How To Write a Solicitor CV (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 9 September 2022

Published 19 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A CV that highlights a candidate's achievements and skills is important for professionals in fields like academia, law and medicine. Employers and universities often expect a detailed CV to show them a candidate can complete challenging work in these fields. If you're interested in a career in law as a solicitor, it's useful to understand how to create a quality CV. In this article, we discuss the steps you can take to write a solicitor CV that improves your chances of getting hired or accepted into law school, plus tips for refining your document.

What is a solicitor CV?

A solicitor CV is a document that contains the work and educational history of a solicitor. A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, describes your professional experience to give employers a better idea of your knowledge and accomplishments. Potential employers review these documents to determine if someone is a good match for a job with their company as a solicitor, which is especially important for legal practitioners like solicitors who are vital to the safety and law enforcement efforts of many communities.

Related: How To Become a Solicitor

What to include in a solicitor CV

There are some common elements to include in a law CV whether you're applying for law school or a position as a solicitor. For example, it's important to include any previous education you have that relates to law, like undergraduate studies in political science or similar fields. You may also mention previous work or internship experience that makes you more capable of completing your studies or job duties.

You can also review the job listing or university application guidelines to help you understand what to include in your CV. Use these documents to guide you as you create your solicitor or law student CV and include any awards, certifications and experience you have that's outlined in these listings or guidelines.

Read more: What To Include in Your CV

How to write a solicitor CV

Follow these steps to help you create your CV for law school or a job as a solicitor:

1. Create a header with your personal information

Creating a header with your personal information and contact details helps potential employers and admissions offices keep track of your application and contact you for the next steps in the hiring or admissions process. Typically, the header of your CV is at the top of the document in a larger font so readers can easily find your personal information. For most CV headers, it's a good idea to only include this basic information about yourself for employers or admissions offices:

  • Full name

  • Home address or location

  • Mobile or home phone number

  • Professional email address

2. Write a unique personal statement

A unique personal statement is important for a successful law CV because it summarises your experience and abilities for employers and universities to get to know you better. This succinct statement typically outlines your previous law experience, relevant skills and significant achievements that make you a capable solicitor or law student. As you write your personal statement, try to include only the most important information about your career and education in law to gain the attention of the people reading your CV and encourage them to review your other qualifications.

3. Describe your key competencies and skills

Employers and admissions offices may like to see how you describe your strengths, and adding a list of your key competencies in law and skills that help you succeed can be useful for your CV. You can put these skills in a brief bulleted list to give readers an idea of what you do well while keeping your CV visually appealing and concise. Consider including skills and competencies that you find in the job listing or university website for which you're applying to show potential employers and universities you understand what they want from a candidate.

Related: 9 Essential Solicitor Skills

4. Include your employment history

When including your employment history on your CV, it's important to consider readability, accuracy and completeness so employers and admissions offices can better understand what you may offer to a job or law school. A CV typically contains all of your relevant employment history, including full-time and part-time jobs, internships and student work-study positions to show a fuller view of your background. For each position included on your CV, detail the title of your role, the dates during which you worked in that position and a bulleted list of the most important duties you performed.

5. Detail your educational qualifications

In this section, you can detail your educational qualifications and any courses you've taken that can help you be a better solicitor or law student. List your degrees, including the type of degree and the school you attended, plus relevant information about that degree, like any honours you received while at school and your grades. If you completed courses in university that helped you learn about being a solicitor or practising law, mention them in this section to further demonstrate your skill and knowledge.

6. Include additional relevant sections

Depending on your application and level of experience in law, you may add additional relevant sections that show your abilities to potential employers and admissions offices. These sections can include memberships to professional or student organisations, volunteer opportunities and community service and awards or certifications you've received outside of your schooling. Additional sections are optional, but consider adding some if you have professional experiences that may impress those who read your CV and improve your chances of getting hired or being accepted into law school.

7. Consider adding your hobbies and interests

Adding your hobbies and interests is optional, but this section can help potential employers and universities understand what you enjoy outside of work and what your personality is like. Try to keep this section short and mention activities that are work-appropriate and maintain your professionalism. Including hobbies and interests may help you build a connection with the readers of your CV, which can make them feel more comfortable speaking to you in an interview and may distinguish your application from others.

8. Mention your references

Including a statement about references in your CV is especially useful for students with little experience who are applying to law school. Typically, it's best to ask people to be your references and confirm their contact information before submitting your CV, but you can also write on your CV that references are available upon request. Doing this allows employers and admissions offices to confirm your work history and skills with professionals who are familiar with your work, which can make your application more appealing.

Related: CV Template for a Successful Application (With Example)

Tips for creating a quality solicitor CV

To create a quality CV detailing your law experience, consider the following tips:

  • Double-check your information. It's vital for your CV to have accurate information about your experience and history, so double-check what you've written before you submit the document for a solicitor position or to a law school. Honesty and accuracy on your CV allow those reading your CV to get to know you and understand how you can benefit each other.

  • Prepare to explain gaps in employment. Many professionals have gaps in their employment, but it's a good idea to prepare to explain these gaps if you have any on your CV. While employment gaps are common, employers like to know the reasons for them and how you've grown or developed despite them, so explain the situation honestly during an interview.

  • Show your knowledge of the industry. As you write your CV, try to show the people reading it you have a deep understanding of the legal practice and the responsibilities of a solicitor. For example, if you answered phones in a previous administrative role, describe this duty in a way that the skills you learned from it appear useful for a solicitor.

  • Think about the font and format. The style of your CV, including the font you use and the format of your sections, is a good indicator for readers that you put time and effort into creating this document. Use a readable font in black so readers can more easily look through your CV, and distinguish the sections of your document with bolded or enlarged headers.

  • Review templates and examples. To help guide you through creating your CV, consider reviewing CV templates and solicitor or law student CV examples online. These can give you a better understanding of how to format your document and what to include for a high-quality, comprehensive look at your background and experience.

  • Use relevant keywords. Using relevant keywords in your CV may increase the chances that your application makes it through an automated software program and gets the attention of a recruiter or admissions officer. You can typically find keywords, like necessary skills, qualifications and experiences, on a job listing or university application guideline page.

Related:

  • FAQ: How Much Does a Solicitor Make? (With Job Information)

  • How much do criminal solicitors make? (And how to earn more)

  • What does a civil litigation solicitor do? (Plus salary)

  • What does a solicitor do? (Legal specialisms explained)

  • Barrister vs. solicitor (definition, differences and duties)


Explore more articles