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When to apply

Training contract applications should be made two years ahead of your anticipated start date with the firm.

Law students are encouraged to apply in the summer of their penultimate year. If you miss the summer application window, you can apply in the autumn as a finalist or graduate but you will be applying for a later intake year.

Non-law students can apply for training contracts in the autumn as a finalist or graduate. For the purposes of our application process, the 'non-law' intake is for candidates who did not, or will not, graduate with a qualifying law degree in England and Wales and who have completed, or who are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to complete, some or all of the modules of the law conversion course (Post Graduate Diploma in Law - PGDL).

We will begin accepting applications for the 2023 law intake on Tuesday 1 June 2021. Applications will close at 11:59pm (UK time) on Friday 9 July 2021.

We will begin accepting applications for the 2024 non-law intake in autumn 2021.

We encourage applications as early as possible within our application windows. Interviews will be scheduled and training contract offers will be made on a rolling basis. We are therefore unable to guarantee the availability of places as we progress with these interviews.

From time to time, we may have places available to start in an earlier intake than advertised. If you are eligible to start in an earlier intake, you should mention this in your application - this can be discussed during your training contract interview and at point of offer.

What we look for

A law degree is not essential – only about half of our trainees studied law as undergraduates. We aim to employ the brightest minds regardless of what or where they have studied – you will find graduates from 70 universities at Slaughter and May.

Background, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious beliefs and age are all irrelevant to our application process.

We like people with:

  • energy and spark, who can relate to those around them
  • common sense, integrity and drive
  • a range of interests outside of the law
  • a sharp intellect – our work is intellectually demanding so we look for three good A levels (or equivalent) and a good 2:1 in your degree
  • independent thought
  • commercial awareness
  • resolve and judgement
  • an interesting take on things
  • the ability to show grit under pressure
  • a good sense of humour

To thrive here, you will also need enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to accept responsibility.

All applications are considered on their own merits and we encourage you to include details of any mitigating circumstances which may have impacted your academic results. 

We use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System across all our trainee recruitment activity. The system helps us identify high-potential candidates by putting applicants’ grades and achievements in the context of their social and educational background.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted using the online form, which can be accessed here. 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. Every application received is reviewed by our Trainee Recruitment Team. There is no automatic filtering of applications.

Slaughter and May is committed to ensuring that our recruitment processes are barrier-free and as inclusive as possible to everyone. This includes making adjustments for people who have a disability or long-term condition. If you have any questions, or require any adjustments to be made to the application and/or interview process, please contact Grace Powell, Trainee Recruitment Adviser via email or on 020 7090 5324.

For all other application, interview or general queries, please visit the application FAQs page. If you have a question which has not been answered there, please contact the Trainee Recruitment Team via email or on 020 7090 4454. (Enquiries only - we do not accept applications by email).

Application advice

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, Senior Manager – Trainee Recruitment.

We recommend that your CV is no more than 2 sides of A4. The information included should be factual – tell us what you have done, where and when. You should include details of everything you have been involved with, whether or not these activities are related to a career in law. We want to understand your journey and how you spend your time outside of your studies.