I really enjoyed the placement I did. I found there was a lot of variety. We got involved in lots of well organised tasks and I got to meet a great bunch of people. Also, compared to other summer internships, you are never bored or left without support from the team.
They put a lot of effort and investment into making our time with them worthwhile. We were encouraged to engage as much as possible and no one was made to feel like they shouldn't be there. They encouraged engagement from everyone. I also felt valued during the work experience part of the placement.
During the first, academy week, we were quite self-sufficient and you have to get by on your own. Although if i'd needed support it would have been there. During the work experience 2 weeks, I was paired with a friendly and helpful trainee who was happy to provide me with lots of work.
I developed my public speaking skills a lot and also learnt how to work in a group (especially in a group where everyone is creative and confident in their own ideas). I also learnt about the day to day life of a lawyer- which is useful in my studies.
The insight was really well structured. Having spoken to friends who did placements with rival firms, they said they felt like they were given too much time and not enough work. With CMS, the balance felt right. With a placement, you want to pack as much in as possible and CMS succeeded in this. The mixture of a one week 'academy' and a two week placement worked really well.
During the week in London, everyone was incredibly friendly and enthusiastic. Any opportunity they got, people would engage with you and try to learn about who you are. Everyone was very impressed by the investment was put into us and it made us feel like part of the company already.
The company invest a lot of time and effort into the placement. We were invited down to London and we got to take part in client visits, lots of team activities, lots of networking and we had a dinner out. It left a very good impression of what a future career would be like.
We learnt a lot about how well they value their staff. Having spoken to the trainees who had been through the same process as me, they were incredibly enthusiastic about the company. They were very engaged and welcoming. I also learnt a lot about the department I was placed in.
The content was useful as it helped me see the variety of different roles available. For me, I would prefer to work for a large international firm because of the opportunities it brings. Having spoken to trainees further along in their careers, it was confirmed that these opportunities are available and are encouraged.
I was paid for the three weeks of my placement and received expenses. CMS also covered our expenses to come down to a welcome day a couple months prior to the academy. This was a great opportunity to see the offices and to speak to the other people who would be doing the placement. It definitely helps with the nerves!
Yes, we had organised networking events in the evenings. We also had less formal events (drinks, dinner, lunches) where lawyers were invited to come and mingle. I found this a better place to engage with people as they are more relaxed and can talk to you more casually about what sort of work they do.
The networking events were very useful in terms of gaining information about what each department deals with. As I'm not from a law background, it was very useful to learn about the day-to-day of being a lawyer. It was also nice to know that the trainees have social lives and had time to come and speak to us!
Yes, we had a corporate responsibility dinner where we learnt about the charity work which lawyers can volunteer their time towards. It was also nice to speak to trainees and learn about their hobbies and interests. From the outside, there is an impression that lawyers at big firms have to devote their entire lives to their work. This certainly isn't the case and the trainees I met all had hobbies and interests outside work.
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend. CMS is a big firm and has so many opportunities. The people I met on the placement had a variety of different degrees and interests in life. If you are considering a career with a large firm I would certainly recommend CMS. And if you're weighing up different summer placements, the Academy is definitely one of the best ones.