A professional resume is very similar to a traditional resume. The biggest difference is that a professional resume links your job experience in logical succession; with a professional resume, you would most likely not list two unrelated jobs back to back. Since you are seeking a legal internship, it can be tricky to show increasing levels of experience, but it can be done. Review a few professional legal internship resume templates to get an idea of what to do, and check out the sample free professional legal internship resume below. We have included a few tips after the sample resume to help you develop an excellent professional resume.
What to Include in a Professional Legal Internship Resume
When you write a professional legal internship resume, it is important that your work experience connects logically. In other words, you would not list a prior legal internship and then a pizza delivery job. Instead of the pizza delivery job, you might list your position as a law club president, even if it is unpaid. List employment experience in logical chains; if you lack much experience, then focus on transferable skills such as research and communication. To make for easier reading, use bullet points to set your key content apart from the rest of the resume.
Common Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Not Explaining Your Bar Status: Have you passed the bar? Are you in law school? Make clear early on in the resume if you are an active law student and whether you plan to sit for the bar or have passed.
- Including Class Rank/GPA: Avoid including your GPA or class rank unless it is excellent, say, a 4.0 GPA or being in the top 10 percent of your class.
- Listing Common Skills: In this day and age, everyone knows how to use Microsoft Word, and legal interns should already know how to use Lexis and Westlaw. Unless you are a high school student, it is best to leave off such information. Another exception: If the internship description specifically mentions these skills, you have more leeway to include them.
- Overdoing Your Formatting: A professional resume is no place for unusual fonts and daring experiments. Save the exclamation points and pink-colored letters for your art projects.
981 Blanche Drive, Roanoke, VA 11111
Dedicated third-year law student concerned with environmental issues. Prior internships with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and the EPA. Proficient in quickly identifying and researching crucial environmental issues such as pollution and illegal dumping. Seeking environmental law experience with a professional firm.
Developed EPA presentation to help companies prevent violations
Conducted legal research on Virginia environmental issues
Assistance with depositions and discovery
Classes on issues such as impact of pesticides, air pollution, urban sprawl, food safety, water safety
Sitting for [month, year] Virginia Bar Examination
Excellent research and analytical skills
Well-rounded communicator and collaborator
Legal Research Intern
6/1/2015 – 8/1/2015
Virginia Attorney General’s Office – Richmond, VA
Researched case law to help attorneys with depositions and discovery.
Prepared deposition and discovery files.
Focused on issues such as solar power and protecting Virginia’s rivers.
Developed possible lines of argument based on research.
Presented ideas to attorneys.
Legal Research Intern
6/1/2014 – 8/1/2014
Environmental Protection Agency – Washington, D.C.
Researched common ways that companies commit EPA violations.
Created presentation to help companies prevent violations.
Developed one-page, easy-to-scan version of EPA presentation.
Conducted research on Resource Conservation and Recovery Act/pollution cleanup sites.
Aided attorneys with Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act prosecutions.
Doctor of Jurisprudence candidate, 06/2016
Mead Law School, Roanoke, VA
Bachelor of Arts in English, 06/2013
Bletherin University, Bletherin, FL