After studying philosophy at Durham University and teaching as part of the Teach First scheme, Chris Marlor became a trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May
How did you get your job?
The application and interview process at Slaughter and May is still fairly straightforward. After submitting a cover letter and CV, the next steps are to come to the office to write an answer to a commercial problem scenario, be interviewed by two partners and have a tour of the office by a current trainee.
What's a typical day like as a trainee?
Having sat in finance, financial regulation and corporate seats, I find that the work in each seat is different one week to the next. So far I have drafted clauses in transaction documents, managed elements of transactions, produced research notes on interesting areas of law and attended training sessions.
I have been fortunate to have worked on the closings of several headline-grabbing deals. When a deal is about to close, you will find that email volume increases hugely which you will need to monitor, last-minute changes are requested in documents which have to be processed and you get to meet with clients when finally executing documents. Being organised, communicating clearly, working as part of a team and keeping calm under pressure is key. Despite the pressure, I have found these processes rewarding as you get given responsibility for managing parts of the transaction and feel that you have helped to influence the outcome.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the intellectual challenge. You are often asked to research points because there is no simple answer. Producing research involves thinking about the law, your client's commercial position and then how to present this in a format which is most suitable to them.
When working on a corporate reorganisation recently, I enjoyed the complexity involved in drafting documents, but you really need to understand the structure of the transaction. Having to think in a structured way, ensuring my drafting complied with company law and taking commercial concerns into consideration was fascinating. People are very helpful and I enjoy being able to discuss the work I produce so I can benefit from others' experience and improve as a lawyer myself.