A career in Law aograduate.com
“The legal industry is changing more quickly than ever before. We are looking for bright, forward-thinking people who can embrace those changes and help shape the way in which we deliver first-class service to our clients across the world over the next decade and beyond. A&O will give you an outstanding legal and business grounding in a fast moving, innovative environment that fully supports your development, values your individuality and enables you to excel.”
Be a lawyer of the future.
JAMES PARTRIDGE, GRADUATE RECRUITMENT PARTNER & TRAINING PRINCIPAL
Look around. The world is changing and we need to change with it. With disruptive technologies and AI automation, the way we practice law is evolving, faster than ever, and the skills lawyers need are changing too. Raw intellect is as important as ever, but a willingness to embrace change and seize new opportunities is vital too. We’re looking for people who want to actively shape the future, crack the industry’s changing climate and cultivate a career that counts. If you’re made for more, we want to hear from you.
04 SETTING PRECEDENTS
06 OPEN CULTURE
12 FORWARD THINKING
14 YOUR ROUTE
18 A&O FIRST
19 VACATION SCHEMES
22 LAW SCHOOL
24 TRAINING CONTRACTS
26 APPLICATION PROCESS
28 REWARDS & BENEFITS
29 GET IN TOUCH
At A&O, we offer much more than just legal advice. We work at the forefront of new developments, delivering critical insight and addressing the world’s largest commercial challenges to help drive results for our clients. The practice of law is constantly transforming, and it is A&O that is setting the pace and leading the way for the future. We’ve already pioneered some of the industry’s most talked about innovations, including Fuse, our Peerpoint consultancy and our Belfast legal services centre. That’s why our training is designed to give people licence to be pioneers who challenge ways of working rather than follow them, all on top of providing an outstanding foundation for a career in law. It’s also why we foster a culture of inclusivity and innovation; one that recognises and rewards those who apply fresh approaches to familiar problems and embrace every challenge as an opportunity. In every sense, we’re one global team: over three quarters of revenue is derived from matters involving more than one country. We’re supportive, collaborative, ambitious and driven. Our capacity to combine these qualities and provide a setting in which all of our people can thrive is what sets A&O apart. Work at the cutting edge.
Winner of the Financial Times Innovative Law Firm Awards. 6x
Learn more at: aograduate.com
At A&O, I know that everything I do for the client has an impact, in one way or another, and that’s what motivates me every day.
JOCELYN HO, NEWLY QUALIFIED SOLICITOR
Be part of the team.
Our success depends on our people. When they’re working in a culture where they can thrive, we all thrive together. That means creating a culture where people work together as one, where everyone plays a vital role in the team and is trusted to deliver their best work. By bringing the brightest minds together, with different ideas, opinions and perspectives, we can approach a problem from every angle and arrive at the strongest solution for our clients. Not only does it make clear business sense, it creates a rich, enjoyable and fulfilling workplace. We don’t just understand the benefits of a diverse workplace; we’re actively working to make our firm more inclusive. From our BAME network to our LGBT+ community, we have a range of global initiatives in place to address challenges around diversity head on.
Find out what you’re made of.
At A&O, we encourage you to take up activities alongside your day-to-day role. From sports clubs to pro bono work, we open every door to help you find time for the things you love. As you get involved in different groups, teams and schemes, you’ll learn new skills, meet people from across the firm and turn working relationships into lasting friendships. With a range of pro bono and community work programmes, we have something for everyone to get involved in and use their skills for good. Our programmes are focused on two key themes: access to justice and access to education. At A&O, you could volunteer your time to fight the death penalty or advise at evening clinics in legal centres across London. Or, you could be helping to get young people from non-privileged backgrounds onto award-winning work experience schemes, giving them the confidence to take the first steps towards a successful career path. We also have a number of sports teams, including football and rugby, free squash courts and an on-site fitness centre.
Our lawyers delivered over 132 hours of pro bono and community investment (PBCI) work every day last year. 132hrs
of lawyers participated in PBCI work.
Partners donated £1.59 million to the A&O Foundation in the past financial year.
of PBCI work were completed in FY19.
There’s so much more to A&O than you think. I’ve got a lot of freedom to pursue my interests here.
As a firm, we’re determined to be at the forefront of legal tech; to do what hasn’t been done before. In our Fuse innovation space, some of our brightest legal minds are working with disruptive tech firms to transform law. I’ve dived headfirst into Fuse. It’s only my first year, but I’m already working with partners to trial and improve new apps. It’s not just legal tech that makes A&O stand out. I’m involved in some of the biggest deals in transport and renewable energy; it’s work that impacts everyday life. With the bar set so high, it’s important to take your strengths, build on them and run with them. Being challenged every day takes drive, determination and discipline. These are skills I acquired whilst learning to dance – putting in the long hours, learning how to fail and teaching myself to get back up again. You’re always challenged here, but you’re never on your own. I’ve always got a great team supporting me and I leverage my trainee network.
Learn more at: aograduate.com
We recognise that the legal market needs to embrace technology, not be disrupted by it. To adapt to this change of pace, Fuse is targeting three core areas: • legaltech: using technology to support in-house legal functions • regtech: exploring how technology can support regulatory compliance • dealtech: using technology to transform how companies and financial institutions negotiate deals and transact with each other The knowledge we are gaining through Fuse will better equip us to engage with clients in all sorts of situations, where technology can be part of the solution to the challenges they face.
Jonathan Brayne – Partner and Chairman of Fuse
Assisted by A&O, Nivaura completed an industry first. Nivaura successfully issued a fully automatic cryptocurrency bond that’s also cleared, settled and registered on a public blockchain infrastructure. Nivaura team members are now helping to guide other tech companies by sharing advice and business experiences.
14,000+ internal and external visitors (September 2017-February 2019)
Forward thinking Fuse.
Breakdown of types of companies which have applied for cohort 1 (%)
Fuse is our tech innovation space. As one of the most ground-breaking areas of our business, it brings together our experts and our clients with disruptive tech companies to develop practical solutions to tough legal challenges. We’re creating solutions to some of the most intractable challenges faced by companies, financial institutions and law firms today. We’re proud to have the resources, vision and mindset to build solutions for the future. I regularly visited Fuse throughout my first seat and helped with the development of a document review tool for a large bank. The specialist screens were particularly useful in trialling the product, as well as the support of the IT specialists that work there. It was obvious that a number of the products being developed in Fuse were going to change the way lawyers (and particularly trainees) work.
Breakdown of types of companies which have applied for cohort 2 (%)
Robert Steele – Current Trainee
Learn more at: aograduate.com
Find the path for you.
A&O Training Contract
A&O Training Contract
A&O Training Contract
A&O Training Contract
We’re more interested in where you are going than where you have been. Around half of our trainees studied a non-law subject for their undergraduate degree, including science, languages, arts and humanities. As the role of the lawyer evolves, this diversity of perspectives becomes increasingly valuable. Regardless of your degree subject, there are a variety of opportunities that you can explore as part of your journey to joining us as a trainee. There is no such thing as a typical A&O candidate. We’re looking for people who are made for more; people who aren’t afraid to go beyond their comfort zone, keep their eye on the prize and strive to be at the forefront of their profession. You should be ready to embrace change, act as a champion of technological advancements and always be on the search to broaden your commercial awareness. We welcome people with a strong academic performance – we expect you to be on track for a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) and to have at least 136 UCAS points (AAB) at A-level (or equivalent).
I’m a non-law student
I’m a law student
A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM course
A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM course
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
Two-year A&O Training Contract
Qualify as a Solicitor
If you’re driven and ambitious, A&O is the perfect place to progress.
TRAINEE Ollie Foudah
A&O is full of people who are hardworking, dedicated and driven. The best part? We all work together as one team where everyone has each other’s back. It’s a fun environment to work hard in. I’ve taken a keen interest in pro bono work and have played an active role in our partnership with the Z2K Trust, advising people who have had their disability benefits cut and helping them through their court hearings. The firm is focused on developing our wellbeing initiatives and the trainees have set up a mental health wellbeing group which is being championed by the partners and spread throughout the rest of the firm. With so much going on, it’s important to take a step back and make some time for myself. For me, that means playing tennis. When I’m on the court, I can completely zone in; there’s no distractions, nothing else on my mind. Then I can come to work completely energised and ready to go.
Learn more at: aograduate.com
Getting an idea of how one firm feels versus another can be difficult. That’s why we recommend one of our vacation schemes. They’re a great way to experience our work, clients and culture first-hand. You can apply to join us either on our summer or winter scheme. Our schemes are open to graduates and undergraduates in their penultimate or final year of study. Choosing the right practice area is one of the most important decisions at the start of your career. On our vacation schemes, we’ll give you everything you need to make the right decision. Before you join, we will ask you to choose an area of law that most interests you. You’ll immerse yourself in a specific practice area, developing in-depth expertise and invaluable contacts. However, during your time with us, we will also expose you to other practice areas to help give you a better understanding of the practice you ultimately want to pursue a career in. Your personal network is powerful and the professional connections you make will be key to developing and building a successful career. We encourage you to network as much as possible during our vacation schemes with organised socials and informal
networking opportunities where you can meet people from across the firm. Once you have finished one of our vacation schemes, you will be considered for a training contract. As soon as I joined Banking, they invited me to be part of the department’s football team. I loved having the chance to speak to trainees in an environment where they were able to be honest about their experiences. International Vacation Scheme Cultural awareness, teamwork and a global mindset are skills that are vital to your success as a lawyer. Our lawyers work in multijurisdictional teams and we encourage them to work overseas at least once during their career. This is why, if you have been on our London Vacation Scheme, we’ll offer you the opportunity to apply for an International Vacation Scheme, giving you the chance to spend an additional week in one of our international offices such as Hong Kong and New York. Learn more at: aograduate.com/vacationschemes Chris Watkins – University of Leicester Alumni, Newly Qualified Solicitor
Work experience is key to exploring the world of law. A&O First is our work experience programme for undergraduates. The programme is designed to give you invaluable work experience in one of our practice areas. You will also build your commercial awareness, legal expertise and employability with our soft skills sessions and networking opportunities. A&O First is open to first-year students on a three-year degree course and second-year students on a four-year course. Our goal is to help you decide if A&O is right for you. We’ll pair you with one of our current A&O trainees who will give you support throughout the scheme, and beyond. We also offer further training and guidance in your second year to help guide you through the recruitment process. At the end of the programme, and dependent on your performance, you’ll have the opportunity to be fast-tracked to an assessment centre for a Vacation Scheme or A&O Training Contract.
The support network that I experienced enabled me to feel included in the firm and truly reflects the collaborative and supportive culture that the firm has.
Fiona Joe Sin Yeoh – UCL Alumni, Current Trainee
International A&O First
As one of the world’s largest law firms with a vast international network, it’s important that our people have a global mindset from day one. On the programme, you will meet other work experience students from our global offices and be offered the opportunity to apply for additional work experience in one of them. This global experience is an invaluable insight into how our teams work together across different locations.
Learn more at: aograduate.com/aofirst
NEWLY QUALIFIED SOLICITOR Neel Sapat
As an A&O Trainee, grabbing every opportunity available to you is the best way to grow. The work here will always push you, but taking those chances to do more – meeting clients and volunteering for bigger projects, that’s what will make you stand out. Pro bono work and charity projects are what I’m most passionate about. I’m involved in mentoring and networking sessions for underprivileged students who can’t see a clear route into law. I also took part in a trek to Jordan with colleagues around the globe to raise money for War Child – A&O’s Global partner charity 2016-2018. Sure, it can be intense sometimes. That’s why every single lawyer here has an outlet; something they do in their spare time to clear their head. Mine is golf. Whenever I get the chance, I head down to the driving range in Greenwich and practice my swing. Focusing on something completely unrelated to law is a way to take a step back, breathe, and bring that same level of energy and focus to work every day.
Take a breath. Step forward.
Before you practise law in England and Wales, you must pass the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at an accredited law school. If you have not completed a degree in law, you will also need to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before taking the LPC. We have selected BPP as our law school partner for both the LPC and GDL qualifications*, so when you begin your training contract, you will have the best possible foundation in legal knowledge and you’ll be ready to start working with our clients. Graduate Diploma in Law The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a one-year compulsory qualification for all UK graduates who have a degree in a subject other than law. It provides a comprehensive grounding in all the relevant technical aspects of commercial and criminal law. We prefer that GDL students study at BPP in Waterloo, London, but do allow students to study at other BPP locations if there are extenuating circumstances. A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM qualification All future trainees are required to take A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM qualification course at BPP in London. This bespoke, seven-month accelerated course has been designed to give you both the technical skills and the commercial awareness to be able to start working for our clients from your very first day here. Alongside the standard technical modules, you’ll undertake projects on
business finance, business management and strategy that will give you real insight into the kinds of issues our clients are facing. We work closely with BPP to develop course content that accurately reflects the work of a City law firm and features materials and examples drawn from our client work. For information on the introduction of the SQE, please see our website. Financial support If you accept our offer of an A&O Training Contract, we’ll provide financial support during your GDL and LPC studies. For candidates studying for the GDL, we will provide an annual maintenance grant of GBP9,000 in London. We will also provide a maintenance grant of GBP10,000 while you take A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM course. In addition, we award a GBP500 prize to future trainees who achieve a first-class degree and/or a distinction in every module of the LPC. You can also apply for an interest-free loan of up to GBP2,000, to be repaid by the end of your period of training. This can be used as either additional financial support while you are undertaking your studies or for something that will contribute to your development, such as a language study course or to undertake a pro bono or community initiative. * In the event that you have already completed the GDL or LPC with another provider, we will recognise these qualifications.
Learn more at: aograduate.com
I’ve been encouraged to get involved in as much as I can, to take responsibility and to stretch my intellectual abilities, but at the same time to challenge ways of doing things to see if things can be done better.
SAM EMMETT, NEWLY QUALIFIED SOLICITOR
Our training contracts are the start of your legal career. When you join us, you may have some idea of where you want to specialise, but we believe it’s important to give you as much exposure to our business as possible. You will sit with a supervisor – a partner or senior associate – and actively contribute to the day- to-day operation of that department; working on transactions and cases and gaining plenty of client exposure. As you gain experience, your level of responsibility will increase. The standards and expectations are high, but you’ll be well- supported by professionals who recognise that it’s people like you who represent the future success of our firm. Your A&O Training Contract will consist of four six-month rotations – known in the legal
profession as ‘seats’. You will spend a minimum of 12 months in at least two of our three main transactional practice areas (Corporate, Banking and International Capital Markets) for which you can express your preferences. Your professional development is a continuing priority for us and we will deliver training and support in a variety of ways, including mentoring from your supervisors and department-specific courses. We believe in the importance of striking a good balance between support, supervision and being encouraged to work independently. Whatever your future holds, your A&O Training Contract will give you a platform of skills and experiences on which to build a long and successful career.
Learn more at: aograduate.com/training-contract
What we look for
If your application is successful, the next stage will be an assessment day comprising of two interviews. The first is based on a commercial case study and you’ll be given time to prepare a short presentation to deliver to your interviewer. In the second interview, you will be asked a series of questions based on scenarios you may encounter as a trainee at A&O. In additional to this, your skills, knowledge and motivations for a legal career will be assessed. • Revise and prepare – re-read your application form; we’re going to ask you about it • Stay up-to-date – track business and world events, form opinions and be prepared to discuss them • Make the right impression – be confident, self-assured and enthusiastic • Ask us pertinent questions – it’s a two-way process, so ask insightful questions that will help you to decide if we’re the right firm for you Top tips for your interview
The first stage of the process is an online application, which will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. As part of this, you’ll be asked to submit your academic history, provide details of previous work experience and answer three short essay questions. Once you submit the application, you’ll be prompted to complete an immersive video-based Situational Judgement Test (SJT), which should take 20 minutes. The SJT is designed to provide a realistic preview of what you may experience as a trainee at A&O. For each scenario, you’ll be presented with four possible options, and you will be asked to select what you think are the most and least effective responses. Detailed instructions will be provided prior to starting the SJT. • Understand our requirements – prepare some examples to show that you have the skills we’re looking for • Make the most of your experience – highlight what you’ve gained from your experiences • Be commercial – show an interest in the legal industry, and what’s going on in the business world and how it might affect us and our clients • Be innovative – show an interest in how technology is shaping the future of the legal profession, and an ability to harness this to drive solutions • Be accurate – attention to detail is a fundamental skill for any lawyer Top tips for your application
Drive & motivation
Applies a sharp and insightful mind to work challenges. Accurately analyses information, including numerical data.
Thrives on change and actively instigates innovative improvement. Is passionate about learning and keen to develop skills and knowledge to enhance performance.
Builds consistently excellent working relationships with clients and colleagues. Uses deep understanding of others, from all backgrounds, to adapt influencing style. A supportive colleague and team-player.
Highly energetic with keen focus on results. Persists to overcome obstacles. Delivers work in an efficient, effective, timely and technology-savvy way. Meets deadlines and has a fine-tuned detail and quality ‘radar’.
After your interview, your application will be discussed in detail by partners in the firm. We will share our decision with you as quickly as possible. Regardless of the outcome, we are committed to providing constructive feedback on your performance at interview. This will help you to understand our decision and also help you to refine your interview technique in preparation for any future applications. Of course, if it’s good news, the Graduate Recruitment team will be on hand to support you in your decision-making and with the next steps.
REWARD & BENEFITS
Our rewards and benefits package is designed to provide you with everything you need to develop a truly satisfying career and enjoy a lifestyle that is as balanced as possible. Yours for the taking.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Employee Assistance Programme – 24/7 helpline providing free access to specialist support, information, telephone and face-to-face counselling covering a wide range of issues (including consumer rights and childcare)
GBP46,500 current salary for first-year trainees
Comprehensive medical cover to treat acute conditions. The policy includes mental health support and some cover for pre-existing medical conditions Emergency Back-Up Care – when regular care arrangements break down or are temporarily unavailable you can benefit from a range of services to help meet the needs of families and carers Fully integrated health and wellbeing centre with services including an in-house GP and nurse, physiotherapy, health assessments, dentist and dental plan Complimentary on-site fitness centre, gym, sports hall and a wide range of exercise classes Beauty and wellbeing therapies in-house including reflexology, massage, manicure and pedicure (at a cost to you)
GBP52,500 current salary for second-year trainees
Get in touch.
Regular events to help you manage your own wellbeing
GBP9,000 GDL maintenance grant in London, plus tuition fees paid
GBP10,000 LPC maintenance grant, plus tuition fees paid
Pension scheme – an occupational pension scheme, available on either a contributory or a non-contributory basis
GBP2,000 interest-free loan
GBP500 prize for future trainees who achieve a first-class degree and/or a distinction in every module of the LPC
One Bishops Square, London E1 6AD United Kingdom T +44 (0)20 3088 3399 E firstname.lastname@example.org W aograduate.com
Business travel & personal accident insurance
Group income protection & lump sum life assurance benefit
25 days holiday entitlement + bank holidays
CASH REWARD AND SAVINGS
Interest free season ticket loan
Additional paid leave for special reasons such as marriage/civil partnership, family leave or moving house
Cycle-to-work scheme or bike loan
Free eye tests every two years
Join the community
Access to a wide range of discounts
Complementary flu vaccination annually
Options to apply for flexible working hours once qualified
Donating money from your pay in a tax free way to support your favourite charity
Learn more at: aograduate.com/what-we-offer
In 2018, A&O advised
A&O has over
In the last financial year, A&O’s top 50 clients were advised by an average of
around the world which, when combined with our Global Experts & Markets network 40 offices
deals globally than any other law firm, making A&O 31% more the leading transactional law firm. 1
means that we deliver high quality legal advice in
of our offices globally, demonstrating the power of our international reach.
99% of the world’s economy.
Allen & Overy means Allen & Overy LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. The term partner is used to refer to a member of Allen & Overy LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or an individual with equivalent status in one of Allen & Overy LLP’s affiliated undertakings.
© Allen & Overy LLP 2019
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