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Revealed: The best law firms for peer support and partner approachability 2023

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Exclusive research identifies the friendliest outfits

Life as a trainee isn’t easy, so a friendly and supportive culture can be crucial to getting you through the difficult moments. Fortunately, the results are in, and Legal Cheek can reveal the law firms where it’s smiles and backslaps all-round.

The 2,000 plus respondents to the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2022-23 were asked to rate the supportiveness of their peers on a scale ranging from 1 — ‘not at all supportive’ to 10 — ‘highly supportive’. Likewise, partner approachability could be quantified from 1, or ‘not at all approachable’ to 10, or ‘highly approachable’. Firms are then scored from A* to D on the Legal Cheek Insider Scorecard for each category.

Although over thirty firms feature on the two shortlists, scoring A*s for peer support or partner approachability, only Bristows, Fletchers, Hill Dickinson, RPC and TLT secured the top grade in both categories. The results are listed alphabetically below:

Best law firms for peer support 2023

Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst, Bristows, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Clyde & Co, Dechert, Express Solicitors, Fletchers, Forsters, Gibson Dunn, Goodwin Procter, Hill Dickinson, Norton Rose Fulbright, Pinsent Masons, RPC, Taylor Wessing, TLT, Travers Smith, Watson Farley & Williams, Weightmans

The 2023  Firms Most List -- featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full

Best law firms for partner approachability 2023

Accutrainee, Ashfords, Bird & Bird, Bristows, Debevoise & Plimpton, Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Fieldfisher, Fletchers, Gateley, Hill Dickinson, Morrison Foerster, Orrick, RPC, Russell-Cooke, Shakespeare Martineau, Squire Patton Boggs, Taylor Vinters, TLT.

Respondents were also given the chance to submit anonymous comments to justify their scores and provide further insights into their firm’s supportive rookies and approachable partners. Here are a selection of comments from the firms shortlisted above:

How supportive are your peers?

“Very collaborative, and very friendly peer group. They’re genuine friends who I can go to for support, share tips and insights into the work.”

“There is no culture of competitiveness between the trainees. Everyone supports each other.”

“All of the trainees within my office are incredibly supportive of each other and there is no feeling of competitiveness when it comes to getting NQ jobs. The trainee chat is very active and you know that, no matter how stupid the question, you always have somebody to go to.”

“I love my trainee cohort, we have bonded really well and regularly meet up for lunch and coffee. We also have a WhatsApp chat that we use to check in on each other. The benefit of a large cohort is having a lot of people around you to build a support network.”

“Excellent culture with many opportunities to extracurricular. A very supportive environment.”

How approachable are your superiors?

“There’s a real open door policy — meaning that if I leave the door to my office open, my superiors are likely to stop by for a chat.”

“Including partners — there’s no hierarchy or delegation through associates. Partners will call you directly and ask for your thoughts which is a great learning opportunity.”

“All very approachable which surprised me the most about working with Partners.”

“Every single person (at all levels) is approachable and can always spare time to help you.”

“No matter the level of seniority, every partner that I have experienced working with or spoken to outside of a department has been incredibly welcoming, approachable and helpful. They want you to succeed and you know you could go to them with any issue you had.”

The winning law firm in each category will be announced at The Legal Cheek Awards 2023, sponsored by BARBRI and BPP University Law School, on Thursday 16 March 2023.

The 2023  Firms Most List -- featuring the Legal Cheek Survey results in full

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