton Rose Fulbright is the biggest UK-headquartered law firm in the world, with global revenue for 2016 standing at a massive £1.16 billion. The sheer scale and internationalism of the operation, with over 50 offices across five continents, is a major draw to students; as is the quality of the work at a firm that is particularly well thought of for its finance, energy, property, high-end insurance and transport practices.
A very good place to train, with mostly challenging work (with the exception of some "post completion and working bibles") and "friendly" partners, Norton Rose Fulbright also has one of the higher rates of international secondments among trainees and junior lawyers. Nearly 40% of the firm's rookies have spent time overseas for work, with common secondment destinations including Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo and Paris. One Norton Rose Fulbright trainee reports:
"I went to Paris for six months in my second seat to work on our Paris aviation finance team. Absolutely brilliant experience, lots of responsibility and trips to Airbus factories to deliver planes."
Those back in London have one of the City's fanciest offices to enjoy, with Norton Rose Fulbright's glass and steel headquarters sitting prettily on the South Bank of the Thames. The views from the terrace on the ninth floor are spectacular.
Norton Rose Fulbright rookies may well need the caffeine as the hours can be long – expect to regularly work well into the evening. The upside of staying late is that lawyers get a free dinner after 7pm, and a free taxi home after 9 pm.
This ethos of looking after those who work hard seems to permeate the culture of the firm, with Norton Rose Fulbright seen as one of the nicer of the very big firms. A decent social scene – led by a "pretty active trainee group and lots of internal groups planning events" – is evidence of a rather more joyful institutional mindset than possessed by some rivals. Meanwhile, a tie-up with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 team (the McLaren Group is a client) apparently yields some impressive freebies.