About Slaughter and May
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, Disputes and Investigations, Real Estate, Pensions and Employment, Financial Regulation, Information Technology and Intellectual Property.
Clients need us to ensure that the service we offer is cutting edge, both in terms of harnessing latest market developments, such as legal tech, as well as the quality of our advice. We are committed to a forward thinking, innovative approach to legal service delivery to complement the best in class, business focused advice on which our reputation is built.
We take great store in drawing strength from diversity. With 147 different degree courses from 70 different universities and 45 nationalities represented among our lawyers, our culture is extremely broad.
A world of difference
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.
Much of our work has an international element and in 2019 we worked with over 225 law firms in more than 80 jurisdictions. 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 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, taking an active role in four, five or six legal groups while sharing an office with a partner or experienced associate. All 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. Recent trainee secondment destinations include: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands. Spain, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, India, Russia, Hong Kong and the US.
Trainees are also encouraged to understand advances in the legal industry, and possibly even help to shape them, by joining our Innovation Network. The Network has over 200 members including an online forum for publishing thought and insight pieces, and for engaging in debate. 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.
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
- 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
We have approximately 80 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 an equal mix of 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, which can be accessed online. 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, Senior Manager – Trainee Recruitment.
We encourage candidates to submit their application as early as possible during an application window. Interviews will be scheduled and 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.