Insight Week (First Steps)

Start your career in law right here. Experience life at CMS during our one-week programme, putting yourself in a strong position to be fast tracked to an assessment day for the CMS Academy.

About First Steps

One-week programme Applications for 2021 are now closed

If you are interested in a career in law and want to know what life is really like at a future facing global law firm, researching online is one thing. However, trying it for yourself is completely different – and that’s the purpose of First Steps.

Whatever your background, the programme’s blend of practical work experience, skills sessions, trainee shadowing, and networking will build your knowledge and your contacts in equal measure. You will be invited to social events, lunches, and coffee networking where you’ll get to meet representatives from across the firm.

Successfully complete the week-long programme and you will be fast-tracked to an assessment day for our CMS Academy.

Special arrangements for 2021

As a result of COVID restrictions, the First Steps programme will 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.


Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Sheffield


Undergraduate students studying either law or a non-law subject, with an ABB or higher at A-level (or equivalent) and on track to achieve a 2:1 or higher in your degree

More information

Application deadlines

Applications for 2021 are now closed.

Register your email address with us and we will send you application reminders and information about CMS opportunities relevant to you.

“I heard about CMS and the First Steps programme in my first few weeks of university. I had a look at their website and was impressed by the global nature of the firm and the fact that they work for some of the largest companies in the world. I also liked that they had networks to support diversity and inclusion, and a CR programme to give back to local communities.”

Rachel Opoku-Appiah Started her career at CMS with First Steps

What to expect

The First Steps programme gives anyone interested in a career in law information and insights about what life is like working at CMS.

Skills sessions

Improve your presentation and networking skills and get an introduction to the business of law.

A buddy and mentor

Get ongoing support for the duration of the programme and beyond.

Practical and social

Gain practical insights into how a global law firm works and build your network of contacts with invites to social events.

Fast tracked

Successful completion of this programme gets you fast-tracked to an assessment day for the CMS Academy.

Financial support

All participants will be paid £450 per week.

Next steps

First Steps really is the first step on your path to a rewarding future at CMS. Complete the programme and you will be fast-tracked to an assessment day for the CMS Academy. Make it onto the Academy and you will be one step closer to securing a training contract with us. In fact, 90% of participants who complete the Academy are typically offered a training contract on completion of the programme.


England and Wales:

First year law students or penultimate year non-law students.


Second year law students. Penultimate year non-law Scottish students can apply for the programme in an English location.


Penultimate year students.


Application process

Discover what you need to do to apply for the First Steps programme and see our FAQs.

Get application information

Ready to apply?

Applications for 2021 are now closed. Please follow us on social media or check this website for news about dates for our 2022 intake.