‘We started life as a four-office practice based in the North West. Now based in 12 locations across England, Scotland and Ireland, we have over 2,500 talented people working for us. We solve old problems with new thinking, combining the best legal knowledge, a wealth of industry expertise and being the type of people clients want to work with.’ DWF LLP website, 2015
With an average score of 4/5 from graduates, the UK law firm DWF comes in at position 58 in the Top 100 Larger Intake Firms To Work For In 2015/2016. Ranked independently as 1st in the top 20 UK law firms for the quality of legal advice, DWF is rated particularly highly by its graduates on colleagues (4.4), training (4.2) and enjoyment (4.2).
The average graduate salary comes in at £25,000 – £27,000, with one trainee solicitor explaining that ‘The salary is competitive for a large regional law firm’ although another trainee solicitor added that the ‘salary does increase in second year of training contract’. Average working hours were 8am – 6pm, although a trainee solicitor in insurance commented that ‘Working hours vary considerably, depending on practice area, geographic location, and client needs’.
‘The intellectual challenges of work and the personalities of colleagues. The levels of stress and working hours.’
Trainee Solicitor, Insurance at DWF LLP
‘Range of seats and opportunities. Breadth and depth of work. Too big- processes need to be updated to reflect growth.’
Trainee, Commercial at DWF LLP
‘Office in the centre of Manchester and at the forefront of the legal scene in the city. 6 seat rotation programme which gives you exposure to more departments and the opportunity to complete a client-based secondment. The firm is thriving and ambitious and seeks the same from its trainees. Different departments have completely different atmospheres, it is almost like working for a different company. It is competitive between the trainees and it difficult to predict whether you will get the seat you request and on what basis they are selected.’
Application Advice: Need good academics and stand out with something quirky.
Interview Advice: Be confident and willing to get involved. Be entrepreneurial.
Trainee, Commercial at DWF LLP
Application Advice: Make sure you know who the firm’s main clients are and how the firm adopts a sector-led approach. It is worth being knowledgeable about the firm’s mergers and takeovers in addition to having an eye on current strategy which appears to be domestic consolidation and international expansion.
Interview Advice: I was asked why I wanted to work in Manchester and not London having worked and studied there previously. Make sure you are committed to the North West legal scene, DWF doesn’t need applicants choosing them as a fallback option, there are plenty of people for whom it is the first and preferred choice over London.
Trainee Solicitor, Real Estate at DWF LLP
Application Advice: Focus on client delivery and consider how your technical skills can apply to various legal sectors outwith your preferred sector.
Interview Advice: If applying to a Scottish office, mention a desire to work in Real Estate.
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