Our culture

At Baker McKenzie, we’re committed to nurturing and supporting our people in a personable, open, friendly and diverse environment. We want to make your career journey enjoyable, and we believe that our way of working does just that.


Work to live – not vice versa

We think that people who work as hard as our teams do deserve time to enjoy themselves. That’s why we’ve worked hard to create a social and inclusive work environment that recognises the need to wind down, let off steam and have some fun.

Sport:

We have active football, mixed hockey, cricket and netball teams, and also participate in an annual Rugby Sevens event. Our lunchtime and evening yoga classes cater for all levels and we also provide subsidised membership to a number of health clubs near the office. You can also request a subsidy for membership to a gym closer to home.

But to us, even sports are a chance to show our Firm’s stance on inclusion and diversity issues.

During tournaments our rugby teams swap their usual attire for a rainbow kit to show their support of the LGBT community and to endorse the Firm's ‘not neutral’ stance on LGBT issues.

Our Rugby Sevens team swapped their laces for Stonewall Rainbow Laces and went on to provide all players, across all participating teams, with a set to wear while playing, demonstrating support across the legal sector.

Social:

Everyone at our London office is invited to our bi-monthly themed Friday Night Drinks event, arranged by our Trainee Social Committee. We host plenty of events throughout the year including the office-wide, black-tie Christmas party at a prestigious London venue, the renowned Trainee Revue and regular departmental drinks.

Our people are dedicated and ambitious. But there’s more to life than just work. We believe that the key to having the most amazing people is making sure they also have enough time for their families, their hobbies and their interests. To be an effective team we think it’s important for us to get to know each other not just as colleagues but as people too.

There are plenty of social events arranged throughout the year, including BakerMingle which is an opportunity for the whole London office to get together.

But ask anyone, the highlight of the year is probably our famous black-tie Christmas party, which brings the Firm together for an unforgettable evening.

“Because Vacation Scheme and Training Contract intakes are small, you get to know the Graduate Recruitment & Development team and the Trainees well. You don’t have to worry about being just another face or number – everyone has the chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.”

ELLIE AUSTIN WILLIAMS

Trainee

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Inclusion & diversity

We strive to maintain an inclusive environment for all our people, regardless of age, gender, race, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, HIV status and socio-economic background.

We take pride in being one of the very few law firms to have a dedicated Diversity Partner and we’re one of just eleven Social Mobility Business Compact Champions in the UK, which has seen us taking a lead role in improving social mobility in the UK. We were one of the first two organisations in any industry to become Contextual Recruitment Pioneers and to introduce name-blind recruitment.

We are dedicated supporters of equal rights. That’s why we’ve been members of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme since 2006. We rank 11th in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index. In 2016 we received Global Stonewall Champion status and Senior Inclusion & Diversity Manager, Justine Thompson was named Stonewall’s Workplace Ally of the Year.

We have a number of staff networks – all of which actively encourage Trainee involvement:

BakerWellbeing focuses on Health and Wellbeing. We strive to reduce the stigma associated with mental health through our involvement in the This is Me in the City campaign. We were one of the first firms in the City to launch a Cancer Support Group, which acts as a forum for any staff who are affected by cancer and we are members of Great with Disability and the Business Disability Forum.

BakerWomen acts as a think tank around gender diversity issues and has introduced initiatives aimed at supporting Baker McKenzie’s Global Aspirational Targets for gender, which focus on increasing female representation in partner and leadership roles. Initiatives include a “Mentoring Circles” programme, our EMEA BakerWomen webinar series and our range of Internal Networking events.


“I love that Baker McKenzie is truly diverse. We have a culture where differences are valued and people are encouraged to be themselves – I think that makes for a unique professional environment.”

Justine Thompson

Inclusion & Diversity Manager

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BakerLGBT/Allies take an active stance to support LGBT equality. In London, over one third of staff are members of our LGBT & Allies network. We are active supporters of Stonewall, Pride in London and DiversCity – the legal industry initiative aimed at LGBT undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in law. Baker McKenzie has a global LGBT policy which includes a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

BakerLGBT/Allies provides a network for LGBT staff and straight allies and hosts a range of events, seminars and initiatives aimed at creating an environment where LGBT staff feel comfortable being themselves at work.

BakerOpportunity aims to improve access to the firm and to the legal industry to those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We are a member of PRIME, the legal industry commitment to provide fair access to quality work experience.

We work with the Social Mobility Foundation, Aspiring Solicitors, City Solicitors Horizons and Career Ready in addition to partnering with three sixth form colleges to broaden the aspirations of young people at an earlier stage in their education. BakerOpportunity were actively involved in the firm's decision to use Rare’s Contextual Recruitment technology which enables us to consider academic and personal achievements in context.

BakerEthnicity was formed in 2006 as the Firm's very first diversity focus group. The group works with a range of organisations including the Black Lawyers Directory Foundation, City Law for Ethnic Minorities and the Black British Business Awards. We have four key focuses; Recruitment, Career Development, Client Engagement and Creating a Community. We aim to celebrate the rich cultural diversity across the office and create an environment where the growing number of BAME trainees and associates in our London office can thrive and achieve their potential.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

As a firm, we are committed to giving our time, resources and skills to our local community. Our CSR programme falls into three main areas:

Charitable giving

The London office elects two main charities every year. Over the last two years we are delighted to have raised over £60,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Richard House Children's Hospice.

What’s more, our Volunteer Day Scheme gives all staff the opportunity to take paid time off to work with charities during office hours. Over the last year our people refurbished classrooms, fundraised events for a wide range of charities, participated in a primary school reading schemes, served lunches to homeless guests with the Connection at St Martin's and held citizenship lessons through the Lawyers in Schools programme.

Pro bono

We consider pro bono work a fundamental professional responsibility of our lawyers. Our major pro bono clients include NSPCC, Save the Children, Amicus, Cancer Research UK and the UN High Commission for Refugees.

Being part of a global law firm gives us exciting opportunities to get involved in cross-border projects, and we have recently worked with the Consortium for Street Children. In addition our legal staff also advise individuals at a Legal Advice Centre in Bethnal Green on issues ranging from debt and consumer issues to property disputes.

Sustainability

We believe we have a duty to minimise the negative impact of our business on the environment and have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. These include eliminating GM products, maintaining an extensive recycling scheme and establishing a green roof which absorbs rainwater and creates a habitat for wildlife, including the rare Black Redstart.