Diversity Equity & Inclusion

All In

Our culture

Belong to a collective, excel as an individual.

Belong. Excel. These aren’t words on a page. For us, they are inseparable, non-negotiable cornerstones that support everything we do and achieve as a business. We know that unless our people truly feel like they belong here, we can never excel.

We know that when diverse organisations bring people and perspectives together, our solutions are stronger and more sustainable. But that doesn’t happen by accident. Equity and diversity require a truly inclusive environment and building a sustainable one is an ongoing process. That’s why fostering a culture where our people are accepted for who they are and feel able to truly reach their full potential has been a priority for us for many years. 

Our commitment to ensuring the opportunity to excel is spread equitably doesn’t stop within our walls. Recent global events highlighted that community-wide action is needed to deliver true progress and we are committed to playing our full part. For us, the new normal must be defined by progress and the conversion of good intentions into meaningful impact and real change.

At Allen & Overy we go beyond hoping for a better future. We know that hope is not a plan. Fostering a community that everyone feels they belong to and building an organisation that helps everyone excel isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a core tenet of our business strategy. By listening and encouraging challenge, we won’t just aspire to genuine inclusivity, we will achieve it. 

Pro Bono & Community Investment

Achieve social change.

Social justice and societal progress are firm-wide priorities. With unrivalled depth of expertise across our global network, we’re in a position to effect positive change on pressing issues all over the world and help find solutions to society’s most serious problems. Our pro bono and community work is focussed on a few key themes – access to justice and finance and access to education and employment – adapted to the needs and priorities of local cultures.

Last year our lawyers delivered nearly 49,000 hours of pro bono and community investment work – an increase of more than 11%, nearly 5,000 hours, from the previous year. Whichever area of the firm they’re a part of and whatever their area of expertise, we encourage all our people to take responsibility, get involved with volunteering and make an impact. As well as making a difference to something you care about, it’s also an opportunity to excel with purpose and develop empathetic listening and communication skills, both of which are transferrable skills when working with clients.

Across the world, we’ve worked with global human rights organisations like the Human Dignity Trust and with REDRESS, working to secure justice for survivors of torture and to challenge laws that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people across the world. Closer to home, our qualified lawyers and trainees advise at legal advice clinics across London and support charities with end-to-end casework, advising individuals who cannot afford a lawyer. A career in law at Allen & Overy is your chance to make an impact far beyond the business world alone. 

Our Community Investment programmes support a wide range of educational, employability and local community organisations. Opportunities to get involved include volunteering for our flagship social mobility programme, Smart Start, through to our employability programme ReStart helping older people return to work. We also partner with charities like the Fair Education Alliance – a collation of over 200 organisations working towards ending educational inequality in the UK.

To find out more, read our pro bono and community investment magazine, Increasing Access.


Minds Matter

Being your best self relies on openness. Our Minds Matter programme encourages an open culture where we can discuss our mental health, provide support where it’s needed and champion working practices which facilitate positive mental health for all. There are extensive resources available to trainees. Some are specific to the country you are working in and others are available globally.

In the UK, we currently provide access to support through our Employee Advice Line and Private Medical Insurance. All trainees globally have free access to wellbeing apps (Headspace and Unmind), and most offices have an Employee Assistance Programme.

There are more than 40 Mental Health Advocates – partners and senior support professionals across the business globally. We are signed up to the Mindful Business Charter, provide online mental health awareness training globally through Unmind and host a programme of wellbeing talks and seminars. We are a member of the City Mental Health Alliance and a partner of This Can Happen – an organisation whose vision is to empower workplace mental health.

Then & Now

Our A&O Lawyers all started from somewhere. From all kinds of backgrounds. Through every stage of their life, from personal to professional and the challenges along the way, our lawyers look back on the journeys that got them where they are today. 

Our People Network

Allen & Overy is made up of many different communities intersecting and collaborating with each other to continually strengthen who we are together. 

Our People Networks

Allen & Overy is made up of many different communities intersecting and collaborating with each other to continually strengthen who we are together. 

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A&Out is our global network for staff that identify as LGBT+ and staff that want to support and promote the equality of their LGBT+ colleagues (our allies). Globally, A&Out has over 100 LGBT+ members and over 700 allies. The purpose of A&Out is to raise awareness and to offer support and networking opportunities to Allen & Overy colleagues.

Race and Ethnicity

The aim of the group is to focus on the needs of and issues affecting, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people at Allen & Overy in London. Since launching, the group has successfully implemented several internal initiatives to raise awareness of the issues relating to ethnic diversity at Allen & Overy and to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to creating a more diverse business.

Gender Equality Network

The Gender Equality network works to support Allen & Overy to achieve greater gender equality at all levels of seniority within the firm. Their mission is to take every step toward a gender-balanced workplace where everyone can fulfil their potential and enjoy equal opportunities to truly excel.

AccessAbility Network

We know that disabilities can be life long, short-term, life changing and can change over time. At Allen & Overy we’re ensuring that whatever the nature of someone’s disability, it shouldn’t ever be a barrier to experiencing a fulfilling career and excelling at what you do. 

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Social Mobility Network

Social inequality restricts potential across the world and we believe we have a key part to play in building a fairer society where opportunity is merit-based and accessible. Our backgrounds should be celebrated and shared but should never define our experiences or limit our opportunities. We want everyone at Allen & Overy to meet their potential and excel.

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