Summer work experience scheme at Slaughter and May

Insights from The Gateway
Vacation schemes

Insight from the recruiter

Poppy Singleton, Slaughter and May 

Can you sum up the scheme in a sentence?

Our work experience scheme is great opportunity to gain an insight into the work that we do, meet our people, and experience our culture.

Why should students consider applying for the scheme?

The scheme is ideal for students considering a career as a City lawyer who are interested in learning more about Slaughter and May, particularly what it’s like to train here.

What are you and other recruiters looking for in applicants to the scheme?

We recruit from a diverse pool of talent, so we’re not looking for students of a specific type. However, we typically look for certain qualities such as a strong intellect, good commercial awareness, enthusiasm, commitment, and a range of outside interests.

My experience on the scheme

Kesten Laverty is a final year law student at King’s College London. She completed the Slaughter and May work experience scheme in July 2014 and has been offered a training contract with the firm, starting in summer 2016.

The Slaughter and May scheme was a great way to find out what it’s like to work at the firm, and also to experience what it’s like to work in a commercial legal environment in general.

At three weeks, the summer scheme is slightly longer than the majority of City vacation schemes, but the fact that it lasts that little bit longer is great because it allows you to build some strong, lasting relationships and to get a real feel for the industry.

Applying for the scheme was relatively straightforward. Writing a cover letter can be hard, but it’s the perfect opportunity to sell yourself and to highlight what you want to get out of the scheme.

I was placed in one of the corporate departments for my three weeks. The work I was doing was very hands-on, and I got the chance to be involved in a major City merger taking place during my placement, which meant helping to draft important documents and even attending the closing of the deal at the client’s offices. 

I soon learnt that corporate law is very much driven by the workings of client businesses, and one of the main benefits of this is that you get to learn a lot about different types of businesses and how they function. 

There was also the opportunity to get involved in some of the firm’s pro bono work, which I really enjoyed. Along with some of the current trainees, I went to work in a local community law centre, offering advice to members of the public, including a couple who had recently been involved in a road traffic accident. 

In addition, the firm organised a programme of events and exercises for the work experience scheme students. These included workshops on key skills such as negotiations and pitching to clients, as well extracurricular and team-building exercises.

My personal highlight of the three weeks was being able to go on a day trip to the firm’s offices in Brussels. It was fascinating to see the structure of one of Slaughter and May’s overseas offices first-hand and to understand the kind of work they do. It was a great introduction to the kind of opportunities and experiences I’ll get as a lawyer at an international law firm.

I’d definitely recommend a work experience scheme to anyone who’s interested in working in the commercial legal sector and wants to get a better sense of what the industry is all about. Above all, it will help you make an informed decision about the kind of firm you want to work for and what area of law is potentially the best fit for you.

Since starting my law degree, I’ve completed several schemes, which has helped me to realise that Slaughter and May is the perfect environment for me to start my career in.

Key facts

Who: Penultimate year law and non law students

Where: Slaughter and May’s London offices

When: 22 June -10 July 2015 and 13-31 July 2015 (law students), 1 -19 September 2015 (non law students)

How long? Three weeks

Structure: Three weeks sitting with an associate in one of our legal groups. As well as getting involved in legal work and conducting hands-on legal research, you’ll take part in training, workshops and interactive case studies. 

Paid? £300 per week to help cover expenses.

How many places? 40 places for law students and 20 places for non-law students. 

Application process? A short online form plus CV and covering letter followed by an interview at the firm’s offices or on campus. 

When to apply: Applications for places on the summer 2015 scheme are currently being accepted Interviews will take place from Monday 12 January to Thursday 5 February 2015 in London and, where possible, on campus. 

Deadline: 5 January 2015