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Solicitor CV & Legal CV Samples and Guide (+Template)

Solicitor CV & Legal CV Samples and Guide (+Template)

Read our complete guide to writing a professional CV for lawyers and solicitors. Highlight your legal skills and achievements, get more interviews, and kick-start your career!

Why do you need to write the perfect legal CV? It's not just hard to get a job as a lawyer.

 

It's very hard.

 

Your solicitor CV has to stand out like a brief by DLA Piper. It's the only way to get interviews with prestigious law firms and plush corporate companies.

 

The good news? Writing a great law CV is 10x easier than finishing a law degree.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A lawyer CV example better than 9 out of 10 other CVs.
  • How to write a legal CV that lands more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a solicitor CV.
  • How to describe your experience on a CV for a solicitor 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.

 

solicitor cv
solicitor cv

Sample CV made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.

 

And if a lawyer CV isn’t what you’re looking for, we’ve got career guides for other professions too.

 

Solicitor CV Example

 

Andrew Yang

07777 777777

a.yang_zety@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/a.yang_zety

 

Goal-focused solicitor with 4+ years' experience. Seeking to leverage proven trial, preparation, and negotiation skills for Jensen and button. At FRJ, maintained 1500+ billable hours per year with 94% client satisfaction. Carried 30 cases to trial and settled 90 out of 100 mediations.

 

Work Experience

 

Feynman, Richards, & Jones

Solicitor

January 2018–Present

  • Solicitor for a renowned London firm.
  • Responsible for leading on client mediations and settlements.
  • Responsible for all aspects of trial work, including preparation, depositions, and delegating work to paralegals and administrative staff.

 

Solicitor Experience

2016–2017

  • Undertook volunteer legal research that contributed to quashing a wrongful conviction.
  • Conducted legal advice sessions as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • Judged London and South East Moot Court Competition, writing six decisions.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Laws, Imperial College London

September 2013–June 2017

  • Pursued a passion for trial preparation and litigation coursework.
  • Wrote a weekly blog post on trial law.
  • Presented six legal arguments in Moot Court. Member of national Moot Court competition winning team 2016.

 

Skills

 

  • Analytical skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Legal procedure
  • Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Product liability law
  • Research
  • Tort law
  • Trial preparation

 

Journals

 

  • Journal Note: A New View on GDPR UK. L. REV. May 2020

 

Conferences

 

  • Law Society Annual—Spoke on panel about trial preparation 2019
  • Brighton Legal Spring Conference 2019

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Volunteer to walk dogs fortnightly at local dogs’ home.
  • Avid runner and swimmer.

 

1. Format for a Solicitor CV the Right Way

 

Meet the hiring manager at that superstar firm. Her name's Katie and she craves attention to detail.

 

Is it any wonder your lawyer CV must embody that?

 

Impress her with the best legal CV format. The chronological CV format makes your case block by block.

 

It starts with your most recent wins.

 

Leverage white space, the best CV fonts, and clear headings. Let nothing stand between you and the interview.

 

Not sure whether to send your CV in Word or PDF form?

 

PDFs are now machine-readable. Use a PDF unless the job offer outlaws it.

Want to do due diligence on legal CV formats? See our guide: CV Format: Best Examples for Job Hunting Success

2. Add a CV Summary

 

Your solicitor CV summary or personal profile is as critical as the opening arguments in a high-profile court case. In just 3–4 lines it has to sum up your legal skills and experience and convince the hiring manager to keep reading. Get it wrong and your case will be instantly dismissed for lack of evidence.

 

But there is a way of making sure you’ll be found guilty of being a standout candidate. All you need to do is answer these questions.

 

  1. Who are you? 
  2. What can you offer to the employer? 
  3. What are your career goals? 

 

The wonderful thing about using this approach is that it’s adaptable for any circumstance. If you’re an experienced legal eagle then use this angle.

  • List your strengths and skills as a solicitor. Sum up all the experience and abilities that make you excel at your job.
  • Then look at the job advert and read the job description with care. Note all the skills and experience mentioned as key requirements and note those that match with your own list.
  • Combine the overlap into a lawyer CV personal statement that’s neatly tailored to the job you’re applying for.

 

And if you’re just starting your legal career and writing an entry-level lawyer CV you can use this approach instead.

  • Write a list of all the abilities and experience you have already. Take into account your education and any other work experience you have. Then highlight everything that’s transferable to the legal job you’re targetting. 
  • Finally, use those points, combined with passion and energy for the job and firm you’re interested in, to craft your personal profile.

 

Let’s see how it works in practice.


Solicitor CV Examples [Experienced Candidate]

 

Which of these lawyer CV examples looks more appealing?

wrong
Enthusiastic general counsel solicitor seeking high-paying position. Very skilled in corporate law and trademark law. Extremely hard worker and not afraid to work long hours.

 

Instead, emulate this experienced solicitor CV example:

RIGHT
Goal-focused litigation solicitor with 4+ years' experience. Seeking to leverage proven trial, preparation, and negotiation skills for Jensen and button. At FRJ, maintained 1500+ billable hours per year with 94% client satisfaction. Carried 30 cases to trial and settled 90 out of 100 mediations.

Is your experience more like a blank pleading template? See the law student CV examples below.

 

Two Entry-Level Solicitor CV Objectives

 

Still an entry-level solicitor with no experience?

 

They used to just say to highlight your passion. That's how the first of our law student CV examples does it:

wrong
Junior solicitor seeking entry-level position. Haven't yet held a full time lawyer job yet but I've been working very hard at retail and bartending to make ends meet.

Can you handle the truth? These days, that kind of legal CV objective will get thrown out for lack of evidence.

 

You need details as well for a solicitor CV objective like this:

Right
Hard-working solicitor seeking to maintain a high rate of annual billable hours for Jensen and Button. Have judged six school Moot Court competitions. Have performed 15 contract reviews for local artists. Conducted a monthly volunteer legal clinic for Citizens Advice Bureau.

Case closed.

 

But how did a recent graduate get that kind of experience for a law student CV?

 

I'll show that next.

 

And here’s one last tip for your CV introduction. It’s the first section of your CV but you should write it last. Why? The hint is in the name, CV summary. It’s easier to summarise something that’s already complete and set out in front of you.

Want to learn even more about starting your CV? See our guide: How to Start a CV: 20+ Tips to Start Your CV in Style

3. Describe Your Legal Experience

 

Let's peek in on our hiring manager, Katie. Experience matters a lot to her. But she doesn't just want to know you've had a legal job.

 

She wants to see you've had the best law jobs that fit the job she's offering.

 

So, lock your experience to the job description like an ironclad contract.

 

First, highlight the qualities in the job description.

 

Then, search your past for admissible proof.

 

The legal CV examples below show how.

 

Two Experienced Solicitor CV Samples

 

The first of these lawyer CV examples is irrefutable:

RIGHT

Feynman, Richards, & Jones

Solicitor

January 2018–Present

  • Carried 28 case files from instruction through to trial stage.
  • Conducted 90+ mediations with a 90% plus success rate for settlement out of court.
  • Achieved a 94% annual average score on client service surveys.
  • Maintained a minimum of 1500 annual billable hours in each year of employment.

That makes your case like Michael Wolkind. It's got measurable achievements that match the job description perfectly.

 

The next of our lawyer CV examples doesn't do as well:

WRONG

Feynman, Richards, & Jones

Solicitor

January 2018–Present

  • Solicitor for a renowned London firm.
  • Responsible for leading on client mediations and settlements.
  • Responsible for all aspects of trial work, including preparation, depositions, and delegating work to paralegals and administrative staff.

It's clear you have experience. But were you more like William Garrow or Saul Goodman? In other words, what effect did you have?

 

The best legal CVs include metrics and numbers.

 

Writing a solicitor CV with no legal experience?

 

In that case, see the two CV examples below.

 

How to Write a CV for a Solicitor with No Experience

 

The bad news?

 

According to the New York Times, 40% of law students are still unemployed ten months after graduation.

 

If you've got no experience, consider beefing up your CV with:

  • Volunteer work
  • Judging moot court competitions
  • Doing small freelance jobs
  • Taking on an internship or clerkship

 

Watch that at work in two entry-level legal CV examples.

 

Two solicitor CV Samples [No Experience]

 

This first sample solicitor CV experience section gets thrown out of court:

WRONG

Solicitor Experience: none yet in the real world.

Other Experience:

  • Retail
  • Bartending

That's out of order.

 

But with details, you can have a newly-qualified solicitor CV sample like this: 

RIGHT

Solicitor Experience

2016–2017

  • Undertook volunteer legal research that contributed to quashing a wrongful conviction.
  • Conducted legal advice sessions as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • Judged London and South East Moot Court Competition, writing six decisions.

They’re like chalk and cheese. Chances are you already have the experience for an entry-level solicitor CV just like that. 

Want to get even more useful advice about writing a high impact work experience section? See our guide: What to Include in a Work Experience CV Section

4. Mention Your Education

 

You know a legal CV must show a solid education.

 

But did you know there are two ways to do it?

 

For experienced candidates, you just need to stick to the basics:

  • University name and location
  • Dates of study
  • Name of degree and specialisations (if applicable)

 

But if you’re still studying or writing a graduate CV you need to give your education section a little extra weight to help with your lack of work experience. How?

 

Add 3–5 bullet points.

 

Stipulate them with academic achievements that get the interview like it was ordered in a mandamus.

 

The solicitor CV examples below provide a clue.

 

Solicitor CV Examples [Education]

 

Let's say you're applying for a job that calls for trial prep and litigation. This first sample solicitor CV follows the letter of the law:

RIGHT

Bachelor of Laws, Imperial College London

September 2013–June 2017

  • Pursued a passion for trial preparation and litigation coursework.
  • Wrote a weekly blog post on trial law.
  • Presented six legal arguments in Moot Court. Member of national Moot Court competition winning team 2016.

The verdict? That's a lawyer who was prepping for this job back in school.

Want to know how to list honours on your CV? Find out this and more in our guide: CV Education Section: Examples and How to Include It

5. Put Skills on a CV for a Solicitor

 

Convince the hiring manager of your legal skills, and you'll get the interview.

 

Of course if it were easy, everyone would do it.

 

But there's a simple change you can make to your lawyer CV to pull it off.

 

The solicitor CV examples below are exhibits A and B.

 

They're for a job opening that seeks skills in reviewing pleadings, drafting discovery requests, and time management.

 

Solicitor CV Examples [Skills]

 

This first sample legal CV snippet tries to lead the witness:

WRONG

Solicitor Skills: leadership, collaboration, drafting discovery requests, litigation, corporate law, tax law, trademark law, environmental law, time management, criminal law, divorce law, Jude Law.

What's the problem? It just lists everything. Which is the same as listing nothing.

 

So, select the skills shown in the job description. Then, show hard evidence you've got them.

 

That's what the next of our solicitor CV examples does.

RIGHT
  • Reviewed 20% more pleadings per month than the company average.
  • Drafted discovery requests 15% faster than any other company lawyer.
  • Logged 10% more billable hours than the 5 other solicitors in my group. 

List of Skills to Put on a Solicitor CV

 

This legal CV skills list brims with great law CV keywords.

 

Find more in legal job descriptions online, and remember to include a good mix of soft skills and hard skills.

 

Use the plan above to write a legal CV that gets the interview with no deliberation.

What's the difference between hard and soft skills? Which one is best for a CV for a solicitor? See our guide: 99+ Key Skills for a CV: Best List of Examples

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your CV here.

When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.

7. Add Other Sections for an Effective CV

 

Remember Katie, our hiring manager?

 

Who would she rather hire?

 

Someone going through the motions? Or a lawyer who breathes, sleeps, and eats legal work?

 

In a CV for lawyers, that means using special "other" sections.

 

Add:

  • Volunteer work
  • Journal work/notes
  • Non-journal publications
  • Conferences
  • Moot court experience
  • Community involvement
  • Student organisations

 

The lawyer CV examples below show how.

 

Solicitor CV Examples [Other Sections]

WRONG

Interests

  • Paint by numbers
  • Walking my dog

Remember, we want to show your passion for law. Hobbies and interests can be a useful addition to your CV but you need to include solid achievements too.

 

With that in mind, emulate this legal CV example:

RIGHT

Journals

  • Journal Note: A New View on GDPR UK. L. REV. May 2020

 

Conferences

  • Law Society Annual—Spoke on panel about trial preparation 2019
  • Brighton Legal Spring Conference 2019

 

Additional Activities

  • Volunteer to walk dogs fortnightly at local dogs home.
  • Avid runner and swimmer.

That's no mere lawyer CV. It's Rumpole of the Bailey in the rough.

 

But it only takes a little head-scratching to turn up enough material for a legal CV like that.

Want to know what else to include in your CV? See our guide: What to Include in a CV: Essential CV Sections

8. Write a Cover Letter

 

Do you even need a cover letter for a lawyer CV?

 

You bet your Law Society membership you do.

 

The sad truth is, most hiring managers spend just seven short seconds on each CV.

 

Your solicitor cover letter can turn that to ten minutes. How?

 

By connecting.

 

So, use the hiring manager's name to start your cover letter.

 

Then, show you understand the position.

 

Last, prove how you can fill it.

 

Follow this (truncated) solicitor cover letter example:

 

I've been following Simpson and Smythe’s notes in the Modern Law Review for some years now. I'm intrigued by the company's reliance on emotional intelligence techniques to settle negotiations without going to trial. I believe my 93% settlement rate makes me an ideal fit for this position, and for your philosophy. My interpersonal skills have...

 

Close your cover letter with an offer.

 

‘I'd welcome the chance to show you how I maintained an average 1500+ billable hours a year at NGS Partners,’ works great.

Want the detailed brief on writing your cover letter? See our guide: Legal Cover Letter: Sample Format and Complete Writing Guide

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:

 

matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

Now you know how to write a legal CV that gets a lot more interviews. Be sure to follow these key tips:

  • Tailor your solicitor CV to each job you apply to. Do that by reading the job offer carefully. Pay special attention to the skills and responsibilities in it.
  • Write your bullet points to match those qualities. That will fit your lawyer CV to the job opening like a custom crafted contract.
  • Add other sections to a CV for a solicitor to show passion and engagement. Those can include journal work and volunteer work.

 

Do you have questions on how to write a great resume for an attorney? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments! We'd be happy to reply!

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Jacques Buffett, CPRW
Jacques, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published almost 200 articles on Zety. His insights and advice have been published by LinkedIn, Forbes, MSN, Yahoo!, Business Insider, AOL, U.S. News, and other top news outlets. He also has extensive professional experience in people management and recruitment.

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