Back to Solicitors

A&O Shearman

80-90 vacancies
163 trainees
580 partners
5650 staff

A&O Shearman – this firm is built for the future of law, and for your future too.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to A&O Shearman.

More info

Our academic requirements are AAB (136 UCAS points) or equivalent at A level and on track for/achieved a 2:1 undergraduate degree. We do take into account mitigating circumstances, including those relating to a disability, which may have affected your grades either at school or university and there is a space on the application form to include these.

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate the drive and commitment to pursue a career in commercial law. Tech-savvy and quick to adapt, our well-organised trainees need to be effective team players and always eager to learn.

Applications to

Graduate Recruitment Team

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • HR-led interview
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Psychometric testing

Learn more about A&O Shearman

About Us

Since the two legal powerhouses – Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling – joined forces in May 2024, A&O Shearman has proven to be an unparalleled combination: a new type of industry leader with truly global capabilities. With over 4000 lawyers, across 48 offices in 29 countries, here you’ll be able to work on the most interesting, high-profile legal work, helping the world’s leading businesses to grow, innovate, and thrive. In today’s ever-changing world, we continue to break new ground, working with companies, organisations and governments on the most complex legal issues and building strong and enduring client relationships.

We also know that to excel, we must nurture an environment where our people are truly supported and feel that they belong. Whatever defines you, we ask you to bring your whole self to work to grow our dynamic and inclusive culture. We have a powerful commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which means you’re cared about for who you are, every bit as much as you’re valued for what you do. Together, we work as a team, listening and learning from one another to achieve results we could never achieve on our own.

We’re here to rewrite the rules of the legal industry – developing and delivering innovative solutions that push our clients and industry forwards. We’re proud to have the resources, the vision, and the mind-set to equip our people to operate in the legal landscape of the future. With us, you’ll be constantly learning and growing, benefitting from exceptional professional and personal development. For trainees, this means an in-house training programme characterised by flexibility and choice. In each of your seats, you’ll support a senior associate or partner with exposure to work that crosses departments and borders. A lot of the firm’s work involves two or more jurisdictions, and our trainees also have the chance to spend six months in one of our international offices, or on secondment to one of our clients.

This is a global career with unique opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. We will help you develop into an exceptional lawyer and learn to perform at the highest possible standard – whether or not you have a degree in law. Challenge the status quo with us, and you’ll find a career where you can really excel. This is your chance to find your start and change things for the better.


Working at A&O Shearman offers an exceptional range of benefits, including season ticket and cycle-to-work loans, a health and wellbeing centre including in-house GP, physiotherapist, and dental plan, an on-site fitness centre and sports hall plus in-house beauty and wellbeing therapies, as well as access to a wide range of discounted goods and services. In the UK, we currently provide access to support through our Employee Advice Line and Private Medical Insurance. And all trainees globally have free access to our health and wellbeing apps (Headspace, Help@hand and Unmind.)

The placements we have on offer and what they involve at A&OS

Solicitor apprenticeships programme

Welcome to the future of law

At A&O Shearman we believe talented and ambitious people will always thrive with the right investment and support. With our solicitor apprenticeship programme, we are giving you the opportunity to gain the qualifications and experience to excel in a leading law firm, while earning a salary of £25,000 in the first year of your apprenticeship (increasing every year).

Programme overview

Over six years, you will immerse yourself in the world of law, with your time divided between working with A&O Shearman colleagues and focused study time. The programme is designed and balanced to provide everything you need for a successful career in law. 

Four days of each week will be spent working in practice groups on real projects, live deals, and interesting cases for clients. Throughout the programme you will move between teams and departments within the firm to gain valuable insight into all the services we provide. This will give you the perfect platform for you to gain an unmatched understanding of everything we do, learn, expand your knowledge and ability as a solicitor, and show what you’re capable of at the highest levels.

One day per week will be spent studying with our training provider, BPP University, where you will work towards an LLB (Hons) Law and Legal Practice and a Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship. We will cover your entire tuition fee and you will also earn a salary during your training.

Reasons to join

You will receive training not only from BPP University, but also first-class training from industry-leading experts across every sector at A&O Shearman.

By exploring many areas of our practice, you will discover brand-new career options and be able to tailor your path to achieve your ambitions, whatever they may be.

Every single colleague at A&O Shearman knows the value of support. It’s defined all their careers, and wherever you work with us, you’ll have it. It could be from your mentor who will guide you through every challenge, from the lawyers and support staff you work alongside, or from our dedicated HR team.

As well as financial rewards, working at A&O Shearman offers an exceptional range of benefits including insurance a pension scheme; an interest-free season ticket loan; access to wellbeing apps and more.

What we look for

This programme gives you the opportunities you need to expand your skills across multiple areas. And the great thing is, there’s not one single type of person who succeeds here. Whoever you are, this programme is a chance for you to start your journey early and develop your legal expertise, while earning your qualifications without the burden of tuition fees – opening the door to people from all academic and social backgrounds. 

We require you to be on track to achieving AAB at A level or equivalent and have seven GCSEs at grade six or above (including Maths and English). We do look at every form received and take extenuating circumstances into account for grades that do not meet our requirements.

Applications closed

Belong. Excel.

Law Tech and Operations Graduate Programme

Innovation is the lifeblood of legal technology

Technology isn’t just changing how we practice law, it’s revolutionising it. At A&O Shearman, we’re driving that revolution. From artificial intelligence to data visualisation, project management tools to data-driven decision making, we are transforming the way we service our clients and help tackle their toughest challenges. We are one of the world’s most digitally-led law firms, with innovation driving both the services we offer and the ways in which we deliver them. And by streamlining traditional law practices, we’re making legal representation more accessible to everyone.

This is where our Law Tech & Operations Graduate programme comes in. This programme sits at the heart of our firm, acting as the engine behind our digital transformation and helping us to redefine technology across the legal field. Through this programme, we recruit high-calibre graduates and train them to help design, drive and deliver technology solutions and services across our firm.

When you join us, you’ll get to see the bigger picture behind tech and legal operational expertise, rotating through areas. This way, you won’t just be learning from a range of experts, you’ll be helping us to innovative our solutions and service delivery from every angle. You’ll be able to share your newfound expertise to help us excel as a business, and you excel as an individual.


A levels – minimum AAB. Degree subject – various but ideally STEM or economics.

18 December 2023 – 2 February 2024

Belong. Excel.

A&O Shearman first-year programme

Exceptional begins here

If you think a career in commercial law could be for you and are keen to find out more, there’s no better place to learn about the legal world than our A&OS First programme, in our transformational global firm.

A&O First is much more than just work experience. It’s a programme with various touch points over the year and gives you access to a global support network designed to give you all the information, contacts and experience you need to decide whether a legal career at A&O Shearman is right for you.

The programme is packed full of insights, experiences and exposure to the work we do through work-shadowing and networking. During the scheme, we will help you boost the skills we look for in future trainees, such as technology and commercial awareness. You will see first-hand what it’s like to be part of our supportive community and get a sense of what we could help you achieve when you join us.

As part of the scheme you will have:

Advice and guidance from our early careers recruitment team

A two-day insight scheme in April followed by  a one-day assessment centre masterclass in September where we will immerse you in the firm and all our offerings

Ongoing support from a trainee buddy

Peer support – you will get to know students from other universities and degree disciplines also on the scheme

The opportunity to be fast-tracked to assessment centre  for either a vacation scheme or training contract


We’re able to welcome students in their first year of a three-year (or second year of a four-year) undergraduate degree from any degree discipline.

Application window

8 January 2024 – 9 February 2024

What we look for

We’ll be looking for your drive and commitment to thrive in a legal career, alongside curiosity to find out more about the firm, our culture, the clients we work with and the sectors we operate in. If you’re prepared to tackle every challenge that comes your way, we’ll provide you with all the legal knowledge you need to excel.

Our academic requirements are AAB (136 UCAS points) or equivalent at A level and on track for/achieved a 2:1 undergraduate degree. We do take into account mitigating circumstances, including those relating to a disability, which may have affected your grades either at school or university and there is a space on the application form to include these.

Applications closed. 

Belong. Excel.

Learn more about diversity and inclusion at A&O Shearman.

Belong to a collective. Excel as an individual.

We know that when diverse organisations bring people and perspectives together, our solutions are stronger and more sustainable. But that doesn’t happen by accident. Equity and diversity require a truly inclusive environment. That’s why fostering a culture where our people are accepted for who they are and feel able to truly reach their full potential has been a priority for us for many years.

Being part of A&O Shearman means being committed to cultivating a diverse, inclusive culture for each other. We’re proud of our achievements for creating a work environment where our people feel that they can bring their authentic selves to work. This is a global priority for the firm, and critical to why everyone can truly belong and excel.

At A&O Shearman we go beyond hoping for a better future. We know that hope is not a plan. We actively foster an inclusive environment where people can be their true and authentic selves at work. We know that by listening, and encouraging challenge, that genuine inclusivity can be achieved and not just aspired to.

When you accept our offer of a training contract, we will provide financial support for your law school studies. For more information, click here.


  • Banking
  • Corporate
  • International capital markets
  • Litigation
  • Real estate
  • Tax
  • Corporate & Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

One Bishops Square, London, E1 6AD
Phone: 020 3088 3399
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 80
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree (or equivilent), 136 UCAS points (AAB)
Start salary: £50,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
Turnover: £131,000,000 (2016)
Profit per partner: £1,210,000 (2016)
Training programme applications: 2,500 (2012)
Retention rate: 88% (2016)
Partner diversity:
  • 84.0% male (2012)
  • 16.0% female
  • 0.0% N/A
Lawyer diversity:
  • 44.0% male (2012)
  • 56.0% female
  • 0.0% N/A
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Media and TV organisations
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Istanbul
  • Johannesburg
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Antwerp
  • Bangkok
  • Barcelona
  • Beijing
  • Belfast
  • Boston
  • Bratislava
  • Brussels
  • Bucharest*
  • Budapest
  • Casablanca
  • Dubai
  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • Hamburg
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hong Kong
  • Istanbul
  • Jakarta*
  • Johannesburg
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Luxembourg
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Perth
  • Prague
  • Riyadh**
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • São Paulo
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
  • Silicon Valley
  • Singapore
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Warsaw
  • Washington DC
  • Yangon
  • *associated office
  • **cooperation office
  • A4ID
  • African Prisons Project
  • AIRE Centre
  • Amicus
  • Brightside Trust E-Mentoring
  • Disability Law Service
  • Fair Trials International
  • Free Representation Unit
  • Heart of the City
  • Human Dignity Trust
  • Liberty
  • London Legal Support Trust (LLST)
  • PILnet (Public Interest Law)
  • Plan International
  • Prisoners’ Advice Service
  • Red Cross
  • Reprieve
  • The Bingham Centre
  • The Howard League for Penal Reform
  • The National Pro Bono Centre
  • The Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau
  • Toynbee Hall Legal Advice Centre
  • TrustLaw Connect
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Bright Network
  • IntoUniversity
  • MyPlus Consulting
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Stonewall
  • Sutton Trust
  • Timewise
  • Working Families