Five Tips For Preparing A Law School Resume - JD Advising
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Law School Resume

Five Tips For Preparing A Law School Resume

Many law schools in the United States require applicants to prepare and submit a law school resume with their application. If you’re in the process of applying to law school or thinking about applying – listen up. A law school resume, while similar to a regular resume, is not the same! We offer some tips to tailor your resume specifically for law schools.  These tips are practical, easy to implement, and are sure to have your resume looking in tip-top shape. Let’s take a look!

Five Tips For Preparing A Law School Resume

Understanding The Difference

We mentioned earlier that resumes for law school are similar but not the same to regular resumes. To begin to tailor your resume for law schools, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. When applying for a position of employment, hiring managers take less than a minute to evaluate your resume. Hiring managers are looking at a resume to see whether applicants meet certain qualifications. Does the applicant have any work experience? Does the applicant have the appropriate credentials? You get the idea.

In contrast, admissions committees in law schools use a different approach when evaluating a resume. They don’t have as many hard and fast qualifications and instead are more interested in a candidate’s background. As such, admissions committees focus on other aspects of a law school candidate’s resume. Does the candidate’s experience lend itself well to law school? Does the candidate’s undergraduate GPA reflect his or her true academic performance? Questions like these are more in line with what admissions committees ask when reviewing a resume.

Format Appropriately

A law school resume isn’t the same as a resume you may submit for a new high-tech Silicon Valley startup. What does that mean? Essentially, the formatting should be boring. Skip using colors other than black, avoid outlandish fonts, and don’t include pictures, graphics, or symbols unless specifically requested to do so.

Avoid Certain “Traditional” Resume Sections

While it may make sense to include a “mission statement” or “objectives” section in a regular resume, you can skip those components when applying to law school. The primary reason is that objective in applying to law school is already clear: to go to law school and graduate. There isn’t a need to explain how you plan to reinvent being a student at a certain law school!

Be Concise

Resumes generally aren’t the place to write out your life story using vivid imagery and tons of adjectives. Think of it this way – rather than try to paint a picture for the reader, just give them a photograph. Practically speaking, that means being clear and concise in the language you use throughout the document. Avoid using overly complex and technical language. Instead, opt for shorter sentences that get straight to the point. Make your resume easy to read and use more detailed language on your personal statement!

Be Transparent

Being honest and transparent in your resume should go without saying, but we figured we’d send a quick reminder. Don’t turn your summer working in the Peace Corps into a three-year expedition if you only participated for six months. Resist the urge to transform your study abroad experience into a diplomatic envoy on behalf of the United States. Law schools want to see accurate resumes when selecting their next incoming class.

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