Revealed: The best law firms for training and quality of work 2022

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By Rona Ankrah on

The results are in! Legal Cheek’s exclusive Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey can reveal the law firms with the highest scores for training and quality of work

Legal Cheek asked trainees and junior lawyers from over 100 of the nation’s leading law firms to share their experiences. A number of law firms have received top marks, scoring an A* for their training and quality of work, in our annual Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey.

Respondents could score the training provided by their law firms on a scale from one to ten — with one being poor and ten being excellent. Equally, respondents could rate the quality of work — with work rated from not at all stimulating to highly stimulating.

A total of six law firms feature in the shortlist for both of these categories: Accutrainee, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke, Shoosmiths and Slaughter and May. Below are the results listed alphabetically:

Best law firms for training 2022

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Burges Salmon
Clifford Chance
Hogan Lovells
Mayer Brown
Osborne Clarke
Slaughter and May
Travers Smith

The 2022 Firms Most List -- featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full

Best law firms for quality of work 2022

Akin Gump
Allen & Overy
Clifford Chance
Fried Frank
Kingsley Napley
Latham & Watkins
Mills & Reeve
Osborne Clarke
Ropes & Gray
Slaughter and May
Vinson & Elkins
Weil Gotshal & Manges
White & Case
Willkie Farr & Gallagher

As part of the survey trainees and junior lawyers were also given the opportunity to submit anonymous comments to expand on their scores and give insights into their firm’s training and work quality. Here are a select few comments from some of the firms listed above:

How would you describe the training you have received?

“Very, very good even though it has moved to being remote. It is front-loaded at the beginning of your seat to prepare you for the department and delivered by an experienced associate, counsel or partner.”

“Throughout the pandemic the firm has been committed to ensuring that we receive training on all levels. In my current seat we have weekly training sessions. The NQs are given a training team consisting of a partner, senior associate and junior associate. They meet weekly and it’s for the NQ to ask all the questions on the work they’ve had during that week.”

“There is training available on almost everything and if you need further help they will provide 1:1 sessions. The training isn’t just on legal or tech issues, but also on important diversity topics.”

“Each seat has started with very detailed, comprehensive training courses aiming to provide an introduction to the relevant area of law and to help with tasks we might be given as a trainee group in that department. Along with this, there has been plenty of informal training held by PSLs, partners and associates in, for example, know-how meetings and market updates.”

“Speaking to colleagues at other firms, best in class by a mile. Often delivered by partners whilst on or shortly after interesting matters, so much more insightful and interesting than dry, hypothetical discussions.”

How stimulating is the work you are given?

“The firm makes heavy use of technology and delegation (to support staff generally) so very little time is spent on ‘non-law’ type tasks that trainees may have been responsible for in the past. This means we get to engage more in drafting and developing transactional skills. I have done far more drafting than I had expected and have been given enough responsibility such that I was essentially running (surprisingly large) deals (of course, always with the associate there to give the green light!). Naturally, we also represent a lot of ‘headline’ type clients or banks on deals, which leads to interesting work.”

“Typical ‘trainee’ work is effectively delegated to secretarial staff, paralegals and legal support centres, allowing for a greater focus on advanced work, while still developing an understanding of basic documents as we review the work of paralegals etc.”

“The level of work the firm does is really very impressive. You’ll work for the world’s biggest PE houses and banks constantly but the firm’s continued growth in London means you’ll also see some of the most well-known companies and brands as your clients too. It’s a funny moment when you finally Google the person you’ve been emailing for weeks to find out that they’re one of the biggest names in the business world.”

“During my training contract, I have carried out tasks typically assigned to NQ or 1 year PQE lawyers. It’s a consistent challenge, but one I’ve really enjoyed and which has helped me develop and grow as a lawyer.”

“The work is very stimulating and varied, no two days are the same. Contract reviews are the only constant but there’s almost always something new to be learnt with each review. From drafting cross-border contracts, to assisting on GDPR and legitimate interest assessments, to reviewing the company’s rights and responsibilities under a regulatory mandate, my first seat has set the standard that I hope will be replicated for the remainder of my training.”

The winning law firm in each category will be announced at The Legal Cheek Awards 2022, sponsored by BARBRI, on Thursday 24 March 2022.

The 2022 Firms Most List -- featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full

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