I’ve always found it strange that half-elves and half-orcs are races as opposed to templates. The half-elf race is a very powerful blend of elf and human, and because of that they get benefits from both of their “parent” races that can, in some cases, make them superior to either one (check out the Oracle if you don’t believe me!)
Ability Scores: Like humans, half-elves may choose one of their ability scores and add +2 to it.
Size: Half-elves are the same size as humans.
Speed: Half-elves have the standard 30ft base movement speed.
Elven Immunities: Thanks to their elven heritage, half-elves are immune to magic sleep effects, and gain a +2 on saves against enchantments.
Adaptability: This is one of the less useful of the half-elf’s racial abilities unless you’re planning a build that is based on a skill check, like an Intimidate-based Fighter, or a combat stealing Rogue (Sleight of Hand). This is also very useful if you’re planning to take Eldritch Heritage.
Keen Senses: +2 to the best skill in the game, gotta love it!