A week's insight into working at CMS
I very much enjoyed the insight I received into the firm and the time I spent there in general. It was an excellent introduction into careers in commercial law, and into working at an international law firm. I would recommend the insight week to anyone interested in careers in commercial law, and have already done so to a number of students at my university
Throughout my time spent at the firm I always felt like a valued member of my team. I was paired with a helpful and enthusiastic mentor who provided me with work that always felt necessary and valued. Trainees, associates and even partners took an interest in my presence in the workplace and I enjoyed talking with people from all areas of the firm
Throughout the entire insight we were supported by a very helpful graduate recruitment team, as well as by a highly competent IT team that received praise the firm over. We had a structured timetable for most of the week, full of interesting talks and seminars, but also had more independent times where we were left to complete whatever work our mentors provided
The numerous skills I developed and used over the course of the week have already proven themselves invaluable to my applications and degree studies. Communications, teamwork, problem solving, general organisation - I used and honed all of these skills during my time at the firm and will undoubtedly continue to do so for as long as I seek out experiences in commercial law
The insight was a good mix of structured time and time spent with one's department. There was a clear timetable for the week which included a variety of interesting talks and seminars, as well as opportunities to talk to trainees, associates and partners to discuss what life was like at the firm and what advice they would give to students seeking out careers in commercial law
During the insight I found the atmosphere very positive - everyone I spoke to was very friendly and welcoming to the idea of working with a student such as myself. The graduate recruitment team were always on hand to help with any problems, and I found everyone in the office to be supportive. The working atmosphere was naturally serious but not stuffy or tense
The entire programme is testament to the extent that the firm has invested, both in terms of money and manpower, in recruiting students such as myself with an interest in careers in commercial law. We were provided with a range of stationery and marketing materials, and paid handsomely for the week's work. The week included hours of trainees', associates', and partners' time.
The insight certainly helped me to understand what it would be like to have a full time role within the firm. By talking to trainees, and associates from newly qualified to 5+ years PQE, I was able to gather an understanding of the sort of lives that lawyers working full time at the firm lead. By this I mean that we discussed work life balance, mortgages, family and socialising under the pressures of a full time job
The insight certainly helped me in understanding the culture of the firm. By spending time with and around, and talking to trainees, associates and partners of the firm I was able to observe and discuss numerous aspects of working at the firm. Furthermore, in working as part of a team at the firm, I was able to gain a feel for the culture of teamwork and openness that is very much a part of the office environment
The content of the insight week has proven to be very important in my decision to fully commit to pursuing the career path of commercial law. Enjoying and taking a keen interest in the range of events put on throughout the week, as well as by talking to trainees, associates and partners all at different stages of their career, I decided that a career as a commercial lawyer would suit me down to the ground
We were paid an amount equal to or above that paid for similar schemes within the City
The entire insight week itself in a way served as one long networking session. Throughout the week I spoke to a number of trainees, associates and partners all at different stages of their careers, and discussed numerous aspects of working at the firm. Further to this, there were specific talks held for networking and discussing the culture of the firm
All of the networking and social event opportunities during the insight week were enjoyable and highly informative. Besides talking to a range of trainees, associates, and partners all at different stages of their careers, I was also invited to share a few drinks with the team to which I belonged to wish a leaving colleague the best of luck in her new job.
Previous to taking part in the insight week I had represented the firm in a law society rugby sevens tournament, and so I was already fairly familiar with the range and variety of activities that employees of the firm could involve themselves in. Whilst at the office I was made aware of even more activities and societies that I could join at the firm, and notice them advertised throughout the office
I would absolutely recommend this insight to a friend