Dechert Graduate Careers
Welcome to Dechert's law firm hub. Here you'll find out everything about this international law firm, from its training contracts and vacation schemes to its diversity and inclusion initiatives.
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The AllAboutLaw perspective on Dechert
Founded in 1875 as a small law firm in Philadelphia, Dechert has rapidly grown to become a global powerhouse, with offices worldwide. It was one of the first firms to do a transatlantic merger, and is one of the only firms with five offices in the leading European fund and Asian fund jurisdictions.
Lawyers at Dechert can get involved in a variety of different practice areas, ranging from labour and employment law to real estate. No matter which area you’re involved in, the work is always incredibly interesting, with trainees appreciating “how varied the work can be, not just across the department as a whole but within the sub-teams themselves.” The large number of international offices means much of the work is multi-jurisdictional, with one trainee having worked with clients in the Cayman islands, Luxembourg, Delaware and Ireland.
Dechert requires its trainees to complete six seats, allowing you to gain a greater understanding of the legal world and the firm’s different practice areas. During each seat, you will receive plenty of support from a senior mentor as well as from the graduate recruitment team. Trainees have praised the “supportive environment and the friendliness of the team.”
Dechert are also keen for their employees to give back to the community, with the firm requiring all trainees to complete at least 25 hours of pro bono work each year. Past trainees have worked with prisoners seeking appeals, provided advice at monthly legal clinics and done sponsored walks to raise money for agencies that provide free legal advice.
What the firm says
Dechert’s multinational approach makes it the perfect firm for any aspiring lawyer interested in learning about different legal jurisdictions. The firm even won Best Training in a Vacation Scheme at the AllAboutLaw Awards, showing that trainees are supported from day one. Even a lawyer who regularly worked with the opposing counsel against Dechert appreciated how “the team at Dechert worked as one, and it didn’t matter what level people were at, everyone was respected.”
Although Dechert lawyers are expected to work hard, there is a great importance placed on being well-rounded, with trainees getting involved in skill workshops about effective communication and time management, as well as a variety of pro-bono opportunities. Trainees can even get involved in some of the firm’s many sports clubs and social events.
- 1st year trainee £50,000
- 2nd year trainee£55,000
- GDL course fees paidYes
- GDL living costs grant£12,500
- Retention rateUndisclosed
- UK Offices1 (London)
- NQ salary£145,000
- A-levels AAB
- Degree 2:1 or above
Dechert asks that applicants have AAB at A-level (or equivalent) and have received or will receive a minimum of a 2:1 at university. The firm is however flexible on this, and there is a place for you to include mitigating circumstances on the application form. They are also willing to provide accommodations for those with disabilities.
Dechert is keen to recruit a diverse workforce and ensure that everyone who works there feels included. The firm works with The Law Collective, who provide open day opportunities for young black students who are interested in a career in law. Dechert also partners with Rare contextual recruitment, who use technology to understand an applicant’s achievements in light of their background.
There are also a variety of initiatives used by Dechert to create an inclusive workforce. The firm has its own Diversity & Inclusion committee, who work to raise awareness and organise events to promote an inclusive culture. There are also a variety of different affinity groups aimed at supporting those from marginalised backgrounds.
These groups provide a way for lawyers to share their experiences and feel more supported, via retreats, mentoring programmes and workshops. The firm even has an LGBTQ allies programme, which involves training for allies. Those who complete the training receive a decal for their office as a visible show of support.
Finally, the firm is dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues. The firm has a variety of different programmes in place, for example: weekly guided meditation, free confidential counselling, a free meditation app and online CBT. Dechert even has trained mental health champions and first aiders who provide support to those struggling.