Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to CMS.
Online application via www.cmsearlytalent.com. The process will include an online application, critical thinking test, video interview and assessment day. Application dates are available on our website.
How to applywww.apply4law.com
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Early talent acquisition
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Partner interview
- Psychometric testing
- Written exercise
CMS is a future facing firm. Whether stakeholders are big or small, they always have the firm’s full attention and expertise. In a world of ever-accelerating change where technology is increasingly important, our clear, business-focused advice helps clients of every size to face the future with confidence.
CMS is a full service law firm combining top quality sector expertise with international scale. We embrace technology and are committed to new ideas that challenge conventional ways of doing things.
CMS puts the interests of clients at the heart of everything we do across 80 offices in 40+ countries in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. With more than 1,100+ partners and 5,000+ lawyers, CMS works in cross-border teams to deliver top quality, practical advice. The firm is recognised for its sector excellence and focus in consumer products; energy; financial institutions; hotels & leisure; infrastructure and projects; life sciences and healthcare; real estate; and technology, media and telecommunications.
When it comes to what we’re looking for, keen intellect is vital, but we are looking for much more than academic qualifications. Whether applicants are law students, non-law students or career changers, there are several qualities we look for in our future employees. These include personal effectiveness, professional communication, drive for achievement, having a future facing outlook, leading self and others, ability to build relationships and commercial awareness.
The main route to a training contract at CMS is by successfully completing the CMS Academy programme. Our two-year training contracts feature four six-month seats or national, international or client secondments. CMS also offers early insight to the firm through our First Steps programme, apprenticeships, widening participation work experience and scholarship opportunities, and the newly launched business development and marketing graduate programme.
If you are interested in a career in law and want to know what life is really like at a future facing global law firm, researching online is one thing. However, trying it for yourself is completely different – and that’s the purpose of First Steps.
Whatever your background, the programme’s blend of practical work experience, skills sessions, trainee shadowing, and networking will build your knowledge and your contacts in equal measure. You will be invited to social events, lunches, and coffee networking where you’ll get to meet representatives from across the firm.
Successfully complete the week-long programme and you will be fast-tracked to an assessment day for our CMS Academy
Each student is paid £450 to attend the programme for the week.
The CMS Academy is an innovative three-week programme, designed to build knowledge, skills, and provide insight into life at a global commercial law firm. The first week is dedicated to focusing on the business of law. The following two weeks are an internship that gives you experience of working life at CMS.
There will be a range of activities and events for you to get involved with, which will prepare you for a career in law. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with clients, network with lawyers at all levels, work on projects and debate with thought leaders in the legal and industry sectors.
A supervisor and trainee buddy will be your main point of contact and will provide high quality work which will give you an accurate insight into the work of a trainee solicitor.
After completing the programme, successful candidates will be offered a training contract
Each student is paid £450 per week to attend the programme.
The main route to a training contract at CMS is by successfully completing the CMS Academy programme. Prior to starting a two-year training contract, trainees complete a comprehensive induction programme.
Our training contracts feature four six-month seats or secondments nationally, internationally or client based. You’ll have the opportunity to work across different practice groups covering at least three distinct areas of law.
Any trainees joining CMS in an intake from Feb 2024 onwards will be required to complete the SQE, assuming they haven't already completed the LPC.
As a future facing law firm, we’re looking forward to the day when we don’t need to talk about diversity and inclusion (D&I) – when it will be the norm. Until then, it’s high on our agenda.
Find out more about D&I at CMS by visiting our website: Diversity| United Kingdom | International law firm CMS
Sponsorship may be available for your GDL and LPC/SQE for England and Wales qualifying trainees and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland.
- Corporate tax
- Corporate transactions
- Real estate transactions
- Technology & media
- Power oil & gas
- ICE disputes
- Insurance & reinsurance
- Litigation & arbitration
- Financial services
- Financial services disputes
- Corporate & leveraged finance
- Restructuring & insolvency
- Energy infrastructure project asset finance
- RE finance
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Commercial
Banking & finance
Sponsored by Milbank LLP. Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Capital markets lawyers work with transactions involving the issue of debt or equity securities to the public or investors.
Commercial property/real estate
Sponsored by Mills & Reeve LLP. Commercial property lawyers work on a wide range of transactions including offices, retail developments and infrastructure projects.
Competition & EU law
Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Construction & engineering
Contentious construction work involves the resolution of disputes while non-contentious work involves drafting and negotiating contracts and advising on projects.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Sponsored by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves involves advising clients on the tax risks associated with acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
Sponsored by RPC. Commercial litigators represent and advise commercial clients when disputes arise from joint venture projects, civil fraud, commercial and banking transactions, corporate governance, financial services regulation and professional negligence.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Sponsored by Lewis Silkin. Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Sponsored by Osborne Clarke LLP. Issues such as climate change and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the covid-19 pandemic and various financial scandals, there is always lots going on in this area.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
Sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Insurance and reinsurance is an integral part of commercial activity throughout the world.
Sponsored by Bristows LLP. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for a variety of different rights which protect intellectual creations, such as inventions, brands, designs, and literary and artistic works.
The life sciences sector combines a range of legal practice areas, demanding expert advice from lawyers with detailed knowledge of the relevant trends and innovations in areas including food, healthcare, MedTech, veterinary and biotechnology.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Large projects involve lawyers specialising in finance, construction and corporate law.
Sponsored by Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP. Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
Phone: 020 7367 3000
Email: [email protected]
|Number of work placements:||100|
|Minimum qualification:||No minimim grade requirements|
|Start salary:||Bristol: £43,000, Edinburgh/Glasgow: £28,000, London: £50,000, Manchester/Sheffield: £31,500|
|Fees paid for:||
|Profit per partner:||£465,000 (2012)|
|Training contract applications:||1,000 (2014)|
|Retention rate:||87% (2022)|
|Has client secondments:||Yes|
|Has overseas secondments:||Yes|
- Disability Law Service
- Islington Law Centre
- PILnet (Public Interest Law)
- The Manuel Bravo Project
- The National Pro Bono Centre
- The Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau
- Bright Network
- Career Ready
- Diversity Access Scheme - Law Society
- MyPlus Consulting
- Rare Recruitment
- Social Mobility Business Partnership
- Sutton Trust