The low down on our two Vacation Programmes
Do you offer vacation placements in your international offices?
As part of our summer vacation programmes in 2012, 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 programme in London. Individuals interested in the international vacation programme can only apply if they accept a place on one of the three summer placements.
In each of our programmes, you will develop strong relationships with colleagues and get stuck into meaningful work, most of which will be international in flavour enabling you to experience life in a global firm.
If I don't do a vacation placement with you, can I still apply for a training contract?
Yes. Competition for our vacation programmes is very fierce but we have more training contracts than can be filled by our vacation students. If you have made an application for a vacation programme but were not invited for interview then you can still apply. However, you should make sure that you show evidence of your continued commitment and development since your last application. If you have been interviewed for our winter vacation programme and were unsuccessful at this stage, you can reapply for a training contract straight away, but we suggest that you request feedback from Graduate Recruitment to discuss it first . If you have been unsuccessful at interview for our summer vacation programme, you can apply for a training contract in the summer before your final year but we will be looking to see how your skills, knowledge and experience may have improved since your previous application.
How am I assessed during my vacation placement?
The vacation programmes 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 programme is aimed at finalists and graduates and our summer programme 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 join us for an open day which will give you a great insight into the firm. We offer two first year-specific open days in July and August.
Please note, candidates who are studying for the two year LLB (or equivalent) can apply for the summer vacation programmes in their first year and / or the winter vacation programme 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 placement students paid?
We pay our vacation placement students £250 per week, this is pro-rated for our winter vacation placement. We also provide vacation placement students with help in locating accommodation in London.
Do you reimburse candidates for travel expenses?
We reimburse reasonable travel expenses for both interviews and open days.
A&O open days & campus events
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 for the events. Applications for the 2012/2013 events, which start in December 2012, open on 1st November 2012.
Which year groups can apply to attend open days?
Our open days are open to undergraduates and graduates of all year groups, and we usually have a mixed group of delegates at each event. We do however, offer two first year specific events during the summer where we focus on preparing to apply for vacation programmes and other topical subjects.
How do I find out about A&O events at my university?
Visit the 'In Your Area' section of the website to see what's coming up at your university. During the Autumn you should visit our 'A&O News' page to keep up-to-date with what's happening on campus in October, November and December.
What is the deadline for open day applications?
The deadline for Open Day applications for 2012/2013 is from 1st November 2012 to 8th February 2012. 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
Do you mind where I study the GDL?
We require all non-law candidates who have accepted a training contract prior to starting law school to study the GDL at the College of Law (Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, London Bloomsbury, London Moorgate, Manchester or York). 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 College of Law, you will be awarded an LLB after passing both.
Why have you chosen to develop a bespoke LPC course 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 College of Law to ensure that the LPC gives you the right focus on Allen & Overy's key practice areas.
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 £6,000 in London and £5,000 elsewhere in the UK. For all those on the A&O LPC, you will receive a maintenance grant of £5,000 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 is the new accelerated LPC?
This is a new LPC, designed specifically for A&O and run by the College of Law, 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.
The accelerated LPC will begin in January 2012 for trainees joining the firm in September 2012.
If you study the GDL and LPC at the College of Law, you will be awarded an LLB after passing both.
Why is the firm adopting the accelerated LPC?
The move to the accelerated course follows feedback from students that they want to start their legal careers earlier and fast-track their studies.
Will training contract start dates change because of the accelerated LPC?
We do not have any plans to change training contract start dates from September or March, our trainee intakes will continue to join the firm in September and March. September intakes will start the LPC in the January of the same year; March intakes will start the LPC in the July before their start date. Trainees joining the firm in September 2012 will be the first trainee intake to undertake the new LPC which will start at the College of Law in January 2012.
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
Your training contract
How our training contract is structured and how you will develop
If I don't do a vacation placement with you, can I still apply for a training contract?
Yes. Competition for our vacation programmes is very fierce but we have more training contracts than can be filled by our vacation students. If you have made an application for a vacation programme but were not invited for interview then you can still apply. However, you should make sure that you show evidence of your continued commitment and development since your last application. If you have been interviewed for our winter vacation programme, you should discuss whether you should reapply for a training contract with the Graduate Recruitment team. If you have been unsuccessful at interview for our summer vacation programme, you can apply for a training contract in the summer before your final year but we will be looking to see how your skills, knowledge and experience may have improved since your previous application.
How many people are in each training contract intake?
We recruit 90 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, and 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. You will have the opportunity to discuss your preferences at interview or when we make you an offer. Alternatively, contact our Graduate Recruitment team at email@example.com
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 Liberty and 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%.
What is the starting salary?
The current salary for first year trainees is £38,000 rising to £43,200 in the second year of training. The current salary on qualification is £61,500.
What benefits are trainees offered?
As well as financial rewards, working at Allen & Overy offers an exceptional range of benefits including insurance (life, permanent health and private medical), pension scheme, an interest-free season ticket loan, as well as a range of on-site facilities including a gym and sports hall, medical, dental and physiotherapy service, beauty treatment centre, dry cleaners, and two restaurants.
Application & interview advice
Hints & tips on our selection process
How do I apply for a vacation programme or training contract?
We only accept online applications. You will therefore need to select 'Apply Now' from the home page of our graduate website. If you require our application form in a different format, please contact the Graduate Recruitment team to discuss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 20 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 programmes 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.
What is the interview process?
You will have two interviews with us, both on the same day. The first interview will explore your application in more detail. We will look for evidence of teamwork, communication skills and planning and organising, as well as discussing your reasons for wanting to become a commercial solicitor.
You will then be given a business case study to review. You will need to go through this document as if you were advising a client and should pick out the points most relevant to them. After your preparation time you will have a second interview with a partner.
For the first 10 minutes you will talk them through your findings from the case study, you will then discuss the points you raised. After your interviews you will be given a tour of the office by a current trainee (this part of the day is not assessed) and feel free to ask any questions – we don't debrief our trainees.
What do I need to bring along to my interview?
We will require all interview candidates to bring along the following information to their assessment day:
- AS, A2 or A-level certificates (or equivalent)
- Degree transcript (for all years completed to date)
- Transcripts for any postgraduate study completed (including Law School)
I don't have the grades you're looking for - can I still apply?
We look for candidates with mainly As at GCSE (or equivalent), 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?
First-hand experience of working in a legal environment is the best way to understand the career you are applying for and to demonstrate your commitment, so we really do expect you to gain some relevant experience. If you are applying for a vacation programme you may not have had a chance to do that yet so 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 LLP 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 LLP is allocated to sponsor employees. If Allen & Overy LLP 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. Where relevant Allen & Overy LLP also reserves the right in its absolute discretion to determine which candidates will be awarded the restricted number of certificates and therefore the opportunity to apply for a visa based on fair and objective criteria.
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.
What's on offer?
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 programmes. Have a look at the details of our vacation programmes and open days to see which are most suitable for you.
Studying for an LLM 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
Diversity & inclusion
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 0203 088 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 have a disability, but I am not sure if or what adjustments I require. Are you able to advise me on this?
A&O will liaise with you to establish the most suitable adjustments required for the recruitment process and will ensure the adjustments are implemented as necessary. A&O has partnerships with external specialist disability organisations and so we can ask them for advice and guidance.
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.
I am applying for one of your vacation schemes. I will require adjustments because of my disability. Are you still able to provide these adjustments even though it is only for a short time?
Yes, A&O will provide any reasonable adjustments required for any of our programmes. This includes presentations held at an Allen & Overy office, open days, vacation programmes, and the training contract.