You can read all the advice in the world, but we think there's no better way to show you how to write a CV than providing you with a sample that actually worked.
The owner of this lovely CV is a trainee at a Magic Circle 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 kind of things they will expect.
Please note! This is an example CV, not a perfect template. Its purpose is to demonstrate what experience might be attractive to potential employers. Just to say in advance, 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 which 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, 2003-2007
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 southwest France.
Clarence High School, Sheffield, 1996-2003
A Levels; Spanish A, History A, French A
A/S Level: Biology A
GCSEs: 7 A*', 4 A
Legal work experience:
Layland Law, London: Informal work placement, June 2007 (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 2007
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 2006 – July 2007
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 2002 – June 2003
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 2004 – June 2006
Stanton Stationers, Sheffield: Sales Assistant (part-time), June 2001 – June 2003
- I was awarded the final-year Modern Languages prize (2006-2007) at Manchester University for achieving top exam results
- I was awarded the Clarence French prize for A-level results in 2002
- I have won medals for dancing in Latin and Modern dance
- My main extra-curricular 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 fluent Spanish, French and German.