How to write an effective judge CV (With example and tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 23 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A judge is a senior legal professional who presides over court proceedings and trials either alone or with other judges. In the course of their work, they hear evidence, make judgements, determine sentences, decide on complex points of law and ensure trials run smoothly. When a judge seeks promotion to a higher court or looks for new challenges when their judicial career ends, an up-to-date CV can help them achieve their goals. In this article, we explain how to write an effective judge CV and provide a template and tips to help you create this important document successfully.

Most suitable format for a judge CV

A judge is a highly experienced individual, so it's usually best to use a reverse-chronological format for a judge CV. With this format, you list your most recent and relevant details first and then move backwards through your employment and education history. This format provides a clear view of your professional development and upward career progression and helps to highlight consistent growth in your field. It's a popular choice for professionals such as judges who often have decades of experience and accomplishments to summarise on their CVs.

When creating any kind of CV, structure it carefully to avoid overcrowding. A well-written CV usually contains some key sections. These include:

  • contact information

  • professional summary

  • work experience

  • educational background

  • key skills

  • publications

  • professional memberships

  • hobbies and interests

Related: Best CV layout (With key sections to include and tips)

How to write an effective CV as a judge

To write an effective CV in reverse-chronological format, follow these steps to help you complete each section:

1. Provide accurate contact details

The first step is to include your contact information in a short section at the top of your CV. Include your name and judicial title, location, telephone number and email address. For your location, you can simply state the city or county in which you reside. Be sure that the email address you provide contains your full name and looks professional and that all your contact details are up to date and accurate.

Related: How to create an effective CV header (With examples)

2. Craft a succinct professional summary

The next step is to write a concise professional summary. This usually appears straight after your contact details at the top of your CV. Use this section to highlight your core attributes, skills and legal experiences and why you're the perfect candidate for the role for which you're applying. Ensure your professional summary is brief and to the point and doesn't contain more than three to five sentences.

Related: Guide to writing an effective CV summary (With examples)

3. Focus on your most recent positions

The third step is to provide your work history and professional experience, starting with your most recent judicial position. Most judges spend many years working as either a barrister or solicitor before entering the judiciary, so it's likely that you have lots of experience to include in this section. You may feel tempted to include every position you held during your legal career but this can make your CV too lengthy. Consider focusing on two or three of your most recent positions only.

Related: Judge responsibilities: primary duties and requirements

4. Include relevant educational achievements

The fourth step is to provide details about your educational accomplishments. Again, list your most recent qualifications first and be sure to include any specialist training or continuous professional education courses you have undertaken. Provide the name and location of each college you attended and the names of the awards you received.

Related: How to list education on a CV (Importance and examples)

5. List your key skills

Judges develop a wide-ranging skill set in the course of their careers, so it's a good idea to include a section on your CV where you can highlight your unique abilities and personal attributes. Include this section straight after your education details. If you're multilingual, have a reputation for writing logical and clear judgements or are proficient in using digital tools and courtroom technologies, list those facts here.

Related: Active listening skills for communication in the workplace

6. Highlight your published work

If you've published any articles in legal journals or publications, include this information on your CV in the next section. Publishing an article can enhance your visibility and highlight your expertise and legal credentials. You can communicate your views on judicial policy and matters of law through your published work and this can be helpful to other judges and legal practitioners.

Related: Barrister vs solicitor: difference and job requirements

7. Mention your professional memberships

If you're a member of any professional membership organisations or associations, list them next on your CV. These bodies represent the interests of their members and promote high standards of conduct. Being a member of such organisations can enhance your professional standing.

Related: What is a professional? (Definition, standard and types)

8. State your hobbies and interests

At the end of your CV, you can list your hobbies and interests. You can use this section to make your CV more personal and help it stand out. It allows the reader to gauge your personality and interests outside the courtroom. This section is optional so you can omit it if you have limited space.

Related: How to write about CV hobbies and interests (With examples)

Tips for creating an effective CV

You can use these tips to help you create an effective and professional-looking CV:

  • Make it easy to read. Ensure your CV is easy to read by using short sentences and bullet points and by including lots of white space around the margins. Choose a legible font like Times New Roman or Georgia set at 12 points in size for the body text and make section headers stand out by using bold formatting and a larger font size.

  • Keep it short. Limit the length of your CV to one or two pages. If it runs to three pages or more, look for opportunities to trim the content by leaving out irrelevant details or summarising the text more succinctly.

  • Use action verbs. The most effective CVs contain verbs that express action, such as chaired, coordinated, developed, enforced and so on. Action verbs add impact to your writing and help you provide clear and concise descriptions of your achievements and accomplishments.

  • Ensure all facts are accurate. Ensure the accuracy of every detail on your CV, as factual errors can negatively impact your credibility. As a judge, it's essential that people trust you and believe what you say.

CV template for judge

You can use this template to help you craft your CV:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional].

Experience
[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills
[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Education
[Degree and major], [Name of school or university]

[Certification name], [Host organisation] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Sample CV for a judge

Here's a sample CV you can use as a guide when creating your own CV:

Susan Murphy, Judge of the District Court
+35387 5555555 | susan.murphy@email.com | Cork

Professional Summary

I have five years of experience working as a district court judge, presiding over legal proceedings and adjudicating on points of law. My areas of judicial expertise include family law, civil law and criminal law. I am an impartial, independent, fair and courteous professional who has a track record of making courageous decisions and setting and maintaining high courtroom standards.

Experience
Judge | August 2017–Current
District Court | Cork

  • try 100+ complex civil cases involving contract breaches, personal injury claims and eviction orders

  • adjudicate on 200+ summary and indictable offences of a criminal nature including road-traffic and public-order offences

  • deal with 250+ sensitive family law cases involving guardianship, childcare and maintenance issues

  • contribute multiple articles to legal review journals on various judicial matters

  • conduct and publish research into proposed changes to the constitution

Barrister | March 2007–August 2017
Self-employed | Cork Circuit

  • provided expert legal advice to solicitors and clients in 400+ commercial and family law cases

  • negotiated settlements between clients and other parties

  • contributed expert opinion on legal issues to various media outlets

Skills Language skills | Active-listening | Critical thinking | Sound judgement | Empathy | Legal regulations

Education Advanced Diploma in Immigration and Asylum Law, King's Inns Dublin
Degree of Barrister-at-law, King's Inns, Dublin Master of Laws (LLM), University College, Dublin

The model shown is for illustration purposes only and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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