Slaughter and May 2021 Training Contract

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by Miki3999, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Slaughter and May has just opened applications for the 2021 TC, thus I thought it could be useful to create a new thread in order to discuss the application process.

    First of all, they seem to put emphasis on the CV and the cover letter. In regard to the former, what is the ideal structure to adopt? Should it rather be bullet points or text? How to link the CV with the firm, which is probably the hardest part? Should individual modules be included (they already are on the application form)?

    In regard to the latter, what should be included on the cover letter?
     
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  2. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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  3. Helena

    Helena Legendary Member
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    They answer some questions on their website under FAQs:

    I have already provided all of my percentage results in the online form, do I need to include them in my CV as well?
    That is entirely up to you.

    What information should I include in my covering letter?
    It should include key information about the position you are applying for and any other relevant details, eg an explanation of any gaps in your CV or extenuating circumstances relating to examination results. A lengthy covering letter is not necessary.

    What we look for:
    We like people with:
    • energy and spark who can relate to those around them
    • common sense, integrity and drive
    • a range of interests outside of the law
    • a sharp intellect – our work is intellectually demanding so the minimum standard we look for is three good A levels (or equivalent) and a good 2:1 in your degree
    • independent thought
    • commercial awareness
    • resolve and judgement
    • an interesting take on things
    • the ability to show grit under pressure
    • a good sense of humour
    To thrive here, you will also need enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to accept responsibility.

    I appreciate this does not answer all of the questions but perhaps gives an insight and may help with tailoring the CV accordingly.
     
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  4. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips! I'm just worried that breaking down my uni grades could make my CV very long..
     
  5. Romiras

    Romiras Active Member
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    The CV should be concise. You do not need an introduction paragraph (or any type of prose to introduce yourself, anywhere). Your CV should generally have these headings: Education-Legal Work Experience-Non Legal Work Experience-Extracurricular Activities. You can have a 2 page CV. Unless you have 'too much' to include in your CV, such that you cannot fit everything in 2 pages. If this is the case, it usually means you're either populating each 'experience' with too many words or you genuinely have too much going on. If it is the latter case, then you can tailor your CV to the firm by picking the most relevant experiences (S&M Open Days; Relevant Law Events; etc). If it is the former case, you just need to only have three bullet points of the most relevant / substantial things related to the experience, with Commercial Law in mind.

    Individual Modules should be included in your CV, regardless of the online application process.

    The cover letter should just cover "Why Slaughter and May" and "Why You". Normally you'd talk about "Why Commercial Law" prior to "Why the Firm", but it's meant to be a very concise letter, max one page long. It should be implicit that you want to pursue a career in Commercial Law, because you're applying to Slaughter and May.
     
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  6. Abstruser

    Abstruser Legendary Member
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    Actually, I’m pretty sure including individual modules is optional - I didn’t include them in my CV and I ended up fine. Their website also says it is entirely up to you. :)
     
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  7. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    Thanks guys for your time and advice! Any ideas how the grades should be stated on the CV? Should it be a table? If you have any visual examples I'd much appreciate it haha
     
    #7 Miki3999, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  8. Shane O'Hanlon

    Shane O'Hanlon Star Member

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    Just sent my application to Slaughter and May. I didn't realise that you had to address it to Janine Arnold, and just went with Sir/Madam. Do you think that will make a difference. It wouldn't be the difference between a succesful and unsuccesful application, right ?
     
  9. Shane O'Hanlon

    Shane O'Hanlon Star Member

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    I just assumed that one person would hardly be reviewing all 3,000 applications
     
  10. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    Hmm it's hard to tell. Their website says that the CL has to be addressed to Janine Arnold, but I've also read that they don't put an application down by virtue of a single mistake. They even consider cover letters addressed to Linklaters :D
     
  11. Zain97

    Zain97 Active Member

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    Thanks Miki for creating this!

    Are you guys explicitly mentioning the skills that they've set out that they're looking for? Or are you including examples of those skills in each entry you guys create for work experience?

    I really really hate CVs haha
     
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  12. Helena

    Helena Legendary Member
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    I have messaged you Miki.
     
  13. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    I'm trying to mention these skills indirectly, for example, I did volunteering with Shelter which is in line with Slaughters policy, and it shows energy and spark etc. If you say "I'm passionate about law' or 'I have a degree of commercial acumen' without backing these claims up, it will be pointless.
     
  14. Romiras

    Romiras Active Member
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    I include it because it's part of a normal CV format and because it's easier to cite academic awards (and feels more like its natural placement) in that section.
     
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  15. Abstruser

    Abstruser Legendary Member
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    Sure, to each their own - if it works for you then by all means include a full module breakdown! But as far as giving advice to other applicants goes, all I was saying is that it isn’t mandatory. I’m sure people have varying opinions on what is considered a normal CV format.

    I personally just put my overall grade and listed my academic awards without a full breakdown, because I wanted more space for my work experience and extracurriculars.
     
    #15 Abstruser, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  16. Zain97

    Zain97 Active Member

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    Thanks Abstruser for your insight! Do you have any advice when writing about work experience/extra-curriculars?

    :)
     
  17. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Hi everyone, just to chip into the conversation - at the Winter Workshop it was advised we provide breakdowns of our modules and also provide each GCSE grade. I did not do the latter in my app for the workshop, so I agree it isn't a deal breaker, but I always think providing as much as possible demonstrates thoroughness.

    In terms of the cover letter, David Johnson, one of two grad rec partners, reminded me that the last thing he wants on a Friday night is to be reading a waffle-filled and long cover letter. He said to simply stick to a 'to the point' intro of yourself, i.e your current academic status and work position if that is applicable, why commercial law and why Slaughter and May. Remember to keep paragraphs succinct and to space things out appropriately to make it desirable to read. I think mine ended up being about half a page of writing in the body of the letter if you were to remove the paragraphs. Also do write about gaps in your CV or mitigating circumstances in a separate para as it is true they want to see this there as well as on the app itself.

    CV's should be around two pages but when writing your work experience we were told not to waste space and words explaining what you did and learned in each work placement section. They said that they know what being a barista etc entails and they just want to see what exactly you did. I also included open days and insight evenings onto my CV as well and I think they quite like that in non-law applicants as it can demonstrate your commitment.

    If anyone wants to ask me anything further about what I learned about the app process then feel free to message me :) All the very best to you all applying :)
     
    #17 Alice G, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  18. Abstruser

    Abstruser Legendary Member
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    Hi there!

    So for my work experience sections, I liked to highlight 2-3 key tasks that I undertook in each piece of work experience (eg, Internship at ABC law firm - Undertook legal research and drafted XYZ under supervision/independently). As Alice mentioned above, I didn’t expand on what I learned as I thought that was implicit in the descriptions of my key tasks.

    For extracurriculars, I listed my key achievements (eg, ABC sports team - Gold medallist at XYZ sports meet). If there were no noteworthy achievements, I would explain how much time I spent on that particular extracurricular (eg, ABC sports team - Attended training 3 times a week).

    Hope this helps and feel free to PM if you have other questions. :)
     
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  19. Miki3999

    Miki3999 Active Member

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    Did you guys include A-levels grades in the CV? Also, if I attended a S&M Insight Evening should be treated as law-related experience or 'activity?'
     
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  20. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    Yes I provided all of my grades in full as that was requested of us at the Winter Workshop. I would certainly advise you include module breakdowns and A levels in full.

    All of my open days and networking events went down under my legal work experience section so I think it is ok to list it within that. With it being their event, i would advise you discuss what you learned and gained from it but with other open days/events feel free to just list them
     
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