This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
The two week vacation scheme was a very enjoyable experience, it was a great mix of the work and social side of Allen & Overy. The team I was working with was keen to involve me in ongoing deals at the firm, which made me feel very involved. Everyone at the firm is incredibly friendly and approachable; I met many members of the firm for coffee and played football in the gym hall.
You feel very valuable as they are keen to get you involved in ongoing deals at the firm and give you any work you are able to take on. If you had any difficulties, no one was too busy to give you help you or explain to you the nature of the work they are completing at that time.
You are paired with both a current trainee and associate at the firm who help and guide you for the duration of the vacation scheme. They are able to help with any problems you encounter with your work or around the office. Additionally, everyone is very approachable and the friendly graduate recruitment team are always available. There are also various activities and talks throughout the scheme to help you get a better feel for the firm.
In a short space of time, I felt I was getting a good feel for the work done at the firm. I was sat in the Derivatives and Structured Finance department during my vacation scheme. Having had very little economic experience prior to the scheme, I felt I learned a lot, largely thanks to the patient nature of the team in explaining various concepts to me.
The vacation scheme was well structured, with a mix of individual work with the department you were sat with and group work with other vacation scheme students. There were also talks on speech delivery, pro bono activities and charity work. Combined with the social activities, it meant good time management was required but that you were never stuck for anything to keep you occupied.
The atmosphere was very friendly from day one, with the graduate recruitment team keen to get everyone settled in and familiarised with the office. Everyone in the firm was keen to say hello and introduce themselves and offer their help should I need it. People at the firm would reach out for a coffee and a chat, which made me feel at home very quickly.
The firm made it very clear that they are with you the whole way throughout your training contract. They are always available as you finish your degree and undertake your GDL and LPC before starting at the firm. There are various opportunities to meet up with the firm to make sure you feel supported throughout the whole process.
There were talks and question & answer sessions that dealt with all the aspects of the GDL, the LPC and what life is like as a trainee within the firm. In addition to this, you were paired with a buddy and an associate that would answer any questions you had about the training contract and day-to-day life of a trainee at Allen & Overy. All the information is laid out online and in various handouts also.
It was very evident that the nature of the firm is that people are very self driven and want to produce work of the highest quality. Despite the hard working nature of the people at the firm, they are incredibly friendly and can always find time to help you out, take on pro bono work, engage their hobbies and take part in social activities.
Everyone at the firm is obviously very busy, given the nature of the firm but they would always make time to go for a coffee chat with you or to the social events laid on by the graduate recruitment team, in order to help out the vacation scheme students in any way they could. Also scheduled was a Q&A session with the senior partner which was particularly rewarding.
The graduate recruitment team laid on a variety of networking events. Ping pong with current trainees at the firm made for a fun and relaxed setting, while a dinner with partners at the firm allowed the vacation scheme students to discuss experiences they had and their career at Allen & Overy. There were also events with the graduate recruitment team meaning that across all the events, you had access to every aspect of the firm.
The firm has a strong emphasis on extra curricular and charitable activities, which they were keen to let the vacation scheme students aware of. Every year they select a charity, for which they hold many fundraising events for over the course of the year. There are also many different sporting teams and hobbies you can get involved in; I played football with members of my team during my vacation scheme.
I could not recommend the vacation scheme more, it was a very enjoyable experience that gave me a great insight into the nature of the firm and the work that they do. I was made to feel comfortable very quickly and I was never bored in my time at the firm. The work was stimulating, the people incredibly friendly and the social events very fun.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Legal/Law, Personal Rights Law
2nd November 2016