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Students and graduates - It's Time

The world is changing more than ever before. And not only do we need to change with it, but we need to help shape its new form. At Allen & Overy, it’s our mission to be at the cutting edge of the legal industry. This is your chance to be part of something revolutionary, to make your mark and lead the way.

The start of an adventure. The one you’ve been working towards. You’re on your way. IT’S TIME.

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Are we right for you?

What to expect during our selection process.

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What we offer

A&O First

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It’s time to see the bigger picture.

If you think a career in commercial law might be for you and are keen to find out more, then A&O First is a great place to start.

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 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 look to boost the skills we look for in future trainees such as technology and commercial awareness.

If you apply for the Hong Kong programme you will also get a week of work shadowing in Hong Kong in addition to your experience in London. This will offer insight into our London and Hong Kong offices, it is a great opportunity for students who are uncertain whether to commence their legal career in London or Hong Kong. 

As part of the scheme you will have:

  • Access to our graduate recruitment team for advice and guidance
  • A two-day workshop in April in London, followed by a return London office visit in September where we will immerse you in the firm and all of our offerings, including Advanced Delivery & Solutions
  • Work shadowing to experience the role of a lawyer first-hand
  • Ongoing support from a trainee buddy
  • Peer support – you will get to know students from other universities and degree disciplines also on the scheme
  • Hong Kong work shadowing takes place in August 2021

Eligibility

Students in their first year of a three year course or second year of a four-year course of an undergraduate degree. Chinese language skills are highly desirable.

Application window

11 January – 11 February 2021.

Applications are currently closed.

 

Vacation schemes

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Everything you’re aiming for.

It can be difficult trying to differentiate one firm from another. That’s why our Vacation Schemes are a great way to experience our cutting-edge work and collaborative culture.

As part of the scheme, you’ll gain real and valuable experience from day one, working alongside our lawyers on live deals and cases. There are a plethora of events and presentations to attend where you’ll learn about key elements of our practice while developing the skills you need to be a successful international commercial lawyer.

But it’s not all work and no play. There’s 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 and building your network.

If your hard work and passion shines through, you could be considered for a training contract training contract at the end of your placement.

The summer vacation scheme is held in Hong Kong in June and July each year.

Eligibility

Applications are welcomed from penultimate to final year law or final year non-law students from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other common law jurisdictions.

Australian students who are successful in our assessment process, will be invited to participate during their term break in July.

Application window

1 September 2020 – Applications open

31 December 2020 – Applications close for Hong Kong and UK based candidates

28 February 2021 – Applications close for Australia based candidates

Please be aware that we look at applications and schedule HR interviews on a rolling basis.

 

Training contract

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Starting a training contract with Allen & Overy is just the beginning of what will be a stimulating and rewarding legal career. Throughout the two years of your training contract, we will work closely with you to ensure you have the right support to develop into a successful commercial solicitor.

What will you do?

We take your training very seriously at A&O. When you join us, you may have some idea of where you want to specialise, but we believe it is important to give you as broad an exposure to our business as possible. The standards and expectations are high but you will be well supported by professionals who recognise that it is people like you who represent the future success of our firm. 

Your A&O training contract will usually be based on six-month rotations – known as 'seats' – in four of our core practice areas – Banking, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, International Capital Markets, and Regulatory. Shortly before you start your A&O training contract, we will ask you to identify your 2 most preferred seats and you are guaranteed to sit in at least one of those during your training contract, and most people sit in both. Furthermore, one of your seats will take the form of a six-month secondment to our London office.

This London seat will help you to develop a broader perspective on the work of a lawyer and prepare you for life as a qualified solicitor so it’s no surprise that 100% of our trainees take advantage of this opportunity. London secondments typically take place in the penultimate or final seat.

Training and support

One of the things our trainees value most about being at Allen & Overy is the award-winning training they receive. In each seat, you will sit with a partner or associate who will provide you with support and guidance, and you will take an active and practical role in the department’s work, with plenty of individual responsibility along the way.

In addition to learning practical skills such as drafting, transaction management, research, 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.

You will receive training and support in a variety of ways, including mentoring from your supervisor. You will be given department-specific training at the start of each seat to ensure that you are well-equipped to make the most of your time there. You will also receive 'Know-How' and 'Professional Skills Training' from the Professional Support Lawyer in each department, which aims to build on the foundations you have established during the Postgraduate Certificate in Law (PCLL), and develop your ability to contribute to the teams you work with during your training contract. 

Your professional development is a priority for us and you will have an unrivalled training experience that will set you up for the rest of your career wherever it takes you. You will take on greater responsibility as you move through your seats and we’ll support you every step of the way.

Eligibility

In the recruitment of our trainees we especially look for bilingual or trilingual students, particularly those speaking Mandarin and / or Cantonese, and with reading and writing skills (simplified or traditional Chinese).

The offer of a training contract is conditional upon successful completion of the PCLL course in Hong Kong. Financial assistance during the full-time PCLL (a stipend of HK$60,000 plus full payment of PCLL tuition fees) will be available to those who have accepted our training contract.

We recruit our trainees via our summer vacation scheme. We do not have a separate trainee recruitment process for those who have already graduated. If you are available and interested in being considered for a 2022 training contract place please apply to our 2021 Vacation Scheme -for students aiming for a 2023 Training contract.

It’s time to see the bigger picture.

If you think a career in commercial law might be for you and are keen to find out more, then A&O First is a great place to start.

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 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 look to boost the skills we look for in future trainees such as technology and commercial awareness.

If you apply for the Hong Kong programme you will also get a week of work shadowing in Hong Kong in addition to your experience in London. This will offer insight into our London and Hong Kong offices, it is a great opportunity for students who are uncertain whether to commence their legal career in London or Hong Kong. 

As part of the scheme you will have:

  • Access to our graduate recruitment team for advice and guidance
  • A two-day workshop in April in London, followed by a return London office visit in September where we will immerse you in the firm and all of our offerings, including Advanced Delivery & Solutions
  • Work shadowing to experience the role of a lawyer first-hand
  • Ongoing support from a trainee buddy
  • Peer support – you will get to know students from other universities and degree disciplines also on the scheme
  • Hong Kong work shadowing takes place in August 2021

Eligibility

Students in their first year of a three year course or second year of a four-year course of an undergraduate degree. Chinese language skills are highly desirable.

Application window

11 January – 11 February 2021.

Applications are currently closed.

 

Everything you’re aiming for.

It can be difficult trying to differentiate one firm from another. That’s why our Vacation Schemes are a great way to experience our cutting-edge work and collaborative culture.

As part of the scheme, you’ll gain real and valuable experience from day one, working alongside our lawyers on live deals and cases. There are a plethora of events and presentations to attend where you’ll learn about key elements of our practice while developing the skills you need to be a successful international commercial lawyer.

But it’s not all work and no play. There’s 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 and building your network.

If your hard work and passion shines through, you could be considered for a training contract training contract at the end of your placement.

The summer vacation scheme is held in Hong Kong in June and July each year.

Eligibility

Applications are welcomed from penultimate to final year law or final year non-law students from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other common law jurisdictions.

Australian students who are successful in our assessment process, will be invited to participate during their term break in July.

Application window

1 September 2020 – Applications open

31 December 2020 – Applications close for Hong Kong and UK based candidates

28 February 2021 – Applications close for Australia based candidates

Please be aware that we look at applications and schedule HR interviews on a rolling basis.

 

Starting a training contract with Allen & Overy is just the beginning of what will be a stimulating and rewarding legal career. Throughout the two years of your training contract, we will work closely with you to ensure you have the right support to develop into a successful commercial solicitor.

What will you do?

We take your training very seriously at A&O. When you join us, you may have some idea of where you want to specialise, but we believe it is important to give you as broad an exposure to our business as possible. The standards and expectations are high but you will be well supported by professionals who recognise that it is people like you who represent the future success of our firm. 

Your A&O training contract will usually be based on six-month rotations – known as 'seats' – in four of our core practice areas – Banking, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, International Capital Markets, and Regulatory. Shortly before you start your A&O training contract, we will ask you to identify your 2 most preferred seats and you are guaranteed to sit in at least one of those during your training contract, and most people sit in both. Furthermore, one of your seats will take the form of a six-month secondment to our London office.

This London seat will help you to develop a broader perspective on the work of a lawyer and prepare you for life as a qualified solicitor so it’s no surprise that 100% of our trainees take advantage of this opportunity. London secondments typically take place in the penultimate or final seat.

Training and support

One of the things our trainees value most about being at Allen & Overy is the award-winning training they receive. In each seat, you will sit with a partner or associate who will provide you with support and guidance, and you will take an active and practical role in the department’s work, with plenty of individual responsibility along the way.

In addition to learning practical skills such as drafting, transaction management, research, 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.

You will receive training and support in a variety of ways, including mentoring from your supervisor. You will be given department-specific training at the start of each seat to ensure that you are well-equipped to make the most of your time there. You will also receive 'Know-How' and 'Professional Skills Training' from the Professional Support Lawyer in each department, which aims to build on the foundations you have established during the Postgraduate Certificate in Law (PCLL), and develop your ability to contribute to the teams you work with during your training contract. 

Your professional development is a priority for us and you will have an unrivalled training experience that will set you up for the rest of your career wherever it takes you. You will take on greater responsibility as you move through your seats and we’ll support you every step of the way.

Eligibility

In the recruitment of our trainees we especially look for bilingual or trilingual students, particularly those speaking Mandarin and / or Cantonese, and with reading and writing skills (simplified or traditional Chinese).

The offer of a training contract is conditional upon successful completion of the PCLL course in Hong Kong. Financial assistance during the full-time PCLL (a stipend of HK$60,000 plus full payment of PCLL tuition fees) will be available to those who have accepted our training contract.

We recruit our trainees via our summer vacation scheme. We do not have a separate trainee recruitment process for those who have already graduated. If you are available and interested in being considered for a 2022 training contract place please apply to our 2021 Vacation Scheme -for students aiming for a 2023 Training contract.

Summer Associate Programme

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The summer associate program is one of the most vital aspects contributing to the growth and spirit of our U.S. practice. Every year we recruit some of the best law students from a highly selective pool across the country for the opportunity to experience what is it like first-hand to be an associate at Allen & Overy. Our summer associates gain insight into the functioning of one of the world’s leading international legal practices.

All candidates for our Hong Kong Summer Associate Programme are hired through our US office. Please visit our US Students and Graduates website to find our more details about the programme and the application process.

The summer associate program is one of the most vital aspects contributing to the growth and spirit of our U.S. practice. Every year we recruit some of the best law students from a highly selective pool across the country for the opportunity to experience what is it like first-hand to be an associate at Allen & Overy. Our summer associates gain insight into the functioning of one of the world’s leading international legal practices.

All candidates for our Hong Kong Summer Associate Programme are hired through our US office. Please visit our US Students and Graduates website to find our more details about the programme and the application process.

Our culture

It’s time to find common ground.

We believe that our accepting, inclusive culture fosters an environment of support and dedication that empowers our people to do their best work. As well as our shared ambition and drive, our global network is united in our creativity, mutual respect and diversity of perspective and background.

Of course, ambition and drive are vital to succeeding in our competitive landscape, but we also acknowledge that it’s important for our people to have the time and space to relax and enjoy themselves outside of work by dedicating time towards other commitments.

We encourage everyone at the firm to pursue their interests, whether they are passions outside the office, or at the firm’s activities and events. In addition, the firm’s commitment to pro bono and community investment work also offers our people the chance to experience and contribute to our inclusive culture.

Learning and development

In an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world, we believe that nurturing our talent will give us an advantage over our competitors, ensuring we have the best client relationships and business leaders in the market to drive our future success.

Training does not stop on qualification. 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.

We always look for creative ways to develop your legal expertise and help you gain the skills you need to provide an exceptional service to our clients.

From programmes that explore leadership and team building to attending global workshops to meet colleagues and learn in a diverse and creative environment, you’ll never stop learning at Allen & Overy.

 

Benefits

Health & wellbeing

  • Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme 
  • Medical, life, health and accident insurance

Time out

  • 22 days leave annually
  • Birthday leave
  • Six weeks of unpaid qualification leave

Financial security

  • PCLL fees reimbursed in full
  • A maintenance grant of HKD60,000 towards your living costs during the PCLL year
  • Future trainees who achieve a first-class LLB degree and/or an overall distinction of the PCLL will receive a cash award for HKD6,000 for each
  • Enrolment in our rental reimbursement scheme

Cash reward 

  • Current salary for first year trainees: HKD576,000 (HKD48,000 per month) plus discretionary bonus for trainees, totalling approximately HKD52,000 per month
  • We review our starting salaries on an annual basis – these numbers offer a guide only and will be confirmed before you join us. 2nd year trainee salary will be reviewed at the end of the first year of your training contract and an increase may be awarded at this point

Application tips

Top tips for your application

Top tips for your application

  • Understand our requirements – prepare some examples to show that you have the skills we are looking for. 
  • Make the most of your experience – highlight what you have gained from your experiences, try to show your appetite for responsibility and capacity to influence events and outcomes. 
  • Be commercial – show an interest in the legal industry and what is going on in the world and how it might affect us and our clients.
  • Focus on this firm – of course we expect you to apply to other firms, but make sure you tailor your answers to demonstrate why A&O is right for you. 
  • Be accurate – attention to detail is a fundamental skill of a lawyer.
Know your goals

Know your goals

  • Creating an application that stands out from the crowd can be challenging. Make sure you know what’s required by familiarising yourself with the skills we look for and prepare some examples to demonstrate your experience of each.

Application process

1. Apply

Once you submit your online application, you’ll be prompted to complete an immersive video based Situational Judgement Test (SJT), taking around 20 minutes. The SJT is designed to provide a realistic preview of what you may experience as a trainee at A&O.

You will be given 48 hours in which to complete the test. We advise you submit your online application at least 48 hours prior to the deadline to give you time to complete both the online application and  SJT by the deadline.

View sample situational judgement question

2. Interviews

If your application is successful, the next stage will be an interview which will assess your skills, knowledge, and motivation for a legal career at Allen & Overy. In addition, you will be asked a series of questions based on scenarios you may encounter as a trainee

The second 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 get to know more about Allen & Overy.

3. Offer

After your interview, we will aim to get back to you with a decision as quickly as possible.

Regardless of the outcome, we’re committed to providing constructive feedback on your performance throughout the process. This will help you to understand our decision and allow you to refine your interview technique and preparation for any future applications.

And, of course, if it’s good news, the Graduate Recruitment Team will be on hand to support you in your decision-making process.

4. When should I apply?

Please take time to familiarise yourself with our application deadlines – this will help you to plan your application around your other commitments, and enable you to research our firm sufficiently before submitting your application form to us. Please be aware that we look at applications and schedule HR interviews on a rolling basis.

Please note that you may only apply once each academic year for either a training contract or a vacation scheme.

Early application is advised however, we do encourage you to take time on your application and attend virtual events first to find out more about the firm and what we do.

Listen to our podcasts for some further application and interview tips:

 

 

Application FAQs

I am an international student, am I still eligible to apply?

I am an international student, am I still eligible to apply?

We accept applications from students who are doing a common law degree or a JD and want to become a Hong Kong Qualified solicitor.

I am in my final year, am I still eligible to apply?

I am in my final year, am I still eligible to apply?

Our summer internship programme is aimed at students in their penultimate year of a qualifying law degree (such as an LL.B or J.D) in Hong Kong / the U.K. / Australia / New Zealand. If you are in your final year and intend on applying, please note, training contract offers are not made for the following year, unless we have advertised a vacancy.

I have graduated, am I still eligible to apply?

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 law degree and did not apply for a summer internship during your penultimate year we would want to understand the reasoning behind this decision. Furthermore, please also note that if you apply to us as a graduate, you will need to be enrolled in a postgraduate course.

When are your vacation scheme dates? Are they flexible?

When are your vacation scheme dates? Are they flexible?

Our summer vacation scheme runs for four weeks in June and July every year. It is a structured programme giving you the best possible experience of Allen & Overy. 

Do you have a separate trainee recruitment programme for graduates?

Do you have a separate trainee recruitment programme for graduates?

We recruit our trainees via our summer vacation scheme. We do not have a separate trainee recruitment programme for those who have already graduated. 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?

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?

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?

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?

Am I able to amend my answers to your questions once I have submitted my application?

You are unable to edit your answers once you have created a profile on our career portal. If you need to edit your replies you can upload a word/PDF document to your application or send it to us via email.

What happens after I submit my application?

What happens after I submit my application?

Once you submit the application, you will be asked to complete an immersive video based Situational Judgment Test (SJT), which should take approximately 20 minutes. 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.

I have been invited to an interview. Who will I be interviewing with?

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.

If your application has been shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a case study interview. We will be assessing your interest in business, commercial awareness, ability to digest and process information, how you present information and your communication skills.

How many interns do you take?

How many interns do you take?

We take around twenty-four to twenty-six interns each year, with a view to offering 10 - 12 interns a Hong Kong training contract. However, our trainee number is dependent on business needs and the calibre of interns.

Can I do a part time/shorter vacation scheme?

Can I do a part time/shorter vacation scheme?

We appreciate that you may have other commitments during the summer; however, our vacation scheme is a structured programme to give you the best experience. 

How am I assessed during my vacation scheme?

How am I assessed during my vacation scheme?

Vacation scheme students will be assessed throughout the scheme to see if they are demonstrating the skills and attributes we look for. We base hiring decisions on our assessment framework and use data/feedback from both your interview and during the scheme to reach a decision.

Can I submit my application outside of the application dates?

Can I submit my application outside of the application dates?

No, we are unable to accept applications outside of the application period.

Events

A&O Hong Kong will be participating in and running a number of virtual and online events for the 2020-2021 academic year. Our events are a great way to meet A&O representatives and to gain an insight into the firm, our culture and the work we do.

A&O Virtual Information Session and Panel

A woman working from home

5 October, 17:15 – 18:30 HKT

During the information session we will provide an insight into the firm. Our presenters will talk about their experiences on the vacation scheme and the training contract. They will also provide their insights on how best to approach the application process.  
Deadline for registration: 30 September

A&O Applications and Interview Skills Workshop

Hong Kong Students and Graduates

19 October, 17:15 – 18:30 HKT

During this session we will provide guidance on how to approach our 2020 virtual assessment & selection process. We will also share some hints and tips for CVs and written applications.  
Deadline for Registration: 14 October

A&O Virtual Information Session and Panel

A man working from home

21 October, 19:00 – 20:00 HKT

During the information session we will provide an insight into the firm. Our presenters will talk about their experiences on the vacation scheme and the training contract. They will also provide their insights on how best to approach the application process.  
Deadline for Registration: 14 October

A&O Applications and Interview Skills Workshop

Hong Kong Students and Graduates

9 November, 17:15 – 18:30 HKT

During this session we will provide guidance on how to approach our 2020 virtual assessment & selection process. We will also share some hints and tips for CVs and written applications.  
Deadline for Registration: 4 November

Employee stories

Dominic Chiang

2017 trainee

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Michael Cheng

2019 trainee

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Michelle Tsang

2017 trainee

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Natalie Ullmann

2018 trainee

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Our locations

  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Latin America
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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