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95 vacancies
190 trainees
1200 partners
8000 staff

CMS is a full service, global law firm well equipped to help clients confront challenges and seize opportunities with confidence.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to CMS.

More info

Online application via The process will include an online application, critical thinking test, video interview and assessment day. Application dates are available on our website.

Applications to

Early talent acquisition

Method of application

Online 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.

First Steps

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.

CMS Academy

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
  • FIRA
  • Corporate transactions
  • Real estate transactions
  • Disputes
  • Planning
  • Technology & media
  • IP
  • Competition
  • Innovation
  • Lupl
  • Power oil & gas
  • Environment
  • Construction
  • ICE disputes
  • Projects
  • Insurance & reinsurance
  • Litigation & arbitration
  • Employment
  • Finance
  • Financial services
  • Pensions
  • Financial services disputes
  • Corporate & leveraged finance
  • Restructuring & insolvency
  • Energy infrastructure project asset finance
  • RE finance
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6AF
Phone: 020 7367 3000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
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:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £679,300,000 (2013)
Profit per partner: £465,000 (2012)
Training contract applications: 1,000 (2014)
Retention rate: 87% (2022)
Partner diversity:
  • 74.8% male (2012)
  • 25.2% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 42.6% male (2012)
  • 57.4% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Charities
  • Energy companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Media and TV organisations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Dubai
  • Rio de Janiero
  • Aberdeen
  • Bristol
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Manchester
  • London
  • Sheffield
  • A4ID
  • Disability Law Service
  • Islington Law Centre
  • LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group)
  • PILnet (Public Interest Law)
  • The Manuel Bravo Project
  • The National Pro Bono Centre
  • The Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau
  • #10000BlackInterns
  • Bright Network
  • Career Ready
  • Connectr
  • DiversCity
  • Diversity Access Scheme - Law Society
  • MyKindaFuture
  • MyPlus Consulting
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • Sutton Trust