Training contract – September 2019

Slaughter and May is one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.  We advise on high-profile and often landmark international transactions. Our excellent and 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 practice areas including Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate and Commercial, Financing, Tax, Competition, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Pensions and Employment, Financial Regulation, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.

There are clear differences between us and other global law firms.

At Slaughter and May 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.  We think that by broadening your training and experience, you will be a better lawyer.  We have built a reputation for delivering innovative 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.

Nearly all of our work has an international element and we have offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing.  In other jurisdictions we prefer to remain agile by leading unified, hand-picked teams of lawyers from market-leading law firms.  All the firms we work with across the world have a reputation for excellence and independence that mirrors our own.

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 are 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.

During the two-year training contract, trainees turn their hand to a broad range of work, taking an active role in four, five or six legal groups while sharing an office with a partner or experienced associate. Most trainees spend at least two six-month seats in our market leading corporate, commercial and financing groups.  Subject to gaining some contentious experience, they choose how to spend the remaining time.

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. Previous secondments have included Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo and Toronto.

We have approximately 80 vacancies for trainee solicitors each year. Starting salaries begin at £43,000 for the first year of training, and rise to £48,000 in the second year, newly qualified salaries start at £78,000. We look for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds with a good 2:1 at undergraduate level from any university, and take an equal mix of law and non-law graduates.

The Training Contract 

We welcome applications from both law and non-law students.


All future trainees must study the Accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School in Holborn, London. Together with four other City law firms and BPP, we have designed a specific course to give our students a thorough training in the law relevant to the commercial transactions on which we advise.

The course is run over 7½ months (as opposed to the traditional 10 months) and is split into two stages:

First stage:

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Property Law and Practice
  • Civil Litigation

Second stage:

  • Corporate Transactions
  • Debt Finance
  • Equity Finance

It also covers key legal skills such as drafting, writing and research.

The LPC is the start of a trainee’s career with the firm. The course gives you the key skills you need to develop into a thoroughly rounded trainee and, ultimately, an excellent lawyer. There are two LPC intakes each year in February and August. We will pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant.


Those who have not studied law at undergraduate level will also be required to study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at BPP. We have a strong preference for this to be studied at the Waterloo branch of BPP in London. The GDL covers the core components of a law degree:

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Equity and Trusts Law
  • Land Law
  • EU Law
  • the English Legal System

We also ask all of our future trainees to attend the GDL Extra Programme and the optional skills training run as part of the GDL. We will pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant.

If you would like to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, but have not completed your undergraduate law degree here, you will also need to study some or all modules of the GDL before commencing the LPC. You are advised to contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority before submitting an application to find out which GDL modules you need to undertake.

What we look for 

We aim to employ the brightest minds regardless of what or where they have studied – you will find graduates from over 84 universities at Slaughter and May.

Background, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious beliefs and age are all irrelevant to our application process.

A law degree is not essential – only about half of our trainees studied law as undergraduates.

We like people with:

  • energy and spark who can relate to those around them
  • common sense, integrity and drive
  • a range of interests outside of the law
  • a sharp intellect – our work is intellectually demanding so the minimum standard we look for is three strong A levels (or equivalent) and either a high 2:1 or a 1st in your first degree
  • independent thought
  • commercial awareness
  • resolve and judgement
  • an interesting take on things
  • the ability to show grit under pressure
  • a good sense of humour

To thrive here, you will also need enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to accept responsibility.

All future trainees must study the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in Holborn, London. Those who have not studied law at university will also be required to study the Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP. Find out more about routes to the training contract.

How to apply

Applications for our 2019 intake are now open

We welcome applications from everyone who meets the minimum academic standards we set, irrespective of your background or what or where you have studied.

Applications should be made through our online application system.*

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a short form and attach a copy of your covering letter and CV. Your covering letter should be no more than one side of A4 and addressed to Janine Arnold, Trainee Recruitment Manager.

We will also ask you to complete an equal opportunity and diversity form to help us monitor the effectiveness of our equal opportunity and diversity policy. This information is used for monitoring purposes only and will not be used as part of our selection process.

Before applying, you may wish to find out more about the qualities we look for and when to apply. You might also find it helpful to read some application FAQs.

* Slaughter and May is committed to ensuring that our recruitment processes are barrier-free and as inclusive as possible to everyone. This includes making adjustments for people who have a disability or long-term condition. If you have any questions, or require any adjustments to be made to the application process or interview process, please contact Janine Arnold, Trainee Recruitment Manager, via email or on 020 7090 5049.

For all other application, interview or general queries, please contact the Trainee Recruitment Team via emailor on 020 7090 4454.

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