Legal Intern - Spring Vacation Scheme at Allen & Overy

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Review Date

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About You
The Company
Everything Else

Role Description

I was a legal intern in the Competition department, where I researched EU and competition law for a a pan-European cartel investigation, and drafted a letter of advice and a letter before claim for a pro bono matter.

About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

It was great, being able to sit in a single department for two weeks and really understand the mechanics of daily solicitor work.
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I felt valued because I was given a great deal of responsibility and was also allowed to read and draft confidential documents. Everyone I met was not only friendly on a professional basis, but I felt that they were truly curious about my life and interested in helping me to make the right decision when it came to my career.
5 /5

3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

There was a significant degree of support. I sat with an Associate and there was also a Trainee in the room beside us. They both offered to help and support along the way.
5 /5

4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I did case research for a client, which is always helpful when it comes to writing academic essays, too.
5 /5

The Company

5. How well structured was the insight?

There were many planned events as well as assessments.
5 /5

6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

It was near the exam period, and therefore the atmosphere was not as carefree as it could have been, but this is understandably not because of the firm.
5 /5

7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I felt that they really cared about not just assessing me but also providing me feedback so that I could do better the next time. During the scheme itself, we had an assignment which involved drafting clauses. Following the assignment, a partner gave us feedback on how we did and what we could do better. After the scheme ended, my Associate supervisor and a representative from the Graduate Recruitment called me to tell me how I did and how I could do better on the scheme as a whole. I felt that they did not have to do that, but the fact that they did made me feel more valued and invested in.
5 /5

8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I think they were quite honest about the hours and the atmosphere. I did actually meet people who didn't enjoy life at the firm, but I also met those who did. I think a realistic representation of the firm was what I was looking for and what I eventually did get on this scheme. It would not be fair if they only presented the positive aspects of a full time role there, and I am glad that that was not the case.
5 /5

9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

Although personally I am slightly sceptical about a 'company-wide culture' ever existing, I think the insight scheme helped me to understand at least a 'department-wide culture'. This is because I spent two weeks at a single department and did not do any rotations. By the end of my scheme, I knew most of the people in that single department, but did not know many people outside of the department. Therefore, I am rating this less than perfect in helping me to understand the company culture (if it exists).
4 /5

10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

At the end of the day I decided to go with Allen & Overy for my Training Contract - I guess you could say that it determined my future career path. The scheme, which showed me both positive and negative aspects of the job, was illuminating and constructive when it came to deciding on my career. The tasks I was given were a mix of prepared assignments and actual on-the-job assignments. I favour the latter, and was given more of the latter due to this preference.
5 /5

Everything Else

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

I was paid around £400 per week, which I believe is one of the higher salaries for insight schemes among law firms. I understand that banks tend to pay more, but I would still think I was paid adequately for the experience, especially considering the fact that we were also brought to free social events and were given on-the-job training (arguably invaluable).

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

There were more opportunities meeting employees from the same department, and fewer opportunities meeting employees from other departments. That being said, we had a discussion session with the head of the firm as well as a 'department day', where we got to meet one or two representatives from other departments for a brief period of time to understand their roles and experiences.
4 /5

13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

They were well-organised and not necessarily lavish. I also felt that they were geared towards being slightly more informative rather than merely social, which is a good thing for me. I think the number of social events was smaller than on other schemes, but this could possibly be because we were near our exams and wouldn't be entirely in the mood for socials everyday.
4 /5

14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Yes, in particular, I thought that there was a good amount of emphasis on pro bono work. In addition to this, I learnt about the choir as well as Christian group. The firm has a gym, which also means that many employees can conveniently use the gym after work. Lastly, employees tend to go to the bar in the firm to unwind after work.
4 /5

15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes, I think it is a brilliant way to know for sure if you'd like to join a firm for a long period of time. Without the scheme, I would not be able to say with such absolute conviction that I am glad to have chosen Allen & Overy for my Training Contract. Furthermore, the pay does help to cover the rent during the holidays.
5 /5