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Law School Résumé Tips: How to Format the Thing

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Now that we know some keys to a great law school résumé, let’s take a look at the formatting and structure.

First off, the header. Your full name (no nicknames, Slick Rick), cell phone, e-mail address, and home address should be featured. Make sure your e-mail address is something professional – if you’re still QTluva69, it’s time to get a new Gmail address.

After that, it’s time for your academic information. This is, after all, an academic résumé, so this information should be listed first. The only exception is if you have 5+ years of impressive work experience. Even then, though, I’d still recommend putting the academic information up top.

Here, you should have your school, dates of attendance, degree granted, and GPA. Include a section for any honors you were awarded (including Dean’s List). Then, put any extracurriculars in which you had some type of leadership position. If this section is sparse, don’t worry too much. However, you do want to fill up a page, so think of anything you can add to make that happen.

Now, on to work experience. List any jobs you had, starting with the most recent and most impressive. These should include the name of the company, your position, and the dates of employment, along with a short description of the position and any accomplishments as bulleted points. If you need room, cut explanations for certain positions — I don’t need to know that, as a waiter, you were tasked with customer service and crisis management. That’s what a waiter does. If you still need to cut, remove summer jobs, less impressive positions (like camp counselor, not missionary), and the jobs from which you are furthest removed.

Finally, I always like to add an interests section. You never know when your love of B-movies from the ‘80s is going to align with someone reading your law school application and result in a cheerleader on the admission committee. Most of my interview for HLS consisted of talking about a favorite sci-fi novelist of mine who happened to be a favorite of the interviewer. Don’t take up too much space — one or two lines, max. And don’t list anything too strange. But anything that makes you seem like more of a person will strengthen your law school résumé.

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