"The culture of the firm works into the ethos of the firm, in that it… obviously there’s no compromise on intellectual ability or your work performance standard but, having said that, there’s still a very... there’s a system of values that people seem to follow whereby no matter how stressed the situation, no matter how time-pressured the situation, nobody ever compromises on their interpersonal relationships with people – everybody is still completely pleasant to work with. On at least two occasions that I can think of off the top of my head, I’ve had a partner either come into my room or phone me to check that I’m OK, to check that I’m managing my workload and to see if there’s anything they can do to help me out. So to feel that you have that support behind you makes the job an awful lot easier."
Sarah: "I think what stands out for me about the firm’s culture is that it’s very cohesive, very collaborative. Everybody’s striving to achieve the same thing and that makes it a really comfortable place in which to work."
Robert: "Building on from that, we don’t have things like hourly targets for people, so what we are trying to do, genuinely, is to do the best job we can for the client. If you have a question, if you want to discuss something, if there’s an interesting area, people will be available to discuss that. So I think the culture is very, very open. You can walk into anybody’s office, ask any questions you like and people will be willing and interested in discussing with you."
"I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. While it is demanding and you do work hard, it is very interesting and the people are very open, supportive and friendly. It really isn’t the big, scary, intimidating, old-school law firm that you might have expected if you were to just read the press and to listen to the stereotypes, so it’s been very welcome and refreshing in that regard."
"I’ve found it to be a very friendly firm, people really do look out for you. They look out to try to ensure that you are well looked after and there’s a lot of support for you in everything you do. Whether it’s in the work side or if it’s the social side, or if it’s pastoral care… there are people to ensure that you are happy and well trained as well. And those things I think have made it a very good experience for me."
"It is a supportive peer group that you have at Slaughter and May and they’re people who you will turn to throughout your training contract. I send round emails to my friends at the firm with stupid questions that I don’t want to ask my supervisor and, you know, they will quite often be things that someone else will have done or an experience that someone else will have had and people tend to be very helpful about giving you a helping hand if they’ve been in that position before. And I think that’s why the peer group works so well here because generally someone else has had the experience that you’ve had before and they’re willing to help you through it if you find yourself stuck. So it is a very supportive group."
"So, the expectations when I turned up at the firm: I was absolutely terrified and pretty daunted, I guess, on day one. But it was good because I’d met a lot of the people who were going to be my training contract intake here on the LPC and so that certainly helped. And I think that’s one of the main things that I’ve taken away from the beginning here is just that the levels of support that are provided to you as a trainee have been really good; not only from, like, the various training that we have but, also, the fact that you’re here with your friends from the LPC. And everyone throughout the building is always… knows it’s your first time in an office, and that that can be quite daunting, and, so, they really do help you out and get settled in. And I’m having quite a good time so far."
"I think Slaughter and May does have a reputation for being quite a serious firm and quite formal. But I think we are serious about work but that’s about it: you can just sort of be yourself here. I think people here have got a lot of other interests in their lives and have got a sense of humour, so you can just sort of relax and be yourself. I would admit that I was slightly worried that this place might not be for me, that it might be a bit stuffy, but I’m very happy – it’s not really that way at all."