Quick Tips for Drafting Your Legal Resume

Published: November 13th, 2006

Category: Students

In General

• The format for a legal resume is different from your undergraduate resume.

• Legal employers expect to review only a one page legal resume.

• Each section should be formatted in reverse chronological order.

• Use a basic font like New Times Roman. Use a font size no smaller than 10.

• Be consistent in your formatting (margins, abbreviations, bold, italics, etc.).

• Print on good quality white or ivory paper.

• Your resume must eb error free. Have it proofed by several others.

Section I: Heading

• Include your name, address, phone number and email. You may want to include both your local and permanent address.

Section II: Education

• Your education section should begin with UF Law (since it is the most recent education endeavor for you), including the date you anticipate receiving your Juris Doctor (not doctorate).

• GPAs: include if above 3.0 or if specifically requested.

• Include honors and activities under the relevant degree. Do not combine these from each educational institution in a separate section.

Section III: Experience Section

• List your most recent job first, then continue in reverse chronological order.

• Include the name of each employer, your title, dates of employment, and the city/state of employment.

• Use action verbs to describe what you did.

• If space is an issue, consider omitting your less recent or non-legal jobs.

• If including non-legal jobs in your resume, highlight transferable skills that demonstrate writing, public speaking, or analytical ability.

Section IV: Other Potential Sections

• Languages – include level of ability (fluent, proficient, conversational, written, etc.).

• Community involvement can be put under a separate section or included in your experience section.

• Interests – It is advisable to include a brief interests section, but be descriptive. Don’t just state “reading” instead write “reading civil war history” or whatever is appropriate. Include interests that show you are well-rounded, not just all individual activities or sports, but a balance.

• Never include improper personal information such as health, date of birth, marital status. or your picture. Employers cannot consider resumes with this information for potential discrimination reasons.