We are offering an exclusive list of Slaughter and May insight calls to all our members to aid them in their progression in the Law field! Book a call with any of these Slaughter and May employees for advice regarding any part of the journey to law. Simply email them with your interest and you’ll be one step closer to your career in law.
SLAUGHTER AND MAY INSIGHT CALLS
- Future Trainee
Jardelle - Trainee
My name is Jardelle Johnson and I’m a trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May. I was born in Birmingham and attended a state school there, but ultimately decided to move abroad for university. After receiving a full scholarship, I moved to the US and completed a four-year degree at Brown University, graduating with a B.Sc. in Social Analysis and Research.
During the summer between my third and fourth years at Brown, I completed a vacation scheme at Slaughter and May, which was a great way to help me learn more about what it would be like to work at the firm. Slaughter and May’s culture was a big reason why I decided to do my training contract here. The people I met on my vacation scheme were incredibly friendly and invested in helping me to get as much out of the experience as I could. Even though I’ve worked from home for the vast majority of my training contract, I’ve found that the culture of the firm has translated well to the virtual world and everyone has been very supportive and welcoming.
I wasn’t always 100% certain that I would pursue a career in commercial law. In fact, immediately after completing my vacation scheme, I worked as a quantitative researcher at an education policy think tank because I thought that I might want to do something connected with policy research! Ultimately, I was attracted to commercial law because I wanted to work in a fast-paced, client-focussed environment where I could get involved in complex, high profile legal matters (and so far, my training contract has definitely delivered on this).
My first seat at the firm was in Disputes and Investigations, and I really enjoyed my time there. I got to work on a broad range of matters and I enjoyed having the opportunity to think about interesting legal questions and engage with clients about litigation strategy. My second seat is in one of the firm’s corporate groups, and I’m looking forward to developing new skills there.
As a black woman working in law, I’m invested in supporting aspiring lawyers through BEN and want to help make the profession more accessible to people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Elizabeth - Trainee
My name is Elizabeth Oladunni, and I am a currently a trainee at Slaughter and May. I read history and politics at Oxford, before graduating in 2018 and going on to do the law conversion course and the legal practice course at BPP in London.
Prior to starting my training contract at Slaughter and May, I explored other career paths including consulting, the civil service and finance. I also shadowed a family barrister. My experiences in all of these different sectors informed my decision to pursue a career as a solicitor in corporate law.
During my second year, I applied to various law firms for vacations schemes, including Slaughter and May. I was offered a place at Slaughter and May’s Easter Work Experience Scheme, and it was that experience that helped me gain an insight into the firm, its multi-specialist approach, and its strong corporate practice. I did vacation schemes at other firms too; however, because I really enjoyed my experience at Slaughter and May, I chose to do my training contract at Slaughters.
I am in my third-seat, currently sitting in financing. I have also sat in the financial regulation and corporate groups, both of which I enjoyed. Aside from that, I am also a member of Slaughter and May’s DIVERSE committee; I am passionate about diversity, and ensuring that Black students know that they too have a place at top law firms, and will be able to thrive in a corporate environment. I believe one of the most important ways to improve diversity in the legal profession is to support aspiring lawyers with their applications, and connect them with a network of diverse lawyers who can mentor them and guide them in their career journey. I hope that through sharing my experiences with the network of students in the Black Excellence Network, I can contribute to promoting and creating a more diverse and representative legal profession.
Jesse - Future Trainee
My name is Jesse Bakare, I am a future trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May. I attended a selective state school in Stroud where I completed my GCSE’s and A-levels. I am in my final year studying Law at Durham University. At Durham, I have undertaken several executive roles. Namely, captaining my college Football 1st XI, running the Durham University Futsal Club, and co-managing the Durham African and Caribbean Society as Vice-President.
Since my GCSE’s, I have been firmly set on a career within the law. At school, I was a strong debater, and so I was often told that the legal profession would suit me. I undertook my first legal work experience at a local criminal law solicitor firm, and for some time I was considering a career in criminal or human rights law. However, upon arriving at university and engaging with several commercial law firms, I felt that I would be more suited to a career within commercial law. Alongside my interest in both the legal and business world, I feel that the breadth of work and the fast-paced nature of commercial law will provide a fulfilling and stimulating career.
Slaughter and May’s multi-specialist training approach was one of the guiding factors in choosing the firm. I am a very inquisitive person and find that I am most engaged when learning about a broad range of areas or undertaking a variety of tasks. As such, I feel that Slaughter and May will provide a training contract experience that many firms won’t. I have completed two vacation schemes, one at Slaughter and May, and the other at a large U.S firm. The strength of Slaughter and May’s training was a decisive factor in accepting their offer.
Diversity and Inclusion are important to me because the higher I go within society, the fewer people I will see who look like myself. Moreover, an emphasis on diversity and inclusion is synonymous with acknowledging the institutional barriers that black individuals like me may face when aspiring to a career within the legal profession.
I strongly believe that it is important to support aspiring lawyers through programmes like BEN because it is the mentors’ and guiding figures in my life that have pushed me to achieve my successes. As such, it would be a pleasure to give back to others and continue the cycle.
Sarah - Trainee
When I was 10 years old, I confidently informed everyone who was interested (and a few who weren’t) that when I grew up I was going to be a criminal barrister. By the time I graduated from university as a 22 year old however, my head had been turned away from law in a number of directions. I had enjoyed my degree, as well as having had a great time working on various theatre projects – so I decided I would try to see if I could have a career doing either of those instead.
By the time it became clear that neither a career in academia nor in the theatre was going to work for me, I had all but ruled out becoming a lawyer. It was only a chance conversation with a friend that made me realise that it wasn’t too late, and shortly after that I applied first for a position as a paralegal (working in education law), and then for a training contract with Slaughter and May. I’m now a (soon-to-be) fourth-seat trainee, having sat in: (i) our Disputes & Investigations group; (ii) the Restructuring & Insolvency Hub in one of our Finance groups; (iii) our Pensions, Employment and Incentives group; and (iv) our Tax group. In September I go on client secondment for 6 months, before I qualify in March 2022.
I was extremely fortunate, when I looked at my future and decided I wanted it to be in law, to have very few barriers put in front of me in my quest to make that happen. This, of course, isn’t true for everyone. I think we only change this by ensuring firms have individuals from all backgrounds at every level, to act as role models, champions and allies. This is one of the reasons why diversity and inclusion is so important to me, and why I’ve chosen to become involved with BEN.
Callum - Associate
After a day of work experience when I was sixteen, which involved many hours of proof-reading, I was certain that I would never go into corporate law. A few years later when my time at university was rapidly coming to an end, I began to explore my career options, and with some reluctance conceded that corporate law ticked many of the boxes I’d set for my future career: constant intellectual challenge, a focus on life-long learning, a fast-paced commercial landscape, and a network of talented colleagues. I preferred the idea of practicing as a solicitor within a City firm rather than the relative isolation of the Bar, or the small project teams and frequent travel associated with management consultancy.
Having completed vacation schemes at a Magic Circle and a US firm, I applied to Slaughter and May directly for a training contract. The firm’s emphasis on training lawyers to become multi-specialists, able to deliver first-class legal advice to its remarkable roster of clients, convinced me that I would love to train here. I’ve sat in the Corporate, Finance and Competition groups, and found this focus on personal development and support to be a constant throughout my training contract. My colleagues are not only impressively competent lawyers, but also generous and kind people, amongst whom I count many close friends. Taken together, these elements foster a creative, collegiate atmosphere in which I feel able to work at my best in a job I hugely enjoy.
I am a firm believer that, as a profession, we should remove any barriers to entry which are not related to the ability and commitment of those applying. I give my time to organisations like upReach (a social mobility charity) and BEN so that aspiring lawyers passionate about a career in corporate law can excel regardless, and bring much-needed diversity and leadership to the profession.
Helena - Trainee
My name is Helena Cameron and I am a trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May. I studied French and History at the University of Edinburgh, before going on to complete the GDL and LPC at BPP University in London. I chose to pursue a career in commercial law as I liked the idea of working in a fast-paced, interesting environment, alongside lots of bright, motivated people. I also really liked the international aspect of commercial law firms, as I thought that the opportunity to work abroad was exciting, and hopefully a way to use my French language skills. I was a bit hesitant about the pressures of working in commercial law, and the demands on my time, but I wanted to challenge myself, and hoped that I could set healthy boundaries between work and life!
I chose Slaughter and May because of its multi-specialist approach – I wasn’t sure which aspect of commercial law I would like the most, so the idea of trying lots of different things was really appealing, and I think it will hopefully make me a more rounded lawyer – and because of its approach to billable hours, as there are no targets for billable hours. I felt this would encourage people to be more flexible with their time and to not feel pressure to be seen to be working hard, and to get involved in pro bono work and other projects that the firm is involved in.
I have now been a trainee for one year, and have sat in the Disputes and Investigations team, and one of the two financing teams. Both experiences have been really different, at times challenging, but also rewarding and interesting. I feel like I have learned a lot so far!
It is important to me that Slaughter and May makes diversity and inclusion a priority. The firm should reflect society at large, rather than just a narrow segment of society, and should seek to hire the best talent by removing barriers to entry. Inclusive and diverse working environments also boost creativity, as wider perspectives can be integrated to develop new ideas and solve problems.
I’m very happy to be contacted to have a chat about applying to Slaughter and May, what the process is like, and what life as a trainee is really like!