At Slaughter and May we don't pigeonhole our lawyers — all are trained to be multi-specialists across a broad range of legal matters. This is in sharp contrast to the experience that you might have at other City firms where, as a trainee in, say, a finance group, you may well work in a very narrow area of finance.
As a trainee in one of our groups, you will work on a full range of transactions on which the group advises over a three- or six-month period. In a corporate group, for example, one month you could help guide a client through the defence of a hostile takeover and the next you could be advising that same client on a bond issue. In dispute resolution, you could attend a court hearing on a complex civil litigation matter in the morning, then meet a client to prepare for a mediation that afternoon. In the short term, this will enable you to make a more informed decision about which practice group you should join on qualification. In the long term, it makes for a far more fulfilling career.
We give our lawyers a challenging, varied and interesting workload, which is exactly what great minds need. The key point, however, is the resulting depth of knowledge of your client. Instead of repeating the same type of transaction many times over, you will develop profound relationships with clients that are enriched over time as you get to know their businesses better. It is the quality of these relationships that defines the way we do business around the world. This level of insight can make the world of difference for both parties: you'll play a guiding role in changing commercial and legal times.
Is there a downside? Of course. It's hard work. You have to cover more ground. But with our collegiate approach, the support is always there to make it possible. And the freedom to choose your own direction, the opportunity to have a more stimulating working life and the autonomy this flexibility brings all more than make up for it.
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