A&O Shearman profile

A&O Shearman

Best Student Employer
347 Reviews

About A&O Shearman

Since the two legal powerhouses – Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling – joined forces in May 2024, A&O Shearman has proven to be an unparalleled combination: a new type of industry leader with truly global capabilities. With over 4000 lawyers, across 48 offices in 29 countries, here you’ll be able to work on the most interesting, high-profile legal work, helping the world’s leading businesses to grow, innovate, and thrive. In today’s ever-changing world, we continue to break new ground, working with companies, organisations and governments on the most complex legal issues and building strong and enduring client relationships.

We also know that to excel, we must nurture an environment where our people are truly supported and feel that they belong. Whatever defines you, we ask you to bring your whole self to work to grow our dynamic and inclusive culture. We have a powerful commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which means you’re cared about for who you are, every bit as much as you’re valued for what you do. Together, we work as a team, listening and learning from one another to achieve results we could never achieve on our own.

We’re here to rewrite the rules of the legal industry – developing and delivering innovative solutions that push our clients and industry forwards. We’re proud to have the resources, the vision, and the mind-set to equip our people to operate in the legal landscape of the future. With us, you’ll be constantly learning and growing, benefitting from exceptional professional and personal development. For trainees, this means an in-house training programme characterised by flexibility and choice. In each of your seats, you’ll support a senior associate or partner with exposure to work that crosses departments and borders. A lot of the firm’s work involves two or more jurisdictions, and our trainees also have the chance to spend six months in one of our international offices, or on secondment to one of our clients.

This is a global career with unique opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. We will help you develop into an exceptional lawyer and learn to perform at the highest possible standard – whether or not you have a degree in law. Challenge the status quo with us, and you’ll find a career where you can really excel. This is your chance to find your start and change things for the better.


Working at A&O Shearman offers an exceptional range of benefits, including season ticket and cycle-to-work loans, a health and wellbeing centre including in-house GP, physiotherapist, and dental plan, an on-site fitness centre and sports hall plus in-house beauty and wellbeing therapies, as well as access to a wide range of discounted goods and services. In the UK, we currently provide access to support through our Employee Advice Line and Private Medical Insurance. All trainees globally have free access to our health and wellbeing apps (Headspace, Help@hand and Unmind.)

Vacation Scheme

A&O Shearman offers vacation scheme opportunities to students and graduates from all degree disciplines. Each year we have two schemes across winter and summer. These are designed to show you exactly what it’s like to tackle exciting challenges every day and experience global success as part of our friendly, supportive and, dynamic culture. If you are an undergraduate, you need to be in your penultimate or final year of study to be eligible to apply.

For full details about our academic requirements, the skills and attributes we look for, and the application process, please visit earlycareersuk.aoshearman.com

First-year Opportunities

A&O Shearman’s First Year programme is more than just work experience. It’s a programme with various touchpoints spread across a year, and gives you access to a global support network designed to give you all the information, contacts and experience you need to decide whether a legal career at A&O Shearman is right for you. During the scheme, we will help you boost the skills we look for in future trainees. You will see first-hand what it’s like to be part of our supportive community and get a sense of what we could help you achieve when you join us. This programme is open for students in their first year of a three-year course or second year of a four-year course. You can apply to this programme between 8th January 2024 and 16th February 2024. For the online application form and to find more details about this, please visit earlycareersuk.aoshearman.com

Training Contracts

The A&O Shearman Training Contract is characterised by flexibility and choice. Our training programme is meticulously designed and continually evolving to provide the foundations you need to find your strengths, overcome challenges and bring out your best self. It’s a chance to really discover life as a lawyer. Your training will be based on four six-month rotations (known as ‘seats’), through a number of departments or practice areas. The seat structure ensures that you get to see as many parts of the firm as possible and that your learning is hands-on and guided by a senior associate or partner. 

You will also explore the possibility of spending a seat on an international or client secondment, which will give you the chance to grow and strengthen your network, and gain contentious experience, either by spending a seat in our Litigation department, or by completing a Litigation course and obtaining experience via legal advice clinics.

Throughout the two years of your Training Contract, we will work closely with you to ensure you have the support to reach your full potential and become a successful commercial solicitor.

Law school fees

When you accept our offer of a Training Contract, we will provide financial support for your law school studies.  For more information, click here.

Accept Cherish Differences

We know that when diverse organisations bring people and perspectives together, our solutions are stronger and more sustainable. But that doesn’t happen by accident. Equity and diversity require a truly inclusive environment. That’s why fostering a culture where our people are accepted for who they are and feel able to truly reach their full potential has been a priority for us for many years.

Being part of A&O Shearman means being committed to cultivating a diverse, inclusive culture for each other. We’re proud of our achievements for creating a work environment where our people feel that they can bring their authentic selves to work. This is a global priority for the firm, and critical to why everyone can truly belong and excel.

At A&O Shearman we go beyond hoping for a better future. We know that hope is not a plan. We actively foster an inclusive environment where people can be their true and authentic selves at work. We know that by listening, and encouraging challenge, that genuine inclusivity can be achieved and not just aspired to.


Best Student Employer

Awarded 7th in Law Best 100 Student Employers 2023-2024


Overall Rating


347 reviews

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"My Vacation Scheme at Allen Overy was thoroughly enjoyable Unlike other vacation schemes we were trusted with real work and received feedback quickly on the work we had completed There were great social events which allowed us the chance to speak to " Read full review


"Mondays and Fridays were quotsessionquot days where all vacation scheme students gathered to listen to various sessions including on the firm039s practice areas affinity networks pro bono opportunities and their innovation hub Fuse TuesdayThu" Read full review

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Opportunities offered:

  • Internship (1 Month+)
  • Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)

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