Training Contract

A&O Training Contract

A&O Training Contract

Always going the extra mile.

Starting a Training Contract with Allen & Overy is just the beginning of what will be a stimulating and rewarding legal career. Throughout the two years of your Training Contract, we will work closely with you to ensure you have the right support to develop into a successful commercial solicitor.

What will you do?

Your training will be based on four six-month rotations (known as ‘seats’) through a number of departments or practice areas, where you will sit with a partner or an associate.

Our dedicated HR for Trainees team will work with you to plan your four seats. Seats are available across our practice areas and allow trainees to experience the full range of work we do. You will have the opportunity to express your preferences, so you can spend time in the areas that are of particular interest (subject to business need).  Our core transactional areas of expertise are Banking, Corporate and International Capital Markets; as a trainee you will spend at least twelve months of your Training Contract gaining experience in at least two of these areas. You will also explore the possibility of spending a seat on an international or client secondment.

Our trainees also need to gain contentious experience during their Training Contract, which they can do either by spending a seat in our Litigation department or, for those who do not sit in a Litigation seat, by completing a Litigation course. The Litigation course is run by Nottingham Law School and consists of five days’ tuition and regular visits to a legal advice centre throughout your Training Contract, to gain practical contentious experience and provide valuable pro bono help.



Students currently in their penultimate year of study, finalists and graduates of all degree disciplines.

Applications now closed

Training and support

One of the things our trainees value most about being at Allen & Overy is the award-winning training they receive. In each seat, you will sit with a partner or associate who will provide you with support and guidance, and you will take an active and practical role in the department’s work, with plenty of individual responsibility along the way.

In addition to learning practical skills such as drafting, transaction management, research and legal and office procedures, the experience you gain as a trainee will develop your professional conduct, particularly with respect to negotiation and communication with clients and colleagues.

Alongside your departmental work, you will complete the Professional Skills Course, which consists of three compulsory modules: client care and professional standards, advocacy and communication skills and financial and business skills, plus elective modules specific to Allen & Overy, such as financial economics, developing business relationships and negotiating a deal.

You will also have the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top lawyers. As well as regular departmental training and updates, trainees can attend client seminars delivered by our partners and associates.

Training does not stop on qualification. At key points during your associate career, you will become eligible to attend the different stages of our bespoke global associate development programme, where you will be joined by colleagues from around the world. These sessions are run by internal and external experts, focusing on developing your strategic and commercial awareness and your ability to work effectively and with resilience. As you progress, the focus on managing client relationships and building a practice increases.

More Reasons to Apply

The best way to learn is from real-world experience. Even in the early stages of your career, you will be given genuine responsibility on client projects. That means that as a trainee, you will be making real contributions to real projects.

You will collaborate with senior lawyers, benefiting from a combination of support and autonomy; support and guidance is always available if you’re unsure of something, but you’ll also be trusted to use your initiative to deliver innovative solutions on client matters.

With Allen & Overy, you’ll be given the support to help you flourish whilst you have the opportunity to make an impact on work that matters.


It’s your heart going faster.

Trainees are able to apply for a secondment to take place during the final six months of their Training Contract. International secondments are enriching experiences that provide you with an awareness of cultural and regional differences, which is especially important as the majority of the work we do is cross-border and international. We currently offer international secondments in 13 of our offices.

Client secondments enable you to better understand how our clients’ businesses run, offering a unique insight that comes from working alongside them. 

Law School

Your knees going weaker.

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) & Legal Practice Course (LPC)
We have selected BPP as our law school partner for both the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) to ensure you arrive here with the best possible grounding in legal knowledge and skills, and are ready to start working with our clients.


As a non-law graduate your Training Contract with us will be exactly the same as a law graduate. However, your route to qualification will be slightly different, as you will have to study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) at BPP Law School.
Those who have completed a law degree in an international jurisdiction that is not recognised as a qualifying law degree by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority will also need to complete the PGDL. This includes those who studied a law degree in Scotland and Ireland and did not study English Land Law during this degree.
The PGDL is an eight-month full time course designed to teach you key skills and the foundations of law before you join those who already have a law degree. The PGDL is also available part time but we ask that you complete the full time course, unless agreed otherwise.
We require all non-law candidates who have accepted a Training Contract to study the PGDL.
If you have any personal circumstances, which may affect where you can study the PGDL, please contact us.
For details on financial support during the PGDL, please see our rewards and benefits section.

A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM qualification

All future trainees, regardless of their degree, are required to take A&O’s accelerated LPC with LLM qualification course at BPP (preceded by the PGDL if you did not study law at university). 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 at the firm.
Alongside the technical modules, you will undertake projects on business finance and business management and strategy that will give you real insight into the kind of issues our clients are facing. We work closely with BPP to develop course content that accurately reflects the work of a commercial law firm, and features materials and examples drawn from our client work.
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.
We offer two intakes for our LPC each year. For future trainees joining in a March intake, you will be expected to start the LPC in the July of the previous year. For those joining in a September intake, you will be expected to start the LPC in the January of the same year.
For details on financial support during the LPC, please see our rewards and benefits section.

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

As you may know, a new approach to qualification for all prospective lawyers is set to be introduced, replacing the LPC and GDL. Students will need to pass a centralised exam called the SQE and complete two years of qualifying workplace experience.
The SQE is divided into two parts. The first stage, SQE1, assesses a candidate’s ability to apply their legal knowledge. The second, SQE2, will test their legal skills and knowledge.
Trainees joining the firm in 2022 will continue down the LPC route.  We are in the process of reviewing the firm’s approach to SQE and, as part of that, the time at which subsequent trainee cohorts will transition to the SQE. 
Please check back for further information over the coming months. For further information visit

Rewards & Benefits

Our reward and benefits package is designed to provide you with everything you need to develop a truly satisfying career, support your clients, and enjoy a lifestyle that is as balanced as possible.
Together with all the support and encouragement you need to reach your potential both personally and professionally, you can look forward to receiving:

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL)

We will pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant of £9,000.
If you only need to study part of the PGDL, we will pay the necessary course fees and a pro-rated maintenance grant.
If you accept your Training Contract after commencing the PGDL, we will pro rata your maintenance grant and your course fees will be refunded in full.

Legal Practice Course (LPC)

We will pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant of £10,000.
If you accept your Training Contract after commencing the LPC, we will pro rata your maintenance grant and reimburse your course fees in full.

Course fees

For students choosing to take the two year LLB course we offer a maximum of £5,000 towards course fees.

Maintenance fees

Future trainees taking this course also receive a one-off maintenance payment of £5,000.


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 services, a beauty treatment centre, dry cleaners, and two restaurants. Some onsite facilities are currently closed due to COVID-19.

Interest-free loan

You can apply for an interest-free loan of up to £2,000, which you will repay by the end of your Training Contract. You may decide how to use this, for example – you may like to use this to complete a language study course, to undertake a pro bono or community initiative, or as additional financial support while you are undertaking your studies.

Academic prizes

We believe in recognising your achievements – if you achieve a first class degree and/or a distinction in the LPC and a distinction in both business modules in the LPC (Business Finance and Business Management and Strategy) after accepting our offer, we will award you a prize for each of £500.

We’ll give you an outstanding legal and business grounding within a culture that supports your development, values your individuality and enables you to excel.

James Partridge
Graduate Recruitment Partner and Training Supervising Principal

What we look for

We look for individuals with potential: open-mindedness, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking. These are the skills that will set your application apart and set you up for success. There isn’t one ‘type’ of person we’re looking for: we welcome applications from all graduates who are passionate about commercial law and innovation, regardless of the university they attended and the degree they earned.

Our clients rely on us for more than just outstanding legal advice – they trust us to guide them through uncertain times, deliver business growth and advise them on the future. If you have the ability, ambition and the determination to make that happen, then you will be a strong candidate for a Training Contract offer.

Our academic requirements are AAB (136 UCAS points) or equivalent at A-Level and on track for/achieved a 2:1 undergraduate degree. Candidates need to meet both these criteria in order to apply however, we do take into account mitigating circumstances.

Application process

1. Online Application

You will be required to submit an online application which details your work and education history. There will also be three short application questions to complete.

You will then be prompted to complete an immersive video based Situational Judgement Test (SJT), taking around 20 minutes. The SJT is designed to provide a realistic preview of what you may experience as a trainee at A&O.

You will be given 48 hours in which to complete the test. We advise you submit your online application at least 48 hours prior to the deadline to give you time to complete both the online application and  SJT by the deadline.


2. Interviews

If your application is successful, the next stage will be an assessment day comprising of two one-on-one interviews.

The first interview is based on a commercial case study, where you’ll have time to work through a brief and prepare a short presentation to deliver to your interviewer. This will be followed by a discussion on the key points from the case study.

In the second interview you will be asked a series of questions based on scenarios you may encounter as a trainee. 

3. Offer

After your interview, we will review your performance across both interviews and aim to get back to you with a decision as quickly as possible.

Regardless of the outcome, we’re committed to providing constructive feedback on your interview performance.

And, of course, if it’s good news, the Graduate Recruitment Team will be on hand to support you in your decision-making process.