When preparing a resume, lawyers should make sure to include critical elements to stand out and appeal to potential employers. The following are what should appear on a good resume.
The very first thing for applicants to consider is the general layout of a resume. The resume must look polished and well-constructed enough to best represent the attorney. A good design is highly readable, aesthetically appealing, and well-organized.
For help with designing resumes, attorneys can turn to online resources and university websites like Yale for more assistance.
On the resume, the text should begin with a heading that includes the lawyer’s name, phone number, mailing address, and email address at the very top. The heading could include either a permanent or current address, or it can include both. The heading may also include the attorney’s preferred gender pronouns.
Summary statements are essentially opening statements for lawyer resumes. This statement should clearly describe who an attorney is and what they’re about, which is more likely to leave a good first impression for hiring law firms.
Summary statements are typically around two to four sentences long and discuss the lawyer, what the lawyer intends to contribute to a firm, and the attorney’s achievements.
Another item that attorney candidates should include on their resumes is a list of degrees. On a lawyer’s resume, it’s important to list degrees in reverse chronological order and exclude high school degrees. In addition to degrees, attorneys should list activities and honors for each school.
Attorneys should think about the specialized skills they possess and list them first before other skills. Many law firms will look for legal-industry-specific or interpersonal skills, and some may want to see both.
Some potential legal skills that an attorney could list include legal research, oral communication and arguments, and persuasive writing skills. When it comes to interpersonal skills, lawyers could list negotiation, conflict mediation and resolution, and problem-solving.
Attorneys should show what kind of technology they know how to use in the legal industry. For instance, attorneys may use certain Clio software like Clio Grow and Clio Manage to help manage their practice.
Including these and other items such as experience, ideal legal practice areas, and other details can make for a successful lawyer resume.
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