All good resumes contain many similar elements. Your resume should focus on your education, work experience, achievements and legal knowledge. Check if your law school has a career services office that can review your resume after you've completed a first draft. Additionally, begin developing strategies for what information you'll provide in your cover letters to potential employers.
Describing Job Experience
When creating a legal resume, describing your relevant job experience is essential. Mention any previous jobs with relevant legal aspects. Include information that highlights your research skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills and court experience. An example of a previous job description might read: "Smith Law Firm, Summer Associate 2012. Researched legal issues relating to estate law, tax law, civil litigation and corporate law. Responsible for drafting legal correspondence, memos and court briefs regarding complex corporate litigation and estate matters."
Highlighting Your Education
After highlighting your work experience, focus on notifying potential employers about your education. Include your undergraduate degree and any current degrees you are pursuing in law school or through a paralegal program. An example of a law school description might read: "Case Western School of Law, Juris Doctorate. Anticipated date of graduation, May 2014. Deans List: Fall 2012. Activities: Law Review, The Federalist Society, President of the Case Internet Law Journal. 2011-2012. Member of the Women's Lawyer Division"
Show Off Your Skills
Highlight other skills relevant to the legal market. For example, if you are proficient in a foreign language, say so in your resume. Mention any professional affiliations or software skills you possess. A legal intern resume may read: "Skills/Professional Designations: Fluent in Spanish, certified in LexisNexis, Member of the Philadelphia County Bar Association."
Potential employers will read your cover letter before reviewing your resume, so spend ample time creating a strong impression. In addition to summarizing your qualifications, a cover letter stands as an example of your proficiency in writing. An example of an introductory paragraph to a cover letter might read: "Dear Employer, I'm a third year law student attending law school at Case Western School of Law and I'm writing regarding your legal internship openings. As I intend to begin my legal career in the Los Angeles area, I was very excited to hear about the openings in your office." A closing paragraph might read: "My resume and writing examples are attached for your review. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications with you in person. Please contact me directly at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Signed, Legal Intern."
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