Students and graduates
Seize the opportunity to build your future by doing empowering work on a global scale.
Download our 2022 Graduate Brochure
Allen & Overy has the largest Asia Pacific footprint of all the global firms in the region which means as a trainee you will be working on cross-border matters from day one alongside the best lawyers in the market. Having an international mindset has become an essential part of our job and A&O are looking for bright forward thinking people who not only embrace change but want to be at the forefront of it.
What we offer
England & Wales Training Contract
Starting as a graduate with Allen & Overy is the beginning of an exciting legal career as you will be embarking on your qualification as a UK commercial solicitor but based in our Singapore office.
We will support you through the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and/or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) in London and then your England & Wales training contract in Singapore.
Your training contract will be based on 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 core areas of expertise are Banking, Corporate and International Capital Markets and as a trainee you will spend at least twelve months of your training contract gaining experience in at least two of these areas. It is also a possibility, that in your second year of training, you may spend six months in our London office. Our trainees also need to gain contentious experience during their training contract which they do in our Litigation department. We also offer our trainees the option of completing a Litigation course, while in London, to gain their contentious experience if they are sure their interests lie elsewhere.
Please note that if you are studying or have studied a qualifying law degree in England and Wales, you will need to complete the bespoke Allen & Overy Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) after graduation. If you are unsure whether your degree falls into this category, please contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) for clarification. If you have not studied a qualifying law degree, then you will need to complete the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (12 months long) before taking the Allen & Overy SQE.
We often hear students have a difficult time in differentiating firms. For this reason, we recommend an internship with us as a great way to experience first-hand our cutting-edge work and collaborative culture.
During your internship, you will get practical, hands-on experience, working alongside partners, associates and trainees on real deals and active cases. Alongside your legal work, you will attend events and presentations about key elements of our practice while developing the skills you need to be a successful international commercial lawyer.
The internship will run for three weeks during July and will allow for rotations through two practice areas.
Students who complete an internship with us will be considered for an England & Wales Training Contract commencing in March 2024 or later at the end of their placement. The decision will be based on their performance during the internship, as we do not conduct additional interviews.
We ultimately believe an internship is a two-way process and a chance for you to work out if A&O is the right firm for you. While there will be some assessment during your time on the scheme, our main focus is giving you exposure to our business and providing opportunities for you to learn and develop.
Candidates for our summer internship programme should be in their third or fourth year at a Singapore University, or in their penultimate or final year of their law degree at a university abroad. All applications must be submitted through our career portal. You will be asked to answer a few questions about why you want to be a lawyer at Allen & Overy, to provide details of your academic transcripts and details of your work experience.
Applications for our 2023 internship will open on the 1st of October 2022 and will close on the 31st of December 2022.
Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)
Following the completion of your degree and prior to commencing your Training Contract with us, we will require you to complete the Allen & Overy SQE at BPP Law School.
Our fee earners and training team have worked closely with BPP to develop a bespoke programme that reflects the particular requirements of a legal career. The course features materials based on real examples of the transactions we do and enables you to familiarise yourself with our precedents, making it easier when you start at Allen & Overy. 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.
The SQE preparation course is an 11 month course during which you will prepare for, and sit, the SQE1 and SQE2 assessments. The SQE course commences in September and March each year (i.e. those joining Allen & Overy in September 2024 will start the SQE course in September 2023; those joining the firm in March 2025 will start the SQE course in March 2024).
The first 15 weeks of the course will be spent preparing for the SQE1 assessment, with the following part of the course focusing on SQE2 preparation and the delivery of our bespoke ‘Essentials for Practice’ course content, to really prepare you for life at Allen & Overy and the transition to starting your training with us. An image of the SQE preparation course learning journey/timeline is available here. If you are a non-law graduate, you will complete the PGDL before the SQE preparation course.
Further information about the SQE is available on the SRA website.
PGDL – Post Graduate Diploma in Law
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 Post Graduate 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 will include people studying Law in Singapore who have not studied English Land Law during their degree.
The PGDL is a one-year (or two-year part time) course designed to teach you research skills and everything you need to know about law before you join those who already have a Law degree.
Situated on the city's shoreline and a stone's throw away from the heart of the central business district, the Singapore office commands spectacular views of Marina Bay and the new downtown area.
The Singapore office enjoys convenient dining and five-star hotel accommodation options on its doorstep while being well-connected to major transport links and public transport systems. Go shopping on Orchard Road, take a stroll around Gardens by the Bay or head to one of the many hawker centers for a number of local culinary delights.
We also recognise that there is life beyond work and we host a number of social events, from our annual A&O quiz night, Chinese New Year celebrations, office Christmas party and sporting events such as our famed Dragon Boat races.
Learning and development
We want to provide everyone, from graduates and junior lawyers, through to Senior Associate level practitioners and partners, with constant learning opportunities. Qualifying as a lawyer is an important milestone, but your growth and development at A&O will continue far beyond that. A career with us provides a platform to open doors and brings opportunities you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
The A&O Business School will provide you with the commercial and personal skills that you need to navigate through an ever-changing business landscape, while helping you build the skills you need for your career - whether that is at A&O or elsewhere.
The Business School offers a variety of excellent courses relevant to your career stage, with an emphasis on practical skills and business insight to complement advanced legal knowledge. The school also offers a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from partners and gain valuable insights from the world of business. From cutting-edge content to world-class coaches, our partners work on the design of the courses and act as faculty members to share their experience and expertise.
Throughout your journey with us, we'll equip you for today and tomorrow – providing you with opportunities to enhance your skills and build your confidence. At A&O, you'll get the challenge and support required for a successful career at the highest level.
We’ll equip you for the future, both yours and ours, whatever it may bring. We believe that enjoyment and satisfaction at work go hand in hand. That’s why we’re proud to offer a competitive and innovative employment package that’s committed to the health, success and well-being of all of our people.
The Singapore office will make the statutory employer's contribution to the Central Provident Fund Board for employees who are Singapore citizens and permanent residents. This contribution is in addition to the individual's gross compensation.
The Singapore office provides the following:
- Medical and dental insurance , including permanent health insurance
- Life assurance
- Personal accident insurance
- Maternity transition coaching and keep in touch (KIT) days
We also have several initiatives to help our employees strike the necessary work/life balance:
- Working from home
- Part-time working/reduced or fixed working hours
Selection process and interview
You will complete the online application form by answering a few questions about yourself, your work experience, and academic transcript. There will also be questions regarding your desire to work as a lawyer, and Allen & Overy.
Once you submit the application, you’ll be prompted to complete an immersive video-based Situational Judgement Test (SJT), which should take 30 to 40 minutes and includes numerical and verbal reasoning items. The SJT is designed to provide a realistic preview of what you may experience as a trainee at A&O. Instructions will be provided once you start the SJT.
We will review applications after the closing date and will contact students who are successful to arrange for an interview. We run a two stage interview process, where you will meet members of HR, associates and partners.
One interview will assess your skills, experience and your understanding of what it means to be a commercial lawyer at Allen & Overy. In addition, you will be asked a series of questions based on scenarios you may encounter as a trainee. The other interview is a business case study. You will have a short time to work through the case and prepare a brief presentation, which will be followed by a discussion with your interviewer. This exercise is aimed at assessing your interest in business, commercial awareness, and ability to digest information and present your findings. You will also have plenty of opportunities to ask us questions and to get to know more about Allen & Overy.
Academic achievement is essential to make it into the world of law, and we do look for results equivalent to UK 2:1. However, don’t forget to make the most of your extra-curricular activities and work experience to show that you are an ambitious and well-rounded candidate.
Ensure your application is free from spelling and grammatical errors – attention to detail is a fundamental skill for a lawyer – so we expect this to be reflected in your application. We’re not looking for poetry but we are looking for you to be accurate and concise. It’s a good idea to draft, edit and get someone else to read over your application before clicking ‘Submit’.
Be able to show an understanding and awareness of the commercial aspects of being a lawyer. Pick an area in a business sector that is of real interest to you and read about the deals and stories involved. Whilst we don’t expect you to know the details of a complex transaction having an understanding of the implications of those deals and how they can affect the firm and our clients will help you stand out amongst your peers.
Remember to revisit your application before your interview and know what you have written. The interview questions are likely to include details about school and university studies, your interests and achievements, work experience, why you have chosen this career and ultimately why you want to work at Allen & Overy. University careers services may offer mock interviews, so book one if you can. Getting feedback on how you come across in an interview scenario from someone you don’t know can be really helpful before the event.
Completing your online application
There is no “typical” Allen & Overy candidate and we know students have various interests and skills. We are keen for interesting and open-minded people to join us. Essentially, in your application we are looking for evidence of teamwork, motivation and drive, communication skills, planning and organisation, critical thinking, commercial awareness and commitment – both to a career in law and to a career with Allen & Overy.
Know the firm
At Allen & Overy we recognise that you will be applying to a number of law firms and that can mean a lot of applications. It may appear that each firm wants a similar application, but your individual approach and attention to our firm will help set you apart. It’s worth taking the time to focus on each individual application – it may take longer but the effort will be worth it if you secure an interview. The questions asked by different firms may look similar, but it is unlikely you will be able to use the same answer each time.
Know your goals
Creating an application that stands out from the rest of the crowd and sells your skills can be a challenge. In the first instance, make sure that you know exactly what’s required by familiarising yourself with the what we look for - communication, teamwork, interpersonal skills and commercial awareness are just some of the skills we look for at Allen & Overy, so prepare some examples to demonstrate your experience of each.
Show a rounded personality
We want to find out what type of person you are, so try to showcase yourself in your application.
We expect academically successful candidates but your application will stand out if you show that you have experienced life outside the library. Volunteering or joining a society or sporting team is valuable, especially if you take responsibility for a task, such as managing a budget or project. Try to demonstrate your responsibilities and your capacity to shape events, committees and outcomes.
Your work experience
If you have completed legal or non-legal, commercial or any other kind of work experience, think about what you have learned and observed. You may, for example, have made a recommendation for improving a process to your manager or have handled a difficult customer. Using examples like this on your application and during interviews shows that you have learned from your experience and that you are willing to be asked about it.
Summer Internship 2023
Candidates for our summer internship programme should be in their third or fourth year at a Singapore University, or in their penultimate or final year of their law degree at a university abroad.
Applications for our 2023 internship will open on the 1st of October 2022 and will close on the 31st of December 2022.
The Scheme will take place from 10th July to the 28th July 2023, so please ensure you are available to participate, should you be successful in securing a place on the scheme.
- I am an international student, am I still eligible to apply?
- I have graduated, am I still eligible to apply?
- When are your internship dates?Are they flexible?
- Do you have a separate graduate recruitment programme?
- Can I post/email my summer internship application?
- I don’t have my most recent transcript, can I still apply?
- I don’t have any paralegal/legal experience, can I still apply?
- Am I able to amend my answers to your questions once I have submitted my application?
- I have been invited to an interview. Who will I be interviewing with?
- How many interns do you take?
- Can I do a part time/shorter internship?
- Do you have any work experience opportunities?
I am an international student, am I still eligible to apply?
We accept applications from students who want to become England and Wales qualified and are aware of the route required to do this.
I have graduated, am I still eligible to apply?
Our summer internship programme is aimed at penultimate year students. If you have already completed your degree and did not apply for a summer internship during your penultimate year we would want to understand the reasoning behind this decision.
When are your internship dates?Are they flexible?
No, our summer internship programme runs for three weeks during the month of July It is a structured programme giving you the best possible experience of Allen & Overy.
Do you have a separate graduate recruitment programme?
We recruit our graduates via our summer internship programme. We do not have a separate graduate recruitment programme. In the event that we need to add graduates to our intakes we will advertise the role on our website.
Can I post/email my summer internship application?
No, all applications must be submitted online via our career portal. Any applications received by any other means will not be considered.
I don’t have my most recent transcript, can I still apply?
We appreciate that not all universities release their results prior to the internship applications period.You are able to submit your application without your most recent academic transcript however, we will require a copy when it becomes available. If you do not submit your past academic transcripts, we will be unable to assess your application and it will be declined.
I don’t have any paralegal/legal experience, can I still apply?
Prior legal experience is not a requirement. You should make the most of any work related experience that you have, regardless of the discipline, and focus on what you have learned and observed and how this will apply to your legal career.
Am I able to amend my answers to your questions once I have submitted my application?
No, you are unable to edit your answers once you have submitted your application.
I have been invited to an interview. Who will I be interviewing with?
Interviews are hosted by HR and partners. We do not always specify who you will be interviewed by during the process, due to last minute changes, which can be unsettling.
The first interview is based on your application form and will assess your skills, experience and understanding of what it means to be a commercial lawyer at Allen & Overy. The second interview is a business case study, and is aimed at assessing your interest in business, commercial awareness, ability to digest information and you presentation skills.
How many interns do you take?
We take around eight interns each year, with a view to offering between 2-3 interns an England and Wales training contract. However, our trainee number is dependent on business needs and the caliber of interns.
Can I do a part time/shorter internship?
No this isn’t an option, we appreciate that you may have other commitments during the summer however, our internship is a structured programme to give you the best possible experience.
Do you have any work experience opportunities?
We have a planned work experience week with three designated Singapore schools only.
In addition to countries where we have offices, we also have a number of International Desks advising clients on large scale international transactions in Europe.
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Please use the contact details for general enquiries but do not submit your CV or an application using this route. Applications are only accepted online.