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