Preparing Materials

Submitting a professional and error-free application, including resume, cover letter, and all other materials, is the first step to securing your ideal job. Your resume must succinctly and cogently explain your skills, experience, and education in a manner that will appeal to legal employers. Your cover letter must be specifically tailored to each employer. CPD can help, so make sure you send us your documents for review!

Legal Resume Tips

  • Put your education section first, then list your work experience in reverse chronological order.
  • Do NOT use personal pronouns.
  • Be specific and provide concrete examples of your work experience (avoid vague descriptions and conclusory statements) .
  • Resume Samples: 1L | 2L | 3L-4L | Grad

Cover letter Tips

  • Use the same font and header for your resume, cover letter, and writing sample cover page.
  • Explain why you want to work for this specific employer - do your research.
  • Expand on your work experience, include information not contained on your resume, and illustrate your experience with specific examples.
  • Read more about preparing a cover letter.

Writing Sample Cover Page

  • Include a writing sample cover page with your writing sample that provides context for your writing sample and briefly explains the issue(s) you analyzed.

Reference Sheet

  • Use a reference sheet with the same header as your other documents.
  • Include 3 or 4 references who can speak to your skills and abilities.  If possible, include one former employer and one or more law school professors 

'Thank You' Emails

  • Send 'thank you' emails within 24 hours of a job or informational interview to each person who interviewed you.  You can find email addresses for most attorneys in the Washington State Bar Association's Lawyer Directory.
  • Your emails should be free of grammatical errors and typos. Maintain a professional tone and refer to the interviewers by their last name, i.e. Mr./ Ms. Smith.
  • Finally, 'thank you' emails should be brief and not take longer than a minute for the interviewer to read. However, the strongest thank you notes are personalized and refer to something specific about your interview.
  • Sample 'Thank You' Emails