Cornish law firm Stephens Scown has scooped six national awards for the quality of its legal training – including being voted number one in the country for ‘client contact’.
The plaudits come in the Lex 100 Student Guide to UK Law Firms, the annual survey of legal trainees that ranks firms based on responses from trainee lawyers.
The survey covers a range of topics, from overall job satisfaction to quality of work, friendliness of the firm and work life balance.
Stephens Scown came first in the country in the client contact award, scoring 9.33 out of 10. The firm was ranked sixth in the entire country for job satisfaction (scoring 9/10), and joint sixth for the quality of work (9/10) it offers its trainees.
Other awards were made in the living up to expectations, work life balance and stress level categories.
Truro-based partner Richard Baker, who heads Stephens Scown’s training programme, said: “This is a tremendous accolade for Stephens Scown and speaks volumes for the quality of our training programme because it’s the trainees themselves who have responded.
“They clearly value the real client contact and quality of work that they are offered during their two-year training programme with Stephens Scown and our very high retention rate – despite recession – shows that we are serious about nurturing home-grown talent.”
When asked why they chose Stephens Scown over other law firms, trainees said it was a combination of ‘a beautiful part of the country to live in and a reputation for excellent training’.
One said: ‘the environment for learning really is first rate. There are constant opportunities to be involved in different types of work’, while another valued ‘working closely with a high-profile client, feeling like a trusted member of the team’.
And the worst thing about the firm? One trainee said: ‘being based in Exeter, when all the best surfing beaches are near Truro…I’m not being facetious, it’s very hard to think of a worst thing.’
Trainees were also asked if Stephens Scown was a famous person, who would it be, to which one response was: ‘Rick Stein. Because he’s ambitious, dedicated to the south west and taking it over step-by-step!’
Stephen Scown’s trainees work across a range of legal areas in the firm’s three offices in Truro, Exeter and St Austell.