How to Tailor Your Resume to Law School

Let's be honest: nobody likes working on their resume. It's tedious and technical, and there are so many small details you have to worry about. I've begun building up my legal resume now that I'm a 2L, and I have been working on keeping my resume updated and formatted correctly. 

Looking at a resume through a more general lens though leads me to think that there are just a few ways to view your resume: its look and its content. I'll go more in depth as to what those two categories entail, and I've also included an example below to give you a better idea of what a law school resume looks like

The Look

As shallow as it may be, appearances are a big part of professionalism, and the same idea applies to your resume, too. You want to make sure your resume is clean and easy to read; something cluttered and confusing may lead to your resume being put in the "no" pile before the hiring attorney even reads through it. And don't forget, keep it to one page! 

Below, I'll talk more about what sections you should have on your resume and what you should have in each section, but formatting all that information is just as important as that content. Make certain text bold to stand out, keep things simple, and use an easy-to-read font so whoever is looking at your resume doesn't have to struggle and can solely focus on you and your accomplishments. 

I recommend setting up a meeting with your law school's career services. They know what hiring attorneys are looking for in a resume, and they'll help you with any formatting issues you may have. They can also give you feedback on your resume and let you know what to do to improve it. 

The Content

Okay, you know how to format your resume now, so it's time for the fun stuff. I've always struggled with the content of my resume, and I find myself second-guessing a lot of what I put on it: did I use the best action verb to describe what I did at this job? Did I word this correctly? 

Once again, I highly recommend checking in with your law school career services if you get lost in those details like I do. They provide such great insight, and it's helpful to have someone else looking over your work. 

Now that I'm done harping on the importance of career services, let's talk about the content of your resume. There are sections that you should definitely have in your resume, such as the heading, your educational information, your experience, etc. 

The Heading

This one is pretty straightforward: your name, your email, your phone number, etc. Let them know who you are and how to get in contact with you. 


Include information about your undergrad and your law school, as well as any other schooling you did in between. 

Your law school information should include the name of your law school, your expected graduation date, your GPA, your class rank, and any activities you're involved in. 

For your undergrad information, provide the name of the institution, the degree you earned and when, and any honors and activities from your undergrad experience. 


Your experience section will now likely include more legal experience than anything else. However, if you are a 1L, you may not have any, and that's totally okay! For whatever experience you are including, make sure to put where you worked, your position, when you worked, and one or two bullet points summarizing what you did there. 

Your experience doesn't solely have to include your legal experience. If you had a job or college internship that you want to share with the hiring attorneys, do it! For example, I've found that law firms and other legal jobs love having someone who has worked in a customer service job because you can work under pressure and have good people skills. I always include my server/hostess experience on my resume and I always get good feedback at interviews about that inclusion. 

Personal Interests

I first heard about this from my career counselor as something that hiring firms and other legal jobs are looking for on a resume. Those hiring attorneys want to see you as not just a law student but as a whole person. Put things in here that you know will spark a conversation. I like to put down my conversational Spanish skills and this blog. In every interview I've been in I have been asked about this blog simply because I put it on my resume. It's a great conversation starter and gives you a chance to talk about the things you're interested in. 

Below, I have included an example of how to set up your law school resume--feel free to use this as a way to format your resume! 




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