US law firms get their money’s worth by working lawyers almost 14 hours a day
London trainee lawyers at top US law firms are working nearly 14 hours a day, new research shows.
Junior and trainee lawyers at Chicago headquartered firm Kirkland & Ellis work the longest hours, in starting at 9:19am and clocking off at 11:11pm, research from Legal Cheek shows.
The rankings show all ten of the law firms with longest working hours are US firms, which make their trainee and junior lawyers work 12 hours a day on average.
The research comes as the arrival of high-paying US law into the UK market for legal services has driven up salaries in the sector to eye-watering levels.
Kirkland & Ellis currently pays its newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers $215,000 a year – sums equivalent to £189,000 due to the plummeting value of the UK’s currency.
The Legal Cheek research shows the UK’s prestigious Magic Circle law firms offer slightly better working hours than their high-powered US rivals.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one oldest law firms in Britain, tops the UK rankings, in working its young lawyers from 9:16am to 8:59pm each day.
Slaughter and May this month told its lawyers they are allowed to check out of their emails after 10pm and turn their cameras off on zoom calls after 8pm.
The research comes as the salaries paid out by the Magic Circle firms have lagged behind those paid by the top US firms.
Freshfields is amongst the highest-paying firms in the Magic Circle in handing out salaries of £125,000 a year to its NQ lawyers.