Slaughter and May
Hours surprisingly good and supervisors are very keen for you to leave as soon as you have finished your work for the day. Good sense of camaraderie among the trainees.First year traineeHelpful?
No face time culture at work which is extremely valuable. Structure can be hierarchical with regard to some partners, however open door policy means associates generally very approachable. Little socialising out of office hours, not that necessarily a bad thing.Second year traineeHelpful?
Trainee drinks happen on a regular basis, and we all go for lunch together every day (work permitting). Most of my intake of trainees did the LPC together, so we're all really good friends. Associates are friendly and approachable, and in the Brussels office the whole office (from secretaries to partners) socialises together. In London, less so, although the sports teams really bring everyone together.First year traineeHelpful?
There really is no face-time culture at all. If I'm genuinely quiet, there has never been a need to hang around just for the sake of it. There is a strict sense of hierarchy - the partners can at times feel terrifying, but in most cases I've found that's more of a reputation than a reality. There is a great sense of cooperation and teamwork, because there are no performance related bonuses, it means no-one is competing against one-another. It can, at times, be a bit old-fashioned, but again that's more of a reputation.Second year traineeHelpful?
The firm has no billing targets and no face time, which makes for a relaxed and friendly workplace where people are generally more than happy to lend a hand. While there is a clear hierarchy, I have consistently found that partners and associates here not only listen to trainees and value their input, but are also genuinely concerned for their welfare. If I am in the office after 5.30 p.m. my supervisor (a corporate partner) asks me why I am still here and only permits me to work late when I can justify the urgency of the work. Weekends and holidays are hallowed ground and will only be infringed upon in the most urgent of situations. There is a great collegiate atmosphere among trainees - we all get together for lunch every day in the canteen (which, by the way, is awesome). There are many clubs and organisations within the firm for extra-curricular activities.First year traineeHelpful?
Good teamwork. Clear hierarchy but partners are approachable. Culture is more polite and friendly, (and a little bookish), than endless banter.Newly qualifiedHelpful?
The atmosphere in the office is generally very friendly and there is truly an open-door policy. However, the structure is hierarchical and, as you would expect, trainees tend to socialise together rather than with the associates and partners. There is not a great deal of firm-organised socialising, but my intake of first-seat trainees organise regular Friday night drinks.First year traineeHelpful?
In my department there is a very good culture of social interaction and an understanding of each other's workloads. Across the firm this is not always the case, especially in the corporate groups.Newly qualifiedHelpful?
Challenging. Hierarchical but "if you're good enough you're old enough" culture which means good work from an early stage if you can handle it. Social enough but, given the hours, a lot of people choose not to socialise post-work.4 yr PQEHelpful?
The culture is one of working hard when necessary, but does not demand (and at times actively discourages) working unnecessarily long hours. There are plenty of social, volunteering and pro bono opportunities for those who seek them. However, it would be equally possible to slink out the door once finished with work - it is more a case of making the effort yourself if you wish to be social.First year traineeHelpful?
There is a genuine open door policy. The mood is the office is upbeat. There is (of course) a hierarchy, but all the partners I have come across are happy to discuss things directly with trainees. The firm does not have many party animals - the culture is more 'work hard, play nice'. However, there are plenty of things to get involved with outside work.First year traineeHelpful?
Very hierarchical. Partners and then everyone else. Everyone is self motivated and works hard. High levels of ability throughout. Fair amount of socialising but mostly at lower levels.6 yr PQEHelpful?
The firm's culture is friendly and supportive. The stigma attached to Slaughter and May externally is by no means reflected in how things are internally. From partners to associates, the vast majority of people here are easy to get on with and well-grounded. After hours, there is good banter between trainees and also trainees and associates. Both organised and unorganised events are good fun.Second year traineeHelpful?
The key thing is that you never ever stay for the sake of the staying. There is not a stay late culture unless there is something valuable to do. If you do stay late you are looked after - supper, snacks, showers, car home, etc. Slaughters might be a little stiff from the outside but is actually very relaxed on the inside. Trainees are not competitive - it is a cooperative atmosphere between the young associates and trainees who are finding their way. Working hours can be flexible (for training/personal reasons, etc.) as long as you meet the deadlines in your own way. The socialising is good - there are a few trainee events each year, two welcome events and a particularly enjoyable summer party. Beyond that, each of the groups will have its own Christmas and Summer Party. There is also a firm-wide annual ball which is extended to every employee of the firm plus a guest. Slaughter and May (like most law firms) is in its nature hierarchical but this does not preclude great friendships and excellent working relationships between colleagues. I find it refreshing to know where I am in the firm and it is appropriate that the third seaters look to help out first and second seaters and that the NQs advise the fourth seaters on qualifying, etc.Second year traineeHelpful?
The culture of the firm is one of the better things about working here. There is a hierarchy delineated by a person's experience, but this does not hinder going to someone for advice when needed. There is a great degree of teamwork and cooperation. There is a degree of socialising amongst the groups and trainees, and I have made many friends while working here.Second year traineeHelpful?
Respectful, positive and professional. People work collaboratively and transparently and there is a culture of willingness to learn and to do our best work. After hours culture is okay but not the biggest party firm.Second year traineeHelpful?
The firm's culture is very inclusive. The other associates and trainees are chatty and pleasant to spend time with. The partners have an open door policy and always smile and speak to me when I pass them in the corridor. A number of social events are arranged throughout the year and these are well-attended by trainees, associates and partners. In the past, these have included a murder mystery evening, a visit to the theatre and a gourmet dinner in the partners' dining room for my department. Every year, the whole firm is invited to a Christmas party at the Grosvenor. At these events, the partners are sure to thank the trainees and associates for their hard work on recent matters and there is a strong feeling of teamwork and co-operation all round.2 yr PQEHelpful?
The firm runs on its manners and treating people as human beings. The culture is very much a sharing one - so people will always have time to help when asked. Although hierarchical, the distinction between partners and associates means that there are less office politics in play on a day to day basis.2 yr PQEHelpful?
Although quite a formal hierarchy exists, it helps you know your place and fosters good working relationships between trainees and associates. All levels of fee earner work well together as part of a team and roles are responsibly assigned. Socialising is mostly dependant on the group you are sat in and you mostly have to organise your own entertainment. However, there are various group, pro bono, society, sports teams, etc. drinks that are lots of fun and each group has winter and summer parties as well as the annual firm ball in November.First year traineeHelpful?
There is perhaps less socialising than at other firms, but it means that social events are generally well attended, (and people have more time for their friends and family outside of work). The culture mixes a very high standard of work and a pervasive desire to work hard with approachability.Second year traineeHelpful?
Trainee camaraderie is brilliant - there is a good social network and I have made some genuinely good friends at the firm. The firm makes a real effort to treat its staff with parties and drinks events. As a trainee you are able to get quite involved as a member of a transaction team which enables you to build good working relationships with associates and partners.Second year traineeHelpful?
The firm is not particularly social. Many see this as a positive however - there is no obligation to socialise with your colleagues (although you can if you wish) leaving you more time to socialise with your friends.First year traineeHelpful?
Departments socialise infrequently but I like how we are encouraged to have a life outside work and that there is no enforced socialising amongst departments or trainees.First year traineeHelpful?
There is a very friendly and open working environment (we often share an office with a partner or associate) and there is definitely an open door policy. Trainees definitely support each other, and it is not uncommon for work to be passed from one trainee to another if one suddenly has a large work load. Trainees do socialise together, but equally this is not forced upon you, it is entirely up to each individual how much they get involved.First year traineeHelpful?
There's a very good support structure. During a period when I was working really late, I had a call from HR to ask if I was okay and whether they could do anything to help. The secretaries and office support are great and you are encouraged to use the systems support to get the work done more efficiently. I've always found co-trainees willing and eager to help me out when I've been swamped, and have equally taken on work for others. I won't say it can't be tough at times – it can be very tough at times – but it's made easier by the fact that the environment helps you deal with it. The atmosphere is very collegiate – trainees tend to lunch together and if we're staying later we go for dinner together. Fridays after work drinks at the Artillery Arms are a staple. The Trainee Solicitors Committee organises a range of socials – typically smaller events for intakes and three large events a year for all trainees.First year traineeHelpful?
Trainees are generally friendly and supportive. There are several social and sports clubs available, as well as a range of corporate-sponsor promotional offers. People frequently go for drinks at the local pub on Thursdays and Fridays. The atmosphere is extremely professional and organised. The firm is generally quite conservative in terms of business practice but very open-minded in other terms. Social interaction tends to be on the formal side to begin with and the general atmosphere may appear cool, but once people get to know one another the lawyers here reveal themselves to be very intelligent and personable.First year traineeHelpful?
The atmosphere in the office is friendly but reserved. There are no billable hours targets or weighted pay, which means there is no competition between any fee-earners. Sometimes a large volume of work can put people under strain. Between trainees there is a good atmosphere with socialising largely informal, centred on the local pub on a Friday evening. The trainee committee does a good job.First year traineeHelpful?
The firm is probably a little more ‘boring’ than elsewhere in terms of social life, but at the same time, it's nice not to feel forced to go out, e.g. To secure qualification to a particular group (which I understand happens elsewhere). Also, while there are not so many firm events, trainees do organise to socialise with each other outside of work in any case. That said, sometimes it would be nice not to be so serious all the time! Within work, the culture is very professional. People are nice and approachable in general. It is quite hierarchical though, in terms of how you're treated as a trainee, which I imagine can be particularly annoying for people who've had other careers etc. Before coming here. There is no real feeling of competition amongst trainees (and it is not encouraged).Second year traineeHelpful?
Slaughter and May seem to choose like-minded people so we all get on well, socialise together and are good friends. However actual social events organised by the firm for trainees are fairly limited.First year traineeHelpful?
The firm has a good environment to work well in; people are focussed and it makes the day more efficient, which I find to be a plus. The trainees here are very friendly towards one another, there is no feeling that there is competition between the trainees and if anyone is finding a task hard, or is confused, usually a quick email to all trainees will answer the question. The trainees do get along very well in the firm, but outside of the firm, there is not much organised, apart from the pub on Friday nights. Although the working environment is good, at times because of the hierarchical nature of the firm, when doing work for a partner they can be very intimidating and there is not a sense that you can ask them questions.First year traineeHelpful?
The firm is conservative, especially so the further up the ladder you look, and it lives up to its reputation. Trainees are generally very supportive of each other though.Second year traineeHelpful?
Intellectual, witty, fun and respectful.Second year traineeHelpful?
Friendly culture, partners are approachable and don’t leave you totally alone to get on with work without making sure you're okay, etc. ‘Open office’ culture so I feel I can ask other associates anything if I have questions. Trainees (by and large) are treated as equals. I think they get good work a lot of the time, as well as more administrative things. My trainee works through legal problems with me so isn’t just there to do photocopying. Things are a bit lacking socially. We have a few departmental parties a year and a firm dinner which is good. Outside that, there are not many pub trips (unless someone is leaving).Junior solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
The firm is very hierarchical and in many respects, some of the partners distance themselves too much from the rest of the members of the firm. Solicitors certainly support each other and are always happy to share experiences and offer advice. I socialise a lot with my colleagues, although this is almost always organised through our own initiative rather than by the firm.Junior solicitor, BankingHelpful?
The firm has a very collegiate atmosphere; there is no sense of colleagues competing with one another. I have always felt able to approach peers for advice on points of law/practical issues I am unsure of. That said, the firm retains an intensely hierarchical culture (though this is perhaps inherent in law firms generally). While solicitors within the form do socialise occasionally, there is never any obligation to spend time with colleagues outside of working hours. This is a big plus.Newly qualified solicitor, BankingHelpful?
Extremely supportive environment exists amongst solicitors, which complements the high level of responsibility we are expected to assume. We do have social events, which are always well organised and smart, but this is not really a major part of the firm.Newly qualified solicitorHelpful?
I generally find in my department that on a transaction, you will be working with a partner and senior associate. Both are readily available for any questions/queries. Again, in my department, solicitors do socialise together, but this is not necessarily so in other departments.Junior solicitorHelpful?
A very hierarchical firm. Associates are close, but there isn't a huge amount of socialising – when people finish work, they tend to want to get home, which is fair enough! It makes work/life balance a bit easier in my opinion.Mid-level solicitorHelpful?
There's a very simple hierarchy. Partners and everyone else. Solicitors do support each other. Decent atmosphere and most are genuinely willing to offer advice whenever. There’s limited socialising as you get more senior. I have noticed trainees and more junior associates socialising a lot more, inevitable though as you start to have a family.Mid-level solicitor, PropertyHelpful?
There is no compulsion to socialise–if you want to, you can do, but there is no culture of everyone having to go to the nearest pub after work on a Friday. Once you're out of the building, your free time is just that. I greatly appreciate such a healthy cynicism towards the idea (perpetuated at many of my peers' firms) that just because you work with people, you should necessarily hang out with them. Nevertheless, trainee events are fun, the sports teams are inclusive, and the annual dinner is fantastic.TraineeHelpful?
Our firm is pretty hierarchical, everyone knows their place but having said that work and responsibilities are handed out by merit rather than experience and if you prove yourself capable you can end up doing better work than may be necessarily associated with your level of qualification. I think one of the best things about this firm is how all the solicitors support each other. No one is ever too busy to try and help you, or at least point you in the direction of someone who can if they are literally flat out…Newly qualified solicitor, Project FinanceHelpful?
Genuinely friendly firm culture.TraineeHelpful?
The firm is very egalitarian with little hierarchy among associates. There is a natural hierarchy between partner, associate and trainee. Associates all support each other and tend to work well together. There is relatively limited socialising between solicitors apart from those who joined and trained together and have kept their year group bonds.Mid-level solicitor, LitigationHelpful?
The firm is very hierarchical–the partners reign and are viewed with a mixture of deference, awe and terror. Partner supervision when working on a transaction very much depends on the partner; some are happy to let you get on with it (and not even read the documents), whilst some will scrutinise your work with a fine toothed comb… On the whole solicitors work incredibly well together–teams are very well organised and everyone will muck in. There is the usual small element who will shamelessly claw their way to the top and not care who they p*ss off on the way there, but thankfully these gems are few and far between. There is quite a lot of socialising done amongst solicitors, although more on a spontaneous basis than of the organised variety. Having said that, there are regular group specific social events and an annual firm-wide, booze-soaked party at the Grosvenor.Newly qualified solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
There are a couple of trainee social events per year. Generally, socialising will occur between trainees who had formed friendships prior to joining the firm. There is the opportunity to change this, and there are sport groups too which have social events. Groups also have social events at the start/end of trainee seats, giving the opportunity to socialise.TraineeHelpful?
There is no pressure to engage in firm social events however there is an abundance of networking and social events available.TraineeHelpful?
Good working relationships between associates and reasonable amount of social interaction. Open door policy makes supportive atmosphereMid-level solicitor, Antitrust/CompetitionHelpful?
Because trainees do the LPC together we know each other before joining the firm and we don't rely on the firm's social events that much. There aren't many trainee-specific social events, maybe once every 6 months. There are loads of social events though which are attended by all members of the firm (trainees, partners, secretaries, associates).TraineeHelpful?
Generally solicitors work well together in small teams. As with most firms, there is more widespread socialising at the lower levels of PQE, but the firm provides plenty of opportunities to meet other members of the firm.Senior solicitor, LitigationHelpful?
The people within the firm are dedicated, focused, and hard-working individuals, who are always willing to help out; there really is an 'open-door culture'. Trainees socialise together both through the Trainee Social Committee and also on a more informal basis e.g. Drinks after work, etc.TraineeHelpful?
It sometimes feels like still being at University–but without the long holidays.Senior solicitor, Labour [&] EmploymentHelpful?
Trainees events occur every couple of months or so organised by trainee social committee.TraineeHelpful?
People support each other well; it's generally pretty informal and friendly with a reasonable, but not forced, social scene.Newly qualified solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
Good structure and working environment. Enough socialising together, but not obliged to...TraineeHelpful?
Naturally there is a hierarchy between trainees, associates and partners. Partners dine separately but there are many opportunities to socialise at different levels.Senior solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
Surprisingly flat structure and supportive environment for a place with a fearsome reputation.Newly qualified solicitor, Intellectual PropertyHelpful?
Trainees socialise together often. There are both structured "Trainee Nights Out" and informal gatherings. There are also departmental social evenings, social evenings for the women of a department, Christmas and summer parties, as well as the firm's annual party in November. All of these events are really enjoyable.TraineeHelpful?
…While most individuals at Slaughters are very friendly, the focus at the office is very much on work rather than play. Most people simply come to the office to get their work done and then go home. There is not much of a social scene at all.Mid-level solicitor, BankingHelpful?
While there is a definite hierarchy within the firm, our open doors policy gives a sense that anyone is approachable–many of my colleagues are also my friends and there are always opportunities to socialise outside of the work environment.Newly qualified solicitor, PropertyHelpful?
Open door policy works well. Associates support each other and partners are always available when needed though do not provide huge amounts of hands on day to day input into deals. Always someone more experienced to discuss matters with. Lack of billable hour’s culture obviously contributes to this.Mid-level solicitor, PropertyHelpful?
Firm is intensely hierarchical, with partners on top, associates in the middle, secretaries under them, and trainees at the bottom. However, there is little hierarchy within those groups. Everyone and anyone will help you out with a query, doors are never closed, but as an associate you are simply loaded up with large amounts of work and expected to get on with it. Sink or swim.Newly qualified solicitor, BankingHelpful?
The firm is very hierarchical (even to the level that partners get bigger desks than associates) but most of the partners I've dealt with are very friendly and approachable. There is a lot of support amongst associates. I think the partners do care about people too–recently I had to go home from work because I was unwell–two of the partners emailed me to say they hoped I was ok.Newly qualified solicitor, TaxHelpful?
…Associates are strongly supportive of one another, with no element of competition between themselves for work or plaudits and certainly no taking the praise for others' good work. Partners are great when you can get their attention, but that in itself can be quite a task. People generally work well together (it is a professional environment–not much room for people who don't get on…Mid-level solicitor, BankingHelpful?
Very collegiate environment. Trainees socialise, few firm sponsored events but a good intake who are happy to go for a drink on a Friday.TraineeHelpful?
So far, great (week 3!).TraineeHelpful?
Viewed from the outside our firm has a reputation for having a very conservative, traditional, even stuffy culture. Although the firm retains some traditional attitudes, I have found that these are mainly the positive ones. I think the firm has a very open culture and most people here are easy to get on with… Socialising varies from department to department, but there is very much a lot of that going on.Newly qualified solicitor, Antitrust/CompetitionHelpful?
Although the firm's culture is rather formal and conservative, the people are extremely friendly and willing to help. The social life at the firm is very busy at Christmas time but for the rest of the year there's not much in terms of organised events, either at a firm-wide level or at trainee level. However, most people have a core of good friends within the firm with whom they socialise outside of the office. Indeed, I'm glad that the firm leaves us to arrange our own social lives rather than forcing us to attend formal events on a regular basis, as seems to be the case at other City firms.TraineeHelpful?
Like almost all other firms, the recruitment puff about Slaughters will tell you it is not hierarchical. This is not an accurate representation of the structure; the fact is it has to be hierarchical because the Partners are the employers and do have a huge amount of skin in the game. In comparison to the public services, this firm is not particularly hierarchical. In comparison to small and mid tier firms, it is. Solicitors are very good at supporting each other; they work very well together generally. We often socialise with other people at the firm.Newly qualified solicitorHelpful?