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Telling Your Story

Telling Your Story book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material

Telling Your Story

A Step-by-Step Guide to Drafting Persuasive Legal Resumes and Cover Letters

by Jo Ellen Dardick Lewis

2017 $27.00 206 pp paper

Tags: Legal Practical Resources, Legal Writing, Professionalism/Law Practice

2017 Teacher's Manual forthcoming

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Everyone has a story, and in a professional context, students tell their stories in resumes and cover letters —  two of the most important pieces of persuasive writing they will ever draft. Telling Your Story uses techniques students learn in legal writing classes to teach them how to draft memorable resumes and cover letters. This book can be used as part of a legal writing curriculum, as a weeklong or weekend course on professional development, or by career advisors (both in law school and undergraduate school) when working with students.

When used as part of a legal writing curriculum, it provides a framework to draft resumes and cover letters one step at a time and avoid the familiar rush to meet a deadline, which often results in something less than memorable. The book starts by focusing on audience and purpose, like all effective legal writing. Students are encouraged to think about their professional goals by completing a questionnaire and to work with career advisors to fine-tune their resumes and cover letters for specific internships.

Each chapter includes: 1) the purpose of a specific section of a resume or cover letter; 2) a step-by-step guide to drafting that section; 3) annotated "before and after" student samples; and 4) a checklist. The student sample resumes are divided into groups based on years of work experience before law school and the sample cover letters are grouped by the level of connection a student has to the potential employer. The book includes chapters on writing samples, requesting references and recommendation letters, and job prospecting and networking tips.

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