Work Experience

Your chance to see how the world of law works and take that vital first step towards a career with our future facing firm.

About the Work Experience

W/c 29 July 2024 Applications are now closed for 2024.

CMS is a founding member of PRIME, an organisation formed by various UK law firms committed to improving access to the legal profession.

Our work experience programme (CMS Connect) is designed for school and college students who might think a career in law is out of reach. This programme is here to prove it is not.

We will show you what’s possible, letting you experience how our legal practice works and the role you could play with us in the future.

During the programme, you will develop skills that all employers look out for, not just those in the legal profession. This happens through:

  • In-depth skills sessions
  • Shadowing CMS colleagues
  • Growing your network of contacts

Following the one-week programme, candidates will continue their legal journey through a sustained programme of support. CMS Connect offers: 

  • Mentoring  
  • Application advice and guidance  
  • Invitations to exclusive CMS events (in person and virtually) 
  • A springboard to our future career programmes  


London, Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow


Year 12 (England & Wales)
S5 (Scotland)

Elements of this programme will be run in person so please ensure you live within a commutable distance of your chosen office.  

Application deadlines

Applications are now closed.


What to expect

Your five days of work experience will be packed with opportunities to learn, discover, and meet new people. It is your chance to lay the foundations for a future career in law. Following successful completion of the work experience, you will then enter a sustained programme of support with ongoing mentoring, workshops and events.  

CMS will offer springboard support for any future applications you make to the Solicitor Apprenticeship or Insight Programme.  

Business learning

Get to know what makes CMS tick and how our lawyers help all kinds of clients.

Work shadowing

You will spend time with colleagues across the firm who will show you what life is really like at CMS.

Skills development

You will take part in workshops and insight sessions designed to enhance skills required for the world of work.

Virtual Meeting


You will receive £275 on completion of the five-day work experience. Additionally, in line with the CMS Travel Policy, we will also cover all reasonable travel expenses.

Ongoing opportunities

Upon completion of the work experience programme you will have access to our CMS mentoring platform and ongoing support. You can also apply for our Solicitor Apprenticeship or Insight programmes.  

Eligibility criteria

In order to apply for a work experience placement, you must meet the following qualifying criteria (please note the more criteria you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place on the programme): 

You’re in either:  

Year 12 (England & Wales) or S5 (Scotland) 

At a state school 

You’re attending, and have attended from aged 11, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college  

 You must also meet one or more of the following 

  • You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended university
  • You are currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 Bursary 
  • You have been, or are currently, in local authority care 
  • You are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer 
  • You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker 
  • You are attending a state school or college with:
    a) below average A-Level or Higher point score and/or
    b) low rate of progression to higher education
    (PRIME Work Experience School Eligibility Criteria)
  • You grew up in a household where the occupation of the main earner is categorised as a routine or manual occupation. For further details please click here  

Note: young people who meet the local authority care criteria do not need to meet any other criteria.  

Application process

Interested in applying?

Applications for our 2024 programme are now  closed.

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.

You will also be asked two motivational questions. These are:

  1. Please tell us about your proudest achievement. This could be from any aspect of your life (e.g. it doesn’t have to be an academic achievement). (Maximum 200 words)

In your response please include:

  • What challenges did you have to overcome to achieve this outcome?
  • What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
  1. What motivated you to apply to CMS and what do you hope to gain from this experience? (Maximum 200 words)

In your response please include:

  • What aspects of a career in law interest you the most?
  • How does the opportunity offered at CMS support your future aspirations?

Each answer to the motivational questions should be 200 words long. You should also remember to:

  • Check your spelling and grammar carefully
  • Use the full word count (200 words each)

Important dates for your diary

24 April 2024

Applications open (all locations)

2 May 2024

Launch and Learn webinar (sign up under our events page)

19 June 2024

Applications close (all locations)

Any questions?

Take a look at our dedicated FAQs page