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Training contract – September 2026/March 2027 (law and non-law finalists and graduates)
Applications open on 1 September 2023 and the deadline to apply is 30 November 2023.
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.
Applications for our September 2026/March 2027 law intake for penultimate year law students will open in June 2024.
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 and an interest in and commitment to commercial law
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
a global outlook
How to apply
Applications should be submitted using the online form. 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 recruitment.
How to applywww.slaughterandmay.com
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Ms Janine Arnold
Method of applicationOnline 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 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.
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 below:
Winter workshop 2023
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 13 October 2023.
Spring work experience scheme 2024
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.
The scheme will take place in our office.
Our spring scheme is available to law students in the first year of their undergraduate degree or the second year of a four-year course and who are from lower socio-economic/social mobility and/or ethnic minority backgrounds. Applications are open from 2 October 2023 until 5 January 2024.
Summer work experience schemes 2024
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.
The schemes will take place in our office.
Our summer work experience schemes are for penultimate-year students only. Students in the first year of an accelerated two-year undergraduate degree are also eligible to apply.
Applications are open from 1 September 2023 to 8 December 2023.
Spring open days 2024
The aim of our spring 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.
The spring open days take place at our office.
Our spring open days are for law and non-law students in the first year of their undergraduate degree or in the second year of a four-year undergraduate degree.
Applications are open from 1 September 2023 to 8 December 2023.
Virtual insight programme
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.
University visits and virtual presentations: autumn 2023
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 from September to December to provide an insight into the firm. To find out more and to register your place please visit our website. (https://www.slaughterandmay.com/careers/trainee-solicitors/meet-us/)
Please click here to sign up to our mailing list for updates on events and vacancies.
Business services academy 2024
The Slaughter and May business services academy is our new graduate scheme launching in September 2024. This is a two-year programme designed to give a thorough understanding of the breadth of career opportunities available within the business services teams supporting our law firm, and to gain experience in different operational business disciplines, helping you to decide which avenue you would like to focus on wherever your career takes you next.
Training will be provided throughout the programme to help support your development into a well-rounded professional with a broad business skillset. Over a two-year period, you will work with our talented teams from across the business specialisms of people, technology, and clients, with the programme structured to provide you with a fantastically broad experience.
You will learn how each specialism works and more importantly, how they all fit together, developing technical skills and people skills along the way.
For more information and details to apply please visit https://www.slaughterandmay.com/careers/business-services/graduates/business-services-academy/.
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, Australia 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.
SQE and route to qualification
All of our future trainee solicitors now take the SQE path to qualification.
We have collaborated with BPP Law School and five other global law firms (the City Consortium) to create the City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme (‘CCP’). The CCP is a 12-month course which includes SQE1 and SQE2 preparation as well the bespoke Plus Programme which focuses on key areas for our practice, as well as the additional knowledge, skills, and professional behaviours necessary to ensure that you are well prepared to undertake your training contract with us. You can read more about our route to qualification here.
Diversity and inclusion (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.
SQE, GDL and LPC fees plus maintenance grant.
- Corporate & M&A
- Disputes & investigations
- Financial regulation
- Intellectual property/technology
- Employment & incentives
- Real estate
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Commercial
Aviation lawyers provide commercial, regulatory and insurance advice and litigation services to the world's airlines, manufacturers and financiers.
Banking & finance
Sponsored by Milbank LLP. Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Capital markets lawyers work with transactions involving the issue of debt or equity securities to the public or investors.
Company & commercial
Sponsored by Gowling WLG (UK) LLP. Commercial lawyers focus on trade, from commercial agreements about supply, manufacture and distribution to identifying the best routes to market.
Competition & EU law
Sponsored by Ashurst LLP. Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Construction & engineering
Sponsored by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Contentious construction work involves the resolution of disputes while non-contentious work involves drafting and negotiating contracts and advising on projects.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Sponsored by Baker McKenzie. Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves involves advising clients on the tax risks associated with acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
Sponsored by RPC. Commercial litigators represent and advise commercial clients when disputes arise from joint venture projects, civil fraud, commercial and banking transactions, corporate governance, financial services regulation and professional negligence.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Sponsored by Lewis Silkin. Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination complaints, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
Sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright. The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Sponsored by Osborne Clarke LLP. Issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, the demand for global sustainability and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the covid-19 pandemic and various financial scandals, there is always lots going on in this area.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
Sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Insurance and reinsurance is an integral part of commercial activity throughout the world.
Sponsored by Bristows LLP. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for a variety of different rights which protect intellectual creations, such as inventions, brands, designs, and literary and artistic works.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to carry out their responsibilities to the required standard, or they breach a duty of care.
Sponsored by Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP. Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
Phone: 020 7090 4454
Email: [email protected]
|Good A levels and good 2:1 marks at degree level, any discipline
|Fees paid for:
|Has overseas secondments:
- Hong Kong
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Islington Law Centre
- Legal Advice Centres
- Rare Recruitment
- Social Mobility Business Partnership
- The Access Project