I greatly enjoyed the insight. A & O First this year was run under very difficult conditions of COVID-19 pandemic. We have had email from Allen & Overy Graduate Recruitment since March and had support throughout the programme. The A & O First Programme was insightful itself. It gave a lot of information about Allen & Overy itself, partners' interpretation of the business strategy, and how to set expectation from a vac scheme or a training contract.
A & O First candidates are highly valued throughout the scheme. This year's scheme unfortunately had to run through Webex (an online platform). But we received support from the firm starting day one. Graduate recruitment was just phenomenal and organised various online events during the lockdown and kept us in the loop of what to expect. All the presenters from trainees to partners were very engaging and gave very honest answers the our questions which are always helpful when it comes to making applications.
The graduate recruiters ([This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions]) at Allen & Overy are just phenomenal. We have had very considered support since we got onto the programme. A LinkedIn group was set up and we were placed into different groups to get to know each other before the scheme started. In march we were partnered with a trainee buddy. Trainee buddies usually have very busy schedule so it would be pretty difficult to find a time to get in touch with them. It is best to write all the questions you have and then wait till they have time.
As a Non-law student wishing to pursue a career in commercial law, I still benefited from A & O First through developing Emotional Intelligence, Communication skills, organisational skills and adaptability. I would highly recommend A & O First to anyone with an interest in the commercial world. The insight scheme in itself is unique and really stands out from Spring schemes from other law firms. It is a great opportunity to get to know more about commercial law and how city law firms operate.
The insight programme was very well structured in spite being run virtually. It had presentations from partners, training principle, associate and trainees from different stages of their training contracts. It also had presenters from different practice areas, such as corporate, finance, and litigation. One of the highlights of the A & O First programme was the cocktail social which was great fun and brought a few light hearted moments to the scheme and I greatly enjoyed it.
It is hard to consider the general atmosphere of the scheme due to the fact it was run virtually. Unfortunately it is pretty difficult to get to know other candidates more and really build a rapport through the web cameras. However, I have connected with a few other candidates through linkedin before the scheme began and became very good friends with them which helped the scheme itself. It was very nice to see familiar faces on the screen during the scheme too!
Allen & Overy invested a lot time to the design of A & O First. The presentations and events which took place were carefully considered and planned in advance. Allen & Overy was also very generous with partner hours as well to make sure the we could have a meaningful conversation and gain an honest view of the firm through partner presentation and panel discussion. And there is trainee buddies whom we could seek support from if we have questions about the firm.
Through presentations and panel discussions, we were given information about different practice areas and work that might be involved in teams at Allen & Overy. The trainee panel discussion was extremely valuable to get an understanding about what a trainee role is like, how to set expectations, secondment opportunities both internationally and to a client company. Practice areas were well represented at the scheme and we had interactions with representatives from all key practice teams.
The A & O First scheme help candidates in understanding the company culture in a number of ways - presentations; panel discussions; Q&A sessions and Trainee buddies. Trainee buddies can be very busy. Graduate recruitment also designed the scheme to introduce the firm culture through different lenses, whether it was the way people work at Allen & Overy, or the networks and groups one could join outside billable work. Pro Bono was also covered in the scheme
It was pretty valuable.
It was run virtually so this question doesn't apply.
Because the scheme was run entirely online ( thought Webex) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the networking and social event opportunities were limited to our own bedrooms. However, from day 1 of the scheme, we were partnered with a trainee buddy which could be really helpful if we had any questions to ask them. Partners and associates we met virtually also encouraged to follow them and engage with them on LinkedIn which helps. Overall, Allen & Overy tried its best to minimise the negative impacts of the covid-19 restrictions put in place by the government.
Because the scheme was run entirely online ( thought Webex) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the networking and social event opportunities were limited to our own bedrooms. But graduate recruitment at Allen & Overy designed some very interesting social opportunities such as the cocktail making session which was great fun. We were encouraged to connect with each other and with presenters on LinkedIn and ask questions we have which always helps. Everyone felt very welcome throughout the A & O First scheme.
We had trainees and partners talking about opportunities outside billable work. There was a session dedicated to Pro bono at Allen & Overy which was very informative and gave us an idea of the societal impact Allen & Overy is making on a global scale. There are also a lot networks in the firm that trainees could join such as the trainee mental health network which I consider as a great trainee-led initiatives. Various sports teams and hobby groups were also mentioned.
Yes! Following A & O, I am taking the role of a campus ambassador for the firm to promote it on campus. I think everyone who has an interest in the commercial world should considering applying to A & O First. Commercial law firms like Allen & Overy invest a lot of resource to developing lawyers from a non-law background and to quote from the Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption - non-law students make the best lawyers.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
1st October 2020