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Who we support

Our pro bono and community projects are for charities and social enterprises. We also support certain individuals through established programmes with our partner organisations.

We provide:

Please take a moment to read our privacy policy.

 

Our pro bono work

We offer pro bono legal advice to both local and international non-profit organisations and social enterprises.

This includes:

  • representing international NGO clients in legal challenges
  • using our expertise to conduct legal research with clients’ policy and advocacy teams
  • responding to pressing areas of need 

We also help people who face barriers in accessing justice through free legal advice projects. These are delivered in partnership with local organisations.

If you’re part of a charitable organisation or social enterprise and looking for free legal advice, send an email to our pro bono team. We are unfortunately unable to respond to all queries received directly from individuals.    

 

Sign up for work experience

We offer virtual and in-person work experience programmes for young people who are interested in finding out about a career in law and business.

Virtual work experience

We offer two free, virtual legal work experience programmes covering Employment Law and M&A and Technology Law. Both programmes are self-paced, designed by our lawyers and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. They provide you with a variety of real life tasks to help you understand the day-to-day work of a commercial lawyer.

Smart Start work experience

Smart Start is our award-winning skills development programme for Year 12, or equivalent students. All participants must meet our eligibility criteria.

The programme has been developed in partnership with charity Causeway Education.

There are two ways students can take part:

  • Smart Start Week – An in-person programme at our London office.
  • Smart Applications – A virtual programme made up of 8 live webinars.

Students who take part in Smart Start Week will be invited to apply for Smarter Futures. This is a two-year support programme which consists of opportunities throughout Year 13 and into university (for those students choosing this route). More details are in the table below.

To join Smart Start Week or Smart Applications, students must attend one of our Smart Choices information sessions. There are six Smart Choices sessions which run between 14 March - 11 April.

If you have any queries, please email smartstart@causeway.education

Further information about Smart Start                                                                

Smart Start Week

Smart Applications

Where is it?

Allen & Overy London

Online (opportunity to attend an insight day at Allen & Overy’s London office in August.)

When is it?

Monday 24 to Friday 28 July 2023

8 evening webinars in June & July 2023

What will I get from the programme? 

  • Develop your knowledge of the firm's international profile and find out about the responsibilities of an A&O staff member
  • Familiarise yourself with a professional environment and develop essential skills for success
  • Map your own future career journey and understand the elements of an outstanding job application
  • Be set an overall challenge for the week and work through tasks based on real business scenarios from A&O
  • How to find and apply for solicitor apprenticeships
  • Planning and developing a personal statement
  • Interactive sessions on common admission tests
  • Routes into the legal profession and careers at A&O

What additional support will I receive?

  • Access to Causeway Educations' online platform OSCAR, which supports university applications and all post-18 transitions
  • Following the Smart Start Week, all students will be invited to apply for a place on Smarter Futures.
  • Access to Causeway Educations' online platform OSCAR, which supports university applications and all post-18 transitions

What is involved in Smarter Futures?

  • A dedicated mentor and masterclasses at A&O
  • 1:1 tutoring support from Peppo Tutors
  • Employability and careers support from upReach for students attending university
  • An opportunity to apply for the A&O Bursary

N/A

What is the A&O Bursary?

Students can apply for a £15,000 bursary if they have completed Smart Start Week and are taking part in Smarter Futures Mentoring

N/A

Eligibility

We have two sets of criteria for our Smart Start programme. Applicants must:

  • be in Year 12 and have always attended a state-funded or non-fee paying school; and
  • be a UK national or EU national with settled status in the UK by the time they apply for university

Applicants must also meet at least one of the following additional criteria. Students who meet more than one additional criteria are more likely to receive a place on either programme.

  • come from a household where no parent or guardian has attended university
  • receive, or have previously received free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance or a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund
  • be or have been in local authority care 
  • be or have been a full-time or part-time young carer
  • come to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker
  • be attending a school or college with:
    • below average A-Level or Scottish Highers points score, and/or
    • a low rate of progression to higher education

 

Get support to return to work

We run a yearly employability programme called ReStart for people who are 50 and over who have been unemployed for six months to one year.

Our ReStart programme is a series of workshops which take place online and at our office in London. The programme runs for 10 to 12 weeks.

Participants in the programme will:

  • be mentored by A&O volunteers
  • receive independent advice and guidance
  • get one-to-one coaching from the Executive Coaching Consultancy
  • get help to rebuild their confidence
  • build a positive outlook
  • learn from shared experiences with other participants

We cannot guarantee that participants will find work either at A&O or elsewhere following the programme.

Learn more about the impact of our ReStart programme and how we're supporting people over 50 into employment.

Eligibility

People from any background or profession can apply.

They must be 50 years of age or older and have been out of work for at least six months.

How to apply

Applications for ReStart 2023 are open and can be made by following the instructions on this page.

The deadline for applications is 6 February 2023.

What happens after I apply?

Applicants who meet the criteria will receive a phone call in January from the team to discuss their application.

Successful applicants will be offered a place on the programme by telephone in mid-February.

Those who are not successful will be informed by email mid-February.

 

What we fund

The A&O Foundation funds the work of charities, social enterprises and community interest companies covering:

  • access to justice
  • education
  • employment 

Although we support disaster relief efforts, there is no open application process for disaster relief grants.

We do not give funding directly to individuals.

Our grants to charities

Charities can apply for one of three grants.

                                                                
 

Access to justice grant

Education and employment grant

Global Grants Programme

Where projects should be based

England, Scotland and Wales

London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney

An area of considerable need, for example a country described as ‘developing’ in UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index

Eligibility

Your work or projects must promote access to justice in the UK

Your work or projects must focus on issues of education, employment and training

Your work or project must focus on one of:

  • education
  • employment
  • access to justice

Value

£5,000 - £10,000

Up to £50,000 per year (for up to 3 years) + 100 volunteering hours from Allen & Overy staff

Organisations may ring-fence 20% of the grant for core funding

Closing date

25 January 2023

Applications for the Global Grants Programme are now closed

When will the grant be awarded?

Spring 2023

Spring 2023

Applying for the Access to justice grant or Education and employment grants 

Request an application form by emailing allenoveryfoundation@allenovery.com.

Applying for the Global Grants Programme

We are not accepting applications for the Global Grants Programme. If you would like to join our mailing list to hear when the process opens please contact the team

When to apply for more funding

Charities can apply for more funding by following the same application process as before, but the timing of the new application depends on the duration of the funding already received.

Reapplying for the Access to justice grant or Education and employment grants

Charities that have received one year of funding can apply for the programme immediately after their funding period ends.

Charities that have received a two consecutive years of funding must wait a year after the last grant period before applying again.

Global Charity Partnership

Our Global Charity Partnership brings together the whole firm to support one charity for two years.

We work closely with staff from the charity to develop opportunities for our people to get involved with the charity’s work. We offer fundraising, in-kind and pro bono support through the partnerships.

Our current partnership with Street Child runs until 31 July 2023.

We are not accepting applications for our next Global Charity Partnership at the moment. If you would like to join our mailing list to hear when the process opens please contact the team.