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Student lawyers embrace long-hours culture

04 May 2007

Student lawyers embrace long-hours culture Almost half of all law students expect to work more than 50 hours a week after qualification, according to new research.

Many newly-qualified lawyers work notoriously long hours - and this seems increasingly to be viewed as the normal state of things.

The survey, by publisher and information provider Sweet & Maxwell and reported by Legal Week, found that 47 per cent of law students intend to opt out of the Working Time Directive, which limits the working week to 48 hours.

Jon Vivian, property partner at law firm S J Berwin, said: "Everyone in the City expects to work fairly long hours and so opting out of the Working Time Directive is nothing unusual."

Five per cent of those surveyed seemed particularly keen, saying they were willing to work as many hours as necessary.

Students cited training and development opportunities as the most important factor in choosing which firm to work for.

There's obviously an upside to all this hard graft. Forty per cent of those questioned said they eventually expect to earn more than £70,000 a year, while three per cent aimed even higher, expecting to earn over £500,000 a year at some point in their career.

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