1L Legal Resume Questions

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
JerichoJohnny
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:28 pm

1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby JerichoJohnny » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:36 pm

As I've been struggling to convert my resume from a professional (i.e. financial sector) business resume to a legal resume, I've faced some challenges, but I am pretty happy with where I am now, considering that I have absolutely no legal experience on my resume, but mainly retail management experience and again, work in the financial sector.

In any case, I've become involved in a handful of legal organizations on campus to help fluff out my resume a bit, but after a recent meeting with someone in our career services office who is, apparently, a "resume specialist," I had a couple of questions.

I am a 1L at a Tier 1 school, and was pretty happy with my first semester. No doubt some of you will tell me to go ahead and drop out right now, but my grades were an A (top 10 in class), a B and two C+'s. This has put me a few percentage points about the 50% mark at my school. Only one class was truly a let-down for me, as the other C was essentially a class I wrote off early on. Tenured professor who couldn't have been a worse professor and whose exam was one-step above hieroglyphics.

When speaking to the resume specialist, I was told that under no circumstances should I put Top 50%, since that it so terrible. Their suggestion was to put something like "A in Contracts" and leave the rest alone, including class rank and overall GPA.

Is this sound advice? It seems like by focusing on that one A in such an obvious fashion I might be making myself sound even worse than I already am. I feel like, while Top half is not nearly Top 35% or Top 10%, it it still better than most of my peers, and might not necessarily be the worst thing to put on my resume, rather than leave potential summer hiring personnel wondering if I'm bottom of the class or something.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby shock259 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:04 pm

Don't list it. And don't put anything weird like "A in Contracts" in there either. A potential employer will see all your grades when you give them your transcript (which all will ask for you). Just be ready to talk about why you didn't do so well in certain classes and what you've done to improve it since then.

JerichoJohnny
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:28 pm

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby JerichoJohnny » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:09 pm

That makes a lot more sense to me. Thanks. Yeah, as for this "resume specialist" I got the sense that she was more of generic resume person than someone schooled in what a LEGAL resume should be focusing on.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby kalvano » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:05 am

I don't understand the idea behind not listing class rank. They are going to figure it out eventually, if they even bother with your résumé instead of throwing it away.

Better to be up front about it, I think.

Agent
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby Agent » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:48 am

+1

shock259 wrote:Don't list it. And don't put anything weird like "A in Contracts" in there either. A potential employer will see all your grades when you give them your transcript (which all will ask for you). Just be ready to talk about why you didn't do so well in certain classes and what you've done to improve it since then.

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby guano » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:51 am

kalvano wrote:I don't understand the idea behind not listing class rank. They are going to figure it out eventually, if they even bother with your résumé instead of throwing it away.

Better to be up front about it, I think.

I"ve been specifically told that not listing GPA is suspicious. Furthermore, if you don't list rank and your GPA isn't particularly high, the assumption is that you're below median

JerichoJohnny
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:28 pm

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby JerichoJohnny » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:06 am

I would personally feel better having my class rank on there. Most of the jobs I am looking for (government agencies, non-profits) seem to want people around the Top 35%. My actual rank is currently around 47% - if I DO list it does it make more sense to get that specific or to just put Top 50%?

As for the GPA itself, my school does it on a numerical scale of 100 I think - or is it 200? In any case, it is not 4.0 scale, so would it be best to leave it as is, since all of this information is also mentioned on the unofficial transcript most employers request with job applications?

I'm interested to hear there is a debate and differing opinions about these subjects we've all heard. It reminds me a lot of the effort that went into drafting my non-legal resume in that there are different formulas for success.

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: 1L Legal Resume Questions

Postby guano » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:08 am

don't list top 47%; it's retarded and no one cares about such specificity.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.