‘Telling Your Story’

 

Prof. Lewis Publishes A Step-by-Step Guide to Drafting Persuasive Legal Resumes and Cover Letters

 

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.

Jo Ellen Lewis

Professor Jo Ellen Lewis hopes to turn law students into storytellers, and, in turn, help them land their first job as lawyers – with help from her new book, Telling Your Story: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drafting Persuasive Legal Resumes and Cover Letters (Carolina Academic Press).

“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,” said Lewis, director of WashULaw’s Legal Practice Program.

Lewis applies techniques that students learn in legal writing classes to illustrate how to draft resumes and cover letters. Each chapter includes:

  • The purpose of a specific section of a resume or cover letter
  • A step-by-step guide to drafting that section
  • Annotated “before and after” student samples
  • A checklist

The book also includes chapters on putting together a writing sample, requesting references and recommendation letters, and job prospecting and networking tips. Lewis said she “worked with our fantastic students” during their 1L year to come up with the before and after samples of resumes and cover letters, changing students’ names and identifying information before including the samples in the book.

The guide is designed to be used as part of a legal writing curriculum, as a weeklong or weekend course on professional development, or by career advisors. Lewis gave a talk on the book and served on a panel in July at the Association of Legal Writing Directors conference at the University of Minnesota Law School.

The book is available from Carolina Academic Press.