The law school admission process requires that you submit a resume along with your other application materials. You should not use the same resume you submit to jobs and internships, as this is an academic resume that you should spend a good amount of time on. This is a chance to show the admissions board what you have accomplished and spent your time on since you graduated high school. Having an impressive resume or one that shows you are a well-rounded and involved member of your community can be very beneficial when the admissions team is looking for a reason to accept, waitlist, or deny you. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Make sure your resume is formatted in a clear and professional manner.
- Keep it to 1 page. Some schools will ask for a 1-2 page resume, but unless you have a substantial amount of work experience, it is always better to make is easier on the admissions board and keep it to one page.
- Stick to 11 or 12 point font and 1 inch margins.
- This is an academic resume. Highlight your academic achievements first.
- You should also include professional experience, extracurriculars and volunteer work, skills and interests, and any other achievements like publications or non-academic awards
- Avoid using jargon. Be clear and thoughtful with your language.
- Include every academic institution where you were enrolled in classes after high school.
- Include your major(s) and minor(s).
- Include your GPA if it is above a 3.0, you can also include your major GPA if it is significantly stronger.
- You should specify any awards or scholarships you have earned. If you have earned more than three you can make this a separate section. Make sure to list which semesters and years that you were on Dean’s List or won another type of academic achievement.
- List your professional experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent jobs or internships first.
- Write clear and strong descriptions of your duties at each job using active verbs and concise language.
- Highlight your achievements in each positions and your responsibilities.
- If you worked during school, add how many hours per week you worked to show your ability to maintain a position while studying full-time.
Extracurriculars and Volunteer Work:
- This is a great place to show the law school you are applying to that you were an active member at your school and in your community. Law schools want students who are going to be active participants and contributors to their communities.
- With that being said, do not list the soup kitchen you volunteered at one time, or that single beach cleanup you did two years ago. Make sure you are meaningful and descriptive.
- Provide the amount of time you were involved in each organization.
- Highlight any leadership roles you held.
Skills and Interests:
- The purpose of this section is not to tell the admissions board that you know how to use PowerPoint or Excel.
- If you have interesting hobbies or special skills, this is where you can include them in your application. If someone who views your resume has a similar hobbie or thinks yours is intriguing, it could help your chances.
- If you have been published or have done some other kind of meaningful work, you should include it in your resume.
- You can also include the title of your thesis or any other information that may make your application more interesting.
Overall, your resume is your chance to present yourself as an accomplished and well-rounded individual. Make sure you take the time to work on this and think about how you want it to fit into your application narrative. Harvard has three resume samples from past admitted students available here. Good luck!