How NOT to Write a Law CV

2014-04-09 12:22 PMComment

Writing a CV as part of your training contract application can be a pretty nerve-wracking task. We thought we’d help you out by showing you exactly what NOT to do! Allow us to introduce the irrepressible Brian Johnson. Check out his CV to get a good idea of what you most definitely shouldn’t be including in your training contract application. Disclaimer: any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental…

“That’s me on the right.”


Brian ‘The Ambassador’ Johnson



I am a dynamic law grad with a knapsack full of commercial awareness and a bum bag (a.k.a. ‘fanny pack’ to all you American firms) full of passion.


Here are some words which describe me perfectly: debonair, rambunctious, judgemental, voluptuous, crepuscular, hard-working, hilarious.


I love, love, LOVE working long hours and I’m ready to put my plums on the line for your lovely law firm. After all, I’m incredibly keen to earn a salary which will allow me to satisfy my appetite for expensive trainers, Carr’s Cheese Melts and impromptu weekend breaks in Western Europe.


I have a law degree and I’m packing a serious amount of commercial awareness, spatial awareness and self-awareness. Sort me out with a ‘Trainy C’ and you won’t be disappointed. Trust.


September 2008 – May 2011 - Bronsford University


LLB (2:1) - Sometimes I have the capacity to surprise myself.


September 2000 – June 2008 - Bracklebury Grammar School


A-levels - History (A), English Literature (A), Français (B), General Studies (U)


GCSEs – A mixed bag of As, Bs and Cs.

Work Experience

February 2012 - Work Experience @ Beyton Solicitors (Scunthorpe, UK)


Responsibilities included:


- Soliciting;

- Photocopying documents, blank pieces of paper, my face etc.

- Basking in the warm embrace of freshly-copied sheets;

- Drafting emails to clients, my ex-girlfriend and Roberta, the overly friendly legal secretary;

- Doodling;

- Shadowing an associate;

- Referring to myself as ‘The Shadow’; 

- Attending court on two separate occasions;

- Napping in court on two separate occasions;

- Conducting research (40% legal documents, 20% RollOnFriday, 20% BBC Sport website, 10% Twitter, 5% Kemp Folds Tumblr, 3% Freecycle, 2% 'stain removal' Google search).


June 2011 to August 2011 – Bartender @ The Willows Health Club (Kent, UK)


Responsibilities included:


- Inadvertently pouring pints with ‘continental’ heads;

- Flaring (unsuccessfully);

- Sweeping up broken glass;

- Pronouncing mojito ‘mo-jee-tao’ to annoy my boss;

- Flirting outrageously with old women in the hunt for tips;

- Massaging the egos of octogenarian men in the hunt for tips;

- Putting on a namby-pamby southern accent in the hunt for better tips;

- Frequently seeking refuge from my tedious duties by napping in the linen closet;

- Burying my face in a pile of freshly-washed complimentary towels #bliss;

- Unsuccessfully attempting to romance Stacey Smith (a.k.a. ‘the FITNESS instructor’) in the health club’s hot tub.


August 2010 - Vacation Scheme @ Johnson, Jammo & Big Kev (Malaga, Spain)


Responsibilities included:


- Fostering international ‘relationships’ (wink, wink, nudge, nudge);

- Gaining plenty of ‘experience’ (wink, wink, nudge, nudge);

- Overseeing ‘mergers’ and ‘acquisitions’ (wink, wink, nudge, nudge);

- Conducting hands-on research into a number of legal issues (personal injury and public order offences);

- ‘Liaising’ with the police on at least two occasions.


March 2010 - Student Pro Bono Project @ Bronsford University (Kent, UK)


Responsibilities included:


- Attending three weekly meetings in a vain attempt to improve my CV;

- Enjoying it immensely when our elderly supervisor pronounced it ‘pro boner’ on one occasion;

- Managing to avoid actually doing anything.


July 2008 - Receptionist/Office Whipping Boy (Temp) @ Beezley Paper Supplies (Scunthorpe, UK)


Responsibilities included:


- Fake smiling, filing and compiling (listed in order of importance);

- Data input;

- More data input;

- Overfeeding the company goldfish, Mitzy;

- Answering the phone almost every time it rang;

- Reading Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth;

- Visiting the toilet twice an hour to play Tetris;

- General admin;

- Making excuses when invited out for ‘work drinks’ by my abhorrent colleagues.


August 2007 to March 2008 - Burger Flipper/Chip Fryer (Part-time) @ Wimpy Restaurant (Scunthorpe, UK)


Responsibilities included:


- Wearing an oddly flattering outfit;

- Sporting my chef’s hat at a jaunty angle;

- Flipping burgers, frying chips, dousing everything with gallons of oil;

- Resisting the temptation to find out exactly what they put in the milkshakes;

- Chuckling when anybody ordered the ‘Bender in a Bun’ burger;

- Being overly liberal with the salt shaker;

- Feigning deafness when taking drive-thru orders;

- Avoiding eye contact with other employees at all costs.

Skills & Achievements

- My first word was ‘bamboozle’;

- Rock (Expert), Paper (Expert), Scissors (Intermediate);

- Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Paint, Minesweeper;

- Facebooking, Tweeting, Myspace-ing, Bebo-ing, Pinteresting;

- Passing the Cycling Proficiency Test with flying colours;

- Reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League with Scunthorpe United on Football Manager;

- I once managed to fit two entire packs of Trebor Extra Strong Mints in my tiny mouth;

- Duke of Edinburgh Award – Bronze (incomplete).

Hobbies & Interests

- Law;

- Magic: The Gathering;

- The endless pursuit of true love;

- Reading anything which is loosely cited as an attempt to write the ‘Great American Novel’.





To get some proper advice on writing a law CV, check out our law CV advice articles.


If you're currently on the hunt for a training contract, you should probably check out our Training Contract Deadlines page on! Most deadlines are really soon: July 31st. Quick, go, before it's too late!

Image courtesy of Peter Galvin, 'The Family Portrait'


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