Highlights from our Public Interest Summer Job Search Webinar

by Kristen Pavón

Part one of NALP & EJW’s Public Interest Summer Job Search Webinar Series went great yesterday. Part one focused on resumes and cover letters.

The whole enchilada will be available on NALP’s website soon, but I wanted to share some of the wealth right away!

  1. Don’t leave out information on your resume that shows a mastery of complex tasks, even if it’s from undergrad. Mastering complex tasks is a critical competency for attorneys!
  2. One option for resume formatting is to divide your experience into legal and non-legal experience.
  3. Don’t leave out study abroad. It shows that you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone.
  4. Be careful about adding interests to your resume. Most employers like them. It gives them a conversation starter for interviews.
  5. You education section should come right after your contact information on your resume, unless you’ve been out of law school for a while.
  6. Public interest resumes can be two pages long. Think about quality before thinking about quantity. Put everything on your resume at first, then omit from there.
  7. Don’t include an objective portion on your resume. It’s a waste of space and unnecessary.
  8. Don’t get artsy with your resume… Even if you were a graphic designer in a past life.
  9. Unless an employer asks for Word documents, convert your resume and cover letter to PDF before sending them off.
  10. Make sure you have a headline with your name and contact information at the top of your cover letter!
  11. Don’t get cutesy in your cover letter. This means, don’t start with a quote or with something like, “I’ve waited all my life to work at so and so.”
  12. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, include any connection you may have to the employer. For example, if you’ve worked there before or if an attorney who currently works there referred you to apply — put it in there.

If you thought Part One was good, wait until Part Two. Part two focuses on best practices in interviewing and in-person networking.

Presenters:

    • Nita Mazumder, Program Manager for Law School Relations, Equal Justice Works
    • Nicole Simmons, Career Counselor, The University of Texas School of Law
    • David Zisser, Associate Counsel, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

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