Why your Law School Resume is Different Than Your Job Resume

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Your law school applications include submitting a resume. Many applicants make the mistake of overlooking this – they simply take their job resume and send it along. But the resume is a fabulous opportunity to really explain your activities and accomplishments to law schools, so take some time and re-work it before submitting it with your applications.

1. It’s about facts, not focus. You’re trying to show the law school how you’ve spent your time while highlighting various experiences, passions and interests rather than a long, clear focus on things that qualify you for a particular job.

2. It’s about your duties and accomplishments, not lessons learned. Instead of including statements like, “Learned customer service in a fast-paced environment,” as you might on a job resume, draft bullet point descriptions that show the time you put in. It’s actually pretty impressive to work while in school so include, “Worked 18-20 hours per week as a barista to pay for books and living expenses,” instead of writing yourself a letter of recommendation about what you learned.

3. It’s about effort, not prestige. I mean, if you have prestigious things to include on your resume, great, but don’t leave off the grunt work. Law schools want to know you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard; they want to hear that you haven’t kept yourself locked up in an ivory tower. Come to think of it, many employers would be impressed by this kind of work, too. Don’t hide it – shine it.

4. It’s about your passions, not punishment. Stop worrying about whether the person reading it will agree with your political or religious activities. Unless you’re associated with a hate group, include your activities that demonstrate your passions. Law schools want/need to seat a diverse class. They don’t punish people for their beliefs. If a school doesn’t want you because you’re a Log Cabin Republican, then – trust me – you don’t want that school.

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