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Preparing applications for positions in law firms is a most gruelling and stressful process that involves a lot of work on behalf of the applicant.

We strongly recommend that applicants read the latest publications on the subject, as trends in the sector change quickly and often.

Here are a few tips we think are important to consider when applying to a law firm.

The first thing to know is that the application process is designed not only to allow the firm to know who you are, but also to allow you to know more about the firm. It is therefore important to be accurate and honest about your history and credentials in your application. Not doing so would not only raise questions about your character, but would also be a disservice to your own career: the firm you are applying to is in the best position to know whether or not the open position would be adapted to your resume, and can avoid you wasting months in a position that is unfulfilling and fails to advance your career.

Your application should give a general overview of your qualifications and credentials. It should also focus on your qualities and weaknesses. If you feel that a particular weakness could seriously compromise your chances of obtaining a post, you should consider bringing it up from the outset, explaining the reasons for this issue. If you feel it would be helpful, consider attaching a letter from a credible third party explaining this issue (for example, a former employer or professor).

Unless specifically directed otherwise, a CV should always be accompanied by a cover letter.

Be wary of copy-paste – you can be sure that an application addressed to another firm will not be read past the address line.

Be sure that your letter is formatted and drafted in accordance with standard practise in business letters – it is a sign that you are ready and able to start working productively on day 1.

You should only apply to a position after having taken the time to familiarise yourself with the firm you are applying to and, where possible, its current needs with regards to the open position. This will help you highlight those qualities you possess that you feel would be most interesting to the firm. This can be done by reading the firm’s Website, as well as reading articles written by the firm, or about it by outside sources (Chambers, IFLR, etc.).

Always specify the position and practise group you are applying to.

Check your application for spelling errors, formatting errors and presentation, and when you are done, check it again. Nothing gives a worse impression than a glaring spelling or typing error in a CV, especially when applying for a position in the legal industry, where every word counts.

Furthermore, if you claim to be familiar with Microsoft Office or other word-processing tools, you should be sure that your CV is formatted in a presentable and professional manner.

We at Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm request that all CVs be submitted in Word format at the very least, although you are welcome to submit a PDF copy as well.

Your CV should be concise, 1 or 2 pages long depending on the length of your legal career, and include thorough yet succinct information on your professional, academic and relevant extra-curricular background. Always be sure that the firm reading your CV can readily understand the relevance of your experience to the firm’s work.

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