Your law school resume is not the same as your internship resume. The strategies and how you’re selling yourself are completely different. If you take the time to write yours accordingly, you’ll be one step closer to law school.
Everyone knows the LSAT is the cornerstone of your law school application. But, it’s not like the SAT to undergrad. You need to prove complete academic and professional experience, not just great analytical skills. That’s where a strong law school resume comes in.
Who are you: Your law school resume needs to provide more than a list of your past experience, achievements and grades. It needs to answer a much larger question: who are you?
Personal statement: Answer in one sentence who you are, and be as unique as possible in your personal statement. “Passionate, Driven, Curious, Exceptional, Innovative, etc” are meaningless buzzwords. All those words mean are “No, Chance, Of, Getting, In.” You have to be different. You need an interest in additional to law. Maybe it’s the environment, and you went to undergrad for geology. Maybe it is communications, medical, engineering. Whatever it is, it’s who you are, and it’s your personal statement. Your personal statement is the first section, right under your name.
Personal Statement: Professional journalist who will use Harvard Law School’s education to protect journalist’s rights to the first amendment.
Or…take the opposite stance:
Personal Statement: Professional journalist who will use Harvard Law School’s education to protect citizen’s rights in the media.
Describing internships: You have now established your theme, and thread it throughout your resume. In your internship explanations, discuss how you helped defend journalist’s rights, instead of stating boring facts like: researched previous cases for local law firm.
- Defended local journalists’ rights to freedom of the press by establishing and articulating
how previous cases were relevant.
- Helped client exercise first amendment rights by establishing (name precedent established)
But, what if you didn’t have the fancy law firm internship? And instead interned as a magazine writer…and only got one article published…on some silly cat fashion show? It’s going to be hard to spin that, but you need to find a way to show how you protected journalists’ or citizens’ rights. Don’t write about the article you created, but focus on your personal statement theme.
- Protected citizens’ rights by only printing quotes and names of individuals who signed full disclosure agreements in published article on feline fashion show
- This protected citizens from any association with the feline fashion show, while also establishing new protocol of gaining full disclosure for magazine quotes
Describing education: Similarly to describing your experience, focus on your personal statement. Don’t write about how you made the dean’s list or earned a 3.7 GPA. You can add that in your “awards/accolades” section.
- As a member of the law club, created a guiding principles file for school newspaper, outlining how to protect citizens’ rights
If you didn’t do something like this, it’s not too late. Do it now, and email it to the paper’s editor.
Add an accolades section: You can just list when you graduated, if you made dean’s list, your GPA, scholarships or other awards.
Include an “interests” section: This is the part where you describe your Mt. Everest climb or your internship in Beijing. You don’t have to do something that extravagant, but you need to do something. Create a blog or an in-depth research project on your own…or talk about the varsity sports team or the band you play in. You want your readers to take a step back and say “wow, that’s interesting.”
Emphasize education or experience: This can be difficult as some schools prefer to see your education first and your work second. But, which expresses your personal statement better? Place that one first.
Use a template: Search your Microsoft word, Photoshop or InDesign programs for templates. Or download one from the internet.
Two pages: It’s preferred to use two pages for your law school resume.
Don’t include high school honors: You’ll just look juvenile and unaccomplished if you do.
This guide is a great start to crafting your perfect law school resume. But, if you really want to impress law school admissions, you’ll need more than a great resume…you’ll need a great LSAT score. Varsity Tutors is here to help with all your law school application needs. Contact us today to see how an LSAT tutor can help you.