Sponsored by BPP

Allen & Overy LLP


Vacancies: 90
Trainees: 190
Partners: 525
Staff: 5000+
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 60
Minimum qualification: 2.1 degree (or equivilent), 340 UCAS points (AAB)
Start salary: £42,000
Sponsorship: GDL/LPC

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Allen & Overy LLP.

Application details and method of selection

All candidates should apply online for training contracts to begin in September 2018 or March 2019.

Students currently in penultimate or final year of study, across all degree disciplines (completing studies before July 2017) can apply from 1 October - 31 December 2015.

Firm description and career prospects

Allen & Overy is a pioneering legal practice operating around the world at the frontline of developing business. By helping companies, institutions and governments tackle ever more complex issues and transactions on a global stage, it is leading the way and extending what is possible in law.

With 45 offices worldwide, plus a network of relationship firms in other locations, Allen & Overy is one of the few legal practices that can genuinely claim to be global, covering 99% of the world's economy.

For the firm's clients this means global reach and access to high-calibre, local expertise, while for trainees, it means exposure to international work, collaboration with colleagues in other offices and, in many cases, the opportunity to travel. In 2014, 71% of its transactional work involved two or more countries, 52% involved three or more, and 25% involved five or more countries.

Trainee lawyers joining the firm enter an environment characterised by advanced thinking and a global outlook. They are exposed to challenging and meaningful work from the outset, supporting a partner or senior associate in each of their training 'seats'. In addition, they are encouraged to spend six months in one of the firm's overseas offices, or on secondment to one of its corporate clients - currently around 80% of its trainees take up this opportunity.

Alongside a rich and exciting experience as a trainee, graduates can also look forward to working in a uniquely open and supportive culture. Allen & Overy has established a reputation for combining the very highest professional standards with warmth and approachability.

Regardless of their degree discipline - and around half of the firm's trainees study subjects other than law - joining Allen & Overy puts graduates at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving global market for legal services.


For candidates studying for the GDL, we will provide an annual maintenance grant of £8,000 in London (or £7,000 elsewhere in the UK). We will provide a maintenance grant of £7,000 while you take the Allen & Overy LPC. 

Work placements

Choosing the right career is a big decision. There are lots of questions you need to ask yourself: What type of law do I want to practise? What type of working environment would suit me best? What will the work really be like? The best way to answer these questions is to get first-hand experience of life in a law firm and that is exactly what our winter and summer vacation schemes offer.

During your vacation scheme you will assist a partner or associate on real deals. You will sit in two departments (one during the shorter winter placement) and we will ask you in advance which areas interest you most. You will also work with fellow vacation students on a mock client pitch presentation and individually on a technical exercise. These projects are designed to sharpen your team and research skills and expose you to our broad range of clients and practice areas. We will pair you up with a 'buddy' - a current trainee who will be able to answer your questions, offer you advice and generally help you feel at home during your time with us.

Alongside your legal work, you will participate in workshops and attend presentations and talks aimed at informing you about our work and helping you to develop the skills you need to be a successful commercial lawyer such as negotiation and presentation skills.

There is plenty of time to socialise with other Allen & Overy people during your placement. As part of our summer vacation scheme, approximately eight vacation students will have the opportunity to spend an additional week in one of our international offices. Individuals interested in these international opportunities can apply after accepting a place on one of our London summer vacation schemes.

Allen & Overy offers 60 vacation schemes across the year. The winter vacation scheme is for finalists and graduates who should apply from 1 October - 1 November 2015. Spring and summer vacation schemes for finalists and graduates who should apply from 1 October - 31 December 2015.

Training contract programme

Your training contract will be based on four six-month rotations - known in the legal profession as 'seats'. You will sit with a supervisor - a partner or senior associate - and actively contribute to the day-to-day operation of that department, working on transactions and cases, taking real responsibility and gaining plenty of client exposure. You will spend a minimum of 12 months of your training contract in at least two of our three core practice areas (corporate, banking and international capital markets) and you can express your preference for your first seat - generally, in one of these areas - prior to joining.

Shortly after you start your training contract, you will attend an information evening where all departments are represented, so that you get the chance to meet Allen & Overy lawyers from all of the different practice areas. Following this, we will sit down with you on a one-to-one basis to decide which seats you will do, and for how long. You can identify a 'priority seat' in which you have a particular interest and also discuss the possibility of an international or client secondment. These international and client-based seats will give you a different perspective on the work of a lawyer and enable you to broaden your experience. They are ideal preparation for life as a qualified solicitor. Currently, at least 80% of our trainees take advantage of these opportunities. Typically, international and client secondments take place in the final seat.

Before each seat, you will undertake department-specific training to ensure that you are able to make the most of your time there. In addition to your seat-based learning, you will also undertake our Professional Skills Course, which aims to build on the foundations you established during the Allen & Overy Legal Practice Course. The aim is to develop your commercial skill-set and to enhance your ability to contribute to the teams you work with during your training contract.

As you go through your training contract and gain experience, your level of responsibility will increase. Your development is key. Training and support is delivered in a variety of ways, including mentoring from your supervisor and attending department-specific courses. People in every part of the firm will help you; there is a good balance between support and supervision and being allowed to work independently. We want you to succeed and to develop a long-term career with Allen & Overy and our retentionour retention rates on qualification reflect this; in 2015, we retained 90% of our trainees.

Working environment

Life at Allen & Overy is about more than just the work we do - our team environment encourages professional and social relationships. The trainees' social committee is responsible for planning a variety of events, from drinks and theatre trips, to the annual trainee summer ball. There are also sports teams, a fully equipped fitness centre, music rooms and multi-faith prayer rooms.

What are our graduate opportunities?

We recruit around 90 trainee solicitors each year across two intakes (March and September). Applications are welcome from law and non-law undergraduates and graduates. Students currently in penultimate or final year of study, across all degree disciplines (completing studies before July 2017) can apply from 1 October - 31 December 2015.

Type of practice

Corporate & Commercial

Work areas



Probono initiatives

Battersea Legal Advice Centre, Fair Trials International, i-Probono, London Legal Support Trust (LLST), Mary Ward Legal Advice Centre, ProHelp, The Innocent Network UK

Diversity access schemes

Black Lawyers’ Directory, Pathways to Law, PRIME, Sutton Trust


Turnover: £1,183,000,000 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Profit per partner: £1,100,000 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Starting salary: £42,000 Compare on LC.N Insights
Training contract applications: 2,500 (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Retention rate: 84% (2012) Compare on LC.N Insights
Partner diversity:
  • 84.0% male (2012)
  • 16.0% female
  • 0.0% N/A
Compare on LC.N Insights
Lawyer diversity:
  • 44.0% male (2012)
  • 56.0% female
  • 0.0% N/A
Compare on LC.N Insights
Has client secondments: Yes Compare on LC.N Insights
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Charities
Has overseas secondments: Yes Compare on LC.N Insights
Overseas secondments:
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Bangkok
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Budapest
  • Dubai
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Moscow
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo

Featured Lawyers

Allen & Overy LLP

Suzy Hardyman

University of Manchester
Associate, Global Loans

My work in the banking department brings me into contact with banks, corporates and other lawyers all over the world on a daily basis. I have the opportunity to work on high profile, fast paced deals, which makes every day interesting and varied. The continuing professional training is also superb.

Allen & Overy LLP

Adam Leadercramer

University of Birmingham

Working in A&O's Communications, Media and Technology team allows me to be involved in cutting-edge transactions with innovative and dynamic clients. The variety of work means that I have gained knowledge and experience of a number of different business sectors.


Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP

A&O promises that "tomorrow will not be like today" - especially true if you're a trainee at this precedent-setting firm. Read on to see if all your tomorrows start here.

Vacation Scheme Insider

Allen & Overy LLP

Sabiah Khatun

Sabiah Khatun studied law at Queen Mary University and completed a vacation scheme at Allen & Overy in Summer 2015.

  • When: Summer 2015
  • Subject: Law
  • University: Queen Mary, University of London

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