Training Contract

Our training contracts are only offered to individuals who successfully complete the CMS Academy programme. If you qualify, you will work across different practice groups, alongside our lawyers, covering at least three distinct areas of law.

About the Training Contract

Two-year programme Apply through the CMS Academy

Secure a future full of promise, where embracing new technologies and delivering original thinking are part of your every day.

Typically, you will complete four six-month long seats across a two year period, working across different practice groups. We also provide alternative qualification routes, such as part-time training contracts, which are offered on a case-by-case basis.

Meeting clients and working alongside lawyers at all levels will soon become second nature to you.

Courses, lectures, and workshops will sharpen your technical expertise. On the job training and technical workshops will broaden your skillset.

You will always have someone to turn to whether that’s your designated seat supervisor, the dedicated Early Talent Development team or the trainee representative committee made up of elected trainees from all locations and intakes.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a client secondment, or a secondment to a CMS international office or another of our UK based offices. There will also be time to make a contribution to causes close to your heart via pro bono and corporate responsibility work as our communities and environment matter.

When and where

Having completed the CMS Academy, you will be offered a training contract based in Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester or Sheffield.

We are delighted to offer a training contract in Dubai. A minimum of three seats will be based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The fourth will be based in a CMS office in the UK (most likely London), at another international office, or at a client’s site.


Aberdeen, Bristol, Dubai, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Sheffield

Opportunities for international secondments (restrictions permitting)


You must have successfully completed the CMS Academy

More information

Applying for a Training Contract

Please note that the CMS Academy is the main route to a training contract at CMS. We do not accept applications directly for a training contract.

Apply through the CMS Academy

What you’ll do

Here are just some of the experiences and benefits you can expect during your four six-month seats:

Courses, lectures, and workshops

Learn from the best lawyers and subject area experts to develop your skills in a variety of ways.

Always supported

Our Early Talent Development team is committed to ensuring you get the backing and advice you need to help your career thrive.


During your training contract, you could go on a client secondment, or a secondment to a CMS international office or another of our UK based offices.

Pro bono and corporate responsibility

You’ll have the opportunity to provide pro bono legal advice to community groups and not for profit organisations getting involved in corporate responsibility initiatives right away.

“A training contract at CMS gives you all the benefits of working for a big international commercial law firm. We get the top clients, a wide variety of cutting-edge work, and the chance to travel around the world. What more could you want?”

Laura Bilinski Former Sheffield-based trainee, now a qualified lawyer with CMS

Salary & benefits


First-year trainee (£43,000), Second-year trainee (£45,000), Newly-qualified (£65,000)


First-year trainee (£28,000), Second-year trainee (£31,000), Newly-qualified (£57,500)


First-year trainee (£50,000), Second-year trainee (£55,000), Newly-qualified (£100,000)

Manchester and Sheffield

First-year trainee (£31,500), Second-year trainee (£34,500), Newly-qualified (£57,500)


First-year trainee (288,000 AED), Second-year trainee (312,000 AED), Newly-qualified (432,000 AED)

If you are offered a training contract with us, you will receive the following grants:


£10,000 (London) and £7,500 (studying outside London)


£10,000 (London) and £7,500 (studying outside London)

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for a training contract with us, you must first successfully complete the CMS Academy.

Application process

Interested in applying? Here’s an outline of the different stages involved.

Online application form

Online application form

An opportunity for us to start to get to know you, your educational background, work experience and interests and why you are interested in a career with CMS.

Critical thinking test

Critical thinking test

Designed to test your analytical reasoning and logic. Take a practice test here.

Video interview

Video interview

A short 15 minute interview where you will answer a series of pre-recorded questions.

Assessment day

Assessment day

Consists of a case-study, competency-based interview, a group exercise and an opportunity to meet other people from around the firm and learn more about CMS.

Any questions?

Take a look at our dedicated FAQs page