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How to make your Law CV stand out

A guide for university students

In the competitive world of law, a well-crafted CV can make all the difference when applying for internships, vacation schemes, and training contracts. As a university student aspiring to excel in the legal field, it is crucial to create a standout CV that effectively showcases your skills, experiences, and potential.



Format and Structure:

a. Keep it concise: Aim for a one to two-page CV, focusing on relevant information and avoiding unnecessary details.

b. Clear and professional layout: Use a clean and well-organised format with clear headings, bullet points, and consistent fonts, don't overcomplicate the layout, but also don't be boring, as the effort put into your CV will display your passion.

c. Tailor your CV: Although reusing the same CV for all of your applications may seem attractive, consider customising your CV for each application. This will allow you to highlight the most relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that align with the requirements of the position you are applying for.


Personal Information:

a. Contact details: Provide your full name, phone number, professional email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable).

b. Professional summary or objective: Include a brief statement at the beginning of your CV summarizing your career aspirations, key strengths, and what you can bring to the legal profession.


Education:

List your educational qualifications in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent institution. b. Include your degree title, expected graduation date, institution name, and any relevant academic achievements (GCSES/A-Levels etc)


Legal Experience:

This is arguably the most important section of your CV when applying for roles.

a. Internships and work-experience: Highlight any legal internships or work-experiences you have undertaken. Include the name of the firm/organisation, duration of the experience, and a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

b. Moot court or mock trial experience: If you have participated in moot court competitions or mock trials, mention them to demonstrate your practical legal skills and ability to handle case analysis and advocacy.


Legal Skills:

a. Analytical and research skills: Showcase your ability to conduct legal research, analyse complex information, and present findings effectively.

b. Writing and drafting skills: Highlight any legal writing samples, research papers, or articles you have written during your studies.

c. Knowledge of legal software and databases: If you are proficient in using legal research databases or practice management software, mention them to demonstrate your technical skills. Even mentioning proficiencies in Microsoft Office tools can be relevant.


Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Roles:

a. Highlight relevant extracurricular activities, such as membership in law-related student organizations, participation in legal clinics or pro bono projects, or leadership roles within your university or community.

b. Emphasise transferable skills gained through these activities, such as teamwork, communication, organization, and problem-solving.

c. Any other activities you do (e.g. sports, recreational activities, personal interests) can be important as firms want well-rounded individuals, so don't miss mentioning this out.


Language and Additional Skills:

a. Fluency in languages: If you are proficient in languages other than English, mention them, as it can be an asset in an increasingly global legal landscape.

b. Technical skills: Include any additional skills that are relevant to the legal field, such as proficiency in Microsoft Office, legal research databases, or contract management software.


References:

At the end your CV, mention that references are available upon request. If a reference is needed, ensure that you have obtained the permission of the relevant people beforehand.


Proofreading and Presentation:

a. Double-check your CV for any grammatical or typographical errors. Proofread it carefully or ask a trusted friend or mentor to review it.

b. Pay attention to the overall presentation, ensuring consistency in formatting, font styles, and spacing.


Conclusion:

Crafting an impressive law CV requires careful attention to detail, highlighting relevant experiences, skills, and achievements. By following these tips, you can create a standout CV that effectively showcases your potential as a future legal professional. Remember to tailor your CV to each specific application, emphasizing the most relevant aspects that align with the position you seek. Best of luck in your legal career journey!

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