Magic Circle law firms

  • Last updated Jul 27, 2016 5:00:51 PM
  • By Simi Gupta, Law Student, University of Hertfordshire

Almost every law student I know would jump at the chance to work for a Magic Circle law firm. What’s the attraction and what does the term ‘Magic Circle’ actually mean?

The Magic Circle is not just the UK

Across the globe, other countries have their own Magic Circle. South American law firms are known as the ‘Big Five’, top tier Canadian law firms are called the ‘Seven Sisters’, and in New York they’re either known as ‘White Shoe’ firms or ‘Charmed Circle’. But what about the UK?

UK’s Magic Circle (MC) comprises leading and renowned law firms based in the heart of London. Currently, there are five MC firms: Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen and Overy, and Slaughter and May.

They are all highly reputable law firms but extremely competitive to get a training contract with.

What's so special about Magic Circle law firms?

So why do law graduates dream of working for an MC law firm? Is it due to the high salary, reputation or expertise? The answer could be that it may be due to all three!

Being an MC lawyer involves challenging work with high profile clients, something which many law graduates find exhilarating, exciting and extremely motivating. This is what Magic Circle law firms look for in a potential legal trainee: ambition!

Not only are these firms based in the heart of London, but they enable qualified lawyers or trainees to make and get the most out of their career. Many lawyers and trainees have the privilege of working internationally, giving them the chance to travel and experience law abroad. 

How do I join a Magic Circle law firm?

If you’re an aspiring MC lawyer, get involved!  Apply for vacation schemes and attend workshops, insight days or talks.

Getting a training contract with an MC law firm is a brilliant achievement, and it’s fantastic to hear that law students out there are striving for the best.

If you want to work for a Magic Circle firm, you’ll need the passion, drive and, yes, the academics to have a fighting chance. It’s difficult and you won’t get a foot in the door unless you put in the hard work.

If you're currently on the hunt for a Training Contract or Vacation Scheme, head over to our Law Jobs section.

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