How to Write a Law School Resume

Length, Formatting, and Sections to Include

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Your law school resume is an important element of your application. While not all schools require resumes, many top schools do, and those that don’t often allow applicants to submit a resume as supplemental information.

A resume for law school should be different from a job resume. In particular, the law school resume should contain significantly more detail than a standard employment resume. The most important elements to emphasize in a resume for law school are your academic achievements, so make sure those are featured prominently on your resume.

Length and Formatting

Resumes for law school should be a maximum of one to two pages in length. According to Stanford Law's admissions site, "Stanford requires a one-to-two page resume describing your academic, extracurricular and professional activities." The University of Chicago Law's admissions team offers a bit more leeway, stating, "You can go into more detail than you would in a typical resume for employment (use your judgment though; very rarely does one need more than 2-3 pages)."

The resume format and style must be professional and should include headings for each section, bulleted details, and dates and locations for each activity. Choose an easy-to-read font and include standard margins at the top, bottom, and sides of each page of your resume.

What to Include

Since your educational experience is the most important element of your resume to potential law schools, the first section immediately below your name and contact information should be education. The sections that follow education can be adjusted to suit your personal experience. Most students list awards and honors; employment, internships, or research experience; leadership or volunteer experience; publications; and skills and interests.

Consider the law schools to which you’re applying, and make sure that you highlight qualifications you possess that are important to those schools. Don’t include objectives or lists of professional qualifications, as these items are not relevant to the law school resume. It's also best to avoid accomplishments from your high school resume and instead focus on qualifications and experiences gained during and after college. The following sections are often included in law school resumes. Be sure to include only those sections that are applicable to you, and modify or remove any sections that do not apply.

Education

List the college institution, location (city and state), degree or certificate earned including majors and minors, and the year earned. If you didn’t earn a degree or certificate, list the dates of attendance. You can also include study abroad experiences within the education section.

List your overall undergraduate GPA and GPA in your major for each institution attended (especially if higher than your overall GPA).

Honors/Awards/Scholarships

List any honors, awards, and scholarships you achieved during college as well as the year(s) you earned them. These can include dean's list, Latin honors, and major scholarships or recognition.

Employment/Research/Internship Experience

List your position, the name of the employer, location (city and state), and the dates you were employed. Include your specific duties under each employer, making sure to note any recognition or special achievements (e.g., "increased sales by 30% in the first year as a section manager"). By quantifying your work for each organization, you'll make it easier for the admissions team to see what you contributed. Always start your job descriptions with strong action words (directed, led, mentored, organized) to convey purpose and direction.

Other items to include in an experience section are research work and internships. Similar to employment, include the position held, the name of your direct supervisor, dates you worked on each project, your specific duties, and notable accolades.

Leadership/Volunteer Work

If you held positions of leadership on campus or in outside organizations, be sure to detail these in your resume. Similar to work experience, include the leadership position held, the name of the organization, dates you held the position, your specific roles, and important accomplishments.

Volunteer work is particularly impressive on a law school resume. Just like paid work experience, consistent volunteering shows a strong work ethic as well as community engagement. Make sure to include each volunteer experience and include the name of the organization, duties performed, and dates of service.

Publications

This section should list any publication credits you have earned during college. It may include your thesis, if published, newspaper bylines, and other personal writing that has been published in on-campus or off-campus publications.

Skills/Interests

In this section, you can list foreign languages, membership in organizations, and extracurricular activities that are important to you. Some applicants also use this section to list their technical proficiencies including advanced computer skills. If there is something that you have participated in for a long time, or in which you possess particularly high level skills, be sure to indicate so in this section.