How to Write a Legal Intern Resume
Your legal intern resume format is as important as how you write your resume. This sample resume demonstrates the best resume layout to follow: 1-inch margins, bullet points and clear resume headings for each of the following sections.
Professional header and contact info
Include your name, contact information and a professional email address.
Compelling summary statement
A brief resume summary or objective highlighting two or three law-relevant skills, experience or accomplishments.
Highlight your skills
Create a dedicated section to showcase hard and soft skills specific to law work, like legal research, legal writing and case analysis.
Emphasize your work history
List your work experience in reverse-chronological order. Include job titles, company names, dates of employment and key responsibilities and achievements for each role in a bullet list.
Supporting education section
Detail your educational background, mentioning any relevant degrees, diplomas or certifications obtained.
You can add resume sections for licenses, certifications, industry memberships or unions, awards, volunteer experience or spoken languages.
How to Write a Legal Intern Resume Summary
As a professional new-comer, your resume summary plays double duty: introducing your skills, education, and career goals while downplaying your lack of relevant experience. A compelling summary can make a lasting impression on potential employers and set you apart from other candidates. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful legal intern resume summary:
Be concise and engaging
Keep the summary brief, ideally two to three sentences, while maintaining its impact and holding the reader’s attention.
Highlight relevant skills
Emphasize key skills and qualifications that align with the legal intern role, such as legal research, writing and knowledge of relevant laws and regulations.
Highlight any accomplishments or notable contributions from previous internships, coursework or extracurricular activities demonstrating your legal intern potential.
Tailor to the job
Customize the summary for each application, aligning it with the specific requirements and responsibilities of the desired legal internship.
“Diligent and detail-oriented law student with a strong legal research and writing foundation. Demonstrated success in assisting senior attorneys with complex cases and contributing to key research projects. Eager to leverage my analytical skills and passion for justice to support the legal team at Bernstein Law Firm and excel as a legal intern.”
This legal intern resume summary effectively showcases the job seeker’s relevant skills, including legal research and writing. They highlight their specific achievements from previous internships, indicating their ability to support senior attorneys and contribute to meaningful research projects. The job seeker also expresses enthusiasm and readiness to contribute to Bernstein Law Firm.
“Hardworking and motivated law student seeking a legal intern position. I have some experience with legal research and writing. I want to gain more exposure to the legal field and work with professionals.”
This legal intern resume summary needs more specific details and quantifiable achievements. This job seeker can upgrade this resume summary by adding specific skills or details. Instead of legal research, the job seeker can specify if they specialize in property, environment or local zoning research.
Try the resume objective if you’re a first-time job seeker, freelancer or career changer. This alternative introduction pitches your transferable skills and downplays your lack of directly-relevant experience.
How to Add Your Legal Intern Work History
The work history section of your legal intern resume is an opportunity to showcase your relevant experiences and legal contributions during internships, clerkships or other legal roles. It allows potential employers to understand your practical skills and how you’ve applied legal knowledge in real-world settings. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful legal intern work history resume section:
Relevance is key
Focus on legal internships, clerkships or any positions where you gained legal experience. include relevant job titles, the organization’s name, location, and involvement dates.
Highlight legal responsibilities
Detail specific legal tasks and responsibilities you handled during your internships, such as legal research, drafting legal documents, client interviews and case support.
Emphasize notable contributions or accomplishments during legal internships, such as assisting with significant cases or research projects.
Quantify impact (where applicable)
Use quantifiable measures or examples to demonstrate the impact of your work, such as the number of legal documents drafted, cases supported or successful outcomes.
Legal Intern Seeley Law Firm, Baltimore, MD May 2022 – August 2022
Conducted extensive legal research on labor laws and regulatory compliance, contributing to preparing client advisories and memoranda.
Drafted pleadings, motions, and legal correspondence under the guidance of senior attorneys, ensuring accuracy and adherence to court requirements.
Assisted in client interviews, taking detailed notes and summarizing case information for case strategy discussions.
Supported trial preparation by organizing case documents and exhibits, resulting in streamlined proceedings.
This legal intern work history effectively showcases the job seeker’s relevant experiences during the internship. They focus on specific legal tasks, such as legal research and drafting, demonstrating their practical legal skills. The candidate also quantifies their impact by mentioning their contributions to client advisories and trial preparation, showing their value as a legal intern.
Legal Intern Seeley Law Firm, Baltimore, MD May 2022 – August 2022
Assisted with various legal tasks.
Conducted legal research and drafted documents.
Supported attorneys in court proceedings and case preparation.
This legal intern work history needs more specific details and quantifiable achievements. The description must be more precise, highlighting the candidate’s contributions or showcasing their legal skills. The lack of specificity weakens the impact, making it less compelling to potential employers.
How to Write a Legal Intern Education Section
The education section of your legal intern resume is a critical component that highlights your academic qualifications and any relevant training or certifications in the legal field. This section gives potential employers insights into your legal education and specialized knowledge. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful legal intern education resume section:
1Start with your highest degree
Begin with your highest level of legal education attained. Include the degree earned, the name of the educational institution, location and graduation year.
Education formatting example:
Juris Doctor (J.D.) Loyola University
Chicago, IL | Graduated: May 2022
2Include relevant coursework
Mention any specialized coursework or legal subjects you studied that align with the specific legal intern role you’re applying for.
Coursework formatting example:
Intellectual Property Law | Loyola University Chicago
Criminal Law and Procedure | Loyola University Chicago
Civil Procedure | Loyola University Maryland
3Highlight honors and awards
If you achieved any academic honors, scholarships or awards during your legal studies, consider mentioning them to demonstrate exceptional achievements.
Honors formatting example:
Dean’s List Scholar,
Loyola University Chicago | Fall 2020
4Relevant legal workshops or seminars
Include any relevant legal workshops, seminars, or conferences you attended, especially those related to your desired field.
Workshop formatting example:
Workshop on Contract Law and Negotiations, Legal Professionals Conference, 2021
5Certifications or Bar admissions (if applicable)
If you have passed the bar exam or obtained any legal certifications, include them in this section.
Certifications formatting example:
Admitted to the Illinois State Bar
15 Skills for Your Legal Intern Resume
The skills section of your legal intern resume is a vital aspect that showcases your abilities and competencies relevant to the legal field. This section includes soft, hard and technical skills specific to a legal intern. Follow these guidelines to create an impactful legal intern skills resume section:
20 Legal Intern Action Verbs
As a legal intern seeking to make a strong impression on potential employers, infusing your resume with dynamic action verbs that showcase your proactive approach and legal capabilities is essential. Here are 20 resume power words specifically tailored for legal interns. These verbs will invigorate your resume, emphasizing your active contributions and readiness to excel in the legal profession.
Additional Resume Sections
Consider adding the following sections to your legal intern resume based on your specific circumstances and to enhance your qualifications:
Use a Cover Letter to Express Yourself
A resume is a concise overview of your skills and experience — a cover letter expands on this foundation. Add a cover letter to share one or two examples of how you excelled in similar roles or how your skills match a company’s needs. Use this sample as a guide or visit our helpful resources to boost your application.
Legal Intern Resume FAQ
How can I make my legal intern resume stand out to potential employers?
Tailor your resume to the specific legal internship and emphasize relevant skills, coursework and any legal experience you gained during law school or previous internships. Showcase your achievements and highlight any unique contributions that set you apart from other candidates.
Should I include my law school GPA on my legal intern resume?
If your GPA is competitive and showcases your academic excellence, you may include it. However, if your GPA could be stronger, highlight other strengths like relevant legal experience and skills.
Is it necessary to include references on my legal intern resume?
No, including references directly on your resume is not recommended. Instead, create a separate reference page with names, titles, contact information and a brief description of your relationship with each reference. Provide this page when requested during the interview process.
How can I demonstrate my legal research skills on my resume?
Showcase your legal research skills by mentioning any research projects you undertook during law school or internships. Emphasize the legal databases and resources you used (e.g., Westlaw or LexisNexis) and any research papers or memos you authored.
Should I include non-legal work experience on my legal intern resume?
Yes, it can be valuable to include if your non-legal work experience demonstrates transferable skills such as communication, leadership or problem-solving. Focus on skills relevant to the legal field and highlight how they can contribute to your effectiveness as a legal intern.