At CMS, we believe that a career in law should be open to people from all walks of life, if that is what they want to do and if their potential measures up.
In September 2019, six Level 7 Solicitor Apprentices joined the firm. On successful completion of the Apprenticeship programme, participants will become fully qualified solicitors, having obtained their LLB and completed both parts 1&2 of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). They will have received a competitive salary throughout the programme. We are really excited about how this programme offers to widen access to the profession and we hope that we can increase the number of Apprenticeships going forward.
We also have 13 apprenticeships currently in place within our business services teams (via our 3rd party partner organisations). A further 4 are to be sourced this year.
We are liaising with various Heads of Function regarding apprenticeships for CMS employees in their teams. So far conversations have been held with the commercial finance team, the events team and the IT team.
We make a career in law more accessible to aspiring lawyers by awarding up to five bursaries each year, paying £2,500 towards each year of their law degree.
To facilitate social mobility and ensure that we tap into talent, wherever it might be located in the UK, the CMS Scholarship scheme is run on a national scale and reaches out to students beyond the communities local to our offices.
Established in 2011 the scheme, entirely run by volunteers, has been a great success since its inception with previous applicants now joining our firm as Trainees.
The Social Mobility Pledge
CMS supported The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, the former UK Secretary of State for Education, in launching the Social Mobility Pledge (SMP) in Westminster Hall back in 2018.
The SMP asks businesses and employers to commit to partnering with schools to provide young people with much needed access to apprenticeships and work experience and promote open recruitment practices throughout the UK. We are proud to lend our support to the SMP through the Social Mobility Business Partnership, the award-winning social mobility charity CMS helped establish with ITV, which we now run alongside clients such as Microsoft and SSE.
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.
Social Mobility Foundation
CMS have entered the SMF Index since its launch in 2017. The Index offers a good framework and helps our organisation think about what changes need to be implemented to support greater social mobility. We are pleased to say that since we first entered in 2017, we have progressed each year to reach Rank 33 in 2019.