AO vacation scheme application


New Member
Premium Member
Jul 9, 2022
Hi all,

I was hoping you could give me some thoughts on my draft AO application. Thank you so much :)

Why do you want to become a commercial lawyer at A&O and what do you think are the key skills and qualities required for success? (250 words)
I want to become a commercial lawyer due to the reach commercial law has across global business interactions which impact our day-to-day experiences as consumers. My attraction to the career has been strengthened by completing legal tasks during my Grant Thornton and Deloitte internships. Additionally, Open Days at Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields, and Forage internships by Clifford Chance and White & Case gave me an insight into corporate practice areas and the responsibilities of trainees, solidifying my interest in a career as a commercial lawyer.

My desire to train at A&O is informed by its holistic excellence, especially in banking and corporate practice areas, and the firm's innovative capabilities. The firm's numerous Tier 1 rankings, including in acquisition finance and equity capital markets, and one-of-its-kind deals, such as sale of the Selfridges Group, illustrate its expertise. In addition to the firm's strengths in its core practice areas, it is also innovative - as illustrated by the Fuse hub and its six-time record as the Most Innovative Law Firm in Europe. Having studied IT and IP law at university, I am drawn to the firm's innovative capabilities and rapid response to market developments.

I believe that the skills essential for a commercial lawyer are an open mind, critical thinking skills, and innovative and collaborative spirit; qualities I possess. Working in a global firm, an inquisitive mind and adaptability are crucial in responding to clients' developing needs. Teamwork is invaluable in cooperating with offices all over the globe on cross-border deals spanning jurisdictions and continents. Lastly, critical thinking is essential in addressing complex deals, such as the Bayer acquisition handled by the New York, Frankfurt and London offices. It is my innovative mindset, in combination with my interest in commercial law, that inspires me to train specifically within A&O's finance and corporate excellence, and its focus on innovation.

Please identify an existing market development or future trend that will likely affect A&O clients and describe how this could provide the Firm with new opportunities to support its clients. (300 words)
The rise and domination of artificial intelligence (“AI”) represents a market development that will not only revolutionise the legal profession, but also presents an opportunity for A&O to advise its clients on new ventures informed by this trend. Companies' spending on AI has increased by 600%, from $8 billion to $47 billion, between 2016 and 2020. This illustrates the grasp this technology has on all business interactions, and consequently on the law structures that facilitate them.

AI is now used in fields where the firm's clients operate, such as retail, healthcare, security or self-driving vehicles, and will likely impact most corporate and business interactions in the near future. This development will provide new opportunities for clients to innovate their ventures or engage in new ones, requiring A&O's expert advice.

As a firm with a deep focus on innovation, A&O's and its Fuse hub is already an important player in uncovering and supporting new technologies revolutionising how the legal industry operates and adapts better solutions for its clients and the industry. Making use of AI in its legal technology enables the firm to adapt to future trends such as AI. Simultaneously, A&O's Fintech and IP teams are ranked in Tier 1, demonstrating that the firm is already at the forefront of adapting its expertise to future trends and redefining what law looks like tomorrow.

The advent of AI will provide companies with opportunities once seemingly impossible, yet new complex deals and transactions will demand the firm's legal advice and facilitation. AI is and will continue to present new matters on which A&O can advise its clients. What's more, utilising it in its structures will empower A&O to meet and exceed the clients' needs.


Well-Known Member
  • Sep 9, 2021
    I'm applying to VC's too, so definitely take my advice with a pinch of salt. Perhaps try to substantiate your points more and make them more specific. Saying commercial law affects global business interactions applies to almost every corporate field; consulting, banking etc. Also, try avoid just stating the firm is "innovative", but instead refer to an event the firm has actually innovated.

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