‘I’ve got first year scheme offers from A&O, HSF and Slaughters — which should I pick?’

By on

They all run on the same dates

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one first year student has secured open day offers from three top law firms — but unfortunately the dates clash. Which should they choose?

“I’m a first year not sure whether to go to Allen & Overy’s scheme, Herbert Smith Freehill’s scheme or Slaughter and May’s scheme because they all run on the same dates. Which one should I pick? I’m genuinely frazzled. Advice please and thanks.”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at



Choose whatever one can get you on the fast track towards a TC or NQ role or whatever the new qualification regime will be. From above comments that sounds like A&O.

The elite law job market is still insanely competitive and as we’re headed for another economic collapse it’s going to be 2008-2010 style grad rec hunger games 2.0 soon. Even Sloaney Oxbridge types aren’t safe in that environment.


Going to be quitting the law soon!

1. Slaughters
2. A&O
3. HSF whoever that is!

Slaughters is by far the best law firm in the UK. They have amazing offices and a great support structure. All the very best with whatever you decide.



Slaughters aren’t the ‘best’ firm in the UK….

Realistically Freshfields has the most solid presence around the globe out of the Magic Circle. Yeah A&O has offices everywhere but they’re not exactly heavyweights in markets like Germany for example.

Slaughters are literally just known for their supposed ‘prestige’ but realistically there isn’t much more to them. The multi-specialist thing is just a gimmick too that loads of other firms can provide. If you train at any decent US firm you will be part of a general banking team for example, rather than specialised departments within banking, thus giving you a more general overview of the practice area. Don’t be fooled by the shiny brochures.


Jon Jon

Lick it up Ginger-Snap!



Slaughters should be your priority, obviously.

By far the best brand of the three, by far the best client base and, in comparison to the others, the hours are relatively humane (unless you’re sitting in one of their corporate groups).

Of course, if you’re interested in contentious work choose HSF.

A&O though should be avoided at all costs. Shit hours, shit cookie-cutter transactions and, realistically, you have to qualify into financing or you’ll end up working with subpar people.


Comments are closed.