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Big law firms -- working hours

  • 23-03-2022 10:27pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    Hi! I'd like to ask you about working hours at top big law firms in Ireland (such as Matheson, Cox, A&L Goodbody, etc.). Are they comparable to those at their Magic Circle/US counterparts or maybe milder? Would be grateful for any feedback!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 HupitGame

    The hours can be long for trainees at the big 5 depending on the department. The transactional seats are the longest and the advisory ones tend to be nicer. But definitely not as bad as some people (usually those that haven't actually trained at the big 5) make it out to be. In comparison I think the hours are either comparable or milder than the magic circle firms. And from what I've seen on Legal Cheek, the average leave times for trainees at the big American firms in London are quite late, so they probably work the longest hours out of the lot. But they get amazing bonuses and a fat paycheck so perhaps that makes up for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 biglawstudent

    Thanks a lot! Would you say, though, that transactional seats' working hours are 12+?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 HupitGame

    The corporate and M&A departments are usually the busiest. But certainly the average working day of a fee earner would not be 12 hours a day. But the caveat is that is can get very busy, and there are certainly times in the year where you you'd be billing crazy hours and sometimes weekends, but thankfully it's not a very common occurrence. But this is from Ireland's perspective.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,162 ✭✭✭LawBoy2018

    The hours are brutal at times. I find the more you're willing to stay late, the more it's expected. I have stopped going the extra mile recently and will probably continue to do that until I'm called out on it. I probably sound a bit entitled here but if I'm expected to put in 12-14 hour days, I want to be compensated for it. Until I'm on 6 figures, I won't be working 12 hour days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 biglawstudent

    Thanks for your insight! I was just curious about whether it is anyhow better in the Irish top firms than it is in London.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Wonderboy2010

    Hi all,

    Apologies if I am reviving a dead thread.😅 I have a question in relation to the seats that a trainee can do a rotation in during their TC.

    I will be going into the final year of my law degree in September and I was lucky enough to be offered a contract with a "Big 5 firm" on the foot of a really successful Co-op placement. Although my Traineeship is still a good bit away, I'm starting to think about the seat rotations that I would like to do. I would be grateful if there are any past or current trainees who could share some of their experiences in the seat rotations they did and perhaps share which seat they liked or hated the most.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for being so nosey!