Most law schools request a résumé as part of the application.
Although no rules exist regarding a law school résumé, it's slightly different than a professional résumé. Following are some pointers and tips about law school résumés:
- Pay attention to length. Some law schools have a strict 1-page limit, while others are flexible. Check the requirements indicated on the application or the school’s website to determine the appropriate length.
- Consider the two Rs: recent and relevant. Ideally, each item on your résumé should be both, but at minimum each item should be recent or highly relevant.
- Edit thoughtfully. There's no need for padding the résumé by including everything from the last 20 years. Think about what law schools value.
- Be personal—within limits. Remember that law schools are interested in what you've done outside of the classroom and who you are as a person. Given that most law schools do not interview, your résumé and personal statement are the only opportunities you'll have to personalize the application. Therefore, a law school résumé might be slightly more personal than a professional résumé while still maintaining a professional tone.
- Include sections. Think about the elements that law schools are most interested in: education and academic performance, work experience, and community or campus involvement. Also remember that law school admissions professionals will be looking for evidence of the American Bar Association's recommended skills (ability to analyze or problem-solve, research, writing, oral communication, and community involvement).
- Demonstrate time management. Given that law schools are also trying to gauge how applicants have been managing their time, it may also be beneficial to note how many hours per week you've devoted to your work or extracurricular activities. It can be very hard to assess how time-intensive some activities are, such as sports, a part-time job, band or chorus, or clubs.
- Review sample résumés and suggestions. As a start, refer to the following websites:
- Ask us to review your résumé. The same process for personal statement reviews applies; please make an appointment by calling 217-333-9669 and email us your résumé 2 business days prior to the appointment. We'll review it and be prepared to discuss it with you at the appointment time.