Federal Judge Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Federal Judge resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Federal judges are the ultimate arbiters of law, deciding the fate of individuals and corporations alike in their courtrooms. They interpret the Constitution, decide civil and criminal cases, and rule on everything from immigration to intellectual property rights to employment discrimination.

Federal judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They serve lifetime terms and are subject to removal only via impeachment by Congress. Because of their powerful positions, federal judges have tremendous influence over the lives of Americans—and their careers are often highly coveted.

Here’s some tips and an example for writing a federal judge resume plus an

Jennifer Thomas
Los Angeles, CA | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Seasoned jurist with more than a decade of experience presiding over civil and criminal trials in U.S. district court. Possesses an unwavering commitment to justice and a record of delivering fair and impartial verdicts. Seeking a challenging position on the federal bench.

Stanford Law School Jun '10
Stanford University Jun '06
B.A. in Political Science
Company A, Federal Judge Jan '17 – Current
  • Served as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, presiding over civil and criminal matters including complex litigation, trials, sentencing hearings, motions practice, and post-trial proceedings such as appeals.
  • Presided over jury selection and conducted hearings on pre-trial motions to dismiss cases or suppress evidence where appropriate.
  • Issued rulings on all aspects of pending cases from discovery disputes to dispositive motions related to summary judgment or other issues that may arise during trial preparation or at trial itself.
  • Conducted plea negotiations with defense counsel regarding disposition of charges against defendants before entering pleas in open court and accepted guilty pleas when appropriate.
  • Supervised law clerks who assisted with case management duties such as drafting orders and opinions, preparing dockets for upcoming court dates, conducting legal research, etc., while also performing their own casework responsibilities assigned by the Judge (e.g., appearing in court).
Company B, Federal Judge Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Issued rulings on motions, including evidentiary and competency hearings; consistently upheld the rights of all parties involved
  • Implemented a new case management system to streamline docket procedures and reduce overall litigation costs
  • Conducted trials for civil cases involving contract disputes, personal injury claims, and property damage issues
  • Supervised settlement conferences in complex commercial litigation matters with high-value contracts at stake
  • Presided over jury trial proceedings for multi-party lawsuits related to real estate transactions
Company C, Judicial Clerk Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Conducted extensive legal research and writing in support of judicial opinions.
  • Drafted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of motions for summary judgment.
  • Researched and analyzed complex legal issues in support of judicial opinions.
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Industry Knowledge: Criminal Law, Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Statutory Law, Legal Writing, Oral Arguments
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat, Westlaw, LexisNexis, Internet Research
Soft Skills: Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, Public Speaking, Empathy, Judicial Ethics

How to Write a Federal Judge Resume

Here’s how to write a federal judge resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

When it comes to writing your resume, it’s important to use clear and concise language. Bullet points are a great place to do this by using specific examples and numbers.

For example, rather than saying you “managed a team of lawyers,” you could say you “managed a team of 15 lawyers, achieving a 15% increase in billable hours over the first six months.”

The second bullet point is much stronger because it provides specific details about what you did and the results of your work.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you submit your resume for a federal judge role, it’s likely that it will be screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS) that looks for certain keywords related to the job. If your resume doesn’t have enough of the right terms, your application might not make it past the initial screening process.

One way to make sure you have the right keywords on your resume is to read through a few job postings and take note of the terms and skills they list. Then, try to include some of those same terms on your resume. Here are some common federal judge keywords:

  • Litigation
  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Research
  • Civil Litigation
  • Legal Advice
  • Trials
  • Appeals
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Criminal Law
  • Jury Trials
  • Trials & Litigation
  • Product Liability
  • Legal Issues
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Westlaw
  • Consumer Law
  • Commercial Litigation Litigation
  • Pleadings
  • Motions
  • Criminal Defense
  • Civil Litigation Civil
  • Criminal Law Practice
  • Trial Practice
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Showcase Your Technical Skills

The technical skills section of your resume is one of the most important sections to focus on, as it can be the deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview. Federal judges are typically expected to be proficient in programs like Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat, and Westlaw. Additionally, if you have experience with other programs or systems that are relevant to the role, be sure to list them.


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