How To Write a Compelling Law Student Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 7, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

With a written legal resume, you can convince an employer to select you over several other candidates. A potential boss expects applicants to have high qualifications for them to get hired. If you recently graduated and are ready to look for entry-level jobs, it is imperative to understand what to include in your resume to stand out from others. In this article, we define what a law student resume is, learn how to compose one, and discover tips for composing a persuasive resume with a template and an example.

What is a law student resume?

A law student resume is a document that lists your academic qualifications. You present it to employers when applying for an internship or entry-level job. After graduating from school, you can take up internships to gain work experience. You can compose a compelling resume that influences hiring managers to pick you with your law papers and practical experience gained during internships.

Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience

How to compose a law resume

Follow the following steps when writing a resume that shows you are an asset a recruiter may want to consider:

1. Choose an official font and format

It's important to present yourself as a serious applicant in your resume. Use a dark and simple-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Garamond. Make your background neutral and choose the proper format. To promote your most recent achievements, consider a layout that follows a reverse-chronological order.

Related: The Best Fonts for Your Resume

2. Write a resume header

The top of your resume requires your contact information. Write your first name and surname, official email address, and a reachable phone number. The header section requires portraying a presentable image of you. So, your email address requires your official name.

Related: How to Create a Resume Header (With Example)

3. Start with a career objective

The first sentence you compose on your resume grabs the attention of recruiting employers and gives them a general impression of you. Talk about your short-term objectives in your first or second sentence. Include that the reason you want to be hired is because you have very little or no experience but that you have an interest in and passion for growing in the industry. Emphasize portraying a sense of motivation and top skills to your potential employer.

Related: Writing an Objective for a Resume for a Fresher (With How To)

4. Write about your professional experience

List any internships or volunteer jobs you have done and mention the roles you handled. To sound more convincing, begin with action verbs such as coordinate, perform, or organize. Other information you can add to this section includes:

  • relevant freelance jobs

  • court volunteer jobs

  • pro bono work

  • the experience gained during internship periods

5. Describe your academic qualifications

Use a well-organized format to list your educational achievements, with the most recent qualification at the top. Also, write your key academic achievements, if there are any, and mention your GPA if it is greater than 3.5. A good format follows the order below:

  • degree

  • institution issuing the degree

  • date of graduation

  • if applicable, majors and minors

Related: How To List Education On Your Resume (With Examples)

6. List your skills

The legal industry requires competency, hence a law student requires several skills and abilities. When listing them in your student resume, tailor your skills to match the job on offer. For example, if you are applying for a position as an attorney at a hiring firm, mention skills such as the ability to work in teams, problem-solving skills, and strong verbal skills.

7. Mention your previously published law articles

If you recently published a law article, list them and give brief information about their release date. If you have too much information to cram into your resume, you can leave out this section. Include a note that says something like, A list of previously published law articles is available upon your request.

8. Keep updating your resume

Keep your student resume as up-to-date as possible. As you earn a new skill, experience, or academic qualification that applies to the law, input it into your law resume. Also, this helps you ease customizing your resume for a specific application.

Related: 10 Steps on How to Update a Resume (Benefits and Tips)

9. Convert your resume into PDF form

To maintain a stable and concise format, change the format of your resume into a PDF. This also prevents your document from being edited and used by someone else. It's an exceptional case when the recruiter requires you to submit in a different form.

Related: How To Email a Resume

8 tips for composing a persuasive resume

Follow these eight tips to come up with a powerful resume that compels clients to hire you:

1. Use a template

A pre-designed template helps you craft an easily customizable resume. Find the best template that matches the variety of jobs you are applying for. It is important to ensure the final template follows a format that best highlights your achievements.

2. Keep your resume short, simple, and concise

Use just one page to describe your strengths and convince recruiters to hire you. Since managers are typically busy, they may skim through your resume and give serious attention to sections that truly sound valuable. Therefore, make sure to include only relevant information. It's also important to be as concise and clear as possible for improved readability.

3. Be objective

Your resume requires showing your achievements and qualifications rather than your personal attributes that aren't relevant to the workplace. Avoid talking about your personal preferences or opinions about your past achievements. Staying objective crucially shows your focus and dedication to recruiters.

4. Structure your resume for easy readability

Use clear and bold headings and bullet points to construct your resume. Structure your resume to let the hiring manager navigate easily when finding essential information. Ensure you leave a lot of white space on your resume to make it look appealing.

5. Be specific

Mention exact dates and locations when mentioning details about your achievements. Describe the tasks you performed when gaining practical experience clearly and succinctly. Ensure you include essential information only.

6. Customize your resume

Avoid using a similar resume for all your job applications. Instead, customize your resume to match each employer's requirements because different employers look for unique skills. This becomes easier if you keep updating your resume each time you achieve something new.

7. Use keywords

After carefully going through a job posting and understanding what the employer is looking for, craft your resume to match the ideal character of the candidate they want. For example, if the employer mentions keywords such as case law or contract law, include them in your resume. This can increase your chances of the employer short-listing you, but make sure you only include those skills that you actually have so you remain truthful during the hiring process.

8. Proofread before sending

Ensure your grammar, tenses, spelling, and punctuation are appropriate before sending your resume. Also, determine that the format is uniform throughout your document. A good way of managing significant results is by editing as you go and reading each word out loud or having someone proofread it.

Related: How To Be More Detail-Oriented (With Definition and Resume Tips)

Resume template

You can follow this template to write a resume:

[First and last name]
[City, province/territory]
[Email address]
[Phone number]
[Links, if there are any]

[Career objective: Professional targets in one sentence or two sentences]

[Previous achievements: Three previous achievements demonstrate experience in law, starting with the most recent one]

[Education: Degree, institution, and the date you are due to graduate]

[Skills]

[Previous publications]

Template example

This example may guide you to coming up with a compelling resume:

Brandon James
Toronto, Quebec
JamesBrandon00@email.com
333-5645-1004

Career Objective

I desire to apply my knowledge of legal affairs as a law student at Company ABC and to employ my analytical and interpersonal skills in the legal field.

Experience

Jet Advocates
Summer volunteer, summer 2018

  • Prepared for pro-bono cases and criminal defence

  • Conducted legal research for defence

  • Handled client queries about services offered and available resources

Maxi Brothers Law Firm
Freelance attorney, May to July 2017

  • Examined more than 50 contracts and oversaw over 60 transactions

Matrix Company
Attorney intern

  • Assisted with solving LLC disputes

  • Carried out tasks on data entry

Education

Master of Arts in Civil Law Studies
Huron University College
Expected date of graduation: April 2022
Bachelor of Arts in Law

King's University College
September 2012-December 2016

  • Honours: Champion of the province debate in 2014 and 2015

  • First-class honours' degree

Skills

  • A good team player with persuasive skills

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

  • Strong oral communication skills

  • Proficient attention to detail

  • Strong analytical skills in decision making

  • Outstanding problem-solving skills

Previous publications

As a freelance writer, I wrote articles on legal matters for The Eagle Law magazine. Published materials can be found at theeaglelawmagazine.com/author/BrandonJames.

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