FAQs

Who are you?

For over twenty years, Chambers has published the leading directories to the legal profession. Our reputation is based on the independence and objectivity of our research.

 

What are the Chambers guides?

We identify and rank the world's best lawyers and law firms. Each guide offers in-depth analysis of the legal market within a specific region (the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the USA), whilst the Global guide offers worldwide coverage, ranking lawyers and law firms with leading international practices.

 

And the Student Guide?

We've been publishing the Chambers Student Guide for 18 years to give you the information, tools and confidence to help you make a sound career decision.

The Guide is the only publication to offer these three key ingredients:

  • The True Picture - an insight into the training schemes at 110 law firms, based on in-depth interviews with hundreds of trainees. The trainees were selected by us, not by their law firms, and they spoke to us freely and frankly under the protection of anonymity.
  • Chambers Reports - a look at life inside 35 barristers' chambers. These reports were written after visites to each of the sets and interviews with pupils, barristers and clerks.
  • Law school reviews based on feedback from students who have completed courses at each of the schools, plus interviews with course directors.

All the guides we publish have one thing in common - they are independent. In a market flooded with publications for law students we take great pride in this fact. No-one's money influences what we say about them.

 

What are the Chambers rankings?

The Chambers Student Guide does not rank lawyers or law firms. Our parent publication, Chambers UK, is published annually and ranks lawyers, law firms and barristers' chambers by practice area.

The Chambers UK rankings are based on independent research conducted by a team of 40 professionals. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by clients. Firms and lawyers are ranked in bands from 1 to 5, with 1 being the best. 

Chambers UK is aimed at lawyers' clients, but it is also a really useful research tool for students wanting to find out more about prospective employers. You can find all the Chambers rankings online at www.chambersandpartners.com.

 

What makes Chambers superior to other careers guides?

  1. We're experts. We're not a general careers site with a bolt-on law section – we're a specialist legal publisher with a crack team of experienced writer-researchers. The 2015 Student Guide is our 18th edition. In short, we know the legal market inside out.
  2. We're independent. No firm, barristers' set or law school gets to see what we've written about them before our book is published (though because we're responsible types, we do conduct a fact-checking exercise to ensure accuracy).
  3. We're not interested in which firm is the 'best' – just which firm is best for you. You won't see firms ranked in order of perceived 'prestige' or given marks out of ten – we aim to paint a more sophisticated picture.
  4. We look at the whole firm, not just the training contract. What's the point of knowing somewhere is a great place to train if you don't know it's in deep financial trouble? Or that it's desperately been trying to merge with a far less cuddly organisation? Our features give students information about each firm's wider position in the market, about its strategy going forward, about the commercial issues it faces and how it is adapting to meet them. We put the firm into context in a way that no other careers guide does.
  5. We are the only guide that actually talks to trainees. We don't just send out a formulaic questionnaire: we conduct in-depth telephone interviews with randomly selected trainees, usually lasting at least 30 minutes each. It's anonymous: the firm doesn't get told which trainees we speak to. Actually talking to trainees allows us to pick up on things that others miss, probe more deeply into points of interest, play devil's advocate – and judge whether what trainees are telling us is reliable. All this makes for more sophisticated, and more readable, features.
  6. We talk to senior sources at each firm. Once again, we're the only guide to do this, so you get not just the view from the bottom but also the strategy talk from the top.
  7. We draw on the wider research of Chambers and Partners to give a picture of firms' chief practice strengths and work highlights.

 

How do I get hold of a print copy of the Guide?

Ask your university or law school careers service. They should be able to give you a free copy. Every year we send out over 10,000 guides to institutions across the country. Alternatively you can buy a copy from the Chambers and Partners online shop.

 

I'm a trainee who's been contacted for an interview. What can I expect?

How was I chosen?

  • All the law firms give their permission for us to interview their trainees and send us a comprehensive list of their names.
  • We randomly choose people from that list. The firm does not ask us who we speak to and will not be told.

What do you ask questions about?

  • The feature is designed to allow current trainees to speak directly and frankly to students about the pros and cons of training at their firm.
  • We cover all sorts of topics. We might ask about the seats you've done, what the office is like, the mentoring program, the firm's future, the social life and who fits in well.
  • Our features are only as good as our interviews so the more frank you are the better it is for our readers. Don't be afraid of saying too much as we always go with the consensus. Nothing rests on your shoulders alone! While we're not advocating this, you could technically claim your managing partner sacrifices goats to the dread Azathoth and rest easy - we don't print anything on the word of one person.
  • Interviews normally last around 30 minutes but we always like chatty trainees who go on for longer!
  • We are not evil journalists looking to trick you into saying bad things about your firm! We're very proud to have built up a reputation for being accurate and fair. All we want to do is provide the best possible information for our readers. We simply want your honest opinions on things, not bland cliches from the firm's marketing brochure.

What goes into the feature?

  • The feature is written after analysing the trainees’ comments as a whole. We go with the consensus views, not lone-wolf comments.
  • Trainees' names do not appear in the feature.
  • No one gets to see the feature before the book comes out.
  • We do check facts and figures with the firm before going to press - eg retention statistics, which seats are on offer, salaries etc.

 

I work at a firm which I'd like featured in the guide. What do I do?

To be featured in our guide firms must provide us with a full list of their trainees and allow us to anonymously interview a sample of the trainee group, which we choose. To find out more about the process and how to participate, contact the editors:

Antony Cooke     editor 020 7778 1676     email    
Sam Morris deputy editor   020 7778 1618 email 
Paul Rance deputy editor     020 7778 1590 email