Spring work experience scheme

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For first year law students (and second year law students on a four-year degree) from lower socio-economic and/or ethnic minority backgrounds



8 - 12 April 2024


When to apply


Applications for our 2025 scheme will open in October 2024


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.

Successful applicants will also benefit from an ongoing ‘buddy’ relationship following the scheme to provide support with the summer scheme application/interview process in your penultimate year.

Our spring scheme is aimed at students who are from a:

  • Lower socio-economic background


  • Ethnic minority background

You will be asked on the application form to confirm if you are from a lower socio-economic and/or ethnic minority background.  


We will pay you £500. This is intended to cover your expenses during the scheme. The firm is committed to ensuring that the scheme is accessible to everyone and no-one is prevented from joining us due to financial constraints. We can offer additional financial support for those who require it, and we will also provide funds in advance if needed to book accommodation and or/travel for the scheme.


To apply, please complete an online application, 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 three 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.
Preparing your CV

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 must demonstrate evidence of an interest in, and commitment to, a career in commercial law through, for example, open days, virtual internships, virtual or in-person law firm events/university events such as law fairs or firm presentations, or legal work experience.

You can find more tips on preparing your CV in this video.

Preparing your answers to the questions

Your answers to the three 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.

Strong applications will be authentic and personal to you. The use of generative AI to help you prepare your application may result in inaccuracies and a lack of originality and creativity.

Every application received is reviewed by our Trainee Recruitment Team. There is no automatic filtering of applications.

Please note that this is an online application only. There are no tests or interviews for this vacancy.  

The spring scheme was incredibly insightful and engaging. The mix of completing tasks and attending informative sessions has developed my understanding of the firm and the key skills required to excel as an aspiring commercial lawyer. Prabsimran 2023 spring scheme attendee


We aim to employ the brightest minds regardless of what or where they have studied – you will find graduates from 68 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.

Across all of our work experience opportunities, we are looking for candidates with:

thumbnail 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 so far. If you are applying for any opportunities in your first year, we understand that you may not yet have any university grades to include in your application.

thumbnail Drive and an interest in commercial law

We are looking for you to have an interest in a career in commercial law, an understanding of what the firm does, and motivation and enthusiasm to find out more about working at Slaughter and May. You don’t need legal work experience to apply for our work experience opportunities, but you do need to demonstrate your interest in this career and what you have done so far to research this through, for example, open days, virtual internships or virtual or in-person law firm events/university events such as law fairs or firm presentations.

thumbnail Commercial awareness

Our clients need us to be their trusted legal advisers, so you need to have an interest in the commercial world and how business works.

thumbnail Communication and interpersonal skills

Good verbal and written communication skills are a key skill for all of our lawyers to have, so it’s something we look for in our application and interview process. Our collaborative culture also means that we look for candidates who can demonstrate that they can work successfully in teams.

thumbnail The ability to show grit under pressure

Our multi-specialist approach means that our trainees work on the full range of transactions on which the group they are sitting in advises, which is hard work. The support is always there, but there will be times when you are stretched and need to work long hours in order to deliver the exceptional service that we provide for our clients. We are looking for candidates who can show us they are resilient when dealing with the unexpected and can remain focused under pressure.

thumbnail Independent thought

We value diversity and individuality very highly – different perspectives are crucial when it comes to providing innovative advice – so through our interview process, we will look for your ability to articulate and defend your point of view.

We are also looking for candidates who have a range of interests outside of a career in law, so please include these on your CV. They can also be used to demonstrate how you may have developed some of qualities and skills above that we are looking for.


To thrive here, you will also need enthusiasm, a willingness to accept responsibility and a sense of humour!

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.

For any 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).


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 health condition.

If you require any adjustments to be made to the application and interview process or to attend a work experience opportunity with us, please contact Grace Parkinson, Trainee Recruitment Operations Manager, via email or on 020 7090 5324.

To ensure that no-one is prevented from participating in a work experience opportunity due to financial constraints, expenses and/or salary payments are provided where relevant. Please view the salary information above for more details.