Are you looking to write your perfect Barrister CV?
A barrister’s job involves providing legal advice and representation to clients, often in courtrooms. To secure this job, you’ll need a well-crafted CV to showcase your qualifications, experience and achievements.
This article serves as your comprehensive guide, offering step-by-step instructions, invaluable tips and real examples to assist you in creating a compelling CV that will make your application stand out. Let’s get started!
I am a confident, hardworking and charismatic Barrister with excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to think and process information logically and clearly. I have a strong understanding of the Law and strive to advise my clients on legal matters to the best of my ability. In my current job, I am closely involved with domestic and international human rights law, practice and policy. I have an ongoing passion for resolving legal cases, and I am currently looking to progress my career in a legal role working for an established and progressive company.
1st class degree in Law from the University of Newcastle
Scholarship with Middle Temple to complete BPTC, 2015
President of Law Society at the University of Newcastle, 2014
2013 – 2014
Bar Professional Training Course
The University of Law
Grade achieved: [Very Competent]
2010 – 2013
LLB (Honours) Law
University of Newcastle
Grade achieved: [1:1]
Legal Method & Ethics
Law of the European Union
Equity and Trusts
2009 – 2011 Results: Economics: A English Language: B Law: A
Ridgewood Sixth Form
May 2014 – Present
Barrister Farringdon Barristers Chambers (FBC)
Main duties performed:
Giving advice, guidance and support to solicitors and clients
Carrying out legal research and drafting up legal documents
Understanding, interpreting and applying the law to individual cases
Offering strong and reliable advice with regard to clients’ cases and explaining the strength of the arguments to be presented
Regularly communicating with clients related to the progress of their case(s)
Ensuring all cases are correctly prepared for court
Negotiating settlements between customers and third parties
Representing clients in court charged with a variety of crimes including sexual, drug and violent offences
Examining and cross-examining witnesses
Keeping up to date with national and international current affairs, law and policy
Feb 2013 – Apr 2014
Legal Secretary FBC
Main duties performed:
Responding to all correspondents via a number of different platforms including email, telephone and in some cases social media
Organising online diaries and meetings between internal and external stakeholders
Preparing legal documentation and paperwork
Ensuring all records are stored correctly and made accessible to the correct individuals when needed
Processing legal documentation, including the delivery and collection from external partners
Carrying out general admin work
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
NVQ Level 4 in Legal Advice
ECDL – British Computing Society
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
Strong research and analytical skills, demonstrated in providing accurate advice to clients with a successful outcome
Excellent knowledge of the law, business practices and government regulations
Ability to work with confidential and sensitive information and adhere to the relevant Data Protection and Privacy laws
Able to work in high pressured environments and remain calm and professional in all circumstances
Ability to work with people from all backgrounds
Hobbies and interests
In my spare time, I enjoy reading non-fiction books and watching reality TV programmes such as Judge Judy and Judge Rinder. I also enjoy going out to restaurants with my family and friends.
Mr Isaac Morgan Director, FBC Address: 75 Nelson St, Wareham, W1 1RD Tel: 0780 6648 8372 Email:[email protected]
What makes this CV good and effective?
Impactful personal profile: The personal profile stands out as concise and impactful, effectively summarising the barrister’s key strengths, legal expertise and professional goals. This section provides recruiters with a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s strengths and abilities.
Prominent achievements: The candidate has placed three of their main achievements prominently at the top of the first page of their CV, making it more impressive and impactful.
Structured format enhancing readability: The CV follows a clear and logical structure with distinct sections for personal details, personal profile, education, professional experience and skills. The consistent use of fonts and formatting throughout enhances readability, contributing to a polished and professional appearance.
Tailored alignment with job requirements: The CV is tailored to the specific legal role, aligning the candidate’s skills and experiences with the requirements of the position.
Balanced length and detail: The document’s length adheres to the general guideline of not exceeding two pages, striking a balance between providing enough detail to showcase the candidate’s expertise and maintaining the recruiter’s interest.
Use a professional layout: Utilise a clean and professional layout, ensuring your CV is well-organised and easy to navigate. A visually appealing document immediately captures the attention of prospective employers.
Highlight legal qualifications: Showcase your legal qualifications prominently, including your Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and any relevant degrees. Clearly outline the depth of your legal education to establish your credentials.
Key skills snapshot: Use a dedicated section to outline key skills, such as legal research, case analysis, and courtroom advocacy. This snapshot allows employers to quickly identify your core competencies.
Ensure a visually appealing CV with a consistent font, appropriate use of bold or italic text and clear headings to enhance readability. A well-presented document reflects your attention to detail and professionalism.
Case highlights: Incorporate a section detailing notable cases you’ve worked on, emphasising your role and achievements. Provide specific examples of successful outcomes and your contributions to each case.
Your CV’s personal profile is your chance to make a strong first impression.
It’s a brief, compelling statement at the beginning of your CV that introduces you to potential employers, highlighting your key skills, experience and career goals. Think of it as your personal pitch – a concise snapshot that showcases who you are, what you excel at and what you’re looking to achieve in your next role.
Keep it tailored to the job you’re applying for, focusing on what makes you stand out and why you’re the right fit for the position.
Clear expertise statement: Example: Experienced Barrister skilled in criminal law, offering 10+ years of expertise with a focus on strategic case analysis and persuasive courtroom advocacy.
Specialisations and achievements: Example: Specialised in commercial litigation, achieving notable success, including a high-profile criminal case acquittal.
Client-centric approach: Example: Client-oriented Barrister known for building strong relationships and delivering tailored legal solutions.
Align with job requirements: Example: Seeking a position where my family law expertise and strong advocacy skills contribute to positive legal outcomes.
A highly skilled Barrister with over a decade of experience in criminal law, specialising in high-profile cases. Successfully defended clients in notable trials, including securing acquittals in complex fraud cases. Proven track record of providing strategic legal counsel and achieving favourable outcomes for clients. Adept at navigating intricate legal nuances and delivering compelling arguments in court. Committed to upholding justice and maintaining the highest ethical standards.
You can include accomplishments such as successful project completions, leadership roles, certifications, excellent grades, industry awards and any other recognitions that demonstrate your skills and contributions in the workplace.
Achieved a First-Class Honours degree in Law from Oxford University, demonstrating academic excellence.
Successfully defended clients in multiple complex fraud cases, resulting in favourable outcomes.
Promoted to Senior Barrister within three years for exceptional courtroom advocacy and legal acumen.
Recognised for excellence in client communication and maintaining a 95% client satisfaction rate.
In the employment history section of your CV, showcase your professional journey by detailing your previous roles, responsibilities and achievements.
Start with your most recent position and work backwards, highlighting key accomplishments, demonstrating the impact of your contributions and using quantifiable results where possible to make your experience stand out.
January 2020 – Present
Barrister ABC Chambers, London
Main duties and responsibilities performed:
Represented clients in high-profile criminal trials, achieving a 90% success rate in securing favourable outcomes.
Provided expert legal advice on complex cases, contributing to the resolution of intricate legal matters.
Conducted legal research, drafted pleadings, and presented persuasive arguments in court.
Collaborated with colleagues to develop innovative case strategies, resulting in successful litigation tactics.
Achievements: Successfully defended clients in multiple complex fraud cases, earning recognition for outstanding courtroom advocacy and legal acumen.
Conducting legal research to stay abreast of case law, statutes and regulations relevant to ongoing and potential cases.
Drafting legal documents, including pleadings, briefs and opinions, with meticulous attention to detail.
Representing clients in court, presenting compelling legal arguments and cross-examining witnesses.
Providing expert legal advice to clients, explaining complex legal concepts in a clear and accessible manner.
Negotiating settlements and agreements on behalf of clients, seeking optimal outcomes.
Collaborating with solicitors, paralegals and support staff to build strong case strategies.
Developing and maintaining relationships with clients, ensuring effective communication throughout legal proceedings.
Attending conferences, hearings, and meetings to discuss case developments and strategies.
Continuously updating legal knowledge to adapt to changes in legislation and case law.
Upholding the highest ethical standards and professional conduct in all legal activities.
The education section of your CV should be presented in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent qualifications.
Include the type of qualifications attained, such as degrees, A-Levels, diplomas or any relevant certifications. Clearly state the name of the university or educational institution, along with the dates of attendance and the grades achieved.
September 2013 – June 2015 Results: A in Law, B in English Literature, C in History.
City College, London
Professional training and qualifications
In the professional training and qualifications section of your CV, you detail relevant certifications, professional development courses and any specialised training you have undertaken to showcase your expertise and commitment to continuous learning in your field.
For your role, this may include completion of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), participation in advocacy workshops and attainment of additional certifications in specialised legal areas such as family law or commercial litigation.
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) – The City Law School
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) – University of Oxford
Bar Vocational Course (BVC) – Lincoln’s Inn
Mooting and Advocacy Skills Certificate – Inner Temple
Master of Laws (LLM) in Criminal Law – King’s College London
Call to the Bar – Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
Certificate in Legal Practice – Solicitors Regulation Authority
Advanced Negotiation Skills for Lawyers – The Law Society
Certificate in International Commercial Arbitration – Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Skills and abilities
The skills section of your CV highlights your specific abilities, expertise and proficiencies relevant to the job, providing a concise overview of your capabilities for potential employers.
Case preparation and strategy: Expertise in meticulous case preparation, contributing to successful litigation strategies.
Negotiation and settlement: Successful track record of negotiating favourable settlements in civil and criminal cases.
Courtroom advocacy: Skilful at presenting compelling legal arguments and persuading judges or juries to achieve favourable outcomes.
Client relationship management: Proven ability to establish and maintain positive client relationships, ensuring satisfaction and trust.
Time management and prioritisation: Effectively managing multiple cases simultaneously, meeting tight deadlines.
Dispute resolution: Skilled in mediating and resolving disputes outside of court, minimising legal proceedings when possible.
Team collaboration: Working effectively with legal teams, solicitors, and other professionals to achieve common goals.
Legal research and analysis: Proficient in thorough legal research, ensuring a solid foundation for case strategies and decisions.
Public speaking: Confidence and eloquence in public speaking engagements, including seminars or client presentations.
Appellate advocacy: Proficiency in presenting cases on appeal, showcasing legal knowledge and argumentative skills at higher court levels.
Hobbies & interests
In the hobbies and interests section of your CV, you have an opportunity to showcase aspects of your personality that complement your professional skills.
Including hobbies related to law, such as participation in legal debate societies or pro bono work, can highlight your commitment to the legal field.
Additionally, mentioning interests outside of law, such as involvement in community initiatives or sports, can provide a well-rounded view of you as an individual, demonstrating qualities like teamwork, leadership or community engagement.
Outside the courtroom, I am an avid reader of legal literature, keeping abreast of recent case law developments and enhancing my legal knowledge. I also engage in mooting competitions, honing my advocacy skills and staying connected with the dynamic legal landscape. Additionally, I am a member of a local debating society, fostering my ability to think critically and articulate complex legal arguments persuasively.
In this final part of your CV, you can include details of individuals who can vouch for your professional abilities and character.
Ideally, these referees should be people you’ve worked closely with, such as former colleagues or supervisors.
Provide their full names, job titles, company names, email addresses and telephone numbers, ensuring they are willing to speak positively about your skills and suitability for the role. Remember to seek their permission before listing them as references.
Mr. Richard Harrington Barrister, Legal Minds Chambers Address: 193 Justice Street, London, EC1A 1BB Tel: 020 1234 5678 Email:[email protected]
Highlight legal specialisations: Clearly outline any specialized areas of law in which you excel, such as criminal law, family law or commercial law, to attract employers seeking specific expertise.
Use action verbs: Employ dynamic action verbs like “negotiated,” “defended,” or “resolved” to convey a sense of energy and accomplishment in your CV.
Showcase language proficiency: If applicable, highlight any language skills that may be relevant to the legal field, especially in cases involving international law or diverse clientele.
Convey passion for the Law: Throughout your CV and application, express your passion for the legal profession and your commitment to upholding the principles of justice in every case.
Emphasise continuous professional development: Include details about ongoing legal education, certifications or training to demonstrate your commitment to staying abreast of the latest legal developments.
Written by Sobhan Mohmand Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).
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