Working in Bristol
There are a lot of financial services based in Bristol, so you can expect to work with a number of financial clients. Lawyers are needed to advise some of Bristol’s largest and most lucrative industries, such as aeronautics and defence, but there are also a number of small businesses which will need legal advice as they get off the ground.
Recognising the prominence of these industries, a lot of the bigger law firms have opened alternatives to their City offices in Bristol. You’ll be able to experience a medium-sized office culture at a full-service firm—many national firms have been established in Bristol for several years now, so you can be part of a traditional firm operating in a dynamic new area. Some national firms even had their origins in Bristol, giving you a chance to work at the flagship office of a national law firm.
As is the case with cities outside of London, Bristol also offers ample opportunity for NQ lawyers looking to specialise. You could find yourself working in a practice devoted to family law or personal injury law, or working in finance, commercial or corporate law. There are a number of regional firms that are based in Bristol, many of which have been steadily growing as more industries become established within the city.
Moving to Bristol has often been compared to moving to London; the cities share the same diversity, the same focus on independence and innovation, yet Bristol is slightly smaller and not as overpopulated, making it a more laid-back home than London. Not to mention, life in Bristol is going to be considerably cheaper than life in London!
You’ll also have the option to cross the suspension bridge and visit Clifton, a quieter, classier alternative to the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Explore the Georgian architecture and enjoy a coffee in one of Clifton’s many cafes.
Historically, Bristol was one of the biggest ports in the country, and you’d be hard-pressed to escape the city’s maritime past if you lived here. From the Clifton suspension bridge to the floating harbour, relics of an industrial past are everywhere. Nowadays, Bristol’s businesses are fiercely independent, with a strong focus on art, music, and fashion.
The city is one of the best places to enjoy a rich cultural experience without paying a penny. As one might expect from Banksy's hometown, the street art in Bristol is world-renowned. Wandering the streets is a bit like exploring an outdoor art gallery, and the See No Evil project has only given Bristol’s street art more clout.
If you need a break from the concrete, there are a plethora of green spaces—forget that you’re in the city by exploring Castle Park, and indulge in some history by browsing the ruined St Peter’s church at its centre.
If you live in Bristol, you can expect your yearly calendar to be peppered with festivals—Love Saves The Day is Bristol’s annual music festival, and has acquired prominence in the small festival scene. With festivals celebrating everything from street art to cuisine to hot air balloons, it’s hard to claim boredom.
- Head down to the Harbourside in the summer to enjoy a quiet evening drink and do some people watching.
- Enjoy a nautical themed night out on a boat bar. Cider fans will love the Apple Cider Boat, or opt for 1920’s class aboard the Under the Stars Bar.
- Catch an independent film at Watershed, a huge digital media hub located right on the harbour.
- Go graffiti hunting!. Not only is this the home of Banksy, it’s also a city that has been inspired by him, with a variety of cool art springing up across the city over the years.
- Pretend you’re flying on the Concorde—and learn a bit more about Bristol’s thriving aerospace industry—at Aerospace Bristol.
- Celebrate one of Bristol’s most unique traditions by attending the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta—a great chance to see your city’s sky filled with colourful balloons. Bristol is the world’s biggest manufacturer of these beautiful (yet somewhat impractical) air vessels.
You’ll never find it difficult to reach Bristol - it lies in close proximity to London and benefits from being the railway hub of the West, with services running nationally from Bristol Temple Meads station. You can reach Europe from Bristol Airport, and coach services connect the city to the major airports in London.
Within the city, there’s a regular bus network that will keep you connected to work, as well as to all the shopping, nightlife and cultural destinations. The bus service is managed by First West of England. You can catch the train within the city too, and make use of the ferry, but the bus is still the most common mode of public transport.
Bristol has always had a strong devotion to cycling, despite the hilly nature of the city. You’ll find many designated routes to get you to and from work, as well as further afield for those weekend trips.
Bristol Junior Lawyers Division
Bristol JLD promotes the interests of junior lawyers in and around the Bristol region by organising social, networking and educational events. It aims to provide a forum for young lawyers to interact, socialise and support each other as well as encouraging sporting and charitable ventures, interaction with other professionals to improve business links and enhancing the young professional social scene. Membership is free.
Cheltenham & Gloucester JLD
The Cheltenham & Gloucester JLD is a recently re-energised division, which has been mainly centred in Cheltenham, but has plans to expand further into Gloucester. The Cheltenham & Gloucester JLD has been around in various iterations for a few years, but the recently revamped committee is even more dedicated to expanding and making the division as relevant and supportive as possible for its members. The Cheltenham & Gloucester JLD is uniquely placed to help junior lawyers in the local area meet like-minded individuals, who are at similar stages in their careers.
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