CMS Assessments

Prepare for the CMS recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

About CMS

Established in 1999, CMS is a global law firm employing over 4800 professionals in 46 countries worldwide. With 76 offices, the firm operates in several sectors, including:

  • Consumer products
  • Real estate
  • Hotels and leisure
  • Infrastructure
  • Financial institutions
  • Energy and climate change
  • Technology, media, and communications

CMS focuses on innovation and changing the way legal solutions are delivered to its clients. They have a partnership approach with clients and employees and are committed to making an impact socially, fostering an environment where employees can work flexibly and thrive in their roles.

As a firm, CMS focuses on future-facing law, meaning that as an organisation, they work to anticipate legal challenges and help shape the future through offering innovative solutions. The firm values diversity and inclusion and operates several initiatives such as flexible working and access to several tools, support, and resources if needed. Employees are encouraged to be themselves at work and share their experiences, background, and cultures, contributing to an open and inclusive workplace.

CMS Application Process

The CMS application process is split into four stages:

  • Online application form
  • Online test
  • Video interview
  • Assessment day

Each stage of the process is designed to assess candidates against the core skills and abilities required for a successful career at CMS.

CMS Online Application Form

The first stage of the recruitment process is the online application form. This is a candidate's first opportunity to show the firm that they possess the necessary attributes needed for the role. All applications for roles are taken online.

The application form consists of several sections, including personal details such as contact information and educational history. Candidates also need to answer some competency-based, motivational and commercial awareness questions as part of their application. These questions have a maximum word count included, so being concise, clear, and doing your research is essential when answering each of these questions.

CMS Critical Thinking Test

Candidates who are successful at application review are invited to sit the CMS critical thinking test.

This timed test is designed to assess how well candidates can use their analytical skills to think clearly and rationally when solving problems.

Questions are divided into five sections; the questions in each section have a different format and a different rationale for completion. Rationales assessed include how well a candidate can:

  • Recognise assumptions
  • Make inferences from information given
  • Use their deduction skills to reach a logical conclusion
  • Their ability to evaluate arguments
  • Interpret information to solve problems

The format of the questions differs according to the ability to be assessed. Some questions are given in the form of passages of text. You need to interpret this information then select which of the statements that follow is correct.

Other questions may be presented as topic-based questions followed by a list of arguments. You need to evaluate and determine which arguments are strong and which are weak.

Many of the critical thinking test questions require you to not only detail your answer but also explain how you have reached your answer.

When taking the critical thinking test it is important to keep calm and ensure that you read the question carefully before answering questions so that you don't misread or misinterpret the information given.

CMS Video Interview

The CMS video interview is a short 15-minute interview. In this interview, candidates must answer a series of questions and then record their responses to the questions. Once all questions have been answered, the responses are then sent to recruiters to review.

The questions asked include a mix of motivational and competency-based questions such as why you want to work at CMS and what makes CMS different from other law firms. Specific situational questions are also asked in the interview focusing on the key skills needed, such as time management and problem-solving.

Preparing answers against the attributes required for the role and researching CMS are all essential parts of preparing for the video interview.

CMS Assessment Day

If successful at the video interview stage, candidates are invited to the final stage of the process - assessment day.

The assessment day comprises three stages:

  • Case study exercise
  • Competency-based interview
  • Group exercise

The assessment day is also an opportunity for candidates to find out more about the firm and its working culture, and meet employees of CMS.

CMS Case Study Exercise

The case study exercise is an individual assessment that looks at how candidates review and analyse a business-related scenario to develop a logical solution. The assessment is timed, with the information on the business case being provided at the start of the assessment.

Candidates then need to use their logical thinking, critical thinking, and analysis skills to reach a solution which they either discuss with an interviewer or present back to an interviewer.

Questions will be asked as part of the assessment, so you must be able to clearly outline your rationale for any recommendations you present.

The ability to explain your reasoning in a logical and easy-to-follow way forms a large part of this assessment, as is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

CMS Competency-based Interview

The competency-based interview focuses on assessing whether candidates demonstrate the competencies required for the role.

Questions are example-based, where candidates need to provide an example from their previous experience to demonstrate the skill or competency required.

Competencies assessed as part of the interview process include:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Communication
  • Relationship building
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Forward-thinking
  • Personal effectiveness

Preparation is the key to success at competency-based interviews. When preparing your examples against these competencies, try and use examples from not just your academic career but also any interests or hobbies that you have or any extracurricular activities, voluntary or part-time work.

This will enable you to demonstrate competencies in different situations and show CMS that you have the qualities they look for in their applicants.

Sample CMS Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /6

In the grid below, one box is missing. You must work out what rules are being applied in the other boxes in order to work out which of boxes A to F will complete the grid.

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F

A partner at a law firm examines the trend of case outcomes over 5 years and concludes that litigation cases increased by 20% in complexity over this period. Which of the following is an effective abstract reasoning practice that could support this conclusion?

  • Comparing the number of filed cases each year and correlating with total hours billed.
  • Analyzing the patterns in case topics and identifying emerging legal trends.
  • Reviewing the win/loss ratio of cases without considering the type of case.
  • Calculating the average duration of all cases without distinction of complexity.

Considering a sequence of legal procedures that becomes increasingly complex, what is a logical method to anticipate the next procedure in the sequence?

  • Examine the historical data on case durations.
  • Consult the procedural rulebook for a standard progression.
  • Evaluate the complexity factors contributing to the current procedure.
  • Discuss with paralegals to infer the next step based on their experience.

An attorney is analyzing a series of arguments. If Argument 1 leads to Conclusion A and Argument 2 refutes Conclusion A, what can be logically inferred if Argument 2 is proven valid?

  • Argument 1 must also be valid.
  • Argument 1 is stronger than Argument 2.
  • Conclusion A cannot be deduced from Argument 1.
  • Both Argument 1 and Argument 2 support Conclusion A.

A law firm's financial report shows that during a 6-month period, client representation fees increased from $1.2 million to $1.5 million. What is the percentage increase in representation fees?

  • 25%
  • 20%
  • 30%
  • 15%

After reading a passage from a legal contract, the reader should be able to conclude that the purpose of a 'Force Majeure' clause is to:

The 'Force Majeure' clause absolves both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

  • Define the legal responsibilities of each party in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Specify the financial penalties in case of contract termination.
  • List all possible extraordinary events that can affect contract execution.
  • Transfer liability to a third-party insurance provider.

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Caitlin used Law Tests to help her secure a position at Allen & Overy


CMS Assessments Tips

Understand the Test Format

Get to know the types of questions and the format they are presented in to manage your time effectively during the actual exam.

Review Industry-Relevant Material

Studying up on current legal industry trends, especially in technology law, can give you a leg up on the contextual questions.

Stay Calm and Take Regular Breaks

Keeping a cool head will help you perform better. Don't forget to rest your brain every now and then for optimum performance.

Practice Free Tests on Law Tests

The best way to get a feel for the exams is to practice! Law Tests offers free practice tests on our website to help you prepare.

Simulate Testing Conditions

Replicate the testing environment at home to build the stamina and focus needed for the actual CMS test day.

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CMS Assessments FAQs

What are the CMS tests?

The CMS tests are a suite of assessments tailored to appraise the skills and competencies required for a career in a modern, technology-focused legal environment. These tests can vary to include logical reasoning, situational judgement, and industry-specific knowledge evaluations.

Are the CMS tests hard?

Like many professional tests, the CMS tests can be challenging as they are designed to identify candidates who are well-suited to the dynamic and innovative nature of work at CMS. However, with adequate preparation and practice, you can increase your confidence and chances of success.

How do I prepare for CMS tests?

To prepare for CMS tests, it is crucial to practice extensively. Law Tests provides a comprehensive array of practice tests that mirror the structure and content of CMS's actual exams. Regular practice is the key to being well-prepared.

How long does the recruitment process take at CMS?

The recruitment process at CMS varies depending on the role and volume of applicants, but it typically consists of several stages, including testing, which may take several weeks to complete. It's important to stay patient and prepared at each step.

What are CMS's core values?

CMS prides itself on its core values of integrity, inclusivity, and a forward-thinking mindset. The firm believes in innovation, exceptional client service, and fostering a culture that values collaborative and creative solutions to complex legal challenges.