A&O organised a open day specifically focused on first years. This insight was one of the best I have had into the world of commercial law and the legal career. I would recommend all first year law and non-law students to apply to this if the want to learn a bit about commercial law, A&O and the way a big city firm functions.
I found that there was a good balance between the scheduled talks on different practice areas and time at our desks for actual work for our trainers. The talks on practice areas and on other aspects of the firm were largely well-delivered, and speakers were honest about the difficulties of the work. My trainers gave me a good array of work that was both interesting and challenging, and were happy to answer questions whenever they arose. There was also a project we had to do about halfway through the scheme, which made for an interesting exercise in time management and teamwork. I felt that, overall, I received a lot of support from my trainer, my trainee buddy, and the graduate recruitment team.
Overall, disappointing. At best, both I and the firm had bad scheme fatigue. Either the firm is overhyped, or they inadvertently were brutally honest about trainee life. Worst offence was a complacency that by virtue of being on the scheme, our default first choice would be A&O, notwithstanding that all but one of us had done at least one City scheme just before.