Types of law firm

There are many different kinds of law firm, and where you train has a significant influence on your career, as the style, size and clientele of each will vary. Consider the following broad categories to establish which type of firm might best match your career goals and working style. You can then start to form a sense of what it is like to work at different types of firm by reading through some of the profiles in LCN’s Meet the Lawyer section. 

International firms

These are mainly located in the City of London. For the UK-born ‘Anglo’ firms, London is the hub of their international operations, which can range from just a couple of strategically located offices to a sprawling global network.

UK-focused City firms

Exclusively UK-based firms typically offer a broad commercial training, emphasising one or two specialist areas; some will also have a private client practice, reflecting longstanding relationships with wealthy individuals and trusts.

National/regional firms

Beyond London, the most active cities are Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Newcastle and Nottingham.

General practice, legal aid and advice centres

Law on the high streets is undergoing a revolution as a result of the Legal Services Act 2007. Some predict that thousands of tiny partnerships and sole practitioners will give way to large franchises (eg, Quality Solicitors) and alternative business structures.

Use the LawCareers.Net advanced training contract search to look at different types of firm in different locations.