Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May was set-up in 1889 by two former Ashurst associates with the same first name. The firm has never looked back from then onwards. The firm is one of the fabled 'magic circle', a 4-strong group of the most prolific and profitable firms in the UK.
Unlike its peer firms in the magic circle, or other top-tier firms, Slaughter and May does not have a large global network of offices. Outside of the UK, offices are to be found only in Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. Instead, the firm has a substantial alliance partner network with some of the best legal stars across Europe and elsewhere. Put simply, one of the biggest names in the business.
A blue-chip law firm in business for over 120 years, Slaughter and May has a highly enviable portfolio of work and a sterling reputation in the market. Extremely profitable with revenue continuously on the rise, working at S&M is a sure-fire ticket to success and glory.
The firm has a world class training programme carried out by most of the brightest minds in the legal profession. Salaries are extremely generous right from training to qualification. Also, as opposed to many of its contempories, it is the only firm where chances of making equity partner are very bright. The rider of course is that you have to be really, really good!
It is not a lifestyle firm, you are there to work; to do it well and do so consistently. There are no specific billing targets assigned. The theory is you will spend time as is required at work to finish what is on hand, but if you're done, there's no point hanging around. Put simply, a training contract with Slaughter is one of the most coveted positions in the city.
Slaughter and May’s practice is spread over a wide industrial sector base including transport, consumer retail, media, natural resources, energy, life sciences, financial institutions, real estate, technology, telecommunications, travel and resource management among many (many!) other things.
Some of the world’s best companies and organizations choose the firm for legal and related business services. Among them are Barclays, American Express, Unilever, Ladbrokes, Diageo, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, Shell, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Corus, Cadbury Schweppes and GlaxoSmithKline. The firm is considered “best in class” for its M&A, banking litigation and corporate practices.
The firm looks for candidates with an outstanding academic background – minimum requirements are three high grades at A-level and a high 2:1. A reference from a tutor or from a current/previous employer or a professional referee is also required.
Candidates should be smart, commercially aware and able to work very well in large teams. You must also be enthusiastic, ambitious and hard-working, show initiative and be eager to embrace responsibilities. In summary, you will have to be an exceptional candidate!
The training programme is a seamless blend of formal classroom training and practical work experience. The first two weeks of the contract covers general orientation of the firm’s work, systems and resources available for various activities and general office and management skills. Seats in different practice areas can be for three or six months. Corporate, commercial and finance are compulsary seats, but all others can be selected by the trainee.
Specialist seats are available in real estate, tax, intellectual property, IT, environment, energy and employment. There are very few openings for overseas placements since the firm has only three other offices outside the UK, but a trainee could get seconded to one of Slaughter and May’s alliance partners in other countries.
In each seat, trainees will sit with an experienced solicitor or partner, actively working on tasks relating to the supervisors workload. Work can include drafting agreements, visiting courts for minor filings, attending meetings with clients and carrying out research. Progress is reviewed every month by a partner, and a more formal appraisal is conducted at the end of the seat.
Other classroom training throughout the contract period will cover legal and technical skills, developments and changes in law and commerce, negotiation & presentation skills, advocacy and client management.
The firm conducts two summer vacation programmes; one Easter and one winter programme each year. The training schedule will cover details on working in a City firm, Slaughter and May’s profile and work, seminars and workshops on legal and other skills, group exercises, case studies and mock-exercises. Trainees will also get some hands-on experience in real casework and will conduct research on relevant subjects.
Vacation scheme trainees will receive a maintenance allowance of £275 per week. The firm will fully sponsor tuition and examination fees for the GDL and LPC courses and will provide an annual maintenance allowance for the duration of both courses.
Trainee salaries for the two years are £38,000 and £43,000 respectively. Annual benefits include pension scheme, interest-free season ticket loans, health checks, personal accident cover, subsidised gym and restaurant, concierge service, a confidential employee helpline and childcare vouchers.
The selection process for winter and Easter vacation schemes is based on application only, while the summer scheme selection will include an interview as well. Applications for the summer scheme can be submitted between 1 December and 23 January, for winter scheme between 1 September and 17 October and for the Easter scheme between 3 November and 19 December.
There are no deadlines for submission of applications for training contracts; you can apply at any time throughout the year. The selection process consists only of an interview.
London UK Office
020 7600 1200
020 7090 5000
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