The week down in London gave me a real insight into the business of law. It made me realise that law is much more than simply the legal jargon and contracts. Your clients are people, and you have to have a good understanding of their business in order to be a good lawyer.
The firm really put the time and effort into our three weeks. The week down in London for me proved that. The partners and senior members within the firm spent a lot of time with us and were happy to answer any of our questions. Everyone has also been very friendly.
Everyone has been absolutely lovely. At the office you are set up with a buddy and a supervisor which is a great system. It ensures that you are set up with work. It would be good to have a buddy and supervisor who were not super busy so they could be more available.
I have learnt a lot during my three week vacation scheme. Mainly it gave me a real insight into what it is like to work at a law firm. I also got to draft documents and write letters to clients which will help my career going forward. Also, through the client visits I learned what it is important to clients.
The whole three weeks was very well structured. The first week in London was extremely structured and we were given provisional timetables weeks in advanced. Also, the time keeping was strictly monitored to ensure things ran smoothly throughout. The last two weeks in the offices were less structured but ran equally as well.
Overall, the atmosphere was good and positive! The atmosphere varied during the internship. In London, at the beginning, there was a good atmosphere and people were excited to get started. The atmosphere dipped mid-week as people were tired from all the events that were on. The atmosphere at the office was also good but everyone was kept very busy.
The firm really invested in us throughout the intership. Specifically during the week in London. There were people brought in from outside to help run the event and tailor it to our personal training and development. I really enjoyed how they used a simulation exercise in conjunction with actors to give a real life feel to the whole thing!
In the office I felt just like one of the team and got given regular work. I also got to do research exercises for clients which is part of the job as a trainee solicitor. I was also thrown into different work tasks and given the responsibility of completing them and posting them to clients.
I felt I have got a real feel for what it is like to work at the company and its culture. We did a lot of different diversity and inclusion events. Such as presenting our own diversity and inclusion ideas, as well as, a diversity and inclusion lunch and learn. It was good to speak to parents within the firm to see how CMS were flexible in their working hours.
It was very valuable in helping me decide on my future career. It gave me a true insight into what areas of law I may be interested in and the ones that I am less interested in. It would have been good to hear from all sectors and more specifically the ones in our offices.
We got well paid for our time during the internship. We also got paid at the end of our internship rather than weekly or a month later. Most of our travel expenses were also paid for but did not cover all my expenses. Down in London they gave us breakfast, lunch and dinner most days.
During lunch and all of our breaks there was adequate time to network with the employees from the firm. There was also a day where we done 'speed networking' and got to meet PA's, paralegals and those who worked in the printing rooms. It really brought home how big an operation CMS is.
There was a pizza painting collaboration event and a Diversity and Inclusion dinner that we attended. The events were good but because it was so kept to time and we had tasks during it, there was little time to socialise with each other. It was more just getting the job done and not really getting to talk and learn about one another.
Yeah, I found out about the different diversity events that are run. We were also invited to Pride Glasgow. Compass also provides you with a calendar showing the different events that each diversity network are having and when. I also learned that they do subsidised gym memberships in each office.
I definitely would recommend this programme to a friend. I have lots of friends in the years below who are applying for internships this year and I have spoken positively about my experience at cms. I believe that I got a really good experience that does not match any other firms.