The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Insider report CMS

Dimitar Kadiyski is a trainee solicitor at CMS. He attended theCMSAcademy inSummer 2019 and studied at theUniversity of Aberdeen, where he graduatedwith a degree in lawandEuropean legal studies.

No of scheme places 100+

What did you do while on the vacation scheme? The CMS Academy is a three-week scheme during which candidates are introduced to CMS’ work, people and clients. It is a great opportunity to get to know the culture at the firm as well as meet prospective trainees and engage with clients at an early stage – which is particularly important. The first week of the scheme took place at the CMS London office where we were introduced to the firm, then candidates spent the next two weeks at the office they had applied to originally – in my case, Aberdeen. The schedule in the first week is busy and varied, with insights into the firm’s work combined with group activities, for example, one team-building exercise was a treasure hunt around London. Candidates were placed in small groups and each visited a different client, which was a fantastic experience. The groups also participated in an innovation exercise, which was intended to inspire creative thinking. It was a good chance to showcase our understanding of technology and the ways in which it can compliment and enhance legal services. At the Aberdeen office, I was assigned a trainee ‘seat’ in the corporate and banking team where I had the opportunity to draft ancillary documents for a transaction, review a share purchase agreement and sit in on a couple of client meetings, which was highly valuable and made me feel part of the team. What did you feel that you gained from the placement? For me, the main takeaway from the CMS Academy was the insight into the types of work that a trainee could expect to be involved in. Giving candidates the opportunity to engage with clients from the first week really demonstrated CMS’ client-centric approach and the importance of client relationships from an early stage. I also took away a sense of the friendliness and approachability of the people and the inclusive environment at both offices. Asking questions was welcomed and I think that is very important for a trainee. Which were the most enjoyable - and most challenging - aspects of the scheme? My highlight was the client visit in the first week, as we were able to engage with the client and learn more about the way in which CMS supported them in their daily operations. The variety of tasks we had to complete in groups, as well as individually required collaboration not just with the members of your allocated group but with the wider cohort of participants which presented a valuable challenge. Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process? The CMS Academy is the final stage of the recruitment process, so the three weeks are essentially an extended job interview. I was offered a training contract afterwards, which I was very happy to accept. Is there one key thing that you took away from the experience that you would pass on as advice to others? Get involved in activities and opportunities that present themselves, whether that be virtually or at an event. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself as there are huge benefits in networking and speaking to as wide a variety of people as possible.

Location of schemes Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Sheffield, Dubai (CMS Academy only)

Length of schemes CMS Academy – Three weeks First Steps Programme – One week

Remuneration (per week) £400

Dates of schemes CMS Academy – Summer vacation scheme First Steps – Spring vacation scheme

Closing date for applications 4 January 2021

Application procedure Apply only via www. cmsearlytalent.com Online Application form Psychometric Test Video interview Assessment day – consists

of a case-study and competency-based

interview, group exercise and speed-networking exercise.

Remember to cite The LawCareers.Net Handbook on your application form if you apply to this law firm.

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