CMS First Steps at CMS

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Bristol South West
Review Date


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Insight Scheme

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I found this an incredibly enjoyable and helpful scheme. Covered a wide range of important material from talks about the company and skills needed to being able to shadow a trainee to gain an understanding of their work, including helping to carry out some of it. Social activities were fun and varied, allowing you to talk in an informal setting to trainees about how they arrived at their position and what their day-to-day job entailed.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I was made to feel welcome by everyone I encountered whilst taking part on the scheme. Many people, including trainees and partners, seemed more than happy to give up their time to talk to us about what they were involved with and how they achieved their position. Feedback was given on work that was carried out whilst shadowing and tasks assigned were challenging and highly useful, meaning I was able to feel like I was contributing.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

Guidance was provided from specific mentors who were assigned who were currently trainees as well as from many others in the company. Support ensured that even in just 3 days a large amount about the company and what working there would entail could be learnt. Graduate recruitment were able to provide support about what had been scheduled for the duration of the scheme.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Sessions on important skills for working in a legal firm were arranged for during the scheme, including commercial awareness, presentation skills and negotiation. The opportunity to give a presentation at the end of the scheme allowed these skills to be put into practice. These presentation skills will likely be highly useful during my degree along with an understanding of commercial awareness being very helpful for any future law applications.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Insight scheme felt well-structured with all those involved knowing timings so could ensure that you were directed to the right location when needed. The structure allowed for organised talks, shadowing opportunities and more informal activities such as lunch or cocktail making, enabling discussions about careers in law in less formal setting.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Everyone at the office was incredibly welcoming, ensuring that I had anything I might need for my time there. Those of us on the scheme were made to feel like we could contribute to the work done despite only being there a short time. The structure of the scheme allowed me to experience the working environment within the office and engage with others in a more informal setting.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

It felt that the firm was very keen on investing in our training and development, ensuring that those giving presentations and workshops to us were incredibly good at what they did. The organisation and structure of the scheme also ensured this feeling, with many giving up their time to talk to us or allow us to shadow them.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I feel that in the short time that the scheme allowed I gained more understanding than I expected to be able to. Shadowing especially allowed me to understand what a trainee could be expected to do as well as experience this for myself with my own tasks to learn about and complete.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

Being able to speak with trainees in an informal setting, such as over lunch, meant that they were able to talk about the culture of the company. This was especially useful as trainees were present from more than one office, allowing them to explain the culture not just at the location of the insight scheme.


10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?

The scheme was incredibly valuable as there were many opportunities to ask any questions about law and training for law with people with a wide variety of career paths. The scheme allowed me to gain an insight into the work and culture of the career, and particularly CMS, to ensure it was right for me.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

With the providing of receipts, travel could be reimbursed. They were more than happy to do this and even recommended that I get a taxi which I could then get reimbursed instead of trying to get a lift home when a social event as part of the scheme finished later at night.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Many opportunities were provided, including panels with partners of the firm and more informal lunches and activities with trainees.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Networking and social events were fun and enjoyable, for example including cocktail making, as well as allowing opportunities to ask any questions about a legal career. The inclusion of trainees on social events was incredibly useful for this reason and also as there were only two of us taking part on the scheme.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Some trainees spoke about activities that they participated in outside of work, including with others completing their training, but this was often organised outside of the firm.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would definitely recommend this insight scheme to a friend. CMS’ scheme is longer than many other law firms’ and so allows you opportunities to network and learn which would not be possible on shorter schemes. You are able to learn about the welcoming, hard-working environment of CMS as well as enjoying social activities. You are provided with a mentor within the firm in case you have any questions and they are more than happy to give advice and talk about how they made their decisions.