Prepare for what's on the horizon
You don’t need a law degree to become a lawyer.
We thrive on our diversity of skills and perspectives. That’s why we bring together the best minds from law, humanities, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) backgrounds to enhance our diversity and break new ground with clients from a variety of sectors. We’re focused on attracting more students from these degree disciplines to cater for our clients’ increasingly technology-focused challenges. So, if you’re looking to use your STEM background in a legal firm on high-profile cases that are changing the world, we want to hear from you.
With a STEM degree, you’re at ease with complex processes and problem solving, both skills you can transfer to a career in law. Your analytical skills are in high demand across all our departments – from Intellectual Property to Banking – and in all our industry sectors – from Life Sciences to Real Estate. Wherever you specialise, you’ll bring a valuable and critical skill set.
George Moxey – Trainee
Studied Chemistry at Bristol University
“At university, some of my friends were studying Law and I started to become interested and more aware of the opportunities available through them. I learned about the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) which is a conversion course for those who don’t have a law degree, and that got me thinking. After spending a summer doing work experience in a local law firm, I was hooked. I’ve never looked back
The seat I’m in at the moment is called Securitisation, we advise on negotiating all the transaction documents between investors and financial institutions. It’s complex work that needs to be communicated clearly and concisely. Clients don’t want reams and reams of information when they ask a question, they want a straightforward summary, which I think is something that STEM students are really well versed in.
In my chemistry degree, I was writing about things like reaction mechanisms, formulating how those break down and conveying that on a piece of paper for somebody else to follow. Now I’m using my analytical skills to package complex legal jargon into terms that clients can understand. Having a background in a STEM subject can be advantageous like that.”
Katie Atkinson – Trainee
Studied Physics and an Engineering PhD at Cambridge University
“During my PhD I was part of a technology and enterprise club, which linked start-up companies and venture capitalists to university researchers. That’s how my interest in law really began. There were a couple of different intellectual property law firms who were sponsoring us, and that encouraged me to think about a career as a solicitor.
To gain some legal work experience, I embarked on mini pupillages with barristers in a leading intellectual property chambers where I was exposed to litigation and pattern disputes. I also did vacation schemes at a number of law firms, which helped me to decide that I wanted to be a solicitor as opposed to a barrister. A&O appealed to me because of the wide number of different practice areas available. My first seat was in aviation finance which was fantastic. The breadth of opportunities is phenomenal.
It was initially quite daunting moving from engineering to law, because it can be perceived to be quite a big career change. But I started to make friends with a lot of other trainees from all kinds of backgrounds, and that really helped to ease the transition. Even before I started at the firm, I played flute in the Allen & Overy musical, Guys and Dolls. I’ve also taken up an unusual hobby - dragon boating! I think it’s really good to have pursuits outside of work where you work in a team and give it 100%.”
Nassim Ikhlef – Trainee
Studied Maths at Imperial College, London
“At university I was initially interested in a career in financial services. I then met A&O at a careers fair and was impressed by the people who were very friendly and welcoming. That was the first time that I thought that commercial law might be a better career path for me.
I joined the university law society after meeting representatives from A&O, mainly to meet any other students like me who were interested in a career in law. I think the best source of information is often your peers. It was really helpful to understand how application processes worked and how the industry worked. I learnt a lot that helped me to decide that law truly was for me.
One of the things I realised was that there are plenty of parallels between maths and law, one being that there are a lot of rules that have to be applied correctly and you can’t make mistakes. I think that’s why A&O are interested in hiring STEM students. They want to harness a unique set of skills; analytical thinking, problem solving, and also their appreciation for science, which is becoming much more prominent and prevalent in society today.”
The start of your adventure.
Your career isn’t a destination – it’s a journey. And just like any journey, the first steps can seem daunting. Whether it’s attending an open day or starting a Training Contract, we offer a wide range of opportunities for you to learn about our firm, get valuable experience and start your career.
Visit our online events page, and tune into our range of podcasts and videos.
First Year Programme
A&O First is a scheme aimed at first year students and is a precursor to our vacation schemes.
Our Vacation Schemes are a great way to experience our cutting-edge work and collaborative culture.
Starting a Training Contract with A&O is just the beginning of what will be a stimulating and rewarding legal career.
Graduate Delivery Programme
Be the beating heart of innovation with a career in Legal Tech.
Graduate Consultancy Programme
Learn about how we develop innovative solutions to facilitate business growth for our clients.