13 City law firms make top graduate employer list

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All five magic circle firms named in Times rankings

Thirteen City law firms have been included in a prestigious ranking of leading graduate employers — more than any other industry.

Clifford Chance leads the way, coming in at 26 in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for 2019/20.

The Canary Wharf outfit is joined by a dozen other top commercial firms, including the four traditionally making up the magic circle. Allen & Overy is second among law firms at 32 overall, while Linklaters is third at 45. Norton Rose Fulbright rejoins the list after slipping off it for a couple of years. There are more law firms on the list than any other industry sector.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The prison service’s ‘Unlocked’ grad scheme also makes its debut at number 49, while the civil service tops the list overall.

The ranking is compiled by asking around 20,000 final year students from 34 unis the question “which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?”. The more times an employer is mentioned unprompted, the higher its place on the list.

Law firms in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019/20

Rank Firm Change
26 Clifford Chance +10
32 Allen & Overy +6
45 Linklaters -5
58 Slaughter and May +2
63 Baker McKenzie +2
66 Herbert Smith Freehills -18
76 DLA Piper -18
83 Freshfields -21
84 Pinsent Masons +15
89 Hogan Lovells -13
90 CMS -1
92 Norton Rose Fulbright N/A
93 White & Case -13
94 Irwin Mitchell +1

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Irwin Mitchell Partner

Take this, Kirkland NQ


Kirkland NQ

Sorry you are…?


Irwin Mitchell Partner

The North’s finest big swinging motor claims mega lad. And you?


Kirkland NQ

I have literally no idea what you just said.



*Take that… says it all really.



In other words the firms that paid off the Times.



It states it’s from a student survey, so it will depend on who has the most information available to graduates – this list seems about right. Nothing to do with firm pay-offs – that’s saved for award ceremonies.


CMS 4th Seat Trainee

Why is CMS on that list – total lols!


Cambridge LLB

Stfu h8er. I loved that place



The place is rife with poorly paid overly competitive partners and associates scrapping for anything resembling a decent bit of work. Favoritism is endemic and a product of a low-wage, low bonus system where the foregoing are entirely discretionary and subject to whether you’re female, sufficiently middle class, etc.



Fun sponge.



Not really sure why any of these places are so highly ranked. There’s pay and prestige, but compared to most other sectors law is sweaty as fuck.


Kirkland NQ

I’m 24. I make just over £150,000 a year (excluding my bonus). I work hard, but with intelligent people who want to get on in the world and work with sophisticated clients at the top of their game. Is that really so sweaty?



drink up the kool aid


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