Composing a resume can be stressful and very tricky for law students or lawyers trying to land a position at a law firm. You might even think about how to organize all your information and if all experience should even be included.
While there are plenty of helpful articles on how law students can attain experience and fill in resume gaps
during law school and college, there is a lack of guidance on formatting, writing, and editing the resume to make sure it’s in shipshape form and ready to be sent.
During my college years and now while looking though others’ resumes, I’ve realized that many people (not just college students) make simple spelling mistakes, formatting errors, disastrous design blunders, and other resume no-no’s that are sure to put them in the trash pile. So I thought back to what I did in college and what a few law professors
recommended in order to avoid these resume worries.
1. Take Classes that will prepare you for the Bar
Taking specific classes will set you up for that bar exam that you have been dreading. However, it is highly recommended to take classes such as:
- Contracts and Sales
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Civil Procedure
- Real Property
Studying for the bar exam can be quite irritating, although, as you prepare for the exam, it will be less stressful when you are reviewing the material as opposed to learning new subjects.
2. Visit Your Adviser or a Law Professor
Your adviser or trusted law professors are there to give you undivided attention, not just for helping you arrange your class schedule, but for anything related to your future career success
. The best thing about them is they were schooled in your major and have probably had to write multiple resumes and CVs over the course of their career. Take advantage of these resources because most students don’t, which leaves more time for you!
3. Visit Your Law School Career Services
Counselors at your law school career center are trained to help you with resumes and all things pertaining to finding a legal internship or legal position. Use them because they’re there and they’re free!
4. Go to the Tutor Center
No, you’re not going to look like a slacker if you visit the tutor or writing center. Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes and even though you’re not going there to solve a formula or write an English paper, smart, fresh eyes on your resume are always helpful and can catch errors you may not see.
5. Keep it short
When writing a resume, number one advice is to keep it concise. Legal hiring managers can be extremely busy and don’t have time to read a resume that is too wordy or disorganized. Remember to write about some key points and make sure your resume is unique enough to standout by highlighting your strengths.
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