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Slaughter and May

95 vacancies
182 trainees
110 partners
1305 staff
The firm has a global reputation for providing outstanding legal services. We advise on high-profile and often landmark international transactions.
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Meet the Lawyer | Claire Cooke - Slaughter and May

Meet Claire Cooke, partner at Slaughter and May. She offers a detailed insight into her time at the magic circle law firm, from starting as a trainee to being promoted to a partner in our latest Meet the Lawyer video.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Slaughter and May.

More info

Training contract – September 2025/March 2026 (law and non-law finalists and graduates)

Applications open on 1 September 2022 and the deadline to apply is 30 November 2022.

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.

What 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

 - integrity

 - 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

How to apply

Applications should be submitted using the online form, which can be accessed via the link below: 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 trainee recruitment.

Applications to

Ms Janine Arnold

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • HR-led interview
  • Partner interview
  • Written exercise

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 (D&I) 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.

Winter workshop 2022

The aim of the winter workshop is to give finalists and graduates the opportunity to experience what life as a trainee solicitor would be like.

During the two-day workshop, you will hear from trainees, associates and partners who will give you an insight into some of the types of work our lawyers do every day. You will also have the opportunity to complete some typical trainee tasks and take part in an interactive case study.

At the end of the winter workshop, you will be offered the chance to apply for a training contract. 

The winter workshops is available for law and non-law finalists and graduates and the deadline to apply is Friday 14 October 2022.

Spring work experience scheme 2023

The aim of our spring work experience scheme is to provide an insight into what a career in commercial law entails to help you make career decisions on a more informed basis and to better prepare you for future applications.

During the one-week scheme, your time will be split between sharing an office with an associate and taking part in training sessions and skills workshops to help you develop your understanding of the work of a City law firm and build your commercial awareness. You will also be given advice on applications and interviews to help you with future applications.

Successful applicants will also benefit from an ongoing ‘buddy’ relationship following the scheme to provide support with the summer scheme application/interview process in your penultimate year.

Our Spring scheme is available to law students in their first year of undergraduate study. Applications are open from Monday 3 October 2022 – Friday 16 December 2022. Offers will not be made until after the closing date.

Summer work experience scheme 2023

We run three work experience schemes each summer. 

During the three-week scheme, you will share an office with an associate in one of our legal groups. The associate will involve you as much as possible in their work. There will also be a trainee solicitor assigned to you. The trainee will help you to settle in and will also be available throughout your stay to answer any questions and assist with any tasks you may be given.

As well as getting involved in legal work and conducting hands-on legal research, you will take part in training, workshops and interactive case studies. There will also be social activities arranged to give you opportunities to talk with partners, associates and trainees outside the office.

At the end of the summer scheme, you will be offered the chance to interview for a training contract.

Our summer work experience schemes are for penultimate year undergraduate students (law and non-law.) Applications are open from Thursday 1 September 2022 – Friday 9 December 2022. We encourage applications as early as possible within this application window. Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

First year open days 2023

The aim of our first year open days is to provide an insight into the legal profession in general and more specifically the work of a City law firm. During the day, you will hear about a recent transaction and be given advice on applications and interviews to help you with future applications.

We are running three open days in 2023: Tuesday 4 April 2023, Wednesday 12 April 2023 and Wednesday 19 April 2023.

Our first-year open days are open to law and non-law students in their first year of undergraduate study. Applications are open from Monday 3 October 2022 – Friday 16 December 2022. Offers will not be made until after the closing date.

University visits and virtual presentations: October and November 2022

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 throughout October and November 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.

Virtual insight scheme

In this programme, you will be introduced to some of the types of work our trainees and lawyers do every day. The programme encourages the development of important skills and commercial awareness which will give you a better understanding of what a lawyer does and what a career at Slaughter and May entails. 

Our programme is open to all students – no legal knowledge or previous work experience is required. Tasks one to four cover aspects of a fictional transaction. Task five is a typical trainee task – as a trainee you can expect to be pulled in to assist on other matters at short notice!

To find out more please visit our website.

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, 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.

Business service opportunities

If you are interested in joining Slaughter and May but are not looking to qualify as a solicitor, there are opportunities to join one of our Business Services teams on a graduate scheme.

Slaughter and May are looking to recruit talented individuals to join the third cohort of our Business Development Academy and Legal Operations Academy in September 2023.

The Business Development Academy is a two-year programme designed to give you a thorough understanding of business development and experience in different marketing-related disciplines. 

The Legal Operations Academy is designed to give a thorough understanding of the various legal operations roles within an elite law firm, providing exposure to disciplines such as knowledge, innovation, legal project management, process improvement and business intelligence. You will also have the opportunity to experience these disciplines from the point of view of a client and our lawyers through the various secondments available. 

Start your career with us and you'll work alongside some of the world’s best lawyers and the most astute professionals across the Business Services teams, who will challenge and stimulate you to be your best whilst working together, growing and developing our fantastic client relationships. It’s a superb way to build your career in an environment which is truly supportive.

Both programmes are supported by a range of coaching and training, all designed to support your professional development on your journey to becoming a well-rounded professional with a broad business skillset.

Applications open in November 2022 and more information can be found on our website

D&I is an integral part of how we do things as a firm. We believe that an inclusive workplace drives collaboration and enhances business performance.

Traditional approaches to D&I are often skewed towards initiatives designed to help diverse individuals better ‘fit in’ and succeed. We focus on examining and adjusting the system for greater acceptance of different leadership styles and ways of working.

Our people are drawn from different backgrounds and have different viewpoints, which enables us to collaborate to find innovative solutions for our clients. This is why we aim to attract, recruit, develop and retain a diverse pipeline of talent.

It’s about creating an environment where everyone can feel valued, included and able to be themselves.

For more information please click here.

GDL and LPC fees plus maintenance grant.

  • Corporate
  • Commercial
  • Financing
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

One Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8YY
Phone: 020 7090 4454
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 100
Minimum qualification: Good A levels and good 2.1 marks at degree level, any discipline
Start salary: £50,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Copenhagen
  • Dubai
  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • Helsinki
  • Madrid
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Oslo
  • Paris
  • Singapore
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
  • Washington DC
  • London
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Hong Kong
  • Amicus
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Islington Law Centre
  • Legal Advice Centres
  • Excellerators
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • The Access Project
  • upReach Law Springboard