Pro bono & CSR
Our global pro bono and community affairs programme is a key element of who we are and what we do.
At Allen & Overy we believe it is crucial that we dedicate the skills and expertise from across our business to tackle pressing social issues on both a local and a global scale. We recognise that all of our employees and partners have something special to offer whether it be their professional skills, life experiences or knowledge of the business world.
We aim to engage and enable them to share their skills, experience and knowledge and to contribute to communities of which they are part. Indeed, volunteering is an important part of our culture at Allen & Overy and we encourage our trainees to get involved as much as possible as it offers a high level of responsibility and the chance to develop your client-facing skills. In FY2016, 35% of our lawyers recorded time on pro bono work and the number of hours that they spent on pro bono and community investment work was 31,954 globally.
We structure our global and local programmes around themes that are relevant to us as a business and which flow from a strategy set by our global Board.
Global and local programme structure
Global firm, global responses
We seek out opportunities to apply our technical expertise and our global reach on ground-breaking projects. These impact significantly on some of the most marginalised and under-served sections of society. As a global business this is where we can impact most.
Access to justice
We use our legal knowledge and wider skills to enable people and organisations to protect and enforce their rights and obtain information on the law. We look to be a leading provider of legal services and support to the human rights sector.
Access to education and employment
We look to raise the aspirations and achievements of young people so they can realise their potential. For example, volunteering through our flagship Smart Start or Artbeat programmes or helping local primary school children with their numeracy and literacy skills.
Helping our local communities
Our offices around the world have a longstanding commitment to help the vulnerable and underserved in the communities around them. We share our time, energy and skills working with a wide range of organisations to tackle the pressing social issues and help and empower those most in need. You could find yourself cooking and serving breakfast at The Whitechapel Mission, or mentoring a young person to help them achieve their goals.
As a trainee you could become involved in a number of pro bono initiatives such as giving free legal advice at the Battersea Legal Advice Centre evening surgery or working for human rights organisations such as INTERIGHTS, Reprieve and Advocates for International Development. With this latter organisation, trainees are involved in research on behalf of development NGOs on human rights issues, in the context of trade agreement negotiations and access to pharmaceuticals for developing nations, child protection and law reform. Trainees may have the opportunity to take up a secondment in this area, working as a judicial assistant to The Royal Courts of Justice for example.