Are you looking to add relevant knowledge and experience to your resume? Then you should consider attending Continuing Legal Education Seminars (CLE’s). Every lawyer who is licensed to practice law must attend a certain number of CLE’s each year to remain in good standing of their respective bar associations (15 hours in Missouri) and due to this, there are a plethora of CLE opportunities offered throughout the year which can be highly specialized. Adding CLE’s to your resume is a great way to advertise to a potential employer that you are interested in the area in which they practice.
You can find CLE’s on almost any topic; transactional law, public interest, family, criminal, animal law. You name, they probably have a CLE for it. If you would like to be competitive for jobs, internships or summer associate positions, but don’t have any direct experience in the areas that are practiced, it would be worth it to attend a few CLE’s on the subject matter.
While CLE’s are very expensive for attorneys to attend, law students can generally attend for free or reduced costs. You can also contact the CLE provider to check if there are any scholarships available, as different organizations will sponsor young lawyers and law students who want to attend certain CLE’s and conferences, but can’t afford to. Further, many metropolitan bar associations as well as state wide bar associations hold conferences that are well attended by attorneys, and provide ample networking opportunities. For instance, both KCMBA and BAMSL hold a Bench, Bar and Boardroom Conference each year, while the Missouri Bar Association hosts the Family Law Conference, the Solo and Small Firm Conference and the Missouri Bar Annual Meeting.
Once you have attended a CLE, you need to list it on your resume under “Additional Legal Education” and go into detail about the CLE’s that you have taken. This will add immediate cache to your resume and allow it to stand-out; not only because you have gained invaluable legal experience and knowledge, but also because it will showcase that you are a self-starter who will take the extra steps needed for success.
If you have any questions or need more tips on how to boost your resume and take it to the next level… be sure and stop by 103.