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

Training Contract

  • Places: 95

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: Vacation Scheme 120+/First Steps 50+

Firm stats

  • Total employees: >8000




CMS is a future facing firm. Whether stakeholders are big or small, they always have the firm’s full attention and expertise. In a world of ever-accelerating change where technology is increasingly important, our clear, business-focused advice helps clients of every size to face the future with confidence.

CMS is a full service law firm combining top quality sector expertise with international scale. We embrace technology and are committed to new ideas that challenge conventional ways of doing things.

CMS puts the interests of clients at the heart of everything we do across 70+ offices in 40+ countries in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. With more than 1,100+ partners and 5,000+ lawyers, CMS works in cross-border teams to deliver top quality, practical advice. The firm is recognised for its sector excellence and focus in consumer products; energy; financial institutions; hotels & leisure; infrastructure & projects; life sciences & healthcare; real estate; and technology, media & telecommunications.

When it comes to what we’re looking for, keen intellect is vital, but we are looking for much more than academic qualifications. Whether applicants are law students, non-law students or career changers, there are several qualities we look for in our future employees. These include personal effectiveness, professional communication, drive for achievement, having a future facing outlook, leading self and others, ability to build relationships and commercial awareness.

Training Contract

The main route to a training contract at CMS is by successfully completing the CMS Academy programme. Our two-year training contracts feature four six-month seats or national, international or client secondments. CMS also offers early insight to the firm through our First Steps programme, apprenticeships, widening participation work experience and scholarship opportunities, and the newly launched Business Development & Marketing Graduate Programme.

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 participant is paid £450 per week to attend the programme. 

*Please note duration and locality is dependent on Covid-19 restrictions.

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.

As a result of COVID restrictions, the First Steps programme may be run virtually, featuring simulation exercises, networking, and skills sessions. You will also be shadowing a trainee who’ll become your mentor for a period after the programme, supporting you as you work towards your assessment day for the CMS Academy if you are fast-tracked.

Each student is paid £450 to attend the programme for the week.

Salary & Benefits


First-year trainee (£38,500), Second-year trainee (£40,500), Newly-qualified (£50,500)Edinburgh and Glasgow

Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen

First-year trainee (£25,500), Second-year trainee (£28,500), Newly-qualified (£41,500)


First-year trainee (£44,500), Second-year trainee (£49,750), Newly-qualified (£75,000) 

Manchester and Sheffield

First-year trainee (£28,500), Second-year trainee (£31,500), Newly-qualified (£42,500)

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. 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 6th September 2021 and close on 24th December 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.

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