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Allen & Overy LLP

80-90 vacancies
163 trainees
580 partners
5650 staff
We’re one of the world’s leading law firms, headquartered in the UK and operating in 31 countries all over the world.

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

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.


Please apply online via Students and graduates from all degree disciplines can submit applications for our summer vacation scheme and training contract opportunities from 22 August 2022 until 16 December 2022. If you are interested in applying to the winter vacation ccheme, please apply by 14 October 2022.

Applications to

Graduate Recruitment Team

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

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

About us

We’re Allen & Overy. For ninety years, we’ve been at the forefront of the legal industry, 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. Excelling on these challenges requires advanced technology, delivery, and innovation – which is why Allen & Overy is the only firm to have topped the Financial Times Innovative Law Firm ranking six times.

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.

As the legal industry evolves, 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 – like the chance to take a litigation course alongside your rotations. 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. Around half of our trainees have a degree in another subject, and everyone is given a supportive learning environment and a place to belong. Challenge the status quo with us, and you’ll find a career where you excel.


Working at Allen & Overy offers an exceptional range of benefits, including season ticket and cycle-to-work loans, a health and wellbeing centre including in-house GP, physiotherapist, dentist 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 wellbeing apps (Headspace and Unmind).

Vacation schemes

Experience what it means to be empowered.

It can be difficult trying to find a place where you can belong. That’s why our vacation schemes are designed to show you exactly what it’s like to tackle exciting challenges every day in Allen & Overy’s friendly, supportive and dynamic culture.

As you work alongside our lawyers on live deals and cases, you’ll gain real and valuable skills you will use and develop throughout your career. You’ll also attend a diverse range of events and presentations that will show you what it takes to excel as a successful international commercial lawyer. As part of our tightly connected global community, you’ll get all the support you need to bring out your best self.

But it’s not all work and no play. There will be plenty of time to socialise with our graduate recruitment team, lawyers and partners as well as the other students on your scheme – broadening your knowledge of the firm, building your network and giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself into the culture that will define your experience with us should you join as a trainee.

We offer both a winter and summer scheme, for students in their penultimate or final year of undergraduate study and for those who have already graduated. These schemes will give you an insight into who we are, what we do and how we can support you, while giving you exposure to the work we do and a taster of the responsibility you can have as a trainee.

Our people are culturally and geographically diverse and this is reflected through our REACH Buddy Scheme. This mentoring scheme, run by Allen & Overy’s Race and Ethnicity network, is open to everyone taking part in our vacation schemes. It offers mentorship during the scheme and beyond and is focused on improving the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities within the firm. The scheme is also deeply committed to enabling social mobility regardless of racial or ethnic background.

All those successful at interview who are invited to participate will be paid £450 per week and will be considered for a training contract regardless of whether your scheme takes place virtually or in person.


We’re able to welcome final- or penultimate-year students or graduates from all universities with any degree.

What we look for

We look for individuals with potential: open-mindedness, innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. These are the skills that will set your application apart and set you up for success. Our success relies on bringing together people from all backgrounds, with unique skillsets and perspectives so 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 determination to make that happen, then you’ll thrive as a vacation scheme candidate.

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.

Regardless of the outcome, we’re committed to providing constructive feedback on your interview performance to help you going forward in your career.

Application window:

Winter vacation scheme - Applications are now closed

22 August 2022 – 14 October 2022

Summer vacation scheme – Apply now

12 September – 16 December 2022

First-year opportunities

A&O First is our work experience programme for students in their first year of a three-year course or second year of a four-year course. This scheme will give you exposure to a commercial environment and provide you with the opportunity to start carving your career path. You’ll also be able to build a network with our people and enhance your skills to be a successful lawyer. You can apply to this programme between 9 January 2023 and 10 February 2023. For the online application form and to find more details about this, please visit

Training contracts

Experience a career without limits.

We know it isn’t always easy to find a place where you belong – a place that cares just as much about who you are as what you do. But join Allen & Overy’s tightly connected international community and you’ll discover a friendly, dynamic and fun culture in which to begin an exciting and fulfilling legal career. Throughout the two years of your training contract, we will work closely with you to ensure you have the support, challenge and structure to reach your full potential and become a successful commercial solicitor.

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

The route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales is changing. The SQE is a new compulsory assessment which takes effect from 1 September 2021 and ultimately replaces the current route to qualification. Trainees joining Allen & Overy from September 2024 onwards will train via the SQE route. Please see below for further information about our SQE transition plans. 

What will you do?

Our training programme is meticulously designed and continually evolving to provide the foundations you need to find your strengths, overcome challenges and bring out your best self.

Your training will be based on four six-month rotations (known as ‘seats’), through a number of departments or practice areas. Seats are available across our practice areas and will help you to discover the full range of work we do and the expertise we have in our teams. In each seat, you will sit with a partner or an associate who will supervise your professional and personal development, showing you how to excel as a successful commercial lawyer.

Our dedicated HR for trainees team will work with you to determine your seat choices. You will have the opportunity to express your preferences, so you can spend time in the areas that suit you best (subject to business need). Our core transactional areas of expertise are banking, corporate (which includes our pensions team) and International capital markets; as a trainee, you can expect to spend at least two seats of your training contract gaining experience in these areas. You will also explore the possibility of spending a seat on an international or client secondment, which will give you the chance to grow and strengthen your network.

You’ll also gain contentious experience, either by spending a seat in our litigation department (including employment; intellectual property; litigation and investigations; and arbitration) or, for those who do not sit in a litigation seat, by completing a litigation course and obtaining contentious experience via legal advice clinics. The litigation course is run by Nottingham Law School and consists of five days’ tuition; regular visits to a legal advice centre take place throughout the training contract, to help you gain practical contentious experience and provide valuable pro bono help.


We’re able to welcome final or penultimate-year students or graduates from all universities with any degree.

Training and support

One of the things our trainees value most about being at Allen & Overy is the award-winning training they receive. Your development is one of our key priorities and you’ll see that every day you are with us. In each seat, you will sit with a partner or associate who will provide you with support and guidance and you will immediately take an active and practical role in the department’s work, with plenty of individual responsibility along the way. You can expect to take on real responsibility, with tailored support, whilst also enjoying a wider support network of fellow trainees to swap learnings and share the experience with. 

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 have the opportunity to work side-by-side and learn from some of the world’s top lawyers. As well as regular departmental training and updates (specific to your seat), you can attend client seminars delivered by our partners and associates on the most cutting-edge issues affecting our industry. You will also attend wider skills training and a range of seminars and talks on matters essential to Allen & Overy, which include mental health and wellbeing and diversity and inclusion. 

Training does not stop at qualification. We are proud of our position as pioneers in the legal industry and our commitment to continuous learning is a key part in maintaining it. 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.

Application window  

12 September 2022 – 16 December 2022

Apply now

Training contract March and September 2025 

Training contract March 2026

Bring your varied perspectives to the table.

We know that diverse organisations that succeed in bringing people together, create superior solutions and are more sustainable. They also better contribute to the communities that sustain them, and who give them license to operate.

We also know that equity and diversity result from an inclusive environment and that unconscious bias can live in an organisation’s established processes. This is why creating an environment in which all at A&O can thrive, achieve their potential and challenge the inadvertent effects of traditional processes, globally and locally, has been a priority for us for many years. 

The pandemic and recent events around the world have emphasised that opportunity is not equitably spread and that community-wide action is needed to make progress. A&O is committed to playing a full part in this. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that our good intentions continue to translate into progress on equity and diversity so that, as we emerge into the new normal, our progress is not impaired.

At A&O 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.

  • 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 contract 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
  • Battersea Legal Advice Centre
  • Brightside Trust E-Mentoring
  • Disability Law Service
  • Fair Trials International
  • Free Representation Unit
  • Heart of the City
  • Human Dignity Trust
  • LawWorks
  • 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