CMS Solicitor Apprenticeship


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  • Apprenticeships
  • Legal
  • Law
  • London remove
  • Bristol remove
  • Manchester remove

Brief overview of the role

Become a solicitor without needing to go to university – opportunities available in London, Bristol and Manchester, starting in September 2019.

We have recently launched our Level 7, degree level Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme at CMS. We’re recruiting school and college leavers as solicitor apprentices to join our offices either in London, Bristol or Manchester. On completion of this exciting six-year programme you’ll become a fully qualified solicitor (so in the same time it takes to do a law degree, legal practice course (LPC) and training contract if you were following the traditional path, yet with no student debt!)

With 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 letters to our clients. Once you have 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.

Vacancy description

You’ll gain exposure to a wide range of sectors whilst rotating through our departments. Currently, we’re top in the market for our clients in the following sectors: Consumer Products, Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure and Project Finance, Hotels & Leisure, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Technology, Media and Telecommunications. You may also have the opportunity to undertake a secondment to another office or to a client near to completing your apprenticeship.

You’ll be assigned to a University of Law campus close to your office location (London, Bristol or Manchester). This will enable you to take part in practical and academic activities and make full use of the library and research facilities. Dedicating one day a week to your studies, you’ll benefit from a blended style of learning including work-based, supervised, and independent study, plus ‘live’ tutor sessions to aid your legal understanding and build essential academic and professional skills. You’ll receive regular visits by your skills coach in order to review your progress.

By completing University of Law assessments, you’ll have the opportunity to gain an LLB while preparing for the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) Parts 1 and 2.


Training & Development

  • Job-specific training will be provided through working alongside experienced staff at the firm. 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.
  • At the start of your apprenticeship, you’ll be enrolled onto the University of Law LLB in Legal Practice and Skills. By completing University of Law assessments, you’ll have the opportunity to gain an LLB while preparing for the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) Parts 1 and 2.

Academic and competency training will be through The University of Law as follows:

  • The University of Law solicitor apprenticeship programme has a practical focus and aims to equip apprentices with a thorough understanding of core legal subjects, with an in-depth practical implementation.
  • A combination of work-based and online supervised study, together with practical and academic activities at University of Law campuses will prepare apprentices to undertake the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam Parts 1 and 2 which entitles them to apply to the SRA to be admitted as solicitors at the end of the programme.
  • Apprentices will also complete assessments, providing them with the opportunity to be awarded an LLB in Legal Practice and Skills (Hons) from University of Law. As well as supporting the apprentices academically, University of Law will build on their experience of working closely with employers to ensure competencies in the workplace are developed and nurtured throughout.

About CMS

  • CMS is an international law firm with market leading businesses throughout Europe, The Middle East, Asia and beyond.  We were delighted to be named Law Firm of the Year at the 2018 British Legal Awards.
  • In the 21st century: business is changing faster, and so is law – and nowhere faster than CMS. We reject ‘old-fashioned’, we refuse ‘outdated’, and we embrace everything from new technologies to different ways of working globally. The only thing that is not new is our dedication to our clients and our people. Our people-focused approach attracts some of the world’s biggest organisations and the world’s best talent to our global elite corporate law firm – the sixth largest firm in the world with clients in 42 countries from 74 offices worldwide.



  • £20,000 per annum (London); £16,000 per annum (Bristol and Manchester).

You can also look forward to generous benefits such as:

  • 25 days’ flexible annual leave
  • Pension scheme
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Private medical insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Income protection insurance
  • Life assurance
  • Employee referral scheme
  • Membership fees to professional organisations
  • Restaurant facilities
  • Study assistance


Working week:

  • Monday - Friday, 09:30 – 17:30 (may vary between offices)
  • Total hours per week: 37.5
  • One day off per week to study

Future prospects

By the start of year 5 of your apprenticeship, you can expect to be on the same salary as a first-year trainee solicitor who entered CMS via the traditional university route.  Regardless of entry route, we are committed to ensuring that all of our newly qualified solicitors will have had the same access to the exceptionally high quality training and development opportunities at the firm and we hope that they remain for the long term.

The many benefits of completing a Solicitor Apprenticeship mean it’s a real, genuine alternative to the traditional method of qualifying as a solicitor. Those often cited include:

  • Earn while you learn, with no student debt
  • Job security and long-term prospects through a six-year commitment to CMS
  • Networking and building relationships to give you an early head start in your career
  • Challenging, rigorous and rewarding programme, both personally and professionally.

Desired skills

We are seeking self-starters who are eager to progress their career – those that wish to receive the highest quality training and development, taking on increased levels of responsibility at a pace that suits them.

Personal qualities

Academic credentials are important here at CMS, but so too are the personal qualities we look for in the junior talent joining us, including:

  • Personal effectiveness
  • Professional communication
  • Drive for achievement
  • Creative thinking
  • Leading self and others
  • Future-facing lawyer
  • Relationship building and commercial awareness

Academic credentials

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 extenuating circumstances into account. BTEC Level 3 equivalents DDM.


Application process

23 April 2019

Application deadline

May 2019

Completion of online test and video interview

28th May 2019

London office assessment day

29th May 2019

Bristol office assessment day

31 May 2019

Manchester office assessment day

June 2019

Offers made conditional upon A-level results or equivalent (unless already obtained)

June 2019

Celebratory event for all successful apprentices and their parents/guardians

August 2019

Offers made unconditional upon confirmed A-level results or equivalent

September 2019

Start apprenticeship

Assessment Day

It is important that you are available for a half-day assessment (morning or afternoon) in your chosen location.  On the day, you’ll have every opportunity to show us your motivation, skills and attributes through an interview, case study and group task.  But it’s a two-way process and you’ll be assessing us as well. You’ll hear a presentation on CMS – most notably on why we are a leading law firm and what sets us apart from others – and meet a cross-selection of CMS people through a speed networking activity.

For further information and to apply, please visit  

Closing Date

23 April 2019

Equal opportunities

CMS is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment, to not only adhere to current employment law, but to harness the full potential of our staff and ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and with respect. To meet this aim CMS endeavours to treat all staff and job applicants equally, on the basis of merit and the ability to do their job. Everybody will be treated equally regardless of race, colour, age, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital or civil partner status, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or maternity status (“Protected Characteristics”).

Disability Confident

CMS is a Disability Confident Employer and signed up to the government scheme at the ‘Committed’ level.



Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street


1,The Avenue
M3 3AP


2 College Square
Anchor Road





Application closed

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