Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May has a global reputation for providing outstanding legal services. The strength of our practice is reflected in the multi-jurisdictional nature of our work and our international client base. The firm is a trusted adviser to some of the largest companies in the world, advising on complex cross-border deals every single day.
We advise on high-profile and often landmark international transactions. Our varied client list ranges from governments to entrepreneurs, from retailers to entertainment companies and from conglomerates to Premier League football clubs.
We are a full service law firm to corporate clients and have leading practitioners across a wide range of areas including Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate and Commercial, Financing, Tax, Competition, Disputes and Investigations, Real Estate, Pensions and Employment, Financial Regulation, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.
In order to offer the best possible service for our clients, we harness the latest market developments in legal technology and innovation. Our forward thinking, innovative approach to legal services complements the best in class advice on which our reputation is built.
Diversity and Inclusion is an integral part of how we do things as a firm. We believe that a supportive and inclusive workplace drives collaboration and enhances business performance. We are looking to employ the brightest minds regardless of what or where they studied. Traditional approaches to D&I are often skewed towards initiatives helping diverse individuals to “fit in” and succeed; we focus on examining and adjusting the system for greater acceptance of different leadership styles and ways of working.
A world of difference
There are clear differences between Slaughter and May and other global law firms.
We train each of our lawyers to be a multi-specialist, equipped to advise on a broad range of legal matters which at other firms would be handled by a number of different lawyers. This is hard work but our lawyers say it makes for a far more fulfilling career. It provides challenge and interest while allowing lawyers to develop deeper relationships with clients, because they get to know their businesses better. This enables them to deliver innovative solutions to difficult problems by combining experience gained on one type of transaction to solve problems in another.
We think that by broadening your training and experience, you will be a better lawyer. We have built a reputation for delivering pioneering solutions to difficult problems. This reputation has been earned because each of our lawyers advises on broad legal areas, combining experience gained on one type of transaction to solve problems in another. In this way, our lawyers have a varied and interesting workload and ample opportunities to develop close relationships with clients.
Much of our work has an international element and on average we work with more than 200 law firms across 100 countries annually. Our work is international and cross-border in nature; we go where our clients go. We never compromise on the quality and consistency for which we are widely recognised. Our approach is shaped by the fundamental principle that complex transactions require first-class legal expertise rooted in a deep knowledge of local practice, procedures and culture.
At Slaughter and May we also take a different approach to time; there are no set billing or time targets. Some ideas take a matter of seconds but can save companies millions of pounds a year. The type of work we do is not always measurable in minutes. In this way, our lawyers are free to work collaboratively, sharing expertise and knowledge, so that they can concentrate on what matters most – the quality of the work and client service.
The Training Contract
During the two-year training contract, trainees turn their hand to a broad range of work. In each seat you will share an office with a partner or associate (your ‘supervisor’) who will guide you and ensure that you are actively involved in their work and the work of the group. A partner in your group will regularly meet with you to discuss your progress and your supervisor will give you a full review at the end of each seat. You will also receive regular informal feedback. These opportunities provide a forum for you to discuss your progress and how to develop your legal knowledge, skills and experience.
Shortly after joining the firm you will be allocated a continuity partner. The partner will be someone from a group outside of the seats you are due to sit in during your training contract, who will support you during your time as a trainee solicitor. Continuity partners are helpful in providing guidance and promoting your training contract experience.
Our overseas offices and close working relationships with market-leading law firms in other jurisdictions mean there are opportunities for trainees to apply for a secondment in their second year. Recent trainee secondment destinations include: US (NYC), France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands. Spain, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. We also offer some exciting opportunities for client secondments in and around London that eligible trainees can apply for. Secondments are a great opportunity to further understand the ways in which law firms operate and how we support clients.
Trainees are also encouraged to understand advances in the legal industry, and possibly even help to shape them, by joining our Innovation Network which now has over 250 members. Challenging the way we work through open-mindedness, diversity and creativity can have an enormous impact on results for our clients, our efficiency, and our wellbeing.
Work Experience opportunities
We offer open days, workshops and work experience schemes to enable you to gain an insight into life as a commercial lawyer. Full details of these opportunities can be found on our website.
Business Services Academy 2024
The Slaughter and May Business Services Academy is our new graduate scheme launching in September 2024. This is a two-year programme designed to give a thorough understanding of the breadth of career opportunities available within the Business Services teams supporting our law firm, and to gain experience in different operational business disciplines, helping you to decide which avenue you would like to focus on wherever your career takes you next.
Training will be provided throughout the programme to help support your development into a well-rounded professional with a broad business skillset. Over a two-year period, you will work with our talented teams from across the business specialisms of People, Technology, and Clients, with the programme structured to provide you with a fantastically broad experience.
You will learn how each specialism works and more importantly, how they all fit together, developing technical skills and people skills along the way.
For more information and details to apply please visit here
What do we look for?
Our trainees come from a range of universities – it is the quality of the candidate, not the university that is important to us. We like people with:
- a sharp intellect
- independent thought and curiosity
- commercial awareness and an interest in and commitment to commercial law
- energy, spark and commitment
- the ability to relate to others
- common sense and judgement
- a range of interests outside of the law
- an interesting take on things
- resolve and resilience
- a good sense of humour
- a willingness to take on responsibility
- a global outlook
We have approximately 95 vacancies for trainee solicitors each year. We look for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds with a good 2:1 at undergraduate level from any university, and take law and non-law graduates. We use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System across all our trainee recruitment activity. The system helps us to identify high potential candidates by putting applicants’ grades and achievements in the context of their social and educational background.
Applications should be submitted using the online form. You will be asked to provide some personal details (including a full breakdown of all your examination results) and to attach your cover letter and CV. Your cover letter should tell us about you, why you are interested in a career in law and why you are applying to Slaughter and May. You should also include any other information which you think may be relevant to your application. Please ensure that your cover letter is no longer than one side of A4 and address it to Janine Arnold, Head of Recruitment.
We encourage candidates to submit their application as early as possible during an application window. Training contract offers will be made on a rolling basis. We are unable to guarantee the availability of places as we progress with these interviews.
- Training contract – September 2026/March 2027 (Law and Non-Law Finalists and Graduates): 1 September 2023 to 30 November 2023
- Winter workshops 2023: 1 September 2023 to 13 October 2023
- Spring work experience scheme 2024: 2 October 2023 to 5 January 2024
- Summer work experience scheme 2024: 1 September 2023 to 8 December 2023
- Spring open days 2024: 2 October 2023 to 5 January 2024
- Virtual vacation scheme (ongoing)
University visits and virtual presentations: Autumn 2023
We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting in-person events at a number of UK universities and running a variety of virtual presentations from September to December to provide an insight into the firm. To find out more and to register your place please visit our website.
Please click here to sign up to our mailing list for updates on events and vacancies.
SQE and route to qualification
All of our future trainee solicitors now take the SQE path to qualification.
We have collaborated with BPP Law School and 5 other global law firms (the City Consortium) to create the City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme (‘CCP’). The CCP is a 12-month course which includes SQE1 and SQE2 preparation as well the bespoke Plus Programme which focuses on key areas for our practice, as well as the additional knowledge, skills, and professional behaviours necessary to ensure that you are well prepared to undertake your training contract with us. You can read more about our route to qualification here.