I thoroughly enjoyed the scheme. From interview to the two days in Easter, to the return office visit, I learnt something new every time. I gave it 9/10 instead of 10 just because during the Easter days, my supervisor gave me a very mundane task for the entirety of the 3 hours. I would have preferred some variety.
A&O are one of the most welcoming and engaging firms that I have visited thus far. The sense of culture that many people say that you will 'get a feel for' was evident. I could feel a hard working and prestigious presence amongst all of the lawyers and graduate recruitment. I felt very much part of this.
I received guidance along the whole process. Firstly, during the application and interview stages, graduate recruitment were extremely responsive to all questions over email. On the actual scheme itself, there was always a comprehensive explanation of what the day would entail. During work shadowing, my trainee buddy was extremely supportive. She took the time to talk me through the practice area and what I could expect in a typical day.
Networking- the opportunities to network on the insight scheme were numerous. This enabled me to develop the types of conversations I was having, to get the most out of each of them. I am now able to transfer this skill when networking at any event. Confidence- being able to communicate well and meet a whole cohort of people on A&O first has boosted my confidence. The return office visit talk on presentation skills was also engaging.
Very structured. On all occasions that we visited the office, we had recieved a schedule of what the day would entail via emailing advance. This meant that we were never unsure of what to expect and it was clear that we were getting the most out of each day we were there.
The atmosphere was friendly and professional. Graduate recruitment were extremely approachable and always ready to answer questions. I was never apprehensive to approach them. Every trainee and lawyer I met was very down to earth and represented the face of the firm excellently. The fellow participants of A&O first were all friendly too which further enhanced the atmosphere at the firm.
The firm invested highly in us. They provided ample opportunity for us to network with lawyers which meant they gave us a platform to learn even more about the firm. More than this, though, the fact that they thoroughly planned each day for us shows that they fully invested in us. All of the sessions focused on personal development for interviews/ applications etc or improving our understanding of the firm.
It really helped. As well as hearing from graduate recruitment about the firm, we were actually able to do work shadowing. This meant that we could actually see, first hand, the type of work we would be doing at the firm as a potential future trainee. This aspect of the programme was very helpful in deciding whether the firm was a right fit for me.
The insight helped me to understand the company culture a lot. You can't understand such a concept from any website. Thus, actually being in the offices and being surrounded by representatives from the firm gave me a much better idea. talks in the fuse lab solidified my suspicions that the culture at A&O is very forward thinking and pioneering.
Very helpful. I was already pretty certain that I wanted to be a commercial lawyer. The insight scheme really soldified this career ambition. More than this though, it made me want to start my career at the firm. It felt like the training programme for trainee lawyers was comprehensive and dedicated to development.
This was not a paid scheme. There was an option to have travel expenses reimbursed but I did not utilise this option. I don't think that the scheme needs to be paid in the future. It is enough that we are granted such an experience in the firm. Also, the firm were very generous with things such as the Amazon Fire Tablets.
There was ample opportunity. On the scheme itself during Easter, there was opportunity to talk to trainee buddy at the networking lunches. Also, I met lots of other lawyers when I was in each department during work shadowing. Opportunities for drinks in the evening also added to these chances to network.
They were very good. All of the representatives of the firm who attended them were happy to talk and impart anecdotes of their individual experiences. I would suggest that during networking lunches, trainees/ participants come together half way through lunch. Although its a relaxed environment. Sometimes its nice to just have a break instead of constantly talking.
Yes we were told about the various sports teams at the firm that we were able to join. As well as this we were shown the gym.
Yes, definitely. It was one of the most exciting and well organising first year schemes that I went on. It covered everything from networking to application tips to actual work shadowing, which is invaluable. The firm have also kept in touch over summer and the return office visit demonstrates that the firm are really invested in us and have our best interests.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
12th October 2018