The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

• Work experience/employment history - use reverse chronological order. Show the dates of work experience, including the name of the employer and the town/city it is based in. Mention any work experience, including any voluntary and seemingly less relevant jobs – for example, bar work shows you have experience of a customer/client- facing role and working under pressure. • Other skills and interests - non-academic

to highlight your unique selling points, provide extra information in support of your application and convey your motivation for the job. The golden rule of covering letters is to keep them brief – no longer than one A4 page. The first paragraph should mention the position that you are applying for, the year of entry and, if it was advertised, where you saw the vacancy. The second paragraph should say why you want to work for the firm or set and what you can offer it. The third paragraph should close on a positive note, saying you look forward to hearing from the recruiter at his or her convenience, with your mobile number and any dates on which you are unavailable for interview. Never write a standard covering letter to accompany all of your applications. ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ will not do. Be sure to tailor each letter to the firm/chambers to which you are applying. Clarity, neatness and courtesy are all equally important. CVs If one of your target firms or sets requires a CV rather than its own form, use this to your advantage. Unlike application forms, a CV gives you the chance to create your own personal record of achievements in a format that you control. The content of your CV should comprise the following. • Personal details - include your name, address, telephone number and email address. Nationality and date of birth are optional. • Education and qualifications - set out your most recent achievements in detail. Recruiters are more interested in how you performed in your year-end exams than how good you were at GCSE.

skills include leadership, teamwork, flexibility, judgement, commercial

awareness, imagination, adventurousness and diligence. They are often best illustrated and reflected through cultural, social, sporting, travel and independent activities and hobbies. But remember: the facts must ultimately support your application to become a lawyer. In particular, non-law graduates should highlight any legal work experience that they have in order to prove their commitment to law. • References - it is standard practice to include two references: one academic and one relating to work experience or general character. Check with your intended referees in advance that it’s okay to mention them and offer to send them a copy of your application. Further reading: There is a wealth of useful application advice on LawCareers.Net – type ‘application’ and ‘interview’ in the search bar for comprehensive guidance on every stage of the process, from initial research to performing in an interview or assessment centre.

Reality check: A key point when applying: tell the truth. Seems obvious, but sometimes it’sworth reiterating, as one barrister we spoke to emphasised: “Don’t lie and don’t write about things that you don’t knowanything about. If you are caught out, it is incredibly embarrassing and the end of your chance of a pupillage.” You have beenwarned.


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