We have tried to give you all of the information you need, but you may still have some questions. We welcome questions about any aspect of applications, Training Contracts, Vacation Schemes, our practice areas and what being a solicitor at Allen & Overy really means.
We hope we have covered the most popular questions here, please select your topic.
When will I know the outcome to my application?
You will receive immediate acknowledgement of receipt of your application form, and we aim to get back to you within two weeks of applying. However please bear with us, as it may take slightly longer because each application is carefully reviewed by a member of our Graduate Recruitment Team. We understand students devote a lot of time into their application, so it is important to us we do the same. Please also note we will be recruiting for all our vacancies on a rolling basis, so early applications are advised.
After interview, we aim to inform you of our decision as soon as possible.
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 we suggest 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.
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. Open Day and campus presentations are 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 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 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, then 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.
Who can apply for A&O First?
We welcome applications from students who achieved a minimum of AAB or equivalent at A Level, are considering a career in international commercial law and are in the first year of their undergraduate degree.
You do not need to study law to apply; we accept applications from students studying any degree discipline.
What is the application process?
To apply for A&O First, you must complete an online application form. Successful candidates will be invited to a telephone interview with a member of the Graduate Recruitment Team. All candidates will find out the outcome of their application after 15th February 2017.
What do you look for on an application form?
We are looking for students who have shown initiative by getting involved in lots of different things at university, so we are keen to find out about your extra-curricular activities.
You should demonstrate a genuine interest in finding out more about law as a potential career path and explain why you are applying for this opportunity with Allen & Overy specifically. We are looking for a strong academic performance to date, but no previous legal work experience is required.
Who will be my trainee ‘buddy’?
Your trainee ‘buddy’ will be the trainee you work-shadow on your insight day. From this point onwards they are available for general advice and support and you will catch up with them in-person again during future office visits.
Is the cost of travel covered?
Yes, costs incurred travelling to and from both office visits are reimbursed.
Open Day & Campus Events
How to apply to our Open Day and find out about campus events
How can I get a place on the A&O Open Day?
Spaces are limited on our Open Day, so you are required to submit an application form. Applications for the 2017 Open Day, opens on 15th January and closes on 15th February 2017.
Which year groups can apply to attend the Open Day?
Our Open Day is open to undergraduates and graduates, except for first year undergraduates who should apply for A&O First.
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.
Do you offer vacation placements in your international offices?
All those offered a Vacation Scheme in our London office are able to apply to spend an additional week in one of our international offices in July 2017. In 2016, our vacation students spent time in Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.
How am I assessed during my Vacation Scheme?
During a Vacation Scheme placement, a student will be assessed on their performance at their practice area seat. Training Contract offers are then made on the basis of a overall successful performance during your placement.
Can I do a Vacation Scheme in my first year?
No, unfortunately not. Our Vacation Schemes are only for those in their penultimate year of study, final year or those who have already graduated. However as a first year, you can apply for A&O First which will give you a great insight into the firm.
Can I do a Vacation Scheme in my second year of a four year degree (if I am going abroad in my third year)?
No, unfortunately not. Our Vacation Schemes are only for those in their penultimate year of study, final year or those who have already graduated.
What are Vacation scheme students paid?
We pay our Vacation Scheme students a competitive salary.
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 (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Law graduates need only complete the LPC.
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 BPP Law School (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 be happy to discuss this with you.
Why have you chosen to develop a bespoke Legal Practice Course (LPC) for Allen & Overy?
It is vital our lawyers give commercial, business-focused advice as well as being experts in law and the new course will provide the foundations of legal practice through the LPC element, and the business element will develop your business awareness and equip you for a career in commercial law. On full completion of the course, you will receive a masters qualification: an MA (LPC with Business).
There are two business modules which will be incorporated into the LPC programme, Strategy and Finance. These modules will be assessed through one piece of 2,500 word coursework per module and although the teaching for these modules is incorporated into your LPC timetable, the assessments will take place after your LPC exams have been completed.
The LPC course itself will be a bespoke course and is being developed by A&O fee earners and our Training Team in conjunction with BPP. The course will feature materials based on real examples of the transactions we do and will ensure you are familiar with our precedents before joining us. The modules you will take focus on our core practice areas (Banking, Corporate and International Capital Markets) to ensure your time at law school provides the best possible preparation for your Training Contract with us.
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 their 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.
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.
Your Training Contract
How our Training Contract is structured and how you will develop
How many people are in each Training Contract intake?
We recruit approximately 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. 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?
We try and accommodate changes in start dates where possible. It is easier to be flexible the earlier you ask, so talk to the Graduate Recruitment Team at offer stage if you think you might be interested in deferring.
Can I choose my seats during the Training Contract?
At the beginning of your Training Contract, you will sit down with the HR for Trainees Team 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 for Trainees 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 90%.
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 a career in law, strong communication skills and a global mindset – 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 into.
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.
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 Charlotte Webb on 0203 088 4302 or Charlotte.Webb@allenovery.com with details of the alternative format required.
What should I do if I require any changes to be made during the process for a reason related to a disability or long-term health condition?
A&O will work with you to ensure any changes made during the process are implemented correctly. Please contact Charlotte Webb to discuss the adjustment(s) you require on 0203 088 4302 or Charlotte.Webb@allenovery.com.
I am worried that if I am open about my disability this will be perceived negatively.
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 be open if they feel comfortable in doing so. We recommend you inform us of any required adjustments you need during the recruitment process and/or in the workplace. To ensure we provide the support you need and make the necessary adjustments, please let us know as early as you can.