A&O First at Allen & Overy

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Banking and Finance Law

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Allen & Overy is a Top Employer


About You
The Organisation
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About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I went for A&O First, a 2-day insight programme at the firm that buddies you up with a mentor to help you develop throughout the year, at the end of which I'll interview for a TC. The programme was packed and thoroughly enjoyable - the commercial awareness sessions, workshops, and networking events were all engaging.


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

It was a short programme but it's clear that a huge amount of effort went into its planning and execution - I was put in a hotel since I'm not based in London, and lots of fee-earners (including partners) made time to come talk to us.


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

The highlight for me is the mentorship programme. A&O buddies you up with someone you can relate to (for me, my buddy and I went to the same uni) and we got along really really well. My buddy has been immensely helpful and supportive, and we catch up when I'm in London.


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

It's not useful to my degree, but that's more a function of Oxford law being quite irrelevant to solicitor work for the most part. The commercial awareness and networking skills I picked up definitely came in handy - a valuable advantage for TC applications.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

It was only 2 days long, but it was quite packed full of events in those 2 days. Each day felt fulfilling but not overly long, and adequate breaks between events kept us refreshed.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Almost everyone I met was immensely keen. HR was completely supportive, fee earners we met were enthusiastic, and all the attendees were no doubt happy to be there. I really enjoyed meeting our counterparts from Brussels, who travelled to London to attend the scheme with us and were very fun to be around.


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

The fact that a law firm is investing so much in someone that'd potentially work for them only 3 years later is astounding to me, but definitely in a good way. No doubt a lot of content that was covered was only introductory, but the impression I get is that of a keen commitment to training the best possible solicitors.


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?

There's no better way to gain an insight into work than to actually shadow solicitors in the course of their work, which was a significant portion of the programme. I sat through several hours of a live deal, which was quite insightful.


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

I've interacted with dozens of staff at A&O at all different levels of seniority, which is as good a picture as I can get without actually working there.


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

I've always been quite keen on being a solicitor, but the insight made me quite sure about my choice of firm too.


Other Information

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

I wasn't paid, which is only fair since I didn't actually do any work. All meals and transport was covered, as well as accommodation for one night. It was a pretty nice hotel too.

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

Networking opportunities were incorporated into the programme. Aside from dedicated sessions, each activity left time for questions and networking, so I ended up meeting people from various practice areas and at various different stages of their career.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Pretty good. There was a nice social at a place at Shoreditch which was pretty fun (a bar with ping pong) so that was great to chill at.


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

I don't think this is something people tell you unless you ask, but I did ask and some people had some interesting hobbies.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

When I started uni I was surprised to learn that there were even programmes for first-years, but I was absolutely floored by the amount of effort put into it. Top-drawer stuff.