Allen and Overy Training Contract Application Questions (and ANSWERS!)
6. What are your main interests, activities and pastimes? Please describe any related positions of responsibility you have held during education and since (both during school/university and to date). (Please limit your answer to 250 words only).
I enjoy [sport] and hold [sport] sessions at my local gym. I am closely involved with my local community and help people with their legal and administrative matters. I enjoy jogging and take part in charity runs. I enjoy travelling and keep up to date with current affairs and commercial and legal news. I am currently running an events management business. I am assisting the director in making important strategic decisions in order to grow the business and managing branches of the business in [area] and [area]. I am currently working with a company specialising in innovative payment systems in the UK (prepaid cards and e-wallets) and liaising with businesses in emerging markets to devise bespoke financial models that will meet their commercial objectives. At university, I pioneered the University of [university] Amateur [sport] Club for the first time in fifty years and was the president of the society. In my third year of university, I helped to develop an innovative initiative to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by switching off all unused desktops during vacation breaks. I was the sports executive at the [university] [language] Speaking Society and organised sporting events such as five-a-side football tournaments and [sport] sessions. At school, I regularly represented my borough and England in national amateur [sport] competitions. In [year], I won a gold medal for England in the [English sports tournament name] Amateur [sport] Tournament.
7. Please briefly describe a recent major challenge that you have faced and specifically address how you responded as an individual. (Please limit your answer to 250 words only)
Whilst working on a large banking matter at [law firm], I was asked by an associate to create an executive summary for one of the issues in a very short space of time for a meeting with the client. I found this to be a major challenge because I was required to work against a very tight-deadline on a very technical issue that was unfamiliar to me. As a starting point, I discussed with the associate what aspects he wanted me to include in the summary which helped me to create a timetable and organise my workload effectively. I then proceeded by running searches and reviewing documents on our internal database. This allowed me to establish a sequence of events and identify the relevant aspects. To address outstanding issues, I consulted some of the working documents and incorporated additional information into the summary. However, I still found some areas of this issue unclear and arranged a short meeting with another associate who had a good knowledge of this area. For the meeting, I flagged up the aspects which I was unclear about which allowed the associate to quickly explain them to me. I then analysed all information available to me and drafted the executive summary. Overall, the associate was very impressed with my work as I provided a very coherent summary of the issue and helped to identify new sub-issues.
8. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in international commercial law?(Please limit your answer to 150 words only)
I am interested in pursuing a career in international commercial law because I would like to operate on sophisticated and challenging legal matters facing high-profile businesses globally. This will provide me with deep exposure to a range of different sectors and international markets which will enable me to work in an ever-more complex regulatory environment to help businesses to mitigate legal, financial, business and regulatory risks and identify new opportunities, enter new markets and develop new ways of working, which will make for an intellectually stimulating environment. I am attracted by the prospect of working on complex cross-border matters in international teams because this will give me an insight into how different jurisdictions operate and allow me to learn new approaches and put my skill-set to full use to produce cutting-edge solutions for clients.
9. Why are you applying to Allen & Overy LLP? (Please limit your answer to 150 words only)
I am applying to Allen & Overy LLP because I am attracted by its global outlook and a strong international reach which will allow me to operate on exciting and complex transactions spanning different markets and jurisdictions. The global nature of the firm will allow me to work closely with colleagues across its international offices and build up a network of contacts. I am attracted by the opportunity of undertaking a secondment at one of Allen & Overy LLP’s overseas offices because this will give me a better understanding of how business works in other regions, and build lasting contacts with clients and colleagues in other jurisdictions. I am attracted by Allen & Overy LLP’s overarching strategy of innovation because it will enable me to think creatively about problems and look for new ways of doing things or making improvements which will make my work environment empowering and interesting.
10. Please write about a current issue or news article that has interested you and how you feel that subject matter is relevant to Allen & Overy LLP.(Please limit your answer to 250 words only and be prepared to elaborate at interview only)
Recently, I developed a strong interest in the global shale gas revolution because it can potentially play an important role in re-shaping the global energy landscape. I consider the advances in the shale gas industry to be significant because they have the potential of opening up competition in the energy industry by breaking up large monopolies. The advances in shale gas exploration and extraction techniques will help to satisfy growing demand for energy across the world and increase consumer purchasing power. Similarly, lower gas prices can improve the competitiveness of energy intensive industries and attract foreign investment and create local opportunities, which can help to increase the competitiveness of many countries. However, the extraction of shale gas poses significant risks to the environment because hydraulic fracturing, a process of extracting gas from the shales, is potentially dangerous to the environment because it uses chemicals that can contaminate drinking water. Similarly, Shale gas also hinders the transition to renewable energy because it reduces fossil energy prices thus making renewable energy expensive.
The advent of shale gas is relevant to Allen & Overy LLP because it is re-shaping the energy sector in which Allen & Overy LLP’s clients operate. In this regard, it is important for Allen & Overy LLP to stay abreast with all developments in this industry which is in its early transition phase, in order to deal with entirely novel and complex problems which do not have established laws to produce cutting-edge solutions for its clients.