First Steps Placement at CMS

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Aberdeen Scotland
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000
Commercial Law Property Law

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About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

An extremely valuable insight week, with varied work and networking opportunities. I would definitely recommend students with an interest in a commercial law career to apply to CMS for this scheme. CMS are one of the few firms that offer placement such as this for 1st/2nd year law students so this is a really good opportunity.


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2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

The majority of people at the firm were happy to engage with us. I had the opportunity to work on actual matters/transactions that the firm was dealing with and therefore help out the team.

I definitely felt like the firm made a real effort to make everyone on the placement feel welcome.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

My trainee buddy was always available to answer the questions I had, and would make time to talk to me even when she was busy.

The other solicitors in my department were busier and therefore there was less interaction there. On the whole, I would say I had a good amount of guidance/support.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

As far as my degree is concerned, the work of a lawyer in practice is very different to a law student, and this was very apparent in the placement.

That being said, the placement was very important in providing me with information on the skills necessary to be a successful lawyer after I graduate.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Generally, there was always something for me to do. There were opportunities for networking and team building, and also the opportunity to present at the end of the week.

We were provided with a clear timetable from the first day so we knew what was going to happen each day, generally.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

The work was enjoyable and the people were generally friendly, so I'd say that the placement had a good atmosphere. The office itself was somewhat empty as many people were on holiday, and this made it seem less intimidating and more friendly.

Overall I would say that it was a good work environment.


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7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The firm took time to give me valuable insight and help develop the skills I need to become a successful lawyer.

It has set me on a path to future employment with the firm and has bolstered my CV considerably.

Therefore, I would say the firm has invested in me to a great extent.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

I was only in one department for the week, but I definitely got a good understanding of how it would be like working at the firm.

I was able to learn about the work/life balance of trainees and what parts of the job can be demanding. I was able to gauge how long the trainees generally work every day.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

I got a good understanding what the firm's general values are, and how the office I was in operated.

However, given I was in one of the firm's smaller offices I was not fully exposed to the culture of the firm across the UK. I imagine some offices are very different than others.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

The placement set me on the path to become a commercial lawyer, perhaps at the firm itself.

It confirmed to me that this is the right career path and gave me a head start on the way to graduate employment.

It was therefore invaluable in deciding my future career path.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

The pay was generous for the week, and also my train to Glasgow was paid for, along with a nice hotel room in the city centre of Glasgow.

The week's pay was £350, which I felt was more than adequate. I was not kept in the office past 5 either.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Multiple networking opportunities.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Generally enjoyable. Particular highlight was an Escape Room.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Yes, we were told about a range of activities.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

This placement was extremely helpful for me, and I would say it would be the same for any law student with an interest in commercial law.

This is particularly true as there are not many schemes like this for 2nd year law students in Scotland. It can be seen as a head start in this regard.


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