News

Half of Weil Gotshal’s qualifying trainees quit despite receiving NQ job offers

By on
57

Firm says it’s because roles couldn’t be found in desired practice areas, as rumours swirl about low morale

Weil Gotshal & Manges has retained just half of its London autumn qualifiers despite offering places to all trainees, Legal Cheek can reveal.

Five out of ten newbies will be staying on at the big money US outfit, equating to a retention rate of 50%. This is uncharacteristically low for the firm, which racked up 100% scores in 2015 and 2016.

The firm has put the 50% result down to newly qualified lawyers (NQs) being unable to work in their department of choice. (It’s understood this is what’s behind fellow low retainer Kirkland & Ellis’ 56% figure, too.) A Weil Gotshal spokesperson said:

We were pleased to be able to offer qualification opportunities for our trainee cohort qualifying in September 2017. Unfortunately, however, some of our trainees were keen to qualify into groups which have taken a number of NQs in recent intakes and we were disappointed not to have been able to offer contracts to every trainee in the groups of their choice.

They added: “We are looking forward to seeing those who have secured NQ positions with the firm flourish in their new roles and we thank those whose are leaving us for their hard work and contribution to the office and wish them the very best for the future.”

However, Legal Cheek has been told from sources within the firm that:

The trainees leaving have chosen to leave because they are unhappy.

This, they said, is at least in part because of what has been described as “low morale”. Weil Gotshal declined to comment on this.

Though there’s maybe not as many of them as the firm had hoped, the Weil Gotshal NQs are set for a lucrative lawyer life. The outfit — which offers approximately 13 training contracts a year — is one of the best paying firms in the City. Its new talent will be raking in a whopping £115,000, a full £30,000 more than its closest magic circle rival. You can see what all the top law firms pay by looking at the Legal Cheek Most List.

The firm performed decently in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The New York-headquartered player scored As for peer support, partner approachability, perks, and office, plus that all important canteen.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.

57 Comments

Anonymous

I wonder what sort of firms the other half have chosen to go to

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Quinn Emanuel; Simpson Thatcher; Gibson Dunn

(25)(3)

Anonymous

Hmmm I don’t know where you heard that from. K&E, Proskauer, Latham

(17)(2)

Anonymous

What’s Proskauer’s NQ rate? Anyone?

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Think NQ base is slightly lower than Weil (around 100k), but they offer proper bonuses … not the tiny amounts offered by Weil at all levels

(9)(0)

Anonymous

What are proper bonuses in law btw?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

AKA upgrading from Weil 🙂

(8)(2)

Anonymous

And a couple to McKenzie Brackman.

(1)(1)

Krishna Joshi

Wtf is dat?

(6)(4)

Tom

Yeah Katie, we too have access to Roll on Friday, But thanks for reposting.

Just don’t call what you’re doing journalism.

(49)(16)

Anonymous

It’s called legal journalism. Hope that helps.

(7)(15)

Anony-mouse

i.e. copy pasting

(21)(1)

Murty

News: for the many not the few

(15)(1)

Anonymous

Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning!

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah your mum. From my bed.

(31)(6)

Anonymous

I think you need to find something better to do with your time.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Money isn’t everything people

(6)(11)

Anonymous

Hahahahaha. Sure, but everything without money is shit.

(26)(4)

People who have money

‘Money isn’t everything’

(3)(1)

Anonymous

This was on rollonfriday, what are you revealing?

(12)(1)

Anonymous

What’s it like to work at Weil? They’re one of the best for PE, banking, funds and litigation.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

I suggest you watch Pulp Fiction, and fast forward to the scene with Ving Rhames was in the basement of the pawn shop, before Bruce Willis arrives. That.

(34)(1)

Weil NQ

Not for everybody, but don’t judge.

(2)(5)

Jones Day Trainee

Totally agree.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

Guessing those who stayed couldn’t get anything better?

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Glorious bantz, 12/10.

(14)(0)

Departing Weil trainee

I’m leaving because this is a miserable place to work and I got a better offer. Don’t trust the firm’s official statement.

(22)(0)

Further departing Weil trainee

It’s a miserable place to work, with second class work (and a lack of work in any case). Many many associates have quit the firm since the start of year and many more will quit by the end of the year. The key takeaway and advice is to NOT apply to Weil for a TC – you will be left feeling ripped off ….

(20)(2)

Anonymous

Why is everyone leaving this year? What has changed?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Second class work? Surprised to hear that, they’re ranked highly for private equity, which is usually quite big ticket and complex, I thought that would make for first class work.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

The bulk of their deals are not big ticket, nor complex.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Ripped off in what sense, quality of training or lack of qualification opportunities at the end?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Weil good for litigation? …. really? … hahahahahhahahaha

(5)(6)

-

It must have been such a relief not to get the offer then mate

(17)(2)

Anonymous

A lot of web content journalism consists of rewriting and adding more information. It’d be nice to see the latter half occur a bit more often

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Just wait for that CMS rate.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

which is

(3)(0)

US trainee with a huge cock

Shit.

(8)(0)

Departing Weil Trainee

Partners make us work like dogs. The 20 hour days are not worth it.

(7)(1)

Undeparting Weil Trainee

Ironically the hours at Weil are pretty sweet in comparison to other firms. If you haven’t read between the lines here, Weil is struggling in some of its core practice areas (read PE/corporate). Unless you are in one or two of Weil’s busy departments, you’re doing less hours than your peers.

(1)(3)

Lolz

*fewer

(19)(1)

Ex Weil

I never worked a 20 hour day in my life. Until I left.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Former mentor was a partner at herbies. Ultimately i didn’t go for commercial law, but he advised me to go for either magic circle, silver circle or somewhere like hogan lovells. Was dead against training at the American shops. Said they work you to death, don’t have the infrastructure to support you, and don’t have clients to make life interesting enough. Given how stark his warning was, I’m always surprised when I hear of old friends signing up for American shops. if the money’s too good to be true, it probably is.

(8)(7)

Anon

Odd then that all the departing Weil trainees are going to US firms? Quit believing the hype that the UK firms are using to convince you to stay for same hours at half pay.

(23)(1)

Anonymous

thank you for this clever bit of propaganda.

(2)(1)

US-trained

Ultimately if you’re doing big ticket work (which is often more straight-forward to implement and a more streamlined process than mid-market work) at US firm or MC, you’ll be working pretty similar hours, particularly in banking and corporate (can’t speak too much for other departments). Yes, the technical training at MC firms seems somewhat better and certainly more consistent, though the trade-off is that the teams at MC can be somewhat specialised (e.g. 4 debt finance teams, rather than 1 banking team covering a multitude of transactions). One type of firm is not necessarily better than the other in the general; there’s a difference in the environments and it really depends what works best for you. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to tell the difference from the outside/when you’re first applying for TCs.

(7)(0)

John Grisham's 'The Associate'

Surely its more alarming that Weil has lost 35+ fee earners this year alone.

(17)(0)

Anonymous

Isn’t that about 20% of its fee earners?!? 😮

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Same happened this year in one of their European offices (not in the UK).

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The Paris office has taken a huge hit to its headcount and Weil is focussed on becoming NY centric through the scaling down of its European offices. Its a shortsighted strategy and is the same approach they took in Texas (which heavily backfired). NY management wants to ensure that PEP stays north of $3m, which London is falling short of at an alarming place (Brexit only exacerbating the problem). RPL is on par with regional firms. There’s a reason the number of associate exits in London has been far greater than new laterals.

(3)(0)

Anon

I would guess that the remaining 5 trainees are from East Asia. Their form of schooling seems to give them a much higher tolerance of bullshirt.

(5)(4)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)

Wan Hung Lo

Isn’t Weil’s a horrible disease

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Weil is awesome 👌🏽

(0)(3)

Anonymous

Spoiled brats, you want the money, you sweat for it. Now back to work!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

K&E has hired loads of ex-Weil people over the last year or two. More money, better work. Weil is now some way behind the big 3 US PE shops (K&E, STB and Latham).

(4)(0)

Anon

Trainees are leaving because the cafeteria serves dog poop for dinner

(4)(0)

Comments are closed.