Firm of the Year 2018 Culture: Under 60%
09 March 2018
Last and least, several firms failed to achieve 50% for their culture.
The culture at Plexus (59%)
was "fear and loathing without the Vegas"
said a junior solicitor. "Happy partners and miserable everyone else",
said a trainee. "Sink or swim",
agreed a partner. "Every year we grab as many apprentices and graduates as we can. Plop them down at a desk with a stack of files and wait to see what happens. Those who manage to get things done get a minimum wage job at a law firm with vague promises of career progression and a higher wage. Those that fail are shown the door at the end of their probation period and we move onto the next child".
Bottom of the Magic Circle, the culture at Freshfields (50%) "reminds me of Mean Girls"
, said a junior lawyer. "On the surface, it's pretty and very pleasant to look at"
. But scratch it, and you'll find "sociopathic partners and senior associates
". Because "the prevailing MO is budget cuts so that the partners can get more profits"
, said a colleague, morale "is at an all time low, which is a shame since the people are mainly great"
. Individual teams may have good cultures, said a senior solicitor "but firm morale as a whole is down. I tell my trainees that the firm has become a less nice place to work".
BLM (38%) "does contain some of the most boring people I've ever met",
said a senior solicitor, "but generally most you can have a laugh with".
The culture was "wildly variable"
, said a trainee. "Some departments have great lawyers, some have great people (and a select few have both!). Some, alas, have neither"
. "It's a truly depressing place to work",
said a paralegal, "the rats have more fun than we do".
The workers "are a lovely group"
, said another paralegal, but "the management are like the pigs in 'Animal Farm'"
. The current climate "is very much how I imagine the orchestra felt playing Nearer my God to Thee on the deck of the Titanic"
, said a junior solicitor, whose colleague commented simply, "More fun at a funeral". "Sly poisonous people prowl the corridors looking to blame you for their failures"
, said a junior solicitor. "My advice: get out".
||Welcome to the sunken places of law.
The culture at Kennedys (27%)
"used to be better
", said a junior solicitor, but in an indication of where the firm was, monthly staff drinks in the London office "became so dire they were axed to become bi-monthly".
The Golden Turd
, Irwin Mitchell,
came second bottom with 25%. A junior summed up the culture as "fear and blame"."Dog eat dog is actively encouraged
" said a colleague. The culture, said a junior solicitor, "is to teach junior staff how to build links with disability charities simply as a way to persuade said charities to refer all their service users to the firm for negligence claims. Truly awful"
. But there was, said a paralegal, "a sense of camaraderie between junior staff and even some associates. A sort of 'we're all in this mess together' situation".
Management "are carrying out a lot of work to turn around the culture
", said a senior solicitor, "but it's a long road ahead"
. "Everyone hates it",
said a junior solicitor.
Bottom for culture was Slater & Gordon
, with 23%. It was a reflection of the depressing position in which the bosses had landed the firm, said staff. "I like the people I work with"
, said a lawyer, "it's senior management who are the problem".
The state, according to a colleague: "Clowns to the left, jokers to the right, some decent lawyers still stuck in the middle"
Next week, the final and most important category: loos.