Seeking a career in law? A stellar legal résumé is key. A legal resume is in simple format and states your work history, academics, and on occasion, your publications. It does not need to include too much “fluff” and should be easy to read.
As an executive senior partner in Lucas Group’s legal division, I have made numerous placements with law firms and in-house counsel with companies. I know how much an effective resume matters in this profession. Below are ten curated legal résumé tips that will help yours stand out.
1. Keep it simple – fancy résumés distract from the content. It also should not state an objective or have a summary at the top.
2. It needs to be easy to read, preferably with bullets or in paragraph format. I also recommend a simple template.
3. It’s essential to have your résumé tailored to the position that you are applying to. Recruiters will usually not consider résumés that appear generic or too general.
4. Brag! Your résumé should highlight accomplishments and outstanding academics.
5. Always state your academic achievements. Things that help résumés stand out are a high GPA or class rank.
6. Conversely, do not include your GPA or class rank if it is not impressive, or even if it’s just average.
7. Include bullets that state not only the subject matter of your practice but also your involvement in the transaction/case.
8. If you have a clerkship or impressive internship (for example, with the SEC), then be sure to list it.
9. Proof read! Ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors. Also, be consistent with periods at end of bullets; either have them on all of the bullets or do not include them at all.
10. Professionalism is key. Never put your picture on your résumé. Also, never have the font in different colors and keep fonts consistent.
Writing a legal résumé is straight forward if you follow these tips. The most effective ones are simple and make it easy to identify the applicant’s most impressive achievements.
What are your top tips for writing a legal résumé?