Written by Matthew Scott: This was written by a fourth year undergraduate student as an Honours Bacculeaurate in Commerce, specializing in Human Resources Management. In addition, I have gone through the application process myself, and been accepted to several law schools.
Although there are many ways to write a resume, it is my hope that this will help those of you who need direction. Published March , last updated June One of the most daunting tasks you will likely face while preparing for Law School is coming up with a professional resume. This is one of the most important tasks in crafting a successful application, and should be treated with the same care that you would invest into a personal statement.
Therefore, it is important that you spend the time to create a good resume, and hopefully this guide will help you out. Most individuals have written a work resume before, but few people have made an academic resume. Although both have a similar intent, in that they are designed to highlight your past accomplishments and get you in the door, they must sell different things.
The academic resume that you will be writing must help convince an admissions officer that there is more to you than simply numbers, and that you will be a beneficial addition to the class.
With this in mind, you want to make sure that you carefully craft it to highlight your accomplishments, extra-curricular activities and employment. All of these things will help to demonstrate the unique perspective you have formed, and make you a more interesting potential student. Remember that at the end of the day, you are doing this to be admitted to law school. There is no beating around the bush in that respect. Consequently, it is important to sell yourself.
Emphasize what you have actually accomplished and why you are unique as an applicant. Explain how your negotiation has benefitted your past clients. If you are a recent law school graduate, you can also share your undergrad mock trial experience in your education section. Create My Resume Lawyer: Resume Example Lawyers recommend and represent clients facing legal issues.
Their clients may be individuals, businesses, government agencies, and general organizations. The workplace environment differs. Some lawyers work for local, state, or federal governments. Others work in corporate or private offices. A strong lawyer resume is strategic in its layout. Ask yourself if your education or work history is more impressive.
If your law school is highly ranked, place your education prominently at the top of your resume. However, if your places of employment or internships are more impressive, then you should situate your education below your work history.
You also must ensure that your area of expertise is obvious. Create My Resume Legal Assistant: Resume Example Legal assistants offer aid to lawyers. While they may maintain and organize legal files, they primarily conduct legal research and draft important documents.
They strive to complete excellent prep work to help lawyers succeedTo create a legal assistant resume that gets noticed, you must focus on your research talents. Additionally, you should note your organizational skills. In your work history section, share accomplishments related to your supreme organization.
Resume Example The legal billing clerk is responsible for documenting the time clients spend with the lawyer. After documenting, the legal billing clerk tallies the hours and submits an invoice to the client. Lawyers charge by the hour, so a legal billing clerk helps them track everything. An outstanding legal billing clerk resume should focus on your high attention to detail and organizational skills.
Also, you should add any client relations experience that you have or customer service. I must not care what my employer thinks of me f. I do not care if my employer learns I am looking for a job on their time g. I will do the same to you if you hire me! An email address like Harvard.
What have you done since then? Do you think you need to advertise what a great school you went to? I went to Ohio State you arrogant asshole! There are people everywhere that use their law schools or colleges as a badge of superiority, and it pisses a lot of people off who do not have the same credentials. Many people in large law firms grew up poor and worked very hard to get into prestigious state schools that their parents could afford and then worked very hard once they were in college.
Why would you want to have an email address or put something on your resume that could alienate you from others before they even meet you? Going to a prestigious college or law school is a very good thing. What is not good is wearing that on your sleeve. It can drive people away from you and make others even partners feel inferior and insecure.
That can prevent them from hiring you. A private high school. Most people did not attend St. Most attorneys in large law firms went to public schools where they worked hard. Putting this information on your resume can alienate others and is never a good idea.
Mensa is an organization for people with high IQs. While there is nothing wrong with being a member of Mensa, what is most humorous about this is that most people who put this on their resumes did not go to the best colleges or law schools. Most attorneys at big law firms are extremely intelligent anyway, so this looks stupid.
In addition, this screams underachiever: You will show exactly the sort of person you are if you do this. Then why work 3, hours a year in a large law firm? A personal blog provides opportunities to get in trouble. During a law firm merger, I once saw a partner with a good amount of business lose his job.
The law firm taking over in the merger found his personal blog and did not like a section he had on there about why he did not like being an attorney and what he would do if he quit. Home addresses far away from the office. Los Angeles where I work is a giant area. Commutes between different areas of Los Angeles can often be two hours or more.
If you are applying for a job more than an hour from your home, it is best just to leave your home address off of your resume. If an employer hires someone who needs to commute a great distance to work, they know that the odds are very good that this same person will leave if they find a job closer to their home, especially if the pay is close or equivalent. Trips during law school or between jobs. Are you out of your mind? Leave this stuff off there. Do you agree that information like the above should be removed from your resume?
Share what you think below. See Law Firm Diversity: Irrelevant Work Experience and Education Anything you put on your resume that is not related to practicing law is a bad idea and almost always fatal. Here are some stupid things I have seen recently: Left a law firm and started a business with a description of the business.
Sorry, our law firm does not hire people who fail. You did not like practicing law? You think you are better than us? It is rare that large law firms will ever welcome these attorneys. Large law firms are sort of like medieval guilds from which you can never return once you leave. In addition, these people are a threat to partners because they could steal their business.
These attorneys are rarely hired. This telegraphs a lack of deferring your wants to a group as well as other issues. Many attorneys believe having a solo practitioner law firm is a good thing. Again, this is also a bad thing. Law firms assume rightly so that you likely did not work on important matters while a solo practitioner, did not get good training and often only did this because you could not get a job with a large law firm.
Law firms will avoid you if you were a solo with your own business. Any business you started before becoming an attorney. While there is nothing wrong with having an entrepreneurial nature, a large law firm requires you to sublimate your needs to that of the group and trust the group.
Entrepreneurs are always looking for a better angle and situation like businesses are always trying to come out with better products. He has been doing this for decades. He works about six months a year. Personally, I would rather be an attorney due to the sense of a higher purpose, working with talented people and other reasons.
Many people would rather run the window washing business. If this is you, you are far more of an entrepreneur than an attorney. Took business courses while at a law firm and got a certificate. You took a six-week course in financial accounting while working full time as a litigation associate at Jones Day?
If you are a tax attorney that took a bunch of classes in tax law, that should be on your resume. Just do not put anything on there that is likely to detract from showing your commitment to being an attorney. Too much emphasis on what you did as an undergraduate. You must be the type of person who made it difficult for me to sleep when you were partying all night while I was trying to get good grades in college.
In general, though, no one cares about: Your race Your religion Your pro-feminist leanings Your socialist leanings Your political affiliation Your sexual orientation Why on earth would you put any club, organization or other information on your resume that would force an interviewer to choose sides?
Leave this off your resume. Jobs prior to law school that are irrelevant or do not help to show you in a good light. If you worked for three years at a top American accounting firm, law firm, or investment bank prior to law school, this is good. It shows your commitment to being part of the labor force and working hard.
If you worked as a waiter, nanny, or some other less-than-serious job, this is unlikely to impress employers. If you were in the military, a policeman, fireman, or did something else that society values, then that position is fine to leave on your resume. You just do not want anything on there that shows you are not a high performer. Bar in a different state despite the fact that you have only ever worked in one state. Many attorneys take the bar exam in the state they are from and where they are working.
Someone in Chicago may take the bar exam in Florida. This does not help you. Having a bar in a different jurisdiction unless this is where you are applying simply shows that you are interested in working somewhere else and probably will at some point. Take this off your resume. Parenting time between jobs. Women sometimes take years off between jobs.
Your class rank and grade point average unless it is extraordinary. Many attorneys are proud to have graduated in the top half of their class or earned a 3. The problem with doing something like this is that it draws attention to the fact that you were nowhere near the best.
Why on earth would a large law firm hire you if you are not the best? Top 10 law school: I still do not recommend this, though. Top law school: Only list if you were 1 through 5 in your class. Skills that everyone should have as an attorney.
You are being paid to analyze complex legal matters as an attorney. Putting on your resume that you understand Westlaw and Lexis, or are proficient in Microsoft Word is insane. I see this every day, however. Please get this off your resume. You make yourself look really stupid when you list this on your resume. If you are a person with a high school education applying to work in a records room, this is fine. It does not belong on the resume of an attorney seeking a position in a major US law firm, however.
Grades in law school classes or worse yet, college classes. This is something I see all the time too. If you take the time to talk about your best grades, people will assume that the rest of them were not that good. It makes you look like you are not big firm material. Classes you took in law school. No one cares about this either. If you list this, you look weak as well. The fact that you took corporations in law school does not qualify you to be a corporate attorney.
Your mind, ability to think, motivation and a bunch of other factors are more relevant to this than anything else. Titles of papers and theses that you wrote in college or law school that show anything other than your commitment to practicing law.
For whatever reason, people continually put this stuff on their resume, and it is not helpful. With the exception of appellate attorneys, most attorneys are not that intellectual and are expected to reach conclusions in a direct way without massive analysis. I have seen attorneys list topics like: Socrates and the Foundations of Western Empiricism An attorney sitting in a small office in a high rise who has been working 50 hours a week for decades for demanding clients in an ultra-competitive environment has no time for that nonsense.
If you are sitting around writing that sort of stuff while he is proofreading a page stock prospectus for the eighth time at 2: He also does not have much time for people with these sorts of interests.
In addition, why are you interested in this crap anyway? Most professors push their agendas mainly quite liberal on their students who parrot this stuff back for good grades. But your resume is not a place for this. You are trying to get a job with people who are working for huge corporations and want to keep the money rolling in. Anything that suggests you will not cooperate will harm you. A ridiculous regurgitation of stuff everyone in your position does. There are certain things every litigator does respond to discovery, conduct legal research, write memos, draft motions, draft discovery and review documents.
Putting this on your resume makes you look like a moron. Get it off there! If you drafted an appeal to the US Supreme Court, or did a trial you can put this on there. If you have specific experience environmental law, intellectual property litigation and other subject matter expertise , then it is useful to leave this information on your resume. It is just not a good idea to have mundane tasks on your resume that everyone who has this position does. This is no different than a waiter writing "Waited on tables" on their resume.
Ridiculous Formatting and Content Blocks Nothing can get you disqualified from getting hired more easily than stupid formatting errors. I see these all the time.
I have no idea where people pick this up, but I will lay out the most egregious formatting issues I see: For some people, their resume becomes an art project. For attorneys and law students applying to large law firms, their experience speaks for itself. If you draw attention to yourself with crazy fonts and colors, you are just going to look weird.
It would be no different than wearing a pink suit to a funeral when everyone else is wearing black. You are applying to work in a giant law firm and be part of a group of people who are 1 conforming, 2 working together and 3 basically pretty dry. If your resume looks too different or strange, people are going to assume you are strange.
You do not want to look strange. Listing words for HR software on the top of the resume. Someone out there is telling attorneys to do this. You are doing incredible amounts of damage to good people.
Toolkit for Student Job Seekers; Resume Advice & Samples; Resume Advice. To be effective, it must be brief while still offering enough information to interest the employer. Most law student resumes should be one page in length. Use a standard font such as Times New Roman, and a font size of 11 point. Your affiliation with certain.
The following is an example of a resume for a current law student. This resume includes the student’s academic accomplishments as well as his professional achievements. The job seeker also mentions some personal interests that might help him stand out to a law firm, such as his knowledge of Spanish and his debate awards.
For those who are looking for a resume sample that they can follow for their law school application resume, the internet has plenty of options for you to consider. In this sample law student resume, we included education at the very top. When professional experience is light, which is the case for most law students, education remains one of the most important elements of a law student or even a recent law graduate’s resume.
This resume of a successful Harvard Law School applicant highlights his commitment to public service. A Law School Resume That Made the Cut these steps will help you choose the right fit. Resumes for students and / or new graduates can be quite effective if they showcase one’s education, internships, volunteer work, and both academic and personal achievements. A well-written resume will help you to stand out from the competition and spark an employer’s interest. It should be clear, concise, and free of spelling and.