Published on May 11, 2018 by isabellaford

burges salmon insight day

Introducing our new series, which delves into the top tips and tactics our contributors have picked up from various law firm open days and insight days!

In March this year, I attended Burges Salmon’s first year insight scheme. The day was extremely well organised and very helpful in understanding what it is like inside one of the biggest commercial law firms in the UK.

Here’s a quick round-up of the top things I picked up from the day.

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1. You haven’t lost out if you get a 2:2

One of the biggest worries that sits on any law students shoulders is not getting meeting that 2:1 grade requirement. Well good news: they aren’t as strict as you think.

If you have excellent work experience and extracurricular activities, but have fell short academically, you may still have a chance. Your application will still need that ‘wow-factor’ to impress the recruitment team, but it is not a hopeless cause to at least apply.

Find out how you can secure some work experience to boost your legal CV with our free guide here!

2. There are other great locations that aren’t London to apply to

For those of you who don’t know, Burges Salmon’s headquarters is outside of London, in the heart of Bristol, which is just one of the great cities across the UK that you can work in.

Burges Salmon employees still visit London on occasion and they have offices there that they use. With it being just over an hour and a half on the train, it can be quicker to travel between the two cities than to travel from one end of London to another on a busy day!

If you are unable to live in London or are worried about the high living costs, you have not lost out on an excellent working environment, or on the high calibre work that the City firms are often associated with.

Want to know which type of law firm would suit you best – regional or City? Take our quiz here!

3. There will be long hours

Don’t be fooled into thinking that working in a law firm outside of London will mean less work. Burges Salmon employees work just as hard, and there are occasionally long hours involved.

Clients come from all around the world, and they expect a lot from you. You’ll need to be flexible in your working hours as they vary from day-to-day based on the workload.

If you’re expecting a 9-5 job, perhaps becoming a commercial solicitor isn’t for you. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before applying!

Rethinking a career in commercial law? Take a look at our popular guide to some of the other areas here!

4. But it isn’t all work and no fun

All the employees I spoke to were most excited about the perks that come with working for Burges Salmon. They pride themselves on their team-working attitude, and the firm feels more like a closely-knit friend group or family rather than competitive workers.

The trainees helping out on the day were most excited about Fridays, and the famous cake trolley! Every week, the trolley comes round, the friendly atmosphere goes out the window and the truly competitive side of the employees shines through as they battle for their favourite treats.

Every firm will have its own unique benefits, clubs and social events – look into some of these as you may find a firm that has a group of employees with similar interests as you… or maybe the thought of a cake trolley will be enough to encourage your application.

5. Commercial firms practise more than just corporate law

Before attending Burges Salmon’s insight day, I didn’t know there were so many departments making up a commercial firm. They range from planning and banking, to tax and corporate. The speakers from each department gave an amazing insight into their department’s work.

It’s well worth researching every department thoroughly to see which best suits you and your interests as it does not hurt to mention this at interview.


If you want a career in commercial law, many of the top firms host insight days similar to the one I attended throughout the year. Most are aimed at first and second year students, so make sure to apply to gain a greater insight to your possible future.

Find out more about law firm open days:

Published: 10/05/18    Author: Chloe Hanna


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