• City Law Firms
  • Glasgow, Aberdeen, London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Sheffield

Training Contract

  • Places: 79

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: Circa 100

Firm stats

  • Total employees: >8000




CMS is a future facing, global law firm well equipped to help clients confront challenges and seize opportunities with confidence. CMS put the interests of clients at the heart of everything we do across 70+ offices in 40+ countries in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. With more than 1,000 partners and 4,800 lawyers, CMS work in cross-border teams to deliver top quality, practical advice no matter how complex the situation.

The firm is recognised for its sector excellence and focus in consumer products; energy; financial services; hotels & leisure; infrastructure & project finance; life sciences & healthcare; real estate; and technology, media & communications. Our legal expertise is therefore matched by real world, commercial understanding of the markets in which our clients operate. 

As a future facing firm, we embrace technology and are committed to new ideas that challenge conventional ways of doing things if a better solution for clients can be found. Our aim is to anticipate and create sustainable and rewarding futures for our clients, people, and communities.

Training Contract

The main route to a training contract at CMS is by successfully completing the CMS Academy programme. Prior to starting a two-year training contract, trainees complete a comprehensive induction programme. 

Our training contracts feature four six-month seats or secondments nationally, internationally or client based. You’ll have the opportunity to work across different practice groups covering at least three distinct areas of law. 

Vacation Scheme

The CMS Academy is our next generation vacation scheme and the main route to a training contract at CMS. The innovative three-week programme is split into two parts. Week one is the Business of Law week in our London office, followed by a two-week internship in the CMS office of your choice. There will be a range of activities and events for you to get involved with, which will prepare you for a career in law. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with clients, network with lawyers at all levels, work on projects and debate with thought leaders in the legal and industry sectors.  

A supervisor and trainee buddy will be your main point of contact and will provide high quality work which will give you an accurate insight into the work of a trainee solicitor.

After completing the programme, successful candidates will be offered a training contract

Each student is paid £400 per week to attend the programme.

First Year Opportunities

First Steps is a one-week programme designed specifically for students that have just started university and are considering a career in law. The programme offers an introduction to commercial law and working in a global law firm, comprising of an introduction to CMS, skills sessions and an opportunity to shadow our fee earners. Skills sessions and social events will both enhance your technical, interpersonal and networking skills.  Participants gain real experience in a commercial environment and develop skills needed to succeed as a trainee solicitor at a future facing law firm. 

A supervisor and trainee buddy will be your main point of contact and will provide high quality work which will give you an accurate insight into the work of a trainee solicitor.

Attending our First Steps programme will put you in a strong position to apply for our CMS Academy.

Each student is paid £400 to attend the programme for the week.

Salary & Benefits

1st year trainee salary:

£43,000 (London), £38,000 (Bristol), £25,000 (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow), £28,000 (Sheffield & Manchester) 

2nd year trainee salary:

£48,000 (London), £40,000 (Bristol), £28,000 (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow), £31,000 (Sheffield & Manchester)

Post qualification:

£73,000 (London), £50,000 (Bristol), £40,000 (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow), £42,000 (Sheffield & Manchester)

Benefits include 25 days’ flexible holiday allowance; pension scheme; interest free season ticket loan; eye tests and dental insurance; private medical insurance; corporate gym membership and subsidy; cycle to work scheme; membership fees to professional organisations; study assistance; employee referral scheme.


Eligibility for our graduate opportunities will vary depending on your year of study; therefore, please visit our website for further details. Our minimum criteria requires candidates to have an ABB at A level (or equivalent) and be on track to achieve/have achieved a 2.1 at degree level (or equivalent). We take into account mitigating circumstances.


Apply here. The process includes an online application, an online test and a video interview. Successful applicants will be invited to an assessment day.

Applications open on 7 September 2020 and close on 4 January 2021.  We recruit on a rolling bases, so early applications are advisable.


Join our six-year Solicitor Apprenticeship programme and start your journey to becoming a fully qualified solicitor today. You can earn while you learn and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having job security and working for a Top 10 Global Law Firm. At the start of your apprenticeship, you will be enrolled onto a Law Degree (LLB) in Legal Practice and Skills at the University of Law. You will be immersed into the firm right from the very start of your apprenticeship, providing you with the opportunity to gain experience across a wide range of practice areas from Banking & Finance to Litigation & Arbitration. Once you’ve completed your law degree, you will prepare for the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE) Parts 1 and 2. Having passed all your assessments, you will become a fully qualified solicitor.

Recruiting? We can help