The insight that CMS offers to the firm and the legal industry as a whole is second to none. Immediately you are aware of the investment that they are making in you as a future trainee, and you will leave CMS not only with a better understanding of the firm, but the potential to be a better lawyer.
Due to the efforts that were contributed to the scheme, the firm makes you feel welcome and valued from the very first day. I also found that the Associates and Trainees that I worked with were kind and eager to teach. This helped make us feel like a contributing member of the firm - despite the very limited value we actually had to contribute!!
With regards to the wider team, I was offered a huge array of guidance and support. The only criticism I would offer would be directed at my supervisor who refrained from giving any positive feedback, and instead appeared to have huge expectations placed on a vac scheme student. Although this would be a great thing under normal circumstances, it can feel quite disheartening when you're aware that all of your work is contributing to a job offer. I also found this confusing when given positive feedback by everyone else. However, like I said, under normal circumstances, this kind of feedback can be hugely valuable.
By simple virtue of working in a law firm, you immediately absorb a huge ampount of information and skills that you can take with you in the future. Having never worked in corporate before, I found that I absolutely loved the kind of work that corporate involved and that it played well into my strengths. I hope to return to a corporate department in the future.
The scheme was fantastically structured with a clear itinerary of insight. The first week was structured around an "Academy", whereby we received seminars and lectures on various aspects of CMS as a business, and the legal industry as a whole. We were also invited along to client meetings and industry insight meetings - I cannot stress enough the high value of such insight.
Engaging, intellectually stimulating, welcoming, and encouraging.