By DebbieH 10 Jun 2019 7 min read

What should I be including in my law graduate CV?

It’s graduate season and you’re almost ready to walk out in to the world of work. But how do you demonstrate the skills and experience you’ve acquired to a prospective employer?

If you’re searching for your first professional position, you’ll need a CV that sets you apart from the crowd. If you want to increase your chances of success, simply read on to find out how you can impress with your law graduate CV!


Tailor your CV

You’ll likely have an idea already of what path you wish to take within the law, so be prepared to tailor your CV to reflect just that. If the firm you are applying with is the first step towards your desired future, then your CV should demonstrate that you have the experience they want. You should also aim to impress the company by identifying with their values, and showcasing personality traits you think will impress them.

Ultimately your aim is to show the recruiter that you have tick all of their boxes – so if you have a CV that is unrelated to the job description or firm’s values etc. you might not make it to interview stage.

Below is a video by Chrissie Wolfe, creator of Law and Broader, a YouTube channel which provides advice on breaking into the legal profession and more. In this video, Chrissie advises on how to master training contract applications: 


Write a stand out professional summary

The professional summary part of your CV is essential. This is the first paragraph a recruiter will read about you on your CV, so we cannot stress enough to you that is should impress.

If you have no previous work experience, boast the skills you acquired at university e.g. ambition, interest in intellectual law, ability to work independently etc.

If you do have work experience (a serious advantage for this industry), briefly mention it and why it’s relevant to the role you are applying for now e.g. was your experience within the same sector you are applying for now? Did it provide you any of the foundation skills you need to succeed in the law?

Communication skills, client-care and research ability will also impress.


Make your experience count

As previously mentioned, having work experience under your belt before you have left university is a huge advantage over other candidates applying for graduate jobs. But it;s important not to let this opportunity slip by – ensure you highlight the most important skills you acquired from this experience – tailor it to the job application.

For example, if you completed your work experience in property law, but wish to find a job in employment law, instead of talking about the ins and out of property, you should focus on the skills you picked up at this role, like speaking to clients on the phone, running research tasks for your team, booking in meetings with clients on behalf of solicitors, or preparing court documents. Any of these skills will be welcomed by a legal firm.

Chances are though, you won’t have alot of experience to fall back on. If this is the case, putting a few line duties and achievements will suffice. Just be sure to demonstrate where possible any successes you’ve achieved in practical ways. This will help you to quantify your output, and help the recruiter understand your key responsibilities, and/or your ability to meet targets.

We understand that the most difficult time for perfecting your CV is when you’re applying for jobs as a law student. So if you take the time to get it right from the beginning, it make the entire process of getting a new job much simpler. By using the advice above and practicing your interview skills, you could find your dream job much quicker than you thought.

Need more advice? Why not download our graduate CV guide below? It’s got plenty of helpful tips to help you create a powerful CV. You can also visit our graduate hub for more advice on finding your first job after graduating.