CMS – Apprenticeships

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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 they do across their 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.

Application process

How: Online via

What’s involved: Online application; critical thinking test; video interview; assessment day.

When to apply: By 4 January 2021.

Types of apprenticeship: Level 7 degree-level solicitor apprenticeship programme.

For further information, see the apprenticeship section of CMS’ website:

For queries about the apprenticeship programme, please email the early talent acquisition team:

The apprenticeship

Do you want to join the next generation of legal talent? Build your career at CMS, the future-facing law firm.

In September 2019, we launched our Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme at CMS. We are providing a fantastic opportunity for a new generation of talented school leavers to join our award-winning firm.

On completion of this exciting six-year programme you will be a fully qualified solicitor

This programme will provide you with the opportunity to study for an LLB in Legal Practice & Skills (in conjunction with the University of Law) while gaining invaluable hands-on work experience rotating through our legal teams. In addition, you will complete the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) Parts 1 and 2, which will enable you to qualify as a solicitor at the end of the six-year programme.

Throughout your apprenticeship, you’ll gain experience across a full range of practice groups such as banking and finance, real estate, corporate and dispute resolution.

The work

Our solicitor apprenticeships include one day off per week to study. You’ll be immersed in a legal team from the outset, providing the best possible start to your legal career at CMS. We’ll ease you into the role starting with a wide range of legal administrative tasks while you find your feet, including:

  • Attending client meetings and taking notes;
  • Managing data/records including opening, progressing and closing legal files;
  • Collating bundles for court;
  • Understanding and utilising basic financial data.

As you progress, you’ll take on responsibility for tasks such as carrying out legal research, preparing sensitive documents for a transaction or drafting a letter to a client. Once you’ve learned the basics, you will experience different areas of the firm and increase your level of responsibility, becoming an integral part of our legal team. You can expect to quickly become instrumental in enabling solicitors to deal with their legal matters in a timely and efficient way, ensuring we provide excellent client service.

The programme

As soon as you accept our offer, your learning journey begins at CMS. Through targeted pre-joining events and a comprehensive on-boarding and induction programme, you will quickly appreciate that we take ongoing training and development very seriously. Our aim is to ensure that all qualifying solicitors at CMS are of the highest quality, so as a solicitor apprentice your training will be on a par to anyone’s coming into the firm via another route.

The academics

To gain access to the programme, you will need:

GCSEs – Grades 4 and above are essential (A-C under the old scoring system) with at least a 6 (B grade) in Maths and English.

A-levels (or equivalent) – Grades ABB or on track to receive these grades, although we will take mitigating circumstances into account. BTEC Level 3 equivalents DDM.


Becky is the head of talent acquisition at CMS, based in London

What do you enjoy most and least about your role?

The best bit is meeting people, spotting top talent, seeing them come through the process, and go on to join an organisation where they can grow and flourish. The hardest part is giving constructive feedback to individuals who haven’t been successful at such an important time in their lives, when they’re really keen to secure a training contract or apprenticeship.

What is the most common mistake you see candidates making, apart from the obvious typos?

Not being able to strike the balance between being too quiet and trying to take all the limelight! Candidates that get it right will do well. Also, you need to really tailor your application – if it’s so generic that you can replace our name with the name of a different firm, and it all still applies, then you are unlikely to get through. Make sure you really understand what our firm is about and why you would want to join us.

What are the attributes you look for in a trainee or solicitor apprentice that are particularly suited to your firm?

Tenacity, resilience, determination, attention to detail, diversity of thought, flexible thinking, innovation, collaboration, and a willingness to want to contribute and make a difference.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining the legal profession?

Commercial awareness is key, so you must develop that. You also need to understand that much of what you’re taught at school or university is theoretical, so when it comes to practice, things will be different. You are not expected to know everything straight away, we are about continual self-development and growth.

What is one key fact that you expect candidates to know about your firm?

The details of our merger – including why the three firms came together, what it has meant for the organisation and the history of the legacy firms. That’s really important; it’s not just about joining the firm, it’s also about where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

About the firm

Address: Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6AF

Telephone: 020 7367 3000