I really enjoyed the whole scheme - one week in London and two weeks in the regional office. The first week of the scheme, the business of law, was an incredible opportunity to learn about the firm's aspirations, culture, and values. It was gave me a great insight into the commercial law profession, and the life of a trainee at the firm. Everyone at the firm was very supportive!
It was a real hands-on experience and got to do substantial work. Being trusted with important tasks, I felt I valued. It was rewording to see how my work has contributed to the bigger projects. My trainee buddy and other members of the department gave me feedback on what I had done, which was very useful and allowed me to improve quickly.
During the first week, the Talent Acquisition team made sure we all know we can ask for additional help throughout the scheme. All tasks were well explained and the programme was very structured. In the regional office, my trainee buddy explained me tasks before assigning them to me. I really enjoyed the mid-programme evaluation with the Early Talent.
I believe the skills I have developed throughout the course of the vac scheme will be extremely valuable in the future. I got a good insight into the commercial law practice and learnt much about the attributes of a good solicitor. Client visits gave me a better understanding of what it means to be client-centric. Finally, the internship has truly improved my confidence - I felt very valued, appreciated and trusted.
The programme was very well structured from the day one. We were given a very detailed schedule for the first week in London which I found beneficial. My time in the regional office was more relaxed which taught me to plan my workload and seek tasks whenever I had finished my work early.
The general atmosphere was incredible! It was not overly formal and quite relaxed but still professional. On the first day I was very anxious and stressed; it took me one day around amazing fellow participants and friendly CMS team to feel included and comfortable! We started ever day with fun activities (Wellbeing Sessions) to set goals for a day and relax.
It was clear that the firm was very generous when planing the Academy. The quality and scale of the activities was very impressive. CMS has invested a lot in our training and tailored all the activities to be as informative and useful as possible. I enjoyed the interactive, computer-based simulation exercise.
The internship part of the Academy (second two weeks) were very useful to understand the day-to-day life of a solicitor at CMS. Working closely with my buddy, I have learnt much about the real life experience of a trainee so I feel more ready to start this role. I had a chance to talk to many lawyers at the firm so I could see different perspectives on what it is like to work there.
As previously said, meeting lawyers from different departments and on different stages of their legal journeys was a great opportunity to understand the company's culture. It was inspiring to see how ambitious the firm is and how much they value their employees. I got a good insight into the office environment.
The Academy has helped me to understand what being a commercial lawyer is like and to decide that this is a career path I would like to explore. I also enjoyed the panels on the future of legal profession which discussed what skills may be increasingly useful for future commercial lawyers.
I would recommend this programme to every aspiring commercial lawyer. The Academy was very was very informative and inspiring. You can be sure you will meet many like-minded and interesting people. It was an amazing chance to learn more about the firm, the legal profession and yourself! And finally - it really is a fun experience!