If you’re applying for jobs, work experience or a training contract with a law firm, you’ll sometimes be asked to send in a CV and covering letter as your application. As with other jobs, this will be the first impression a law firm has of you so you need to stand out.
As with any other CV, you need to make sure you use perfect English and that there are no spelling and grammar mistakes. Lawyers and legal workers have to write lots of reports and case submissions, as well as communicating with clients, and sloppy writing does not look professional.
What to include in your law CV
It’s widely accepted for legal jobs and other professions these days that you do not need to head your CV with “curriculum vitae”; use your name instead. You’ll also need to include your personal contact details and a brief paragraph introducing yourself and outlining your skills and experience.
List and describe your work experience. Tailor what you write to the legal job you’re applying for. For example, if the law firm asks for certain skills and experience, explicitly outline these in your employment details. If you are looking for your first law job, include any relevant work experience or non legal work too and outline how it’s relevant to the role you’re applying for.
If you have any particularly relevant work achievements mention those too (they may be at a law firm or elsewhere). For example, did you win a big bid or an award? Did you implement a successful marketing idea?
Don’t forget to include your academic qualifications, most recent first.
Law graduates often wonder whether to include their qualifications or employment history first. Consider which is most relevant to a legal employer. If you graduated recently and don’t have much work experience, your recent law studies will be most relevant. However, if you’ve been working in law for years, this will be the information and experience that will be most important. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes.
How long should a law CV be?
Your CV for a legal job needs to be concise. No more than two sides of A4 is a good general rule of thumb. Make sure you use an easily legible typeface and lay your CV out as clearly as possible. Have a look at some examples of law CVs online and ask a friend or relative to check that yours is clear.
Feel free to include details of hobbies and interests but keep it brief. Law firms want to appoint staff who are well-rounded. Avoid mentioning anything controversial, though. Don’t make anything up. If you get an interview (or a job) at a law firm, you may be asked about the hobbies you put down and it won’t bode well if you can’t talk about them.
This page is for » Law CV Tips from the careers advice pages of Law and Legal for solicitors, news and more.