The owner of this CV landed a training contract at a City firm and although the personal details have been changed, everything else remains the same. If you want to work for one of the best firms, they will expect a lot; so read on and see what competencies and experiences law firms expect.
This is an example CV, not a perfect template. Its purpose is to demonstrate what experience might be attractive to potential employers.
For more info on law firms and their opportunities, here is a big list of legal opportunities for you to take a look at!
Magic Circle CV example
10 New Street, Sheffield, SW1 1AB
I am a successful Languages graduate about to commence the Graduate Diploma in Law. Due to my range of career interests, I have gained experience in a number of areas. My legal work experience has attracted me to business law, where I feel that the skills I have gained from my degree, work and other activities will be highly valued.
Leadership and Responsibility: I have been chosen to represent my peers on a number of occasions, at school council and as a university liaison student representative. As a classroom assistant I was responsible for helping groups of up to five students during language classes, a challenging job that I enjoyed immensely.
Written skills: I have developed a sophisticated written style and practised formulating arguments, both through academic essay-writing and producing leaflets and campaign literature for Manchester Students’ Union. During my time at Manchester, I have helped to research and write manifestos in a number of campaigns for student representative groups.
Communication skills: Since completing my degree and year abroad, I am fluent in three foreign languages; I have completed a number of translation projects including as a volunteer translator for Victim Support Manchester. I have also gained some valuable experience of public speaking, as part of the debating team in sixth form and presenting campaign events at Manchester Students’ Union.
Commercial awareness and organisation: As a sales assistant and waitress, I developed excellent customer service skills and raised my awareness of business concerns in both retail and restaurant environments. I have acquired good time-management skills, juggling academic work with voluntary and extra-curricular commitments, which has also required consistent discipline and motivation.
The University of Manchester, First Class BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages, 2014-2018
Main subjects: Advanced Spanish and French language, Beginner then Intermediate German; Modern Spanish history; German politics, French literature and cultural studies
Year Abroad: Studied at Madrid University, Spain and Berlin University, Germany, then spent two months working at a summer camp in South-West France.
Clarence High School, Sheffield, 2007-2014
A Levels; Spanish A, History A, French A
A/S Level: Biology A
GCSEs: 7 A*s, 4 A
Legal work experience:
Layland Law, London: Informal work placement, June 2018 (1 week)
At this small firm specialising in Personal Injury, I drafted letters and claims forms; assisted with market research; read and updated case files; and attended hearings. I improved my confidence in these basic legal tasks and learned the importance of good file management and client care.
Smiths (Law Firm) London: Open Day, May 2018
I attended talks by associates, partners and trainees about the various aspects of their work in different practice areas; completed a negotiation skills workshop and talked to lawyers from the firm. The event provided a valuable closer look at the work and culture of an international commercial firm.
Manchester Citizens Advice Bureau: Volunteer, Sept 2017 – July 2018
I joined the CAB to gain experience of advising clients in real-life situations, making use of my communication and interpersonal skills to help people with their legal problems. I successfully completed a training course to gain key skills.
Other work experience:
Sheffield Meadow School: Classroom Assistant, Sept 2013 – June 2014
During my gap year before university, I worked in a secondary school and assisted in language classes. I helped pupils with reading, writing and oral skills in French and Spanish.
Pinetop Restaurant, Manchester: Waitress (part-time), March 2015 – June 2017
Stanton Stationers, Sheffield: Sales Assistant (part-time), June 2012 – June 2014
I was awarded the final-year Modern Languages prize (2017-2018) at Manchester University for achieving top exam results
I was awarded the Clarence French prize for A-level results in 2013
I have won medals for dancing in Latin and Modern dance
My main extracurricular activities include music and dancing; I enjoy various forms of exercise such as running and swimming as well as dancing. I am a budding amateur surfer and intend to take further lessons this summer; I have also achieved various music grades in piano.
I speak and write fluently in Spanish, French and German.
Key points to include in a law CV
Commercial awareness is a buzzword in the legal sphere. All recruiters are looking to hire trainees with the ability to place legal issues within the wider context of current affairs, so make sure to briefly demonstrate your commercial awareness ability.
Due to the nature of the job, lawyers are required to have a diverse range of skills. Key competencies that should feature on your CV include communication and networking skills, analytical ability, logical reasoning and writing ability. However, you may wish to demonstrate emotional intelligence, financial literacy, project management and time management.
Finally, make sure to research the firm thoroughly so that you tailor your CV to their job application and the company’s ethos.
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