A resume is an important part of a law school application, even though not specifically required by all law schools. It provides an opportunity to present to the law school a summary of your credentials and accomplishments, emphasizing the strengths of your application to law school. It may be necessary to revise a resume that you have used for employment purposes, so as to emphasize your academic and law-related experience (see below). Read carefully the instructions in each law school application as to how to complete application questions about your education, activities, and work experience-many schools expect you to answer all questions, in addition to submitting a resume.
Here are some general guidelines for your law school resume:
Keep your resume on one page!
This may be the most difficult part of writing your resume. Allow more space for items that are most related to your goal of a legal education, and less space for less relevant items. Use a legible font size, no smaller than 10.
Maintain a consistent format
A template on your word-processing software often requires more space than a format you develop on your own, and may not be the best way to convey your information efficiently using electronic law school application software. Use of bold letters, all capital letters, and bullets can effectively highlight important headings and titles.
- Contact Information (top of page): Name, address, e-mail, phone, etc.
- Education (in chronological order, beginning with most recent degree or degree program):
- school name
- dates attended
- degree received or expected w/ date and any graduation honors
- Major(s), Minors(s), GPA, etc.
- Honors and Awards:
- Describe honor or award received during post-secondary education, date received (Dean's List, Scholarships, Awards).
- Include information about your honors thesis, name and number of courses for which you have served as a Teaching or Research Assistant, if applicable.
- If you have received work-related honors and awards, you may include separate headings for academic and work-related achievements.
- Other Possible Headings (depending on your experience)
- Work Experience (can include separate headings for law-related and other work experience, if experience is extensive)
- Leadership and Service Experience
- Skills: languages, music, art, computer, hobbies, talents, etc.
- Note: There is no need to include an "Objective" in a law school resume, but it is important to remember your goal of attending law school and becoming a lawyer as you draft your resume, emphasizing experiences that are relevant to this goal.
Ask for help in preparing your resume
Bring the resume to your pre-law appointment or pre-law walk-in or alumni call-in. The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development also reviews resumes. Their website also has a quick reference guide on how to write a resume.