Qualified Lawyers

We recruit qualified lawyers throughout the year for most of our practice areas.

Our recruitment process is straightforward and usually involves one or two interviews with two partners. We do not use psychometric testing and try to avoid form filling and formulaic processes.

Our interviews are informal and relaxed conversations intended to allow you to perform to the best of your ability and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Why choose us?

Slaughter and May is a leading international law firm with an unrivalled reputation for excellence.

We offer:

  • a distinctive culture - the absence of billing and time-recorded targets means that our lawyers are always willing to support each other and share expertise: the atmosphere here is friendly, not competitive. There is also a high regard for the individual - our lawyers are free to develop their own practices and to take on as much responsibility as they can handle
  • quality of clients and work - we have an outstanding client list, which includes international companies and institutions at the forefront of commercial and financial developments. This brings an enviable range and quality of work
  • high calibre of people - you will be working alongside some of the brightest legal minds in the world, many of whom are leaders in their chosen fields of practice
  • breadth of experience - our lawyers are multi-specialists: they work on the full range of commercial and financial matters, giving them an unsurpassed breadth of experience
  • global reach - international transactions are central to our practice, so our lawyers work on a global basis and have many opportunities to work abroad
  • excellent training - our comprehensive training programme focuses on a combination of skills and knowledge
Our Culture and Values

Slaughter and May is a partnership: we achieve excellence through collective effort and a willingness to share expertise.

The scope and variety of our work is such that it suits many different personalities, unified by a shared commitment to quality of service and outcome. Throughout the firm there is an underlying sense of pride in who we are and what we do.

The atmosphere here is friendly and supportive - everyone's contribution is valued and we believe strongly in the importance of personal respect. We also believe that people should enjoy their work.

This culture underpins our approach and is integral to our success.

Excellence is deeply ingrained in our culture and absolutely central to everything we do at Slaughter and May. We have a set of core values that, together, allow us to achieve excellence.

These are:

The highest standards
We set exacting standards for our work and our performance. We conduct ourselves with integrity, responsibility and candour.

Independence of thought
We thrive on original thinking and novel approaches. We welcome diversity of experience and different points of view.

Collective endeavour
We are intentionally collaborative and supportive. We encourage personal initiative, yet prize collegiality over competition.

Respect for all
We strive to be fair, considerate and inclusive in all our dealings. We are attentive to others’ needs and mindful of the consequences of our actions.

What we look for

Above all, we are looking for strong interpersonal skills, an ambitious, commercial approach and a commitment to excellence.

We also ask for evidence of a strong intellect (three good A-levels (or equivalent) and either a good 2:1 or a 1st in your first degree) and relevant experience in one or more of our practice areas.

Specific requirements for overseas lawyers

Our London office practises English law but we do recruit qualified lawyers from Scotland, Ireland and other common law jurisdictions whose qualifications and experience give them a transferrable skill set. All overseas recruits complete the Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Scheme (QLTS) after they have joined us - we will meet the costs in full.

If you are not qualified in England and Wales or another common law jurisdiction, we may ask you to undertake a training contract for two years to ensure that you understand our practice and gain a grounding that will help you develop to your full potential. Before beginning your training contract, we require you to complete both the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC) even though this is not an SRA requirement. We will pay your fees for both courses and provide a maintenance grant for the duration of your studies.

If you join us from abroad, we will:

  • obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship for you and assist with other immigration issues as required
  • pay for first flights and an airport pick-up for you and your dependents and three weeks’ accommodation in a serviced apartment
  • offer you a lump sum payment to assist with your other costs
  • assist with general advice on moving to London including estate agents, opening bank accounts and other practical matters


Barristers who have completed the Bar Vocational Course and meet our general criteria are encouraged to apply.

If you have less than three years' experience, we will ask you to complete a training contract - you can apply for this using our trainee online application system.

More experienced barristers should apply as associates and will be asked to complete the QLTS, for which we will meet the costs in full.

Training and Benefits

Across the firm, our qualified lawyers are provided with an outstanding in-house programme of legal and skills training, as well as individual support and professional development guidance where required.

Underpinned by guidance on ethics and compliance, our modular sessions, including partner-led toolkits for newly qualified corporate and finance lawyers, support our multi-specialist approach and develop the technical excellence our associates are known for.

In our regular, topical firm wide programme of seminars, leading lawyers and experts such as barristers and academics are invited to speak on their specialist areas, helping our lawyers build connections and maintain a cutting edge understanding of the law and its application.

Alongside technical legal training, we support our lawyers to develop key business skills. Our comprehensive skills offering ensures our lawyers are more than simply technically excellent; they are also well-rounded professionals who work effectively within teams, balance competing priorities and are able to build and maintain successful client relationships.

Our programmes develop the skills necessary at each career stage, offering practical, relevant guidance during key transition periods, as well as on an ongoing basis. At a junior level, important areas of focus include communicating with impact, persuading and influencing and presenting with confidence. Our leadership programme for senior associates takes an in-depth look at management skills, team dynamics and building client relationships, helping lawyers to hone their own personal leadership style.

Mentoring and coaching also play an important role in the development of our lawyers. Mentoring takes places in various forms; our flagship internal scheme matches associates with partner mentors for guidance and advice, and associates are encouraged to join a number of external initiatives many of which have an inclusion and/or corporate responsibility focus. Coaching is another strong pillar of our developmental approach. Qualified in-house and external coaches work with individuals and teams to enhance performance, communication and team-work and to support career development and wellbeing across all populations within the firm.


How does Slaughter and May differ from other leading City firms?

One of our most distinctive features is our multi-specialist approach: our lawyers are encouraged to maintain a broad diet of work, which not only keeps them stimulated and challenged, but also ensures that our clients receive advice from people able to see the bigger picture. With the help of first-class legal information and other support services, this approach will enable you to undertake varied and interesting work and to mould your practice to suit your own strengths and interests.

What are the people like?

Our lawyers come from many different educational backgrounds and cultures and have a wide variety of outside interests: there is no recognisable Slaughter and May type. Much of our work is at the forefront of financial and commercial developments and this often calls for an original and inventive approach. So, when recruiting, we are looking for people who can demonstrate independent thought and who will bring diverse strengths to our practice.

How will the firm's international strategy affect my workload?

We have an international practice - over 50% of our new clients each year are from overseas. Lawyers in our London office handle the English law aspects of this work and liaise with on the multi-jurisdictional issues. As an associate with us, you could expect an unrivalled global caseload, including international travel where necessary, and will work with colleagues who are among the best lawyers in their own countries. We regularly send associates to our 'Best Friend' firms overseas and encourage relationship-building at all levels through a variety of shared training and social events.

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