About Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy is a global law firm operating in over 30 countries worldwide. The firm provides legal expertise in 11 sectors across seven international practices.
As well as legal services, Allen & Overy also offer additional client services such as consulting, flexible resourcing, legal function transformation, and scaled solutions.
The firm has the ambition to be the world's most advanced law firm and prides itself on its diversity, inclusion, and community values. All of the 5500 employees at Allen & Overy are encouraged to be themselves at work, to work collaboratively, and strive for excellence in their work. In return, Allen & Overy encourage everyone to pursue their interests outside of work, recognising there is more to life than work.
The firm's ambition is to be the world's most advanced law firm. It has been placed in the top three of the Financial Times Innovative Law Firm ranking for many years and recruits those who share its innovation ethos.
Allen & Overy Application Process
The Allen & Overy recruitment process is a four or five stage process comprising of:
- Online application form
- Situational judgment test
- Competency-based interview
- Case study interview
- Final interview
The format of the process may vary according to the programme applied for or the country that a candidate applies to. Allen & Overy offer various programmes to candidates; however, candidates can only apply for one training programme each year.
Allen & Overy offers five student schemes. Eligibility for these schemes depends upon the year of study a student is in.
Applications for all Allen & Overy roles are made through their dedicated online recruitment site. Candidates search for their preferred role, register and create an online account, then make their application.
The application form, like many, requests a candidate's contact, academic, and employment details, if any. While this is straightforward to document, it is always advisable to double-check the details once you've entered them. This will mean that there are no errors in contact details being used to contact candidates should they be invited to the next stage of the process.
The next stage of the application process asks candidates to answer an application question. This is generally on why a candidate wants to work at Allen & Overy, a challenge they have faced, or a commercial awareness question around what they know about the legal sector or issues currently facing the sector.
It is worth noting that while a candidate's interest in Allen & Overy is assessed at the application stage, written communication is also assessed, so ensure that there are no mistakes before submitting the application form.
Situational Judgement Test
Upon submission of the online application form, candidates are invited to sit a situational judgment test.
This test is a 20 minute timed test and asks a series of scenario-based questions. Candidates are presented with questions based on situations similar to those they would expect to encounter when working at Allen & Overy.
A set of multiple choice answers is given for each question, and candidates select the one they believe to be the best answer based on how they would react in the given situation.
It is always advisable to practice situational judgment tests before sitting the test itself. That is so you are familiar with the format and the style of questioning. Always practice under timed conditions to simulate the time pressure you face in the actual test.
When taking a situational judgment test, make sure you read the question and multiple choice answers carefully. Select the one that you believe to be the best solution according to how you prefer to work. Questions will be asked in various ways but will be assessing the same competency, so do not second guess what you believe the recruiter wants to see.
Be honest with your answers as this will give an accurate picture of how you prefer to work.
If successful at the online application and situational judgment test, candidates are invited to attend an interview. This interview varies in format according to the programme applied for and could be via telephone or part of an assessment day.
The interview is competency-based, as well as discussing the responses detailed on the application form. The interview focuses on the competencies and skills that Allen & Overy look for in their applicants as well as assessing a candidate's understanding of the firm, the legal sector, and their commercial awareness.
Before the interview, it is important to review the skills and competencies required for the role. Prepare examples of recent situations that you have been in that demonstrate the skill or competency being assessed.
Business Case Study Interview
The business case study is generally part of the Allen & Overy assessment day.
This interview is based on a real-life scenario faced at the firm. The case study is presented as a brief. Candidates are given time to prepare answers to the questions asked. The answers are then discussed with the interviewer.
The case study interview aims to assess a candidate's interest and enthusiasm for work in the legal sector. Also, to assess how well a candidate can interpret information, synthesise and logically present their findings.
When preparing for case study interviews, practice discussing business cases. In the case study itself, listen to what the interviewer is asking and use any additional information during the case study interview to inform your thinking.
Some roles at Allen & Overy include a final interview with a business representative or partner at the firm.
Again, this interview will centre around your motivations for applying to Allen & Overy, assess your commercial awareness of what is happening in the legal sector and any issues that may affect Allen & Overy. The interview will also include competency-based questions on the skills and competencies required for the role.
It is important to remember to ask questions at the end of the interview; this shows your interest in the role. It also demonstrates your willingness and commitment to working at Allen & Overy.