Analysis

The best law firms for peer support — 2019 edition

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Winner to be announced at the Legal Cheek Awards on 21 March, alongside a host of other categories

A lot goes into building a happy group of trainees and junior lawyers.

To start, there’s the original recruitment process — you don’t want a bunch of clones, but make a mistake that lets in one difficult character and the whole group dynamic can be soured. Then there is the building of bonds through the Legal Practice Course (LPC), where firms need to do enough to foster a common identity without being on their future trainees’ backs the whole time.

But the most difficult bit must surely be the training contract itself, where competition for seat choices, and ultimately newly qualified solicitor positions, can fracture friendships. Will the chemistry of the trainee intake withstand such potent forces?

As part of the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, we asked over 2,000 of the nation’s rookie solicitors how supportive were there peers on a scale of one to ten — with one being ‘I don’t leave my wallet on my desk when I go to the toilet’ and ten ‘We’re all joint godparents to each others’ future children’.

Out of over 80 firms surveyed, these are the 15 which did best. The best-performer will be revealed at the Legal Cheek Awards later this month.

The law firms which scored an A* for peer support in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey

Baker McKenzie
Bristows
Burges Salmon
Farrer & Co
Herbert Smith Freehills
Hogan Lovells
Irwin Mitchell
Linklaters
Mayer Brown
Osborne Clarke
Pinsent Masons
PwC
Simmons & Simmons
Taylor Wessing
White & Case

As part of the survey we received hundreds of anonymous comments. Here are some of the standout ones for the peer supportiveness category.

“Whether it’s a party invite or a call for help, a message on our cohort’s group chat will get a pretty instant reply. Half of us live together and there’ll always be a group in the canteen at lunchtime.”

“I once carried a fellow trainee to the hospital after a football injury and Instagram storied the entire event #diditforthegram.”

“Embarrassingly so or not, I spend most weekends with the other trainees in my cohort — some of which have become some of my closest friends!”

“Our intake has become friends first, colleagues second… Probably entertainers third.”

“It’s a bunch that will go through hell and back with you.”

“There are some snakey trainees (especially in the first year where they are very concerned with who is qualifying where, despite not even knowing your name) but overall my trainee intake are my closest friends.”

“People are interested in what you are doing and are empathetic if you have to put in a long shift, but they’re unlikely to offer to take something off your hands because they will probably be busy as well.”

“[It was] much better on the LPC — we’ve splintered and getting more than four out for a Friday pint is a mission.”

The firm with the most supportive trainees and junior lawyers will be announced at the Legal Cheek Awards 2019 on March 21 at the Cheesegrater in London.

Peruse all of the firm’s survey scorecards — including training, quality of work, perks and much more — via the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2019.

21 Comments

Anonymous

Like the Brent-esque quote.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Some complaints will be false.

(1)(0)

Loljkm8

HEY, BUDDIES!

LET’S ALL HAVE AN AMAZING DAY TODAY, YEAH?!

GO GET EM, YOU’RE ALL FANTASTIC.

TEEEEEEAM TRAINEE, YAAAAAAS!

xoxo

(19)(1)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance……I’m back Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator Judmental style

(3)(1)

Anonymous

So someone had comment deleted cause it mentioned a magic circle firm as a snake nest and should not be on this list. (Not Clifford Chance)

Damn you legal cheek

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Where are the US firms on this list? Places like Fried Frank and Willkie Farr are extremely collegiate.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Don’t forget k&e.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Willkie is actually a very collegiate place to work. It’s genuinely a friendly, pleasant environment and doesn’t have mad hours given pay.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“doesn’t have mad hours given pay.”

Wrong. Just factually wrong.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

as if you’ve even worked at those firms, bore off

(1)(0)

Anonymous

US firms in general in London are far less hierarchical, tighter-knit and more collegiate.

(6)(4)

Anonymous

again, bore off. the good ones are full of psychos, snakes and nasty/sadistic partners, as much as top UK firms and in several cases worse

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Nahh, you don’t know.

Bore off

^that wasn’t me. Somebody trying to discredit me by making me look like a silly student, I suspect.

What is it with the US love-in on this site? Amazing how anybody who says anything remotely negative about us firms, even when its absolutely true, gets shot down.

If we’re talking in generalisations, american law firms in london are not “extremely collegiate”, they’re just (by and large) small. At many of them, people work in isolation quite a bit more than at UK firms and there is not much of a social scene. At most of the good ones, ruthlessness and nastiness are as pervasive as at mc firms/top UK firms, if not worse. People harp on about them being “less hierarchical” but in reality you cannot treat US partners any different than UK ones. Law firms are hierarchical places, period. If you think you can stroll into any senior lawyer’s office at a US firm and start chatting to them like they’re a uni mate, you’re deluded.

Anonymous

US law firm in London – no matter who you are, you are below your US overlords

Anonymous

Does anyone have the NQ at Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP? Trying to decide between them and Greenberg Glusker LLP.

MUSICK PEELER & GARRETT LLLP

TOP FIRM

Anonymous

… wat?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Clifford Chance

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Burges Salmon and their fucking pink paper

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“I once carried a fellow trainee to the hospital after a football injury and Instagram storied the entire event #diditforthegram.”

Wow, I cannot imagine the absolute banter these weapons must have at work. #endmysuffering

(9)(0)

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