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  • L'Oréal Social and creative atmosphere The recruitment process can take a while
  • Herbert Smith Freehills Supportive environment – from other trainees to partner mentors Long hours and stressful periods
  • Reed Smith High quality work and a good choice of seats Lack of transparency in qualification process
  • Norton Rose Fulbright LLP Large scale and high profile work Large number of female associates, but not reflected in the partnership
  • Ashurst Excellent formal and on-the-job training Unequal distribution of work
  • HSBC Holdings Good work/life balance, especially for a bank The firm can be terribly hierarchical and can suffer from lack of communication
  • DWF Social and supportive environment Quite limited seat choices
  • CHP Consulting Opportunities for international travel Not as well known as other consultancies
  • BP Good early development opportunities and training Advancement sometimes tied more to seniority than merit
  • ITV Friendly and inclusive company culture Initial training programmes could be improved
  • Nomura A great platform for innovation and progression Lack of communication between different levels of the business
  • Ince & Co Excellent reputation in maritime law Trainees may not have a huge amount of client contact
  • nucleargraduates Possibility of trips abroad Steep learning curve can leave some feeling out of their depth
  • Capgemini Accessible mentors and a ‘great support network’ ‘The work/life balance can be skewed towards work’
  • KPMG Open door policy and approachable partners Lower pay than the other Big Four firms
  • Thales High starting salary The pace of projects can prove limited by the defence industry’s slow development cycles
  • Travers Smith Small firm feel where everyone knows each other Slight lack of flexibility
  • Penningtons Manches LLP Sociable hours and no face time expected Lack of social events
  • Shearman & Sterling Small team of trainees, working on big deals, with real hands on responsibility Long, long work hours: you may have to cancel weekend and holiday plans
  • Bain & Company Supportive and friendly work environment The long hours, which in turn eat away at the work/life balance
  • Olswang Where possible trainees are encouraged to contact clients directly Becoming increasingly corporate
  • Hogan Lovells Excellent training, both legal and soft skills The uncertainty of the hours, and you are expected to work weekends when busy
  • Mayer Brown Interesting, rewarding work with lots of exposure to high profile deals and clients A certain amount of working late is inevitable
  • Freshfields Excellent organised and ongoing training Lack of partnership prospects
  • The Co-operative Group Huge opportunities for progression and personal development It is a bit old fashioned at times
  • Hill Dickinson Almost daily contact with partners Not all firm decisions are communicated ahead of time
  • Sidley Austin Although the firm is one of the largest in the world, the London office has a small, relaxed and collegial atmosphere Trainees are thrown in at the deep end
  • Allen & Overy Top quality work and high-profile deals Hours can be long and unpredictable
  • Boston Consulting Group Excellent reputation and career prospects You're required to travel to clients and stay in hotels a fair bit
  • John Lewis Partnership Co-owned business with profit sharing schemes Working outside contracted hours and working weekends is not uncommon
  • Grant Thornton Informal, friendly interview process Some managers expect too much from trainees
  • Linklaters World class deals and work, especially on the corporate side Long and unpredictable hours (as with all Magic Circle firms)
  • Booz & Company Helpful and highly intelligent colleagues Lots of travel
  • Jones Day Solid compensation The lack of direct supervision during the training contract isn't for everyone
  • Slaughter and May The name to have on your CV High pressure and expectations