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4 Law School Activities to Put on Your Entry-Level Attorney Résumé

Published July 3, 2018

Whether you’re just entering law school or on your way out, you’ll eventually need an entry-level attorney résumé. If you’re just getting started, you can put these activities on your to-do list.

Above all, the #1 rule of résumé writing is relevance. Employers want to see education, experience, and activities that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Make sure you tailor your résumé to the industry or job role.

Second, real-world experience is often the make-or-break factor for job applicants. You’ll want to include as much experiential activity on your résumé as possible.

1. Clinical Legal Education

Law school clinics give you valuable experience in a law practice under the guidance of an expert attorney. If your career goals include joining a law practice, legal clinics are the perfect addition to your résumé.

Some clinical opportunities may include:

  • Animal law clinics
  • Civil liberties & transparency clinics
  • Community justice clinics
  • Environmental advocacy
  • Family violence & women’s rights clinics
  • Health justice clinics
  • Law & social work clinics
  • Mediation clinics
  • Disaster recovery / international law clinics (for example, here at UB Law we have the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Clinic)

2. Externships

Externships provide a different type of real-world experience. Externships are for students who want to go into public service roles in the government & non-profit sectors.

Some externship placements may include:

  • U.S. Attorney’s office
  • Volunteer Lawyer’s Project
  • Immigrations & Customs Enforcement
  • Journey’s End Refugee Services
  • District Attorney’s office

3. Practica

Practicum courses are classes based on service learning alongside practicing lawyers. You assist professional attorneys while receiving guidance from a professor to help you absorb both observational and practical lessons.

Different schools will offer different options for practicum courses. At UB Law, we offer three choices:

  • Criminal Law
  • Pro Se Civil Litigation Support
  • Veterans Legal Assistance

4. Pro Bono

Most law schools have a pro bono requirement for all law students. In New York specifically, there is a 50-hour minimum each student must meet. You’ll be required to fill out documentation for your pro bono work, so you can refer to that document when writing your résumé.

You can likely fulfill your pro bono requirements with externships, practica, and legal clinics, but you can also do volunteer work outside of school to beef up your résumé.

If you want experience in an area your school doesn’t offer, doing pro bono work with a third party law firm or organization can only do good things for your résumé.

Building the Foundation for Your Legal Career

Law school isn’t just book learning. It’s the kickstart for your career. If you can participate in one or more (or all) of the above activities, the experience will build a stronger résumé, and make you a stronger candidate for your dream entry-level attorney position.

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Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.

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