Compelling Harvard Law Resume: 9 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Your Writing

Attorney Shaking Hands

So, you want to study law at Harvard. Since this is one of the top schools in the US, competition for the open slots is high. Thus, you will need to apply everything necessary to help you stand out.

Typically, you will have less than a minute to impress the reader with your Harvard law resume. It is as vital as your LSAT scores, Harvard personal statement, and every other application document.

Common Mistakes when writing a Resume

  1. Unnecessary Details

Every resume should be tailored to the opportunity you are applying for. It means every detail you share should be the best way to market yourself for that position. Create a narrative that demonstrates your journey to this particular path; applying to Harvard Law.

Your high-school accomplishments may not necessarily help you achieve this. College and post-grad work will be more persuasive.

  1. Giving descriptions not accomplishments

Your Harvard law school resume should highlight skills and achievements that make you a suitable candidate for the program. It could be your participation and contribution to pre-law societies, or experience as a paralegal.

Give examples of what you achieved in these roles.

  1. First-person reference

It’s best to use the third person when referring to yourself. That is, your sentences should imply to the “applicant” as the subject.

  1. Typographical Errors

Such errors make the reader cringe. Lost punctuation marks, misspelled words, or errors in subject-verb agreement. It reflects negatively on your ability to pay attention to details.

Use the right tense for your descriptions. The present tense is for things that are currently going on, and past tense for those that already happened.

  1. Irrelevant sections

Since this is an academic resume, you need to demonstrate that you can thrive in an educational setting. Therefore, the skills, objectives, and summary of qualifications are unnecessary for a law school resume.

Areas to pay attention to in your Resume

  1. Inconsistency

Maintaining consistency in your tabs and margins makes the document easy to read. Let it flow between sections. Also, present your information in a readable and scan-able format.

Refrain from using several sizes and fonts on the same resume, too.

  1. Length

A compelling resume provides evidence of your commitment to public service and familiarity with the legal profession. It’s what the admissions officer is looking for when going through your resume.

If possible, keep the information in one page.

  1. Mismatch of information

The information you share on your resume should be truthful. Avoid exaggerations. Also, ensure that you use the personal statement to corroborate your resume. That is, they both should seem to come from the same person.

Final Advice on Writing Law School Resume

  1. Proofread

It’s essential to take time away from writing and go through the developed piece. It helps you identify areas that need rectification or fleshing out. You can also ask someone to go through it, to get a different perspective on the quality of the resume.

Getting to Harvard law school is highly competitive, but with the right tools and investment of necessary effort, you boost your chances of acceptance. Use the tips highlighted above to tailor your resume and showcase yourself as a suitable candidate.

Also, as with every application, it’s better to start early. It gives you time to revise and revisit the requested documents as you tweak them to the requirements of the institution.

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