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The low down on our two Vacation Schemes
Do you offer vacation placements in your international offices?
As part of our Summer Vacation Scheme in 2014, approximately 12 vacation students will have the opportunity to work in one of four of our key international offices for one week. The selected students will visit the international office immediately after completing their three week summer vacation scheme in London. Individuals interested in the international vacation scheme can only apply once they accept a place on one of the three summer placements. In 2013, our placement students went to Dubai, Hong Kong, New York and Frankfurt.
On each of our schemes you will extensively broaden your knowledge and experience life within a global firm. You will develop strong relationships with colleagues and get stuck into meaningful work.
If I don’t do a vacation placement with you, can I still apply for a training contract?
Candidates are limited to one application per academic year for a Vacation Scheme.
How am I assessed during my vacation placement?
The vacation schemes are a great way for us to get to know each other and we do hope to recruit a large number of our vacation students as trainees. During your placement you will have an appraisal with your trainer which will give you a chance to discuss your strengths, areas for development and your career plans. You will also have the option to have a training contract interview at the end of your placement. Training contract offers are made on the basis of a successful performance during both your placement and in the final interview.
Can I do a vacation placement in my first year?
No. Our winter scheme is aimed at finalists and graduates, and our summer scheme is for penultimate year undergraduates (or second years completing a four year degree, where the third year is spent abroad). As a first year you can apply for A&O First which will give you a great insight into the firm.
Please note, candidates who are studying for the two year LLB (or equivalent) can apply for the summer vacation scheme in their first year and/or the winter vacation scheme in their final year. Please ensure that you include a breakdown of all academic results received from your previous undergraduate degree on your application form.
What are vacation scheme students paid?
We pay our vacation scheme students £250 per week. We also provide help in locating accommodation in London.
How to apply for open days and find out about campus events
How can I get a place on an A&O open day?
Spaces are limited on our open days, so you are required to submit an application form. Applications for the 2013/2014 events, which start in December 2013, open on 1st November 2013.
Which year groups can apply to attend open days?
Our open days are open to undergraduates (if you are a first year undergraduate please see A&O First) and graduates of all year groups, and we usually have a mixed group of delegates at each event.
How do I find out about A&O events at my university?
Visit the A&O in your area section of the website to see what’s coming up at your university. You also might want to consider following us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time about our on-campus events.
What is the deadline for open day applications?
You can apply for an open day for 2013/2014 between 1st November 2013 to 28th February 2014. However, we fill our open day places on a rolling basis and so advise candidates to apply early.
Graduate Diploma in Law or Legal Practice Course queries
If you have studied a non-law degree you will need to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course. Law graduates need only complete the Legal Practice Course.
Do you mind where I study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)?
We require all non-law candidates who have accepted a training contract prior to starting law school to study the GDL at the University of Law (we don’t mind if you study at their London or UK regional centres). If you have any extenuating circumstances which may affect where you can study the GDL we would discuss this with you. If you study the GDL and LPC at the University of Law, you will be awarded an LLB after passing both.
Why have you chosen to develop a bespoke Legal Practice Course (LPC) for Allen & Overy?
The LPC is the bridge between being an academic lawyer and a practising lawyer and is designed to develop your practical legal skills and put theory into context. Due to the dynamic and specialised nature of our work, we want to make sure that the LPC gives our trainees the most relevant start to their legal career. We have worked closely with the University of Law to ensure that the LPC gives you the right focus on Allen & Overy’s key practice areas.
What is the new accelerated LPC?
This is a new LPC, designed specifically for A&O and run by the College of Law, it will include the same content as the existing course but will last 6½ months rather than a full academic year.
The move follows feedback from students that they want to start their legal careers earlier and fast-track their studies.
Two courses will run each year, overlapping slightly – one starting each January (for trainees starting in September the same year) and one beginning in July (for trainees starting the following March). Students who wish to take time off before starting work will still be able to do so; they will take time out after graduating from university or completing the GDL, and before starting the LPC.
If you study the GDL and LPC at the College of Law, you will be awarded an LLB after passing both.
Do you choose my LPC electives?
As the Allen & Overy LPC is tailored to the work we do, we have specified the electives that our trainees must take as these will provide the best foundation for your career with us. These electives are acquisition, debt finance, public companies and equity finance.
Do you provide financial assistance through law school?
When you accept our offer of a training contract we will provide financial support for your law school studies. If you need to complete the GDL, we will pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant of £7,000 in London and £6,000 elsewhere in the UK. For all those on the A&O LPC, you will receive a maintenance grant of £6,000 and we will pay your course fees.
For students choosing to take the two year LLB course we offer a maximum of £5,000 towards course fees. Future trainees taking this course also receive a one-off maintenance payment of £6,000 for courses in London, Oxford & Guildford and £5,000 for courses elsewhere in the UK.
If you need to study only part of the GDL, we will pay the necessary course fees and a pro-rated maintenance award.
If you accept your training contract after commencing the GDL or LPC we will pro rata your maintenance award, but your course fees will be refunded in full. If you accept your training contract after commencing the two year LLB we will pro rata your maintenance award and refund up to £5,000 of your course fees.
What about the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme?
If you have qualified as a lawyer outside of England and Wales and are looking to become a quasi-trainee with us, you may not need to do the LPC in order to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. You may be able to re-qualify under the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). As a quasi-trainee, you would complete a period of training rather than a training contract. Your training period would be exactly the same as trainees who have completed the LPC.
Although the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) does not impose any formal experience requirements in order to re-qualify, we ask all QLTS Trainees to complete a minimum of 18 months’ training, as we believe this is the minimum length of time required to gain a sufficient overview of the firm and experience in a number of practice areas before qualifying.
We will pay for all necessary QLTS examinations and training. For further information about the QLTS process please visit the SRA website: www.sra.org.uk
How our training contract is structured and how you will develop
How many people are in each training contract intake?
We recruit 85 trainees a year and have two intakes, one in March and one in September. Sometimes candidates are worried that large intakes mean less responsibility or personal contact with clients; this is far from the case at Allen & Overy. We recruit large numbers of trainees because our business demands this and our numbers have remained consistent over the past few years. Your training and development is extremely important to us. Every trainee is allocated an individual trainer with whom they share an office, and gain additional support from their peers, other lawyers and our dedicated ‘HR for trainees’ team. Our emphasis on teamwork means that you quickly develop your own friendships and networks.
Is it possible to start a training contract before or after the dates you are currently advertising?
Yes. We are happy to defer your start date for six or 12 months. If you wish to start earlier, you will be placed on a waiting list. You will have the opportunity to discuss your preferences at interview or when we make you an offer.
Can I choose my seats during the training contract?
At the beginning of your training contract you will sit down with the HR Manager for Trainees to map out your training contract. You will discuss your areas of interest, nominate a priority seat and plan your movement through different areas of the practice. You will catch up with the HR team regularly to discuss your progress. Take a look at our training contract and practice areas for more information about where you can sit.
Can trainees do an international seat?
All trainees are able to apply for an international seat during their training contract and this is usually undertaken during your final six months. The allocation of seats is based on performance to date, qualification plans and business need.
Can trainees undertake client secondments?
We have a number of client secondments available for trainees and these are with financial institutions, corporates and occasionally organisations such as the Royal Courts of Justice. As with international seats, trainees must apply for these and performance and career aspirations are taken into account.
How many trainees stay with Allen & Overy on qualification?
We aim to retain all our trainees on qualification. We recruit and train people that we believe will make a valuable contribution to our firm and invest a lot of time and money in them and our retention rate is on average 83%.
When will I know the outcome to my application?
You will receive immediate acknowledgement of receipt of your application form and should hear from us within 14 days of applying. For our June/July training contract application season, please note that we will confirm who has been successfully invited through to the interview stage of the selection process by early August.
After interview we aim to give you a decision as soon as possible, within 7–10 working days of meeting us. Track the progress of your application here.
Can I have feedback on my application?
Unfortunately due to the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to offer individual feedback on application forms. If you have been unsuccessful then try showing your form to a careers adviser, tutor or friend – a fresh pair of eyes may be able to pick up something you’ve missed. Our selection criteria is also detailed on our website so you may find it helpful to take a look at it again.
How many applications do you receive and how many do you interview?
We receive around 5,000 applications for training contracts and vacation schemes and interview around 10% of applicants. Competition is therefore extremely high so take the time to read what we look for and our hints and tips to make sure your application stands out.
I don’t have the grades you’re looking for — can I still apply?
We look for a minimum of 340 UCAS points (AAB) at A-level (or equivalent) and a 2:1 (or equivalent). If you have extenuating circumstances that have affected your grades please let us know as we do take these into account. If you have missed our criteria by one or two grades then you can still apply, but the rest of your form will need to be very strong – see hints and tips for more details.
I don’t have any legal work experience, will this count against me?
We don’t expect you to have legal work experience but you should look at how you can demonstrate your commitment to a legal career in other ways and make sure you demonstrate transferable skills from other areas. Open days and campus presentations are also a good way to find out more about the firms you’re interested in. Allen & Overy run a number of events throughout the year — find out when we are visiting your university next.
I need a work permit — will that be a problem?
We will provide reasonable assistance with obtaining the necessary work permits and visas where required. You are expected to provide the relevant personal and biometric information and complete any necessary forms when requested in order to assist in making these applications. You should note that it is a criminal offence for us to employ you without the necessary documentation and, if you have not received the necessary visa, you will not be able to start your employment with us. If this happens, or should the UK Border Agency refuse to grant leave to enter/remain in line with your UK visa application, Allen & Overy will have no choice but to withdraw its offer of employment. We will, of course, work with you in relation to this procedure but please note that we cannot control or be responsible for restrictions imposed by the UK Border Agency including as to the number of certificates Allen & Overy is allocated to sponsor employees. If Allen & Overy is not able to help you obtain a visa due to any UK Border Agency restriction, including any immigration cap, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.
How do I complete the application form if I did not study in the UK?
Input your grades into the application form as they were awarded to you at school. Do not attempt to convert them into the UK equivalent. Select ‘Other’ from the drop down list of levels. If your level is not listed and manually type the level into the ‘Level Other’ section. Our team receive applications from all over the world and are familiar with many overseas qualifications and examination systems.
Studying for an LL.M in the UK or abroad?
When can LL.M students apply?
At Allen & Overy we actively seek to recruit students with exceptional academics, a commitment to law, strong communication skills and an international perspective — which is why we welcome applications from LL.M students. Our preference is for LL.M students to join an Allen & Overy office in the jurisdiction where they are qualified or qualifying in to. We have a dedicated recruitment process for LL.M students and are currently actively recruiting trainees, junior associates and legal assistants. For further information please click here.
How can LL.M students apply?
We have a dedicated LL.M recruitment process. Please submit your CV/resume, covering letter, academic transcripts, including any bar exam results here
Helping you through the selection process and your career at A&O
I have a disability and require the application form in an alternative format, can you provide this?
Yes, A&O will provide the application form in alternative formats. Please contact us on +44 (0)20 3088 0000 or email@example.com with details of the alternative format required. Please let us know as soon as you can about the format you require.
What should I do if I require reasonable adjustments for the recruitment process because of my disability?
A&O will work with you to ensure any reasonable adjustment requirements are implemented correctly. Please contact Graduate Recruitment to discuss the adjustment(s) you require at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am worried that if I disclose my disability this will be perceived negatively. I have had a bad experience in the past and feel it is ‘safer’ not to disclose my disability.
A&O welcomes applications from suitable candidates from all backgrounds. A diverse working environment is essential for a successful business and we would encourage applicants to disclose should they wish to do so. We recommend you inform us of any required adjustments you need during the recruitment process and/or in the workplace. Whilst you may not need to disclose your actual disability we can only provide support and make the necessary adjustments should you inform us as early on as you can.
Do you reimburse candidates for travel expenses?
We reimburse reasonable travel expenses for both interviews and open days.
Do you offer ad-hoc work experience?
Because of the high level of demand we are unable to accommodate requests for work experience outside our formal schemes. Have a look at the details of our vacation schemes and open days to see which are most suitable for you.