How Do I Know What Law Firms I Should Apply To? Watch

Elopegermanium
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Hi, I'm a law student in first year. I want to apply for some work placements/spring weeks/insight days this year in law firms, but I just don't know where I should start. I do not know what area of law I want to work in, nor do I know what firms would be suitable for me. Do you think you could advise on some firms, or where I could look to narrow it down from the vast number of firms out there?

All I know so far is that contract is my favourite unit, tort is second, and public law is my least favourite. I would value a good work/life balance and do not want to be working long hours like in Magic Circle firms. I would like to be earning 40k once I fully qualify as a solicitor (not trainee). I would like to work in a firm where I have client exposure, and overseas opportunities would be nice too. I am based in Bristol so local firms would be something to consider, but I am open to working anywhere in the country.

Thanks for your help.
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sanjsk03
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Hi,
I am currently a first year aswell. Feel free to private message me?
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TCVS
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If you value a good work-life balance you'll be looking for firms probably outside of London and in the regions instead. The best thing I can suggest is research different areas of law that companies offer (e.g. criminal, family, commercial etc). If you're looking for 40K, you would be able to get that in a mid-sized 'regional giant' specializing in commercial law. You're less likely to earn that in, say, family or criminal. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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Doones
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(Original post by Elopegermanium)
Hi, I'm a law student in first year. I want to apply for some work placements/spring weeks/insight days this year in law firms, but I just don't know where I should start. I do not know what area of law I want to work in, nor do I know what firms would be suitable for me. Do you think you could advise on some firms, or where I could look to narrow it down from the vast number of firms out there?

All I know so far is that contract is my favourite unit, tort is second, and public law is my least favourite. I would value a good work/life balance and do not want to be working long hours like in Magic Circle firms. I would like to be earning 40k once I fully qualify as a solicitor (not trainee). I would like to work in a firm where I have client exposure, and overseas opportunities would be nice too. I am based in Bristol so local firms would be something to consider, but I am open to working anywhere in the country.

Thanks for your help.
IANAL but I think there's a publication that ranks regional and London firms by specialisation.

This might be it:
https://www.legal500.com/assets/page...ingdom/uk.html


But I'm sure there will be forum experts along in a minute to debunk it ...

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sanjsk03
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I agree from my research London firms even the medium sized firms like Bristows crips Simkins etc will still have a requirement on odd occasions to work till 9-11 after attending open days I found Bristows to be a good choice. Obviously it’s also about what sector you want to work in and what area that firm specialising in!

I’ve got a few similar firms in mind. I have made my applications for first year schemes and open days! Make sure you act fast as some open days and first year schemes close this month!
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
IANAL but I think there's a publication that ranks regional and London firms by specialisation.

This might be it:
https://www.legal500.com/assets/page...ingdom/uk.html
I don't think that this is as easy to debunk as the league tables. I suspect that most critiques would come from the perspective of the users of such rankings (clients), not students, who are merely looking for firms that fit criteria X or Y (e.g. a decent IP team).

Elopegermanium Maybe take a look at firms with offices in Bristol and Reading? Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon spring to mind. The full A-Z of law firms on Chambers Student may be a good place to look.

Alternately, take a look at West End firms like Child x2, Forsters, etc.
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sanjsk03
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I’d add RPC to the list!
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Doones
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
I don't think that this is as easy to debunk as the league tables. I suspect that most critiques would come from the perspective of the users of such rankings (clients), not students, who are merely looking for firms that fit criteria X or Y (e.g. a decent IP team).

Elopegermanium Maybe take a look at firms with offices in Bristol and Reading? Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon spring to mind. The full A-Z of law firms on Chambers Student may be a good place to look.

Alternately, take a look at West End firms like Child x2, Forsters, etc.
True :yep:

And actually this is the "ranking" I was originally thinking of:
https://chambers.com/rankings/s?publ...cationId=11805

Elopegermanium
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DCDCo
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Some options:

1 - Sort by money and apply to the top!

2 - Check practise area and apply to practise area

3 - Check by 'status' (Magic Circle/Silver Circle) and apply


Just remember, it's your first year. Whilst there are schemes out there (and I preface this by saying that I am on the rat race applying for them..) you don have to do anything. Spend some time researching and see what you would like to get in to.
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Elopegermanium
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(Original post by DCDCo)
Some options:

1 - Sort by money and apply to the top!

2 - Check practise area and apply to practise area

3 - Check by 'status' (Magic Circle/Silver Circle) and apply


Just remember, it's your first year. Whilst there are schemes out there (and I preface this by saying that I am on the rat race applying for them..) you don have to do anything. Spend some time researching and see what you would like to get in to.
I want to find a firm with the perfect balance of money and work/life balance. Prestige doesn't matter to me
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DCDCo
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(Original post by Elopegermanium)
I want to find a firm with the perfect balance of money and work/life balance. Prestige doesn't matter to me
Legalcheek have surveys on average start/finish time. I'd review that and then check the salary for NQ's. That'll give you a good idea of where to set your barometer. You'll see some firms work you just as hard but pay you much less.
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Elopegermanium
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(Original post by DCDCo)
Legalcheek have surveys on average start/finish time. I'd review that and then check the salary for NQ's. That'll give you a good idea of where to set your barometer. You'll see some firms work you just as hard but pay you much less.
Thanks this is useful. They all finish so late. Maybe I should rethink being a solicitor tbh
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workinglawyer
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I had a look at legalcheek and can safely say that those hours are quite standard. I would go as far as to say they’re not bad. Leaving before 7 means that it’s a very good day (but of course, mileage varies across firms).

If you can’t stomach working long hours, you might want to consider whether law is actually for you. Deadlines are deadlines, and work must be turned around regardless of the firm’s official working hours.
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DCDCo
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(Original post by Elopegermanium)
Thanks this is useful. They all finish so late. Maybe I should rethink being a solicitor tbh
This is 'city' law though. If you want to work in conveyancing or something similar, this will offer you working hours that are deemed more 'regular'.

In the city you are paid to be there, so you are.
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Elopegermanium
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(Original post by workinglawyer)
I had a look at legalcheek and can safely say that those hours are quite standard. I would go as far as to say they’re not bad. Leaving before 7 means that it’s a very good day (but of course, mileage varies across firms).

If you can’t stomach working long hours, you might want to consider whether law is actually for you. Deadlines are deadlines, and work must be turned around regardless of the firm’s official working hours.
Yeah I don't think law is for me in that case
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hello5922
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Attend open days and events with different law firms, then you will get a feel for what firms you like. Speak to trainees and get their perspective. Get some work experience in a local law firm if you can't get experience in the bigger firms just yet. See what you like and don't like about a high street firm. And remember that the more experience and exposure you get, the better you can decide what law firm/practice areas you like. Good luck!
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