We have an intensive recruitment program in place.
In fact, during the last ten years we have more than tripled our size, and we do not plan to stop here. On the other hand, given that we are not especially eager to dilute SLS’s internal culture, which in our view has been a determinant factor in the results obtained sofar, we remain in general quite reluctant with respect to mergers; thus, organic growth remains of the utmost importance for the Firm’s future.
In view of our current expansion plans, and the extraordinary importance we attach to human resources, we devote enormous time and effort in the selection of our new colleagues, and try to meet and evaluate as many candidates as possible at each quarterly cycle of interviews.
This is an especially laborious process because of our admittedly very demanding requirements; but all candidates are considered in the light of a full and permanent participation in the Firm’s development and of a possible future partnership. As a matter of fact, we hate people turnover, consider “casualties” as personal defeats, and search for people motivated and talented enough to contribute in the medium- and long term to the maintenance and enhancement of our standard of excellence.
In this respect, please note that we are generally not in a position to offer temporary secondment / summer clerkship / “stage” slots to Italian lawyers, students and trainees in one of our offices, unless in the framework of educational programmes officially participated in by SLS. For everything which concerns the temporary, as well as the permanent, recruitment of Bulgarian lawyers, Serbian lawyers, Romanian lawyers, foreign lawyers (or Italian lawyers admitted and practising abroad) and of other personnel, please see the relevant sections of this site.
Whenever a candidate meets our first selection criteria and obtains an interview with the Firm, but is subsequently deemed unsuitable for our present needs, our way to thank them for their time is to do our best to advise them with regard to their future careeer, according to the best of our knowledge of the legal market, and possibly to point them in the direction of more appropriate targets.
While we have been very satisfied in the recent past from a number of “lateral hires”, and thus are willing to discuss taking on lawyers with medium-to-high seniority (especially where they bring along very specialised skills or a significant goodwill or client portfolio), most of the Firm’s new members join us straight out of law school, or even during their final term.
To apply to SLS, previous experience or the completion of your statutory training is therefore not a pre-requisite, and in any event is per se deemed much less important than other factors, such as your personal charisma, your academic background, your strong interest and motivation in the kind of law we practice, your command of language(s), or your computer literacy.
New recruits, irrespective of seniority, are immediately admitted as full Associates, participating under the close supervision of a partner in all phases of our work, including those involving contacts with clients, opposing counsel, courts and authorities. At the same time, in addition to normal external professional updating, and academic activities possibly undertaken, the new Associates embark on an intensive two-year training of a purely theoretical nature aimed at developing the specific aptitudes and abilities of the individuals concerned, and integrating them with our specific approach and culture.
In the process, before acquiring the status of Senior Associate and later that of Partner, our new Associates are usually given the opportunity – after a period of at least one year with the Firm and if they have not already done it in the past – to obtain additional experience elsewhere, for example through an internship abroad with one of our correspondent firms, a Masters course, or a temporary secondment to one of our offices abroad.
Moreover, we encourage and support our members in any academic interest they may develop (scholarship and legal practice are not mutually exclusive in our countries), in their work as legal researchers and writers, and in their participation to international lawyers’ organisations. The time spent in such endeavours is valued on an equal basis with billable time, and taken into account in periodic performance evaluations.
The investment made with regard to the selection and training of our new colleagues is, in our view, a guarantee of the Firm’s ability to survive and to expand, and it is rewarded by an unusually high degree of loyalty to the Firm.