The law school application provides committee readers with your narrative, and the resume serves as a great starting point for telling your story.
Law school resume do’s and don’ts
- DO follow the instructions
As with all aspects of the law school application, when submitting your resume for review, follow the application instructions explicitly. If the committee is asking that you keep your resume to one page, a certain font size, etc., then make sure to submit a one-page resume with that font-size. If the school does not specify page-limit and you can provide information worthy of two pages, go for it!
- DON’T leave gaps
Regardless of page limit, what should you include in your law school application resume? Generally speaking, do not leave gaps in your experience from the beginning of your undergraduate career to the current date. Do not include references to high school. I understand that for applicants who are applying directly from undergraduate, it may be tempting to include the wonderful awards and lifeguarding jobs of your high school days but fight the impulse. Include all part-time, full-time, paid and unpaid endeavors from your first year of college until the point of application. Do not leave gaps. If you traveled the summer between junior and senior year, good for you, but account for that time on your resume. Committees like to account for all your time as do bar examiners. Why are we concerned about bar examiners? They will have access to your law school application and will hold you accountable for all information provided. Thus, in three and a half years, when applying for the bar, examiners may ask that you account for the two months in the summer of 2018. It is easier to have those questions answered now.
- DO understand that you can have a life outside of law
Committees are not looking for law-specific work experience only. If you do not have a job as a paralegal, that is OK. I have seen flight attendants, bartenders, and firefighters admitted to law school and do quite well. When adding any work experience to your resume, please provide ample details as to your responsibilities. Provide information regarding leadership roles, and describe any job or task that exemplified your communication skills.I have also counseled applicants to include interests and activities that they enjoy in their free time. Do you like to learn new languages, run marathons, bake, or play video games? Let the committee know. Committees are also seeking information about how the applicant balances life and work. Do you have an outlet to possibly assist you with the stress of law school? While it is not a prerequisite for admission, it provides context and enriches your application.
Remember, follow the specific instructions of each application with respect to all components of the application. If you are not subject to a page limit, do not feel constrained by the “traditional” one-page resume. Provide details and context and account for all your time.
Do you need help creating a law school resume that introduces you to your adcom readers as an impressive, strong candidate and a successful future lawyer? Explore our Law School Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and work one-on-one with an experienced advisor who will help you put together a resume and application that will get you ACCEPTED.Want Christine to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success, a free guide
• Assessing the Quantitative and Qualitative Aspects of Your Law School Application
• 18 Do’s And Don’ts For Your Application Resume