Summary of the job roleSlaughter 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.
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 111 different degree courses from 83 different universities and 31 nationalities represented among our lawyers, our culture is extremely broad.
How you'll expect to spend your dayA word 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 2017 we worked in more than 130 countries. 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 Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington.
We have approximately 80 vacancies for trainee solicitors each year. Starting salaries begin at £45,000 for the first year of training, and rise to £51,000 in the second 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.
Good A levels and good 2.1 marks at undergraduate degree level (or equivalent)
Good to have
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
Continue reading to learn what it's like to work at Slaughter and May
Life at Slaughter and May for graduates
Our aim is to support new talent in all forms of media. Whether you’re a blogger, vlogger, artist, journalist or photographer, we have a programme to help you.
The future is bloody scary, but we want to alleviate some of that fear by helping you build a foundation of work outside of university and school; our programmes will give you the structure needed to help you create an impressive portfolio of work, secure placements with industry partners and basically ensure your CV stands out when graduation comes along (and it happens faster than you think).