Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The Lex 100 verdict on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Trainees who applied to Freshfields were drawn in by the ‘prestigious’ Magic Circle firm’s ‘multinational clients’ and ‘seriously impressive lawyers’, several of whom they had met at recruitment events. The ‘strong competition practice’ and a ‘renowned disputes team’ set the international firm apart and an eight-seat training contract offers unparalleled exposure to different practice areas. Some of the things trainees love about Freshfields are ‘the calibre of clients and work that the firm is able to attract’, ‘the amount of responsibility given to trainees’ and ‘the breadth of resources available to us, that quickly get taken for granted’! What’s more, the people are ‘friendly, approachable and happy to help you with whatever – even a partner in a different team would take time to help you if you called them by accident’! As expected of a firm operating at the top end of the market, the working hours at Freshfields are unpredictable, and there is no doubt that ‘work/life balance falls by the wayside when a deal or matter is busy’. What’s more, the ‘distinction between work and home life has been further limited’ by remote working during the pandemic. Some recruits also feel that feedback is hard to come by: ‘it sometimes feels uncomfortable to ask for it because everyone is so busy’. Nonetheless, the work trainees receive is second to none and has given rise to best moments such as ‘working with a former Court of Appeal judge on a legal opinion – quite cool!’, ‘presenting some research to a client on a call and leading the discussion’ and ‘seeing an expedited trial through from start to finish as a first-seat trainee’. The flip side of such high levels of responsibility is ‘having to manage a physical signing alone in the first few months of my training contract before I felt ready’ and ‘very intense evenings/nights in the office to meet a deadline’. For a ‘market-leading firm which actually has nice people working there’, consider Freshfields.