With 72 offices in over 40 countries, CMS is a truly global law firm. In 2017, CMS UK, Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP combined in what was the largest ever merger in the UK legal industry. The new combined firm, CMS, is now the 6th largest in the UK by revenue and the 6th largest globally by headcount.
CMS is a new kind of future-facing law firm. By combining top quality sector expertise with international scale and a strategy to become a progressive technology-driven firm, CMS delivers excellence for its clients and is committed to ensuring all employees achieve their full potential.
Across its six core sectors of Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure and Project Finance, Lifesciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Technology, Media and Communications, CMS has some of the brightest and most creative legal minds. Its lawyers are immersed in the client's’ worlds, are genuine experts in their fields and knowledgeable about the issues that lie ahead.
The firm is modern and ambitious: employing more than 5,500 fee earners worldwide it creates strong relationships with clients and staff, meaning it is looking for lawyers with excellent personal skills as well as being technically strong. In return, CMS offers world-class training and development opportunities.
What we do
Our main practice areas include Banking & Finance, Commercial, Competition & EU, Consumer Products, Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, Employment & Pensions, Energy, Funds, Hotels & Leisure, Infrastructure & Projects, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Public Procurement, Real Estate & Construction, Tax, Technology, Media and Communications
CMS trainee solicitors embark on a two-year training contract in London, Bristol, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow. Prior to starting a training contract, all trainees attend a comprehensive induction programme that includes a week residential course at IMD, Switzerland – a top-ranked business school for executive development.
During the training contract, our trainees undertake four six-month seats across the various practice areas and given responsibility within high-profile transactions and cases. There are also secondment opportunities, which include secondments to one of the firm’s clients or to one of its UK or international offices.
The CMS Academy is CMS’s next-generation vacation scheme starting with innovative leadership development training in London. This comprises panel discussions with clients, case studies, work simulation exercises and client visits amongst other things! It is an intense but fully rewarding week where you will experience first-hand the commitment from the firm to make you the best lawyer for the future.
The second part of the programme includes a two-week internship within one of our UK offices. Participants gain real experience in a commercial environment and develop skills needed to succeed as a trainee solicitor at a modern future-facing law firm. A supervisor and 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. Each student is paid £350 per week.
First year opportunities
Our First Steps programme offers an introduction to commercial law and working in a global future-facing law firm. The one-week programme comprises an introduction to CMS, skills sessions and an opportunity to shadow our fee earners. A case study and social events will both enhance your technical skills, interpersonal skills and networking skills.
Attending our First Steps programme will put you in a strong position to apply for any of our other graduate opportunities. Each student is paid £350 to attend the programme for one week.
We have a range of graduate opportunities which are open to law and non-law students and students who are currently at university or who have already graduated. Eligibility for our graduate opportunities will vary depending on your year of study; therefore, please visit our website for further details. The CMS Academy is the main route to securing a training contract with CMS.
Our minimum criteria requires candidates to have an ABB at A Level (or equivalent) and be on track to achieve/have achieved a 2:1 at degree level (or equivalent).
Application dates are available on our website. The process will include an online application, critical thinking test, video interview and assessment day.
There was a lot put on the vac scheme and it felt like they had made a real effort to show us the firm and allow us to see what it was like from a the inside...
The addition of the first week in London covering "Business of Law" was a unique factor to the CMS scheme which demonstrated their focus on developing business lawyers and allowed us all an insight in...
Really enjoyed it - and that isn't a joke! The first week was really unexpected in how busy, varied and engaging it was. The opportunity to visit a client was unique and offered something quite differ...
Energy Department Placement
Insight (< 4 Weeks)
Bachelor of Laws
A collegiate and incredibly friendly atmosphere combined with a fully exercised open-door policy created a very pleasurable work environment
Facts and Figures
Number of Placements Available This Year
Number of Internships Available This Year
2:1 (Two One)
Predicted Degree Class Required To Apply