2 day insight scheme for 1st year (2nd in a 4 year course) students at Allen & Overy
I greatly enjoyed the 2 days I spent at Allen & Overy, getting to know the people and atmosphere of the firm. As well as presentations and work shadowing, the social events held by the firm were very much appreciated. Overall, I had a fantastic time and received many insights.
I felt very valued during my time, with everyone I met being approachable and informative. Although my buddy was quite busy during the insight scheme, she made every effort to talk to me about her work and show the practicalities of working as a lawyer. A special mention goes to the graduate recruitment team, who were always on hand to answer any questions.
Despite the relative brevity of the scheme, skill development sessions were in place including workshops on negotiation and personal branding. The amount of support and resources available meant that I had the opportunity to make improvements based on feedback. The information on the application process and wider legal profession was very informative.
The scheme was very structured, with a timetable of events. This meant that a large volume of content was delivered efficiently.
The general atmosphere was very friendly with opportunities to ask questions and interact with a variety of people. I got on well with the other participants, making several new friends through the scheme. Everyone I met was keen to share their experiences and offer advice - I felt that this reflected the wider culture of Allen & Overy.
While the short timeframe meant that there was limited time for formal training sessions, there still was plenty put on such as skills presentations which I felt were very useful for applications and beyond. Moreover the people there were incredibly generous in offering their time through shadowing, talks and networking events.
The combination of work shadowing and a wide variety of presentations clarified what life as a solicitor at Allen & Overy would be like, encompassing the nature of work, hours and opportunities for development. Although I only spent a brief period of time at the firm, talking to such a wide range of people gave me a good picture.
There were extensive talks on firm culture, with particular spotlights on diversity, pro bono and innovation. These were useful in finding out the values A&O placed at the core of its business. The work shadowing was amazing in providing an unfiltered view into the culture, showing how people interacted with each other in a friendly and respectful way.
Through the sessions and shadowing, I found out in depth about a career at Allen & Overy. This insight confirmed the positive image I had of the firm and made me certain about my future career path.
I was reimbursed travel expenses and also provided with accommodation.
There were numerous opportunities to meet other employees across all areas and levels. Work shadowing allowed participants to see the actual work done by A&O lawyers. There were skills sessions involving trainees and panel discussions with partners too. What made this scheme stand out was the chance to talk to such a wide range of people - I particularly enjoyed the presentations from Fuse (the internal tech incubator) and diversity networks.
There was a social event with the other participants which helped to break the ice. There were many opportunities to network with people from across the firm.
There were sessions on pro bono initiatives open to members of the firm, including advice clinics and carrying out legal work for charities. The wide range of sporting and social activities was also explained. A tour of the available leisure facilities covered the fitness center, theatre and music practice rooms.
I would not hesitate to recommend this to someone already seeking a career in commercial law, for the insights into Allen & Overy as well as application advice. The conversations I had on the scheme were fascinating and really did inform me what the firm was about.
As for those unsure about law, A&O First would be a good introduction to the legal profession.