Ignorantia iuris nocet, and the same goes for the best practices of writing a legal CV. It's one of those cases where following the rules really pays off.
But which rules should you follow? Take a look at our legal CV example below and a comprehensive law CV writing guide to secure your dream job.
This guide will show you:
- A legal CV example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write a legal CV that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a law CV.
- How to describe your experience on a legal CV to get any job you want.
Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.
Sample CV made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.
Looking for a different CV writing guide? These may strike your fancy:
- Solicitor CV Example
- Student CV Example
- Graduate CV Example
- Internship CV Example
- Career Change CV Example
- Best CV Examples for All Jobs
Legal CV example
077 3779 2589
Meticulous commercial solicitor with 7+ years of experience working with high-profile clients. Eager to support QualityLegal in increasing the company’s revenue and mentoring junior staff. At LawEase, managed to increase the revenue by 15% and boost junior associates’ performance by 30% in just 6 months.
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
- Secured successful resolutions for over 90% of litigated cases, resulting in favourable outcomes for clients.
- Mentored and guided a team of 5 junior associates, enhancing their legal skills and productivity by 30% within 6 months.
- Represented prominent corporate clients in 20+ mediations, resulting in settlement agreements that saved clients £2 million in potential legal expenses.
- Drafted and reviewed complex legal documents, including 50+ contracts and agreements, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements.
- Negotiated and finalised 30+ high-value commercial contracts, contributing to a 15% increase in the firm's revenue.
Junior Commercial Solicitor
September 2016–March 2020
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
- Played a key role in a high-stakes intellectual property dispute, contributing to a settlement that protected the client's proprietary technology and saved £1.2 million in potential damages.
- Prepared and delivered persuasive legal arguments in court, resulting in favourable judgments in 25+ civil litigation cases.
- Collaborated with a team of attorneys to secure a favourable settlement in a complex construction dispute, saving the client £800,000 in potential project delays and legal costs.
- Conducted due diligence for a major M&A deal, identifying critical legal risks and providing strategic recommendations that led to a successful acquisition worth £10 million.
Bachelor of Laws
University of London, London
September 2010–June 2016
- Expertise in commercial law.
- Strong command of the UK legal system and regulations.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Proficient in legal research and case analysis.
- Effective negotiation and dispute resolution abilities.
- Detail-oriented with exceptional organisational skills.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) - Registered Solicitor
- Volunteering at a local dog shelter
- Mentoring law students
Now that you’ve seen a great law CV example, it’s time to learn how to write your own legal CV:
1. Set your legal CV’s structure in order
When writing your legal CV, you can act in all the bona fide, but if its structure is messy, it will get thrown to the side by the recruiter. Don’t let your law CV meet such a gloomy fate, and take care of its structure to make it more legible and recruiter-friendly.
After all, recruiters spend, on average, just 7 seconds looking at a CV. It’s not a lot of time, but enough to entice them to call you for an interview. Especially if you implement our advice on how to structure a CV:
- Stick to a tried and tested reverse chronological CV format. It’s one of the best CV styles out there.
- Place a simple CV header at the top of your legal CV and include all the necessary contact information.
- Keep your law CV easy to read by using legible CV fonts and bulleted lists. Don’t skimp on white space, and make sure to fit your CV into one page. Set the line spacing to 1.15.
- Don’t leave your legal CV’s margins on the margins (pun intended) of CV formatting. Set them to one inch each on all four sides.
Divide your CV into sections, each with an easy-to-spot heading. A perfect legal CV template should consist of all the sine qua non CV sections in this exact order:
- Header with contact information
- A legal CV summary or objective
- Work experience
- Extra sections (such as conferences, additional training, volunteer work, certifications, etc.)
Finally, save your law CV as a PDF file unless the job ad states otherwise. A PDF format ensures that your CV’s layout will always look how you intended it to, no matter which device it will be viewed on.
Pro Tip: Not sure how to write your CV? It’s a bit counterintuitive, but you should not write it from top to bottom. Start with the work experience section and make writing a CV summary or objective your last task.
2. Prove your work experience in your law CV
A work experience section in a legal CV is like a court order. It’s what matters the most at the end of the day. That’s why it’s worth polishing the work experience section just as an attorney would perfect his closing speech.
The work experience section in your legal CV should be presented in reverse chronological order, which means your latest job positions go to the top. Make sure each job entry contains a job title, company name, and dates of employment.
Instead of listing just your responsibilities and turning your law CV into a legit alternative to sleeping pills, present your accomplishments in up to 6 bullet points. An effective way to highlight your achievements is to use the STAR formula:
- describe a Situation you were in
- highlight the Task
- present the Action you took
- showcase its Result
Dazzle the recruiters with tangible results and quantify them whenever possible. Aim to hold their attention just like a minty fresh episode of their favourite legal drama on TV. Keep the momentum going by using action words that exude competence and effectiveness.
Last but not least, tailor this section of your legal CV to the job description. Treat the job ad as a keyword repository and use the most important ones throughout your CV, including the work experience section. This way, you increase the chances of being perceived as an ideal match for the job.
Okay, but what if your work experience is not as broad as the spectrum of a good SPF cream? Should you lie on your CV? Definitely no. We don’t recommend following in Mike Ross’ footsteps. It might have worked in "Suits", but in real life, it’s just not worth risking getting caught red-handed and jeopardizing your career.
Legal CV examples: work experience
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
Case litigation, representing clients in mediations, drafting legal contracts, increased the company’s revenue by signing high-profile contracts.
The same candidate, yet completely different first impressions. The first example is easy to skim and focuses on highlighting tangible results. The wrong example is lacking all that—it has poor formatting and lists mainly job responsibilities. Even the achievement is not too noticeable and has been stripped of all the juicy details that the first example presents.
Legal CV example: CV for law students
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
Assisting in preparing trial bundles, conducting effective research, and drafting legal documents.
Listing solely your professional responsibilities is easy, but it won’t help you increase your chances of getting invited to a job interview. That’s why you should fill your work experience section with perfectly formatted entries like the right example. It’s to the point and instantly draws the recruiter’s attention.
Read more: Tips on Creating a CV for Work Opportunities
When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.
3. Do justice to your education
The fact that the verb “studying” contains another and quite a dark action word, makes a lot of sense when it comes to acquiring a law degree. Fortunately, the days of being buried alive in books are long gone, and now it’s time to display your educational background on your legal CV proudly.
If you’re an experienced lawyer, there’s no need to get into the details. All you have to do is just mention your law degree.
However, if you’re about to write a legal CV without work experience, you should expand on your education section. Use bullet points to list relevant coursework, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, moot court experience etc. Did you have a high GPA or graduated with honours? Don’t hesitate to mention it!
Legal CV example: education
Bachelor of Laws
University of London, London
September 2016–June 2022
- Graduated with first-class honours.
- A member of the winning team in the 2021 ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO.
4. Present relevant skills in your legal CV
Putting “finding legal loopholes” in a skill section may be a little too blunt. Make a case for how qualified you are for your dream job by listing your most relevant soft and hard skills and properly phrasing them.
How to be sure that you’ve picked the best ones? Tailor your legal CV skill section by rereading the job description and focusing on any skills-related phrases.
Then, scan your work experience and education sections. Identify which skills you’ve acquired at work and law school. Now, compile one extensive list of all of your legal skills.
Take a look below what such a list can look like:
Legal CV skills
- Analytical thinking
- Strong conflict resolution skills
- Ability to work under pressure
- Effective time management
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Presentation skills
- Strong work ethic
- Tort law
- Trial preparation
Analyse which skills match the job ad you’re responding to best and list them as bullet points in your skills section. Choose no less than 5 but no more than 10 skills. Make your law CV more professional by describing your legal skills briefly. To see how to do it, check out our example below:
Legal CV example: skills
An ideal legal CV should be coherent. It means that your CV’s work experience section should reflect your skills. If not, you can always rephrase the bullet points of your work experience section.
Read more: CV Skill Examples for All Jobs
5. Summon additional law CV sections
If you’re just as ambitious as Rachel Zane, you probably have set the bar high. Use the extra CV sections to increase the chances of propelling your career forward and nailing that dream job.
The additional CV sections let you showcase your unique qualities. Are you an experienced lawyer? Chances are you have some certifications or even awards that you can dazzle the hiring managers with. Or maybe you took part in some conferences or written publications? Don’t forget to put them on display.
And what if you are an aspiring lawyer without a long history of work experience? That’s not a problem. Show yourself in the best light by mentioning your volunteer work, academic awards or relevant hobbies and interests.
However, don’t ignore the suggestions above if you are an experienced professional. Even then, listing things like pro bono cases and community work can be very beneficial. Mentioning relevant hobbies on your CV, such as writing a law blog or mentoring beginning lawyers, is also a good case in point.
Read more: Tips on Creating an Aesthetic CV
6. Don’t object to legal CV objective or summary
Writing an attention-grabbing legal CV summary or objective is the best shortcut to getting the seal of approval from recruiters. A CV personal statement highlighting your strengths in a few punchy sentences will entice them to read your law CV and invite you over for an interview.
A legal CV summary is the best solution for lawyers with at least a few years of experience. If you’re not experienced, writing a law CV objective will be a much better option. This way, your CV profile will focus more not on your experience but on your enthusiasm, work ethic, and relevant skills.
How to write a compelling CV profile? Just use the simple formula below:
Adjective + Job Title + Years of Experience + Achievements + Skills + What You Want to Do for the Employer
First, pick a dynamic adjective that best describes you as a law practitioner. Proceed to your work experience and a few of your top accomplishments. Focus on skills if you’re writing a CV objective. Last but not least, don’t forget to lure the recruiters in by briefly describing how you can add value to the company.
Legal CV examples: summary
|Meticulous commercial solicitor with 7+ years of experience working with high-profile clients. Eager to support QualityLegal in increasing the company’s revenue and mentoring junior staff. At LawEase, managed to increase the revenue by 15% and boost junior associates’ performance by 30% in just 6 months.|
|I have 7 years of experience in commercial law and boosted my company's revenue. Looking for a new job with a better work/life balance.|
The same candidate, totally different impression. Don’t write your CV summary in such a generic way when you can impress the recruiters with attention-grabbing details.
Law CV examples: objective
|Highly motivated paralegal skilled in legal research, case preparation, and client support. Seeking to leverage strong organisational skills, attention to detail, and proficiency in legal documentation to contribute to LexLegal's mission of delivering exceptional legal services to clients.|
|I’m a paralegal currently working at DraytonLaw. I’d like to join a healthy work environment to develop my skills and qualifications further.|
Read more: 20+ Professional CV Templates for All Jobs
7. Uncover the gravity of a law cover letter
Ignoring the importance of a cover letter is a grave error that most candidates can plead guilty to. Don’t be one of them—this negligence can result in the hiring managers declaring your legal CV null and void.
Even if the job offer claims that cover letters are presented as optional in a job ad, most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter. Don’t risk sabotaging your legal CV like this, and write a short and concise cover letter.
Hiring managers will certainly appreciate your approach. It can be even so that your cover letter will become the deciding factor in getting you a job interview.
Bottom line: in this case, just stick to the (cover) letter of the law.
Read more: Legal Cover Letter: Samples & Writing Tips
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Okay, it’s time for a short closing speech. How to write a law CV? Let’s sum up:
- Present your most impressive accomplishments in the work experience section.
- Add an education section and make it more detailed if you don’t have much experience.
- Use the job description as a map and tailor your legal CV to each job offer you’re responding to.
- Catch the recruiter’s attention thanks to additional CV sections.
- Make a great first impression with a compelling CV profile.
- Do yourself a favour and attach a short cover letter.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to be the judge of this article and share your thoughts. Do you have any questions or tips on writing a legal CV? I’m looking forward to interacting with you in the comments section.
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