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Social Mobility & Education

Experts in Schools and Legal Workshops

We bring law to life for students through the education charity Young Citizens’ Experts in Schools and Legal Workshops. Through Experts in Schools our lawyers teach students about their legal rights and responsibilities over the course of six sessions, focusing on a range of legal topics. Legal Workshop sessions bring students from our community partner schools into our offices, where our lawyers and the students take part in an interactive workshop which looks at a specific area of the law in detail. We partner with clients on both programmes and they are of real use to the students, measurably enhancing their legal knowledge and improving key employability skills. 

”Citizens has partnered with CMS to deliver impactful education programmes across the UK. We provide lawyers across the different divisions of the company with the chance to utilise their specialist skills and knowledge to volunteer with young people to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities. CMS is a fantastic organisation to work with and their dedicated CR team has supported us to develop new delivery models which have helped us to increase our reach and achieve our organisational objectives.” Therri Tait, Partnerships Manager, Young Citizens

The Access Project

In partnership with The Access Project, we help motivated students from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their grades and secure places at top universities. CMS volunteers provide academic tuition to students that are carefully selected to ensure that they are from backgrounds where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access selective universities or have the opportunity to have a tutor. Since the launch of our partnership with The Access Project, our volunteers have provided nearly 1,000 hours of academic tuition.

“Thank you to all the tutors at CMS for their dedication and passion supporting our students. Since 2012, 51 fantastic volunteer tutors from CMS have provided almost 1,000 hours of tutorials to bright young people from economically deprived boroughs across London. The positive impact of these academic tutorials extends beyond grade progression; your volunteers also act as remarkable role models, giving the students a sense of what they can achieve and helping them to realise their own potential.” Nathan Sansom, CEO, The Access Project

Mentoring

Partnering with West of England Mentoring (WEM) in Bristol and MCR Pathways and University of Aberdeen in Scotland, we provide mentoring opportunities for students across the UK. Each year, CMS volunteers help students to think about careers, higher education, and apprenticeships and act as a positive role model who can help highlight the opportunities in the world of work.

Working with primary schools

  • Reading and Numbers:  We run literacy and numeracy programmes with local primary schools in a number of our UK offices. Each week a team of CMS volunteers work one-to-one with primary school students to help improve their literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Primary School Workshops:  We have created interactive sessions led by CMS volunteers that introduce the world of work to primary school students. The sessions introduce and explore the key employability skills needed for work and the types of jobs available within a legal practice.

Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP)

The Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP) is dedicated to broadening access to the legal and accountancy professions by delivering work insight and skills training and ongoing coaching support to secondary state school students from low-income backgrounds in the UK. We have been involved in the SMBP since its launch and partner with our clients on the programme in London, Reading and Glasgow. A member of the CMS team is a trustee of the charity and we lead an SMBP cluster in Reading. As the programme continues to grow, we also work in collaboration with a number of organisations to help recruit students in each of the SMBP regions: Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester Norwich and Reading.

PRIME

CMS is a founding member of PRIME, an alliance of law firms across the UK committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience. Each year we invite around 40 students from less privileged backgrounds to spend one week of work experience in our UK offices, providing them with a meaningful insight into a top City law firm and the range of careers available. We partner with a number of our clients’ in-house legal teams on this to share skills and increase impact. 

CMS Law Scholarships

We make a career in law more accessible to aspiring lawyers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by awarding up to six scholarships each year, paying £2,500 towards each year of the successful applicant’s law degree, providing mentoring by a qualified lawyer and paid work experience with CMS during their first year of University. Now in its eighth year, the scheme has been a great success – 32 students have won scholarships, over 95 have received mentoring, one of the finalists from our first scheme is nearing the end of her training contract with CMS and more students are coming through the CMS Academy. Over the years, the CMS Law Scholarships has been shortlisted in the Law Society Excellence Awards, the European Diversity Awards and the UK Social Mobility Awards. 

“The Scholarship scheme has given me a fantastic boost in confidence and knowledge by introducing me to amazing new people. My mentor has been very helpful in aiding me in the overall process of applying to university and connecting me to people in the office who have helped me with LNAT preparation, interview preparation and book recommendations. It has also been great to connect to other winners who have recently been through the university application process. Everyone who has reached out has given me amazing practical advice that has helped me to make a competitive and confident application.” Sekela, 2017 Winner, now in her first year at Lincoln College, Oxford

Career Insight Days

We have created interactive sessions led by CMS volunteers that explore the different roles available within a legal practice. Along with developing an insight into the profession, students gain essential business skills and expand their networks by meeting with a range of professionals in the legal industry. 

Global Legal Education

  • Legal High School:  CMS Ukraine supports Legal High School, an educational platform for lawyers in Ukraine. CMS volunteers frequently deliver presentations on different legal topics, sharing their knowledge and experiences with junior lawyers and in-house lawyers.
  • CMS Budapest’s Career and Legal Insights:  CMS Budapest have supported local university students by running a career insight day where a range of CMS lawyers held roundtable discussions about career opportunities, new trends in law and what it’s like to work in the CMS Budapest office. In addition, the Banking and Finance team of CMS Budapest ran workshops in six local universities, improving the students’ know how on specific legal topics, helping to prepare the students for a banking and finance law competition.
  • CMS Oman sees first class graduate with bespoke law programme:  CMS Oman recently saw the first class of students graduate with a Diploma in Professional Skills for International Lawyers, a comprehensive programme the office helped design to equip trainees for practice and to enable them to play a greater role in international law. The Muscat office was instrumental in putting this course together with Nottingham Law School, the Ministry of Justice of Oman and Najah Consultants. The course, which is akin to an international version of the Legal Practice Course, focuses on practical skills and vocational training to ensure each of the students has the best possible start to their legal careers. The programme covers topics including client interviewing; negotiation; international arbitration; international dispute resolution and intellectual property. Working alongside Najah and Nottingham, the firm designed the course content, identified the students,facilitated the contract negotiation process with Nottingham, supported the application for Omani Government Funding and mentored each of the students throughout the course.
  • Moot Court Competition in Ukraine:  CMS has provided financial and organisational support for the Ukrainian national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The competition is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 600 law schools in more than 80 countries. This year, nine teams of law students from across Ukraine participated at the Ukrainian national rounds for the championship and a right to represent Ukraine at the international rounds in Washington, DC. We have supported this event for three years, and CMS volunteers have also participated as judges for the rounds.
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