Shearman & Sterling

The Legal Cheek View

One of the larger US firms in London, offering 17 training contracts each year, global finance-focused Shearman & Sterling is often seen by top students as an alternative to the magic circle — or even, dare we say it in these days of soaring US firm salaries, a step up. The firm stands out from its MoneyLaw rivals in that it has deep roots in London, which date back to 1972. Accordingly, the office has a distinct culture and a training framework that is as well developed as most UK firms.

Shearman trainee solicitors report some of the highest satisfaction levels of any rookies in the capital in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, with associates apparently making “make a conscious effort to give trainees more interesting work”. The trade off is higher levels of responsibility than at many firms. Development is furthered by the keenness of the firm to send trainees on international secondments, with over half of the current cohort having done one or spent time on firm business overseas. Popular locations include New York, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brussels.

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Campus ambassador programme

2017-18 academic year

Applications open:
Applications close: 26 May 2017

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Open Days

11 April 2017; 7 June 2017

Applications open:
Applications close: 26 May 2017

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Training Contracts

To commence 2019

Applications close: 31 July 2017

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Key Info

Training contracts 17
Latest trainee retention rate 100%
Offices 20
Countries 17
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Quality of work
Peer support
Partner approach-ability
Work/life balance
Social life
Chances of secondment abroad

Grades derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey of over 1,500 trainees and junior associates at the leading UK law firms.


Average arrival time 9:28am
Average leave time 7:47pm
Annual target hours No targets
Annual leave 24 days


First year trainee salary £45,000
Second year trainee salary £50,000
Newly qualified salary £105,000
Profit per equity partner £1,320,000
GDL grant £8,000
LPC grant £8,000


UK female associates 47%
UK female partners 17%
UK BME associates 16%
UK BME partners 14%

Universities Current Trainees Attended

The Firm In Its Own Words