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How do I find out if a firm genuinely has a bad reputation?

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​As 80s Rockstar Joan Jett said, “I don’t give a damn about my reputation!”

Fortunately for us, law firms do care about their reputations particularly within business services in which a lot of professionals all know each other and are fully aware of which teams have either a particularly good or bad reputation. However, how do we truly know if a specific team has a bad reputation that is justified? Here are 5 ways to find out:

  • Speak to people who either currently or who previously work at the firm privately. Ask them why people tend to move from the firm and what it is really like to work there.

  • Search on Linkedin and see how long people at a firm stay in a specific role. If former employees stay no longer than 6-12 months for a permanent role, this is a bad sign.

  • Ask a specialist recruiter directly. Seasoned and trustworthy recruiters should have a good understanding as to why a firm has a lot of employers leave so will be able to give you a frank and honest perspective.

  • If at the interview stage, ask the interviewers why they are currently looking to hire and if a replacement role, why the person is leaving- which typically companies firms will say anyway. This of course should be asked in a diplomatic and professional matter. It is definitely worth looking out for the interviewers’ body language as typically if the response is awkward, this may mean the firm is quite sensitive to this type of question as it may be a sore point.

  • Research online. This can be done either on websites like Glassdoor or search in the legal press about a company.

In carrying out a good number of the points above, this should give a balanced opinion of whether a firm is worth moving to.