Work experience opportunities

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University students/graduates

If you are at university, or have graduated, and are considering a career as a City lawyer and would like to learn more about training at Slaughter and May, there are many opportunities for you to meet us, either at one of our events or through an open day, work experience scheme or workshop at our London office.

1st year open days

The aim of our 1st year open days is to provide an insight into the legal profession in general and more specifically the work of a City law firm. During the day, you will hear about a recent transaction and be given advice on applications and interviews to help you with future applications.

Eligibility: Law and non-law students in their first year of undergraduate study only.

Dates of open days: Tuesday 5 April 2022, Tuesday 12 April 2022 and Wednesday 20 April 2022.

Funding: Reasonable travelling expenses will be reimbursed.

Application dates: 1 October – 17 December 2021. Offers will not be made until after the closing date.

Application process: Online application only. There are no tests or interviews for this vacancy. See ‘What we look for’ and ‘How to apply’ below for more information.

Location: We hope to be able to run the open days in our office but, if this is not possible, we will run them virtually instead.

Spring work experience scheme

The aim of our spring work experience scheme is to provide an insight into what a career in commercial law entails to help you make career decisions on a more informed basis and to better prepare you for future applications.

During the one week scheme, your time will be split between sharing an office with an associate and taking part in training sessions and skills workshops to help you develop your understanding of the work of a City law firm and build your commercial awareness. You will also be given advice on applications and interviews to help you with future applications.

Eligibility: Law students in their first year of undergraduate study only.

Dates of scheme: Monday 4 - Friday 8 April 2022.

Funding: To help cover your expenses, we will pay you £450. We are also happy to discuss the possibility of additional financial support for those who require it.

Application dates: 1 November – 17 December 2021. Offers will not be made until after the closing date.

Application process: Online application only. There are no tests or interviews for this vacancy. 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 CV. (Please note that a cover letter is not required). You will also be asked to answer 3 questions outlining 1) your interest in commercial law and your reasons for applying, 2) the skills and attributes you would bring to the trainee role, and 3) a recent commercial news article including how the subject matter might impact the work of the firm. Our work is intellectually demanding and we look for three good A levels (or equivalent). Your answers to the 3 questions should demonstrate an interest in commercial law and commercial awareness, an understanding of Slaughter and May, your personal motivations and strong written communication skills.

Location: We hope to be able to run the scheme in our office but, if this is not possible, we will offer a virtual scheme instead (length and timings TBC).

Summer work experience schemes

During the three week scheme you will share an office with an associate in one of our legal groups. The associate will involve you as much as possible in their work. There will also be a trainee solicitor assigned to you. The trainee will help you to settle in and will also be available throughout your stay to answer any questions and assist with any tasks you may be given.

As well as getting involved in legal work and conducting hands-on legal research, you will take part in training, workshops and interactive case studies. There will also be social activities arranged to give you opportunities to talk with partners, associates and trainees outside the office.

At the end of the summer scheme, you will be offered the chance to interview for a training contract.

Eligibility: Penultimate year undergraduate students (law and non-law). Those spending their third year of undergraduate study abroad can choose to apply in their second or third year.

Dates of scheme: Monday 20 June - Friday 8 July 2022 (law students), Monday 11 July - Friday 29 July 2022 (law students), Tuesday 30 August - Friday 16 September 2022 (non-law students)

Funding: To help cover your expenses while attending a work experience scheme, we will pay you £450 per week. We are also happy to discuss the possibility of additional financial support for those who require it.

Application dates: 1 September – 10 December 2021. We encourage applications as early as possible within this application window. Applications will be considered and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. 

Application process: Online application. See ‘What we look for’ and ‘How to apply’ below for more information.

Successful candidates will be invited to a virtual interview. Interviews will take place over a five-week period from the beginning of January.

The interview: The interview will be conducted by a partner and an associate and will last for approximately 45 minutes. They will engage you in a discussion about your CV and on a short current affairs article, which will be emailed to you 15 minutes before the interview. You will be able to take notes during this time and can refer to both the article and your notes during the interview. This article will then form part of the discussion in the interview, along with questions relating to your CV, commercial awareness and your motivations for applying to us. They will be looking to you to summarise the main points of the article, to form an opinion on the subject matter and to have a sensible debate on the issues raised. The interviewers will be assessing whether you can assimilate information quickly, identify the relevant issues and articulate and defend your point of view. This is not designed to be a comprehension test or a test to discover your political leanings or beliefs, but you should expect to be challenged on your views and should not be afraid to defend them.

Some example questions that the partners may ask you during the article discussion are:

  • Can you summarise the key issues raised in the article?
  • What are the main themes, arguments and conclusion (if any)?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the arguments put and the position taken in the article and why?
  • Are the arguments provided in the article coherent and logical?
  • Are there relevant issues which are not touched on or developed in the article?

Location: We hope to be able to run the schemes in our office but, if this is not possible, we will offer a virtual scheme instead (length and timings TBC).

Winter workshop

The aim of the winter workshop is to give finalists and graduates the opportunity to experience what life as a trainee solicitor would be like.

During the three day workshop, you will hear from trainees, associates and partners who will give you an insight into some of the types of work our lawyers do every day. You will also have the opportunity to complete some typical trainee tasks and take part in an interactive case study.

At the end of the winter workshop, you will be offered the chance to apply for a training contract. 

Eligibility: Law and non-law finalists and graduates. It is not necessary to have completed work experience with us to have a successful training contract application. If you already have legal work experience and/or you feel ready to apply directly for a training contract, we would encourage you to do so. Training contract offers will be made on a rolling basis and we are therefore unable to guarantee the availability of places as we progress with these interviews. If you attend the winter workshop, you will be offered the chance to apply for a training contract but you may be applying for a later intake.

Dates of workshop: Tuesday 14 - Thursday 16 December 2021.

Application dates: 1 September – 15 October 2021. Offers will not be made until after the closing date.

Application process: Online application only. There are no tests or interviews for this vacancy. See ‘What we look for’ and ‘How to apply’ below for more information.

Location: Our current intention is that the workshop will be virtual.

Virtual Insight Programme

Our Virtual Insight Programme will give you an insight into some of the types of work our trainees and lawyers do every day. The programme encourages the development of important skills and commercial awareness which will give you a better understanding of what a lawyer does and what a career at Slaughter and May entails.

Our programme is open to all students, no legal knowledge or previous work experience is required and it can be completed at your own pace and at times which suit you.  Once completed, this Virtual Insight Programme can be added to your CV as further evidence of your interest in, and understanding of, a career in commercial law.

You can access the programme here.

What we look for

We aim to employ the brightest minds regardless of what or where they have studied – you will find graduates from 67 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 and 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.

COVID-19 – If your exams were cancelled due to COVID-19, please include any essay or coursework results you have received to date in your application.

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 interview process or to attend a work experience opportunity with us, please contact Grace Powell, Trainee Recruitment Operations Specialist via email or on 020 7090 5324.

For all other application, interview or general queries, please visit the work experience 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, Head of 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.

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