Attorney Resume Tips For Recent Law Graduates

A competitive attorney resume is one that is impressive and noteworthy enough to obtain a second look by a recruiter or hiring personnel. Law firms and corporations do not necessarily require a specific format for the resumes they receive, but they certainly pay closer attention to job applicants who submit well-organized professional attorney resumes. That said, recent law graduates might consider taking a different approach to their attorney resume from those of experienced attorneys.

Recent graduates or those who have recently passed the bar exam should create an attorney resume that effectively describes skills acquired through the various projects and the professional experience they have acquired, even if limited. They should emphasize activities and training received through civic or community service. In order to lessen the lack of work experience, the educational background should be highlighted and explained in great detail.

Accomplishments always make a positive impression on hiring personnel—this is true for both for recent law graduates and experienced attorneys. Recent law graduates that are active in extra-curricular activities should describe in details the accomplishments and awards they have earned, as well as the lessons and skills they have learned through them. Memberships and affiliations are also important to include; such experience could highlight one’s ability to network, a desired trait in attorney applicants.

All recent law graduate attorney resumes should include the following sections, in the following order:

• Education
• Experience
• Activities
• Memberships
• Bar Admission Status

Recent graduates should list under the “Experience” section their internships, summer positions, legal clinic positions, or other related legal activities. While these non-professional activities might serve as the only job experience enumerated on the attorney resume, they should nevertheless be explained and made relevant to the type of legal position sought. Accomplishments should also be used to describe the abilities acquired from each experience. Last but not least, an effective attorney resume should be perfectly written. So don’t forget to check your grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

By: Denise Werner

Date: 07/16/12