It was good but not excellent - the insight scheme was designed to give us additional information on how to break into the legal sector. I enjoyed being advised on how to make my future applications stand out, but I got the impression that other people on the insight were overly competitive. This is not surprising, but one would hope that attendees would be more collaborative, as that is what the legal sector is supposed to be about.
I enjoyed my insight day as it enabled my to see how Allen and Overy differentiate themselves from other law firms and how we as candidates fits into their vision to become a key player in the industry. The fact that there were so many of us however, diminished our individual significance as it was like being a small fish in a big pond. Therefore, there was limited individual attention given to participants during the networking session.
I received some very good advice on how to conduct myself as an aspiring solicitor. This was enabled through the mentor/mentee system that they have created for insight day attendees as well as the ongoing updates that the company gives exclusively to participants at their insight days - I feel as though this gives me an advantage for training contract applications. They also made clear that it was important to apply early for contracts in a manner that other firms did not when I attended other insight days.
Not too much academically as the theory of the law is very difference from its practice. However, from a professional viewpoint I have learnt some basic rules on how to conduct myself in the legal sector, and what steps I need to take to submit a successful application for a training contract. This will prove invaluable as it will cut down on the amount of time I will need to devote to mastering my applications for full time contracts.
Well structured - insight days are held frequently and I get the impression Allen and Overy conduct them in a way that shows the firm in a positive light. There was plenty of communication from the application process to the day itself on how the insight day programme was going to be structured. Moreover, we were given a detailed list of relevant contact details of employees who we networked with, which was invaluable during my applications.
Good but competitive - a lot of attendees gave me the impressive that they viewed others as competition. This created a hostile environment among some, although the majority were very friendly. The staff worked hard to create a positively-themed insight day despite the high numbers in attendance, and gave us plenty on support prior to the day itself. Moreover, there was some great hospitality on offer, including canapes and drinks over networking, which was very good.
Given that it was only an insight day, not much - but the fact that we were selected suggested that they were willing to invest in us as potential employees. This was also helped by the fact that they gave us exclusive application advice both for the firm's application process and in pursuing a career in the legal sector in general. There was a networking session at the end along with the mentor/mentee system that they have in place.
Well - there were numerous presentations and networking events throughout the day and I was assigned a mentor who has since supported me in my application to the firm. I was also encouraged to ask any questions about the firm and the legal sector - which is always a welcome sign. I found that the networking session was too short for attendees to be able to gain any meaningful conversations with the employees in attendance.
Well - they emphasized the differences between themselves and other law firms, and the insight also included more information on the company than other insight days I have attended. This suggested to me that Allen and Overy definitely do not conceal their identity, and think it is an integral part of their success. Namely, they are unequivocal about their commitment to winning cases for high profile clients in all sectors, but especially the corporate sector.
Valuable in the sense that it gave me more of an idea of what to expect for the application process for training contracts/other opportunities, but I have already been set on breaking into the sector for a while so it did not change many of the perceptions I had previously held. Therefore, it was more of a confirmation of my previously held ideas about how to break into the sector, rather than something that caused me to change my mind about anything.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Central London and City
26th October 2020