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Matt Holder

Energy Department Placement

  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Lancaster University
  • Insight (< 4 Weeks)
  • CMS

What was the interview process like?

The interview process was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. The assessment centre began with a competency based interview, which was followed by an analysis exercise and a short presentation. Every member of the firm I met was incredibly friendly and welcoming, which perfectly reflected the culture I was about to experience.

“A collegiate and incredibly friendly atmosphere combined with a fully exercised open-door policy created a very pleasurable work environment”

How much responsibility were you given?

I was given tasks which a trainee would be expected to perform on a day-to-day basis. I was fully involved in assisting associates in high calibre transactions with prestigious clients. Though daunting at first, you soon begin to appreciate the support network that surrounds you, should you need any assistance.

What advice would you give to someone applying for your role?

If your application is not tailored for CMS, it will be difficult for the reader of the application to appreciate why you want to join this particular firm. Though law firms may seem similar, some quite obvious differences emerge once you’ve done the research - so get reading!

What has been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge I faced was managing my workload. I sat in a very busy department and had frequent offers of work from many different associates. Therefore, in order to maintain a high quality of work, I kept in close contact with the associates to ensure expectations were managed effectively.

Energy Department Placement

Where has your experience exceeded your expectations?

A very pleasant surprise was just how much my department wanted me to get involved in all aspects of CMS life. I attended weekly departmental training sessions, met with the trainees for lunch and attended after work departmental drinks which made me feel like a permanent member of the firm.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I enjoyed seeing a tangible benefit to the work I was tasked with. The deals/ litigation I was involved with ran in to eight-figure sums and it was a real pleasure to be given the responsibility to aid in the facilitation of such newsworthy deals

Describe a situation where you have surpassed expectations?

I was given a large number of tasks to perform and warned I might not have time to finish them (but should give it my best shot). Through careful planning and several late nights (which was easy given the friendly nature of the department), I finished every task.

“To have the opportunity to work for Europe’s leading law firm is an amazing prospect for any graduate”

What is the atmosphere like in your team?

A collegiate and incredibly friendly atmosphere combined with a fully exercised open-door policy created a very pleasurable work environment. Everyone was genuinely interested in how I was getting on, regardless of how busy they were. Knowing you can seek support should you need it makes targets seem much more achievable.

What were the activities outside of work?

The activities were perfectly fitting for the placement. Cocktail-making at the start of the first week was the perfect way to enable us to get to know one another and the evening meal on the penultimate day was the ideal end to such an enjoyable fortnight.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

To have the opportunity to work for Europe’s leading law firm is an amazing prospect for any graduate. The tailored international LPC and the guaranteed second seat secondment are just a few examples of how CMS Cameron McKenna provides opportunities for a graduate to develop into an excellent lawyer.

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