What is AS Excel?

AS Excel is a bespoke legal coaching programme in partnership with A&O for AS first year members currently studying at any UK Non-Russell Group university who intend to apply to A&O’s market-leading A&O First programme.

If you are successful on A&O’s First scheme, you could be fast-tracked to interview for either a Vacation Scheme or Training Contract at the firm.

The purpose of the AS Excel programme is to help you get onto A&O’s First programme.

The programme is delivered by AS coaches, one of whom is a former A&O lawyer.

What can I gain from joining AS Excel?

A&O First participants are fast-tracked for assessment for a vacation scheme or training contract in their penultimate year of undergraduate study.

From the 2022 cohort, 11 programme participants went on to secure a vacation scheme or training contract in 2022/2023.

Programme content

The programme will include:

  • A&O First application reviews by AS expert coaches (16 January-2 February 2024)
  • Mock interview preparation (26-29 February 2024)

How can I apply?

If you meet the eligibility criteria listed below, please complete the application form on this page. To be considered for the programme, you must:

  • Explain why you are motivated to become a commercial solicitor at A&O.
  • Name two key skills that you are looking to develop during the AS Excel coaching programme and explain how you think these will be important in helping you to secure a place on A&O First.

Sign up deadline

Applications will be screened and considered on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply is 31 December 2023.


Please ensure that you meet the following eligibility requirements for A&O’s First programme before applying. To be eligbile, you must:

  • Be in your first year of a three-year undergraudate degree (any degree discipline); or
  • Be in your second year of a four-year undergraduate degree (any degree discipline); and
  • Have achieved at least AAB (or equivalent) at A-levels (we do take into account mitigating circumstances); and
  • Have serious intention to apply to A&O’s 2024 First programme (A&O First applications open 8 January 2024 - 9 February 2024).

Words from Allen & Overy

“At A&O, we know that we must do better when it comes to attracting candidates from a wider range of universities. Working closely with our long-term partner AS, we are excited to invest in this programme to support ambitious and motivated students from UK Non-Russell Group universities. We hope the support provided by AS will give candidates the confidence to apply and set them up for success in the A&O recruitment process.”

Words from Aspiring Solicitors

“This programme demonstrates a firm commitment from A&O to recruit from the largest possible talent pool.  Aspiring Solicitors knows that Non-Russell Group universities educate amazing aspiring solicitors and we are delighted A&O shares that belief and more importantly, is partnering with AS on this programme to tap into it!”