Since it was virtual this mostly involved attending various presentations and networking events. There were many opportunities for one-on-one virtual coffees to get to know people across the firm, while also working within a team across the five days to deliver a short presentation. There were two written tasks that were timed and completed by all vac scheme students.
During the first two days in April, we heard from Partners about the impact of ESG, Technology and AI on Commercial Law, completed a banking session on the timeline of a transaction, and had a session on project finance, entailing the importance of ESG considerations when advising major International Banks. In September, we visited the offices in London, and gained an invaluable insight into the application process, and learned about various diversity initiatives.
Spring Days: Two days of interactive talks, quizzes and networking opportunities delivered virtually. These activities offered an opportunity to immerse yourself in the firm's culture and build legally-relevant competencies. Returner's Day: A day long office visit involved talks, role-play activities, networking and socials. Students had the opportunity to interact with legal professionals and graduate recruitment to enhance their appreciation of the firm.
The programme consisted primarily in talks from members of the firm, which covered practice area introductions, ESG-related topics, Diversity and Inclusion and the firms' networks, and practical application guidance among others. There were also interactive workshops and games, as well as many opportunities for networking, not least with the personal mentor assigned to each participant. Finally, the scheme also included an office tour and various social events for the whole cohort.
An excellent insight into the culture at the firm and the work that the lawyers do day-to-day. Each day would comprise 3/4 interactive presentations with group project work between them. The project involved speaking with staff across the firm to understand their role or practice area. There were a few tasks set during the week which had clear instructions and guides.
A fantastic opportunity, giving an insight into the work which the lawyers do but also importantly, the supportive culture at the firm. Each day, there were many opportunities to ask questions during talks, reach out to individuals within the firm and speak to the Graduate Recruitment Team. There was also a great opportunity to form connections with peers on the Scheme in completing a Group Innovation Challenge!
It was good but not excellent - the insight scheme was designed to give us additional information on how to break into the legal sector. I enjoyed being advised on how to make my future applications stand out, but I got the impression that other people on the insight were overly competitive. This is not surprising, but one would hope that attendees would be more collaborative, as that is what the legal sector is supposed to be about.
I thoroughly enjoyed the insight scheme- it was fantastic to hear from a range of people from the firm, including those who had completed the scheme in the years prior to us and had subsequently secured future grad careers at the firm. Also, the webinars and talks delivered were thoroughly engaging and covered a wide range of topics, from the work they complete to activities that would help progress our careers. A social event was also organised for us which was a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded individuals. I feel I was able to really understand the firm and am excited for my future prospects with them.
I thoroughly enjoyed the A&O First Summer Scheme. It was engaging and informative despite taking place online. The chat bar was vital in achieving this as it enabled everyones questions to be asked. There was a good varied range of activities from the Jargon Buster Challenge which was very interactive to the talk on Advanced Delivery which was more explanatory. I was pleased by the mixture between trainees and partners that we interacted with, all of whom were welcoming.