Summer work experience scheme

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For penultimate year students (and first year students on a two-year accelerated law degree)




Scheme 1: Monday 17 June 2024 – Friday 5 July 2024

 Scheme 2: Monday 8 July 2024 – Friday 26 July 2024

Scheme 3: Tuesday 27 August 2024 – Friday 13 September 2024 


When to apply


Applications for our 2025 schemes will open in September 2024.

We encourage summer work experience applications as early as possible within the application window. Interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis.


During our three-week summer 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.

If you attend the summer scheme, you will be offered the opportunity to interview for a training contract. Your interview will take place in the third week of the scheme.

We run three schemes each summer in our London office:

Scheme 1 (law students): Monday 17 June 2024 – Friday 5 July 2024

Scheme 2 (law students): Monday 8 July 2024 – Friday 26 July 2024

Scheme 3 (non-law students): Tuesday 27 August 2024 – Friday 13 September 2024


We will pay you £500 per week. 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 cover letter and CV.

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

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

Your application

Cover letter

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 may like to reference virtual internships you have completed or law firm events/university events you have attended to support this.

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 Recruitment. You do not need to include your address or the address of the firm on the cover letter.

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


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 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.

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

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.

The interview

The interview will be conducted virtually 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.

During the article discussion, the partners will be testing whether you can assimilate information quickly, identify the relevant issues and articulate and defend your point of view. 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. This is not designed to be a comprehension test or a test to discover your political leanings or beliefs.

Points you may want to consider when reading the article include:

  • 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?
  • What may be the counter arguments to your position?
  • Are the arguments provided in the article coherent and logical?
  • Are there relevant issues which are not touched on or developed in the article?

Although discussion will centre around the subject and themes of the article, the interviewers may pursue any line of discussion whatsoever.  As part of this discussion, you should expect to be presented with questions which you have not considered before and which will require you to ‘think on your feet’. 

Watch this Article Discussion video to find out more about what this part of the interview involves and what we are looking for from candidates during the discussion. The video also includes a mock article discussion with Tanyah, one of our trainee solicitors, and a feedback discussion at the end, where Tanyah and the partners discuss the interview (please note that the feedback discussion is not part of an actual interview).


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.