Training contracts receive more applications than there are places available. To impress legal recruiters follow our example law CV, also referred to as a legal CV
Sophie Daniels 5 High Hill Lane, London, SW74 3EG email@example.com 07755333678
The Law College, London (2020-2021)
Legal Practice Course (full-time)
Electives in commercial law, advanced property and employment law
The Law College, London (2019-2020)
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) Commendation (65%)
The University of Birmingham (2015-2019)
BA Modern Languages (Spanish and French) – 2:1
Included a year out spent at the University of Madrid
Awarded ‘John Smith Award’ for highest dissertation mark (79%)
Friars Wood High School, Liverpool (2008-2015)
A levels: Spanish (A) English Literature (A) and French (B)
GCSEs: 4 A*, 4 A and 2 B, including Maths and English
Collingwood and Bergman, London (2020)
Vacation placement in large, international commercial firm working in the Real Estate and Commercial Litigation departments.
- Researched commercial disputes within the firm
- Drafted legal updates, which were published on the firm’s website
- Prepared case bundles and liaised with barristers and chambers
- Assisted in billing clients and gained an insight into commercial issues
Bryce and Riley, London (2020)
Vacation placement in large commercial law firm. Gained experience in several areas of corporate and commercial law.
- Observed a client negotiation for a large high street retail acquisition
- Undertook research on corporate governance for a Partner
- Assisted current trainees in note taking in client meetings
Steel and Co Solicitors, Liverpool (2019)
Work experience in general practice firm. Gained insight to areas such as commercial disputes, conveyancing and family law.
Observed part of a trial on a commercial matter
Researched an area of family law for an associate solicitor
Attended court to file documents
Sales assistant, Smiths (2015-2019)
- Carried out excellent customer service, directly handling customer queries
- Trained and mentored new members of staff
- Worked under pressure, particularly during peak sale periods
- Regularly achieved or exceeded monthly sales targets
Bar manager, The Ship Inn (2013-2015)
Worked part-time as a member of the bar team, being promoted to Bar manager.
- Ensured that customers were served quickly and efficiently
- Responsible for making sure tills had sufficient cash flow
- Organised staff rotas
Au pair, Nanny Go (Spain)(2016)
- Organising days out and activities for two children aged seven and ten
- Responsible for the children’s weekly budget
- Undertook basic household chores
- Greatly improved my Spanish language skills
Positions of responsibility and interests
- Class Representative for the LPC – Attended meetings with senior members of staff at The Law College, ensuring the views of my fellow students were expressed.
- Commercial Awareness Forum – Chair of the Commercial Awareness Forum at The Law College. The role involved planning the programme of events, securing speakers and hosting events.
- Sport – Member of the University of Birmingham and The Law College hockey team, winning a national university tournament. I also enjoy tennis and generally keeping fit. I undertook a local triathlon competition and raised £5,000 for charity.
- Yoga – Qualified yoga instructor. I set up a new yoga club at The Law College.
- Spanish teacher – Started my own business teaching children Spanish through music, games and drama at weekends.
References available on request
Please be aware that this is an example. Use it as a template to help generate ideas and structure your own CV but avoid copying and pasting. Your own CV needs to be original and tailored to the job you’re applying for.
When applying for training contracts legal recruiters do not usually expect to see a personal statement on your CV. It should be clear from this document, and from your cover letter, what you are applying for.
Recruiters of large, commercial firms place a lot of emphasis on academic attainment so it’s important to show your best grades, wherever possible, and to place your academic results at the top of your CV.
All firms require relevant legal experience and a high degree of commercial awareness, so these things should also be evidenced near the top of your CV.
You can then tailor the rest of your law CV to suit the type of firms that you are applying to. For example, if you want to do human rights based work then you may include a section on Pro Bono or volunteer work, further up your CV.
Legal recruiters also like to see that you are active and involved with extracurricular activities. Round up your CV with a list of additional achievements, outlining what you did/do and to what level.