Having a good legal CV is hugely important for prospective employers. When sending off applications for vacation schemes, training contracts or other jobs, your law CV is usually one of the first things an employer will ask for.
If you are successful in the first stage, and are invited to an interview, your legal CV will usually be a point of reference and you will often be required to elaborate further on your work experience. Your law CV is therefore a great chance to show off your personality, your experiences, and your interests.
This blog will discuss a number of ways in which you can boost your CV in order to stand out and be unique. You can also read our top tips on law CVs on our Training Contract Applications page here.
The most important thing to have on your legal CV is work experience. If you’re interested in a career in law, the best way to demonstrate that passion is through getting experience in the field.
Most local solicitors are very willing to take on work experience students, and this can be a great chance to build skills that will propel you towards a successful career. Other places may also be open to students joining the team for some experience. For example, one of my best experiences was two weeks spent in Manchester’s Coroner Court, shadowing the Coroner. These experiences are something that employers are interested in; they will want to know what you enjoyed about it and what you learnt.
Other relevant work experience should also be sought. Whether this is working in a bar, tending tables in a restaurant or babysitting, every experience brings valuable skills. Employers are looking for someone with communication skills, dedication and the ability to manage their time. Having a part-time job is a great way to demonstrate you possess the qualities they are looking for.
Find out more about Law Work Experience here.
Whilst work experience is invaluable, it is something that most other applicants will also have. In order to stand out from the crowd on your law CV, it’s really important to show that you have other interests and activities outside your legal studies. University is a great chance to build up these interests.
My best advice would be to join a society. For example, join a sports team, a drama club, volunteer with a charity or take up a role in your student union. These opportunities are an amazing chance to make friends, show commitment and demonstrate personality. Contributing to the organisation of a ball is another fantastic way to show to an employer that you are responsible and organised.
The opportunities at university are wide-ranging. A lot of universities may have peer-mentoring schemes. Mentoring younger students shows your dedication and interest in the subject you are studying, which comes across well to future employers. Further, most law schools have Pro-Bono programmes which enable you to volunteer for a good cause. Pro-Bono programmes are well respected by prospective employers, as it shows a strong work ethic. Similarly, they are a good chance to build key skills.
Having a good legal CV is one of the first big steps towards the career of your dreams and so it is a good idea to get involved with as many things as possible at university and beyond.
Words: Laura Brunt
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