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How to Write a Resume for a Law Firm

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You make your first impression on a law firm when you send in your resume and ask for an interview. In a competitive legal market, a law firm can receive hundreds of resumes for just one job posting; therefore, it is important to put your best foot forward to make yourself stand out in the stack of resumes that one firms receives.

The Heading

Start your heading and center it at the top of the page. Include your name in the first line of the heading. The second line should state your mailing address. The third line should include your telephone number and your e-mail address. If you have passed the bar exam, list the state in which you are licensed. If you have simply taken the bar exam, state that you await results. If you have not yet taken a bar exam, state the date you will sit for the bar exam.

Education Section

In the education section, list the law school you attended and your dates of attendance. If you earned any academic honors during your time in law school, list them in this section. If your GPA is at least 3.0, include it here. List any activities you took part in and any organizations you belonged to while in law school. These might include law review, law journal, moot court and trial competition. Next, list your undergraduate institution and the dates you attended that institution. List any academic honors you achieved, and list your GPA if it is above a 3.0. Some firms select interview candidates based on GPA; others select interview candidates based on experience. List the legal experience section next if you are a new attorney. If not, place the legal experience section before the education section.

Experience Section

Start this section by listing any articles you have written that have been published in a law review or legal journal. Include the name of the publication, the date of publication and the name of the article here. State your work experience. Include the name of the company or firm where you worked and the city and state where it is located. Briefly describe the work you did at each job, and include dates on each job entry. If you are a new attorney, your legal work experience will consist of work you have done as a law clerk, a summer associate or an intern. If you want to practice in a certain area, put the experience you have in that area above all other experience. For example, if you want to practice criminal law, list the internship you had at the district attorney's office first.

Other Experience, Skills, Interests

If you do not have much legal experience, include a section for other work experience. Then list the jobs you did that are not related to the legal field. You do not need to detail the duties or responsibilities you had with these jobs. List any languages or special skills in which you have proficiency. The ability to speak a foreign language could give you a leg up on the competition.