City firm offers virtual ‘helicopter trips’ and ‘Ferrari racing’ in bid to make commercial awareness interesting

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By Thomas Connelly on

But will CMS’s virtual reality headsets allow students to forget that it’s slashing trainee numbers by a third this year?


In a move that steps away from the traditional law fair freebies of branded stationary, City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna is providing students with a taste of the latest in virtual reality technology in a bid to make commercial awareness interesting.

Aspiring lawyers who stumble across the firm’s stall at law fairs will be able to experience a helicopter flight at 1,500 feet or, alternatively, embrace their inner Sebastian Vettel, racing a Ferrari round a track.

However, according to the firm’s graduate recruitment site, it’s not all fun and games for law students. It explains:

As part of the experience you’ll discover some of the high profile clients and cases we work on and the different industry sectors we specialise in.

So while clipping the apex at 140mph in a your very own Ferrari, you can hear how CMS successfully represented the luxury car giant against McLaren in a case dubbed “Spygate’.

Alternatively, you could discover, rather less glamorously, that CMS advised Invesco Real Estate on the sale of shopping centre in the Czech Republic, all while taking in the sights of London in a helicopter. Exciting stuff.

What the firm is rather less keen to dwell on is the fact that it is slashing future trainee headcount by 34% in this graduate recruitment round. The global franchise firm, which gobbled up Scotland’s Dundas & Wilson in 2014, recruited 76 trainee solicitors last year. But as Legal Cheek revealed last month its target for 2015-16 is just 50 — 26 positions less. Don’t expect any segments on this awkward news in CMS’s virtual montages.

CMS’s futuristic goggles were first spotted at Aberdeen University on Monday, and will appear at fellow Scottish universities Edinburgh and Dundee this week. The firm will also visit the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Nottingham, Bristol and Warwick, plus London trio UCL, LSE and Imperial.

Unfortunately for CMS’ lawyers — who probably wouldn’t mind escaping the realities of corporate law for a few hours — the goggles won’t be available for use at the firm’s Cannon Place office.