Life at a law firm
I’m not sure whether to practice law, I don’t really see myself at a desk all day, do you travel much?
Travelling isn’t really a thing we do at my firm as trainees, unless you count my many coffee and loo breaks. A couple of times a month I get to meet a client in person, but so much is done virtually now that I can only see that getting shorter. Associates and partners travel a lot more though, two guys went to the Paris office last week and one of our partners is always flying back and forth from New York.If it’s more secondments you want, there are certainly firms like White & Case, Norton Rose and Linklaters which are very big on that, but again, that’s not so much the case at my firm.But yes, if you don’t want long hours or to sit in an office all day, I wouldn’t apply to commercial law firms. If you just want less hours, there’s certainly firms you can apply to which will offer that.
The hours were a shock to the system at first. I missed the freedom of doing what I wanted to do during the day. Or at the very least, being able to have a few hours after work to relax. For a good while my schedule was to wake up, get to work, come home and drop straight to bed. I’ve clocked some of the highest hours in my intake, but that’s quite exceptional: I just so happened to get a department where we were short staffed and very busy. It’s different between departments though and between firms. All that said, you get used to it really quick, and learn to value the free time you do have, especially the weekends. I also stopped minding it, sure some days I was pretty sleep-deprived, but I really like the work, get tons of responsibility and I feel like I’m really contributing to my team. I’m never there for the sake of it, and my colleagues constantly make it known how much they appreciate it. I never have to count the hours down because it goes so quickly.