Allen & Overy has launched a new graduate scheme which ‘mirrors the structure of a training contract’ but focuses on legal technology and project management.

A&O says that candidates applying for the scheme will ‘ideally’ have STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) or economics degrees, although the opportunity is still open for law students.

The scheme is due to start in September with the four chosen graduates completing four rotations of six months each, similar to a training contract. However, the candidates will not qualify as solicitors at the end of the two years. Instead, they will receive a ‘recognised qualification in project and/or process management’.

The graduates will do stints with A&O’s Legal Tech team, Project Management Office, and in other Advanced Delivery areas. They will be based in A&O’s tech innovation space, Fuse, which was launched in September 2017 and describes itself as a “collaborative tech innovation space to explore, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions”.

The move shows just how seriously the firm takes recent advancements in technology and especially legal technology. A&O Head of Legal Project Management and PeerPoint Consultant, Louise Forrest, commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for intellectually curious and entrepreneurial individuals. The law firm of the future isn’t just about the lawyers – we’ve launched this scheme now so that we can shape junior project managers and legal technologists into the professionals that A&O and our clients will need in order to manage the great risks and even greater opportunities that technology presents.”

Kevin Oliver, Head of Advanced Delivery Technology, added that the graduates will become a key part of the business, receiving training to the same level as their trainee lawyers. He concluded: “Technology is only going to increase in importance and we expect that this group of people will play a crucial role in shaping the legal landscape of the future.”

Interested candidates should get their applications in by the end of March.

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