Junior Professional Support Lawyer
Are you looking for your first PSL position or at the early stages of a PSL career? CMS are looking for a junior PSL with a litigation and arbitration background to sit in the Disputes Matrix Practice Group (“Matrix”). You will be responsible for: training and know-how, day-to-day support and dealing with legal queries from other lawyers in the PG and profile-raising and business development (“BD”). The Matrix is an umbrella practice group for all contentious lawyers throughout the firm, regardless of legal and sectoral specialisation.
About the role
The Junior PSL will work closely with our experienced senior PSL. The individual will be proactive, a self-motivated learner, and will be capable of gaining the respect and confidence of fee-earners on technical issues. They will be enthusiastic about the PSL role, with an active interest in further developing their knowledge and skills key to the role.
The individual will bring recent fee-earner experience to bear on the functions of their role, with a view to optimising the service provided by both PSLs and the wider business support team to contentious lawyers throughout the firm.
The individual will be able to manage multiple competing demands on their time and will have the confidence to take steps to ensure they are visible within the disputes group and the wider firm, integrating into the different Matrix teams as a key resource for all of them.
The key function of the role will be to create, maintain and develop training, knowhow and BD resources for the firm’s contentious practice within the UK, in particular England & Wales.
In particular, the PSL will be responsible for:
• Coordinate, update and further develop the firm’s programme for contentious trainees with support from an experienced litigation paralegal, including presenting training sessions as appropriate and making and implementing recommendations based on feedback collected
• Organise the firm’s programme for newly-qualified contentious lawyers in conjunction with the University of Law
• Collaborate with the senior PSL on the development and delivery of the firm’s internal training programme for contentious lawyers
• Maintain and publicise within the firm a calendar of relevant training available to contentious fee-earners from internal and external sources
• Take a lead role in developing and maintaining the firm’s knowhow, precedents and templates in relation to English litigation, ADR and arbitration, identifying where these can be obtained through existing subscriptions to PLC, LexisPSL, Kluwer Arbitration or others and those areas where bespoke materials should be produced and maintained for the disputes teams
• Identify and supervise implementation of improvements to the practice’s intranet knowhow pages
• Coordinate the delivery of monthly internal Matrix knowhow meetings, including preparing agenda, liaising with paralegals, Reception and Facilities regarding meeting arrangements, presenting agenda items as required and circulating materials as appropriate
• Provide current awareness updates to support the firm’s competition litigation practice, injunctions blog, and other areas as required
• Facilitate knowledge-sharing and an awareness of knowledge resources throughout the Matrix
• Generally support all the teams making up the English disputes practice, including day-to-day queries, referring more complex queries to the senior PSL as appropriate
• Draft and/or edit client-facing articles for our Law-Now communications platform, annual reviews and/or external journals as required
• Assist fee-earners with internal procedural aspects of Law-Now, annual reviews and other publications
• Collaborate with other PSLs, fee-earners and partners on developing and updating other legal publications
• Collaborate with the BD team in identifying, pursuing and supporting marketing campaigns and initiatives for the Matrix and the firm generally
• Collaborate with the senior PSL and the client training team in identifying client training needs and develop training materials to meet these, including presenting to clients if appropriate
• Assist the BD team and senior fee-earners in preparing departmental submissions for legal directories
• Collaborate on training, knowledge-sharing and business development initiatives with other PSLs, other practice areas and other CMS firms as appropriate
• Attend meetings of Association of Litigation Professional Support Lawyers (ALPS) on behalf of the firm and facilitate the firm’s hosting of ALPS meetings at approximately annual intervals
Essential Skills & Experience:
• Solicitor qualified in England & Wales, or foreign-qualified lawyer able and willing to take and pass the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme test (QLTS) in the first year of employment
• At least 3 years’ post-qualification experience of litigation and/or arbitration work within a large commercial law firm
• Excellent spoken and written English (native speaker or bilingual standard)
• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, able to adapt to context and audience
• Sound knowledge of English civil procedure
• Experience of delivering training presentations
• Experience of writing client-facing articles or similar publications
• Excellent research skills
• Demonstrated teamwork capability
• Confidence in using Microsoft Office or an equivalent office software package
• Good time management and personal organisation
• Experience of drafting precedents, templates and/or other knowhow resources
• Experience of and/or training in legal project management
• Experience of working in an open plan office environment
Advantageous but not essential:
• Knowledge and experience of one or more of the following key specialist areas of law falling within the Matrix: international arbitration; white collar crime; employment litigation; pensions litigation; competition litigation; banking litigation; technology disputes; media disputes; infrastructure, construction and energy disputes
• Knowledge and experience of one or more of the following key industry sectors served by the firm: consumer products; energy; financial services; hotels & leisure; infrastructure & project finance; lifesciences and healthcare; technology, media & telecommunications
• Experience of working in both civil law and common law legal environments
• Experience of using Sharepoint or an equivalent intranet software package
• Foreign language skills
CMS is an international law firm with market leading businesses throughout Europe, The Middle East, Asia and beyond.
Ranked as the world’s 6th largest law firm by lawyer headcount and 6th largest in the UK by revenue, CMS works with clients in 42 countries from 74 offices worldwide.
A future facing law firm CMS is well equipped to help our clients face the future with confidence. We are driven by technology and readily embrace the possibilities it opens up for developing new and better ways of delivering legal services. And we recruit, value and nurture top talent.
CMS is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment, to not only adhere to current employment law, but to harness the full potential of our staff and ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and with respect. To meet this aim CMS endeavours to treat all staff and job applicants equally, on the basis of merit and the ability to do their job. Everybody will be treated equally regardless of race, colour, age, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital or civil partner status, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or maternity status (“Protected Characteristics”).
For further information about CMS’ diversity initiatives and programmes, please click here to view the diversity pages on our website.
How to apply
If you are interested please apply online. If you have any queries, please contact Phoebe Napier, Recruitment Advisor.
Please note that CMS have a preferred agency panel in place. Only applications submitted via the portal at the point of instruction will be accepted.