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Alison James – Legal Assistant
Address: 1234 The Street, nottingham NG1 2DY
I am a Legal Assistant with 18 months’ work experience across the Private Client and Conveyancing departments of a Solicitors’ firm. Both departments are very busy and I am used to working in a pressured environment with deadlines. I am confident with attending clients in person and on the phone, and preparing correspondence and a range of documents. I have excellent IT skills, strong communication skills and good attention to detail. I have completed my CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Legal Practice, with Conveyancing/Land Law as a specialism.
M & Co Solicitors, Nottingham
June 2018 – date
In this position I initially spent 5 months in the firm’s Private Client department assisting with the preparation of correspondence, LPAs and Wills, before moving to the Conveyancing department. I currently provide assistance to the Conveyancing Fee Earners with the progression of sales, purchases, transfers of equity and remortgage applications. My duties include:
- Answering client calls and emails, responding where I can and providing updates
- Dealing with calls and queries from other solicitors and estate agents
- Managing fee earners’ appointments / diary
- Drafting conveyancing forms and documents
- Applying for searches
- Producing draft reports for clients from the search results
- Drafting bills and completion statements
- Preparing SDLT returns
- Preparing Land Registry applications and dealing with requisitions
- Handing post completion
- Opening and closing files
Shermill Stores, Nottingham
September 2016 – May 2018
I worked part time (14 hours per week) as a shop assistant at this busy store whilst completing my A Levels. This position helped me develop strong customer care skills, good time management, team working skills and good numeracy skills.
- Able to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook to a good standard
- Good verbal communication skills – confident dealing with clients, solicitors and other parties
- Good written communication skills – confident drafting letters, forms and documents
- Competent user of Law Fusion Practice Management System
CILEX Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice
Institute of Legal Executives
Completed June 2019
This qualification included:
- Introduction to Law and Practice
- Client Care Skills
- Legal Research Skills
- Conveyancing Practice
- Land Law
Toot Hill School, Bingham
Completed May 2018
Toot Hill School, Bingham
Completed June 2016
9 GCSEs Grade C and above including English (B) and Maths (B).
Outside of work, I am Captain of my local women’s football team. I have held this position for a year, and I have played football for various teams for more than 3 years. Playing in the team has not only kept me fit and healthy, but it also has helped me develop a wide range of skills, from leadership and organization through to discipline and respect.
I also coach a group of 6 – 8 year olds at our local school once a week, which keeps me on my toes!
When I’m not playing football, I enjoy going to the gym, watching ice hockey and building my photography skills.
References from my current and previous roles are available on request.
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How to write a Legal Assistant CV:
Provide your name, address, phone number and email address.
You may also wish to provide social media handles such as LinkedIn or Twitter. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to expand on the information contained in your CV and give yourself a competitive advantage. Find out how to create a killer LinkedIn CV here.
If you regularly tweet about legal developments, it’s also worth including your Twitter handle. This shows prospective employers that you have a real interest in law and that you keep up to date with the latest legislation and cases.
TIP: Additional language skills can be a huge advantage, so if you can converse with clients in another language, mention it here!
Your profile is an opportunity to grab the recruiter’s attention with just a few lines. Before you start, study the job advert carefully and pick out the requirements that are most important to the employer.
If the job advert contains little detail, take a look at some job description sites for inspiration. These will help you focus on the skills and experience that are likely to be most important. A Legal Assistant’s duties are similar to those of a Paralegal. See, for example:
It’s easy enough to list off skills such as legal research or the ability to work under pressure, but it’s more powerful if you can weave evidence of how you’ve used those skills into your CV. If you’re currently working in a very busy department, say so! This shows you can manage a pressured environment far better than you simply stating that you can.
List your work experience, most recent first. Look at the job advert carefully and try to highlight duties and experience which matches what the employer is looking for.
Generally, employers in this industry want assistants who can take as much burden off their busy fee earners as possible. Put yourself in the position of a fee earner and ask what skills you can offer which would allow them to focus on the more technical aspects of their role. For example, if you have experience with tasks that are typically reserved for fee earners, such as meeting or taking instructions from clients, detail this on your CV. Or perhaps you have previously assisted a fee earner with some legal research –
You may have already highlighted some of your skills in your profile and work history, but it is worth including anything here that either (a) the employer wants specifically or (b) would give you an advantage. For example, as a Legal Assistant, you may have used one or more Practice Management Systems before – and this can be useful when joining a new firm. Alternatively perhaps you’re confident with legal research software packages such as LexisNexis or Westlaw, or hard copy legal sources – and you’re confident researching points of law. Highlighting these skills in a separate section can ensure that prospective employers who are scanning through your CV can quickly see that you are an excellent candidate.
Your qualifications should be listed with the highest achievement first.
Whilst Legal Assistants aren’t expected to have formal legal qualifications, they can be an advantage. CILEX offer a wide range of qualifications including some targeted specifically at those kick-starting their legal career. These can lead to more advanced qualifications such as acceptance as a Fellow of the Institute.
If you have completed GCSEs or A Levels, detail these here. If you have a degree, it is not usually necessary to include your GCSEs, although sometimes it is worth including them. For example, if your degree is in a more creative subject (such as Art or Music), you may want to use your certificates to show you have a good standard of English and Maths.
Although there’s no obligation to include an ‘Interests’ section, your hobbies and interests outside of work can help demonstrate further valuable soft skills. For example, taking part in sports can show teamwork, whilst coaching can show leadership and mentoring skills.
Your interests can also help demonstrate that you take an interest in your health and wellbeing, implying that it is less likely you’ll take a lot of sick days.
The references section is optional and if you’re struggling for space, it’s fine to leave it off. Many people who are currently working avoid giving reference contacts on their CV, in case the prospective employer contacts the reference before making a job offer (although this is rare). It is perfectly acceptable to write ‘references available on request’ or simply to leave the section off altogether.
NB: This Legal Assistant CV template was originally published 11th February 2016 and has been completely updated for 2021.