Insight Student at Allen & Overy

Top Employer
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000

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About You
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About You

Role Description

Generally doing the tasks of a trainee: proofreading documents, drafting small pieces, attending client meetings, writing attendance notes and doing research.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Very enjoyable: the people at the firm as well as the students on the scheme were all friendly. The work was generally interesting, and the scheme was a useful way of coming to understand A&O.


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

There was a dedicated 'buddy' system (each of us were assigned a trainee with whom we had a link: my buddy had been to the same college as me). This worked well, and my three supervisors seemed to try hard to involve me in their work and the team as a whole.


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

There was a strong culture of providing constructive feedback after each piece of work; we did not move from task to task without understanding how well we were doing. The graduate recruitment team was also always on hand to advise.


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

Many of the skills I developed were legal or specific to law firms (most of which I had acquired on previous vacation schemes), but my tasks encouraged attention to detail, teamwork and communication skills, which are certainly all generally useful. The skills were less relevant to my degree, but that was not in my view the purpose of the scheme.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Generally well structured to allow us to enjoy ourselves without disrupting our work. Socials were well distributed over the three weeks. There were a few scheduling problems, but these were eventually resolved.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The office was, I gathered, quieter than it would normally be throughout the year (it was August). Although this meant there was generally less work going on in total, our supervisors and other lawyers for that reason had more time to dedicate to us. The office environment was very friendly, and this seemed to me an accurate reflection of A&O's culture rather than something put on for vacation scheme students.


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

There seemed to have been a great deal of investment at all levels of the firm, but especially from our supervisors. All this investment was ultimately aimed at our personal development, specifically understanding a career at A&O (and in law more generally) and helping us to decide if it would suit us.


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?

The vacation scheme is as close as one can get to a training contract. A three week scheme naturally cannot condense the experience of a two year TC, but I felt the scheme was an accurate reflection of a trainee's experience.


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

It was helpful, although 'culture' remains a fairly nebulous concept to me. I suppose culture is ultimately about the firm's people, and the scheme gave us three weeks of intense contact with dozens of A&O people at all levels.


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

Valuable, although I had done two vacation schemes beforehand at fairly similar firms. Overall I ended up having to make comparisons between similar things. On its own I think the scheme is a good way to decide whether you would like a career in commercial law and, if so, whether A&O would suit you.


Other Information

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

I commuted from home. The pay covered my train fare adequately.

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

(See above). Plenty of opportunity, both in day-to-day work and in organised events.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

(See above for networking). Social events consisted of meals in nice restaurants - fairly typical of vacation schemes but not as inventive (or, dare I say it, enjoyable) as social events at other firms I have experienced. This is, however, a minor point. The socials allowed us to get to know our colleagues, which I imagine was their purpose.


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

There were one or two e-mails sent round about sports events. We also heard about pro bono and community activities. The fact that it was August probably explains why things seemed fairly quiet.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Certainly, but I would warn them that it is fairly hard work and most useful to someone already very interested in a career in law.