The purpose of writing a law school resume is to enter a law school, not a law firm. That is why a law school resume sample looks different from a lawyer resume sample. Having this in mind, your law school resume should be academic by nature (remind an academic CV writing sample) rather than aim to get more interviews.
Nevertheless, writing a sample resume for law school has its rules and procedures. You should create a document that will grab the attention of the admissions board. To achieve that, critically analyze your experience and education to decide what sections your law school resume should include.
The information below will help you.
What Is the Best Format for a Law School Resume?
Choosing the correct law school resume format is very important for self-presentation. If you fail to provide what’s expected, you may lose a seat in the program.
You probably know that there are three formats in resume writing which you can choose from. They are the following:
- Chronological (lists your employments with descriptions in chronological order)
- Functional (lists your key competencies that are followed by a short career history)
- Combination (combines the two approaches mentioned above).
Given the fact that your resume sample law school is an academic document, we suggest giving preference to a chronological format. The combination format is also possible on rarer occasions.
Quite often, prospective students have no professional experience. Thus, making their law school resumes functional is not wise. At the same time, having an unglamorous experience is better than having none. In this case, the chronological format will provide more clarity to the admissions officers who will look through your document.
Thus, you are recommended to create your resume in a chronological format with all places of employment mentioned in reverse order. The most recent of them should come first. You are allowed to add all the experiences that you’ve had, even those having no relation to law. They still characterize you as a diligent, hardworking, and self-motivated person.
The Best Law School Resume Templates to Choose
A law school resume goes through ATS or similar software like all other resumes and CVs. The algorithms may be different since you seek admission rather than employment. However, the idea of ranking candidates and shortlisting the ones that are at the top works for admissions as well.
Thus, you should choose an ATS-friendly resume template for your law school that is free from infographics, charts, tables, and other complex formatting. It’s recommended to opt for monochrome and simple resume templates (samples you can find in LinkedIn )to be sure that they get scanned with no loss or distortion of the information.
Law School Resume Objective or Resume Summary
Every resume gets assessed by its reader within the first 8 seconds. This attention span is what recruiters or admission officers need to decide whether they want to proceed with this candidate. Obviously, the header of the resume which usually contains an objective or summary gets all of this time span.
A law school resume is not an exception in this case. You have to write a professional and interesting summary or objective to spark enough interest for the reader to explore your resume in full. This is easier said than done, though.
As a student-to-be, you have no experience to impress the reader. Thus, it’s your educational and career goals together with key skills that matter the most.
Examples of Law School Resume Summaries
We’ve analyzed a few law school resume samples to provide you with the right and wrong summary example. Such a comparison can help you craft a winning law school application resume.
- An accomplished high school graduate with a desire to enter a law school and build a career in law. Experienced in customer service and people communication while working as a sales assistant. Skilled in cashier duties and transaction processing.
- An aspiring prospective student with a passion for law and a desire to empower the underrepresented and provide them with a voice. Eager to join the Law program at UC Irvine School of Law to gain theoretical knowledge and skills to handle complex cases and call for justice and truth.
Examples of Law School Resume Objectives
A law school resume objective is now less frequent than a summary. However, it’s still important to know how to turn this objective into an interesting opening that encourages further reading.
- I am looking for an opportunity to enter a law school and get a degree in law. Hope to succeed in building my career as a lawyer with a private practice.
- My objective is to get a professional degree in law from UC Irvine School of Law and establish a private practice focusing on helping immigrants and other underrepresented minorities to stand up for their rights.
How to Add Experience to a Law School Resume (Examples)
Also, job descriptions in your experience sections should look professional and clear to those who read your law school sample resume. Even if those descriptions do not characterize you as a future lawyer, your sample law school resume experience must prove that you are worthy of the seat in the program.
For that, list your accomplishments and show your contributions using action verbs.
- Created an Excel sheet to account for every item sold in the store to automate reporting and make it error-free.
- Was responsible for selling items that were previously displayed on the shelves.
- Took notes of every item sold and submitted them to management.
A Resume for Law School with no Experience
There are cases when prospective students have no experience to put in their law resumes. If you are in this situation, it should not prevent you from applying. You can still create a perfect resume for law school with no experience. However, it indeed takes extra effort.
To make your resume for law school one page long without any experience, think of your educational achievements, volunteer involvement, hobbies and interests, and so on. You can include anything that helps the reader understand what kind of person you are.
Also, list your career goals separately. Think what it is that makes you consider building a career in law and put it all in the resume.
What to Add in the Education Section?
In a law school resume, the education section should precede the one with experience. After all, education is more relevant to a law school admission resume than jobs, if any. Moreover, shifting the focus from poor work experience to a great academic background will also be a plus.
Thus, think carefully about what kind of information you can and should include in your law school education section. Here is the list of the possible options:
- Previous academic degrees
- High school diploma
- Professional courses
- Software training
- Licenses and certifications
- Educational achievements
- Relevant coursework
However, you can also add other information you find relevant.
Examples of Law School Resume Education Sections
We’ve collected a few examples of winning law school resume samples for you to compare and contrast them with unsuccessful ones.
Universidad de Buenos Aires 2015
Legal Protection of Human Rights Study Abroad Program
Seattle University 2007-2011
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
- Dean’s List (spring, fall 2010)
- First in Class Honors
- Thesis: The Phenomena of Jane Austin in Romantic and Feminist British Literature.
Seattle University 2007-2011
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
- Attended, no degree
Universitat Berlin 2015-2017
- Technology and Processes Intensive Learning Program
- Relevant coursework: Computations in Technology Development, Statistics, Analytical Tools for Process Improvement, Advanced Mathematics
Skills on a Resume for a Law School
All law school resume samples have skills in a separate section. These skills are essential for you to get enrolled. Your resume is judged based on the skills you currently offer.
Also, you should demonstrate not only how prepared you are for law school but what skills you have to study efficiently. For example, time management and prioritizing are great for any student.
Moreover, when it comes to applicant tracking systems, law school resume skills help your document rank higher in the system. In other words, these key skills you mention serve as keywords in your resume. This is a top reason to be cautious adding them.
If you feel hesitant about what skills you should consider, here is a tip for you:
- Communication (oral and written)
- Language skills
- Project Management
- Analytical Skills
- Client Service
- Critical Thinking
- Computer Literacy
- Office 365
Examples of Skills Sections in Law School Resume
Professional law school resume examples suggest leaving the skills section at the bottom of the resume. However, you can also put it ahead of education if it is that relevant.
Nevertheless, skills sections in law school resume samples look orderly and neat. Don’t make your readers try to figure out why you put those skills on your resume.
- Relevant skills: Customer Service, Research, Reporting, Analytical Thinking, Critical Thinking
- General skills: Communication, Teamwork, Problem-Solving
- Computer Skills: Office 365, Outlook, Skype, Zoom
- MS Office, Zoom, Communication, Numerical Skills, Math, Writing, Listening, Analytical Skills, Project Management, Budgeting, Time Management, Reading
How to Make a Killer Law School Resume?
To craft a winning resume, put yourself in the shoes of admission officers. If you were them, what would you want to see in applicants’ resumes? You’d probably be interested in learning about their lives, passions, and interests. Don't forget to re-read and do some resume editing carefully.
You are not an employee; you are a student. Let others paint a picture of you when reading your resume. Add a few extra law school resume sections that show who you are but may not be related to legal matters.
For example, law school resumes can include such sections as:
- Honors and Awards
- Research Projects
- Hobbies and Interests
- Volunteer Service
- Community Involvement
Other Sections in a Law School Resume (Examples)
You are not creating a resume for law school jobs. You are applying to a law school to become a student. To help you figure out how other sections in your resume can contribute to your profile, we’ve collected a few examples.
- Volunteer Service: Provided food to those in need on Wednesdays and Sundays on behalf of the local church.
- Community Involvement: Tutored children aged 3-13 with learning difficulties on various school subjects.
- Honors and Awards: Won GTA Championship and received a $2k prize.
- Volunteer Service: The Church of Hope – food distribution.
- Community Involvement: Tutor for children with special needs.
- Honors and Awards: GTA Contest
We hope the information above helps you figure out how to write a law school resume. When creating a winning resume. Remember that your goal is to get enrolled rather than get a job. That is why your focus should be on positioning yourself as a student rather than an employee.
To sum it up, here is what you should remember:
- One page is enough for a law school resume unless you have plenty of publications or other school projects.
- Critically evaluate whether the information you intend to add is worthy of being added.
- Put your education first. Let your work experience follow it.
- Work on your summary or objective for it to grab the maximum attention.