Curriculum Vitae: A Guide to Building one in Law School (Sample)
The truth must be leaked: There is no one way to have a perfect Curriculum Vitae for a law student. All formats work if some particulars are kept in mind while drafting one. These particulars are listed below. I. Important Particulars of Curriculum Vitae 1. Personal Particulars Name of the individual, name of the college, course specification including… Read More »
The truth must be leaked: There is no one way to have a perfect Curriculum Vitae for a law student. All formats work if some particulars are kept in mind while drafting one. These particulars are listed below.
I. Important Particulars of Curriculum Vitae
1. Personal Particulars
Name of the individual, name of the college, course specification including the year the student is studying in, date of birth, current address, email address, phone number.
2. Academic Background
This should include the student's overall score in the 10th and 12th standard along with the particulars of the school one passed out from and the board under which the exams were taken (CBSE/ICSE, etc). Since the individual is a university student now, this part should also include the overall grade point of semesters covered in the college.
3. Internship Experience
This should include the specifications of the place the individual has interned in/under (firm/lawyer/company/NGO), the period for which that internship has lasted, and the work the intern had been assigned to do including, but not limited to, the drafting, researching, assisting, proof-reading of documents of cases.
4. Extra-Curricular and Co-curricular Activities
This should include participation and/or achievements in activities like Parliamentary Debates, Model United Nations, moots, trial advocacy competitions, essay writing competitions, judgement writing competitions, paper publications, sports, etc.
The difference between extra-curricular and co-curricular activities is that the latter includes those activities that aid/complement the learning process of the students in college with respect to their courses while the former are activities outside the purview, of course, one is studying.
II. A law school is the most conducive place to have your boundaries tested in terms of intellectual progress and personality development.
Not only does an institution like a law school provide avenues to participate in team activities like moots and debates but also allows for opportunities to shine for those who wish to work in an individual-centric setup.
Integrated courses in law school like the BA LLB (Hons) and BBA LLB (Hons) allow for a long period of 5 years to students to finish with their graduation and acquire a Bachelor's degree. While the academic curriculum and the pressure of passing and/or performing well is always a looming pressure on any and every law student mind, there is also the task of building a wholesome and impressive Curriculum Vitae by the time one has graduated, in order to become a lucrative option for prospective employers and colleges to hire/admit you.
This can be done through various means however one must definitely note that once the law student has decided on a field to pursue then an impressive quality to inculcate in pursuance of one's future endeavours would be to specialise in that one field/subject. Such a quality can reflect in the form of extra courses pursued in that subject or moot court competitions under that subject or a research paper published on a topic under that subject. All of these are valid means to develop as well as showcase dedication towards a field of your interest.
Employers might treat you like all the other candidates from various law schools while considering your internship/job applications, however, what will set you apart would be the quality of recognising your field of interest and dedicatedly pursuing it. A focussed attitude, a mind that practices prioritisation, and a disciplined approach towards an aim are all extremely laudable qualities and would go a long way in casting a good impression.
1. Participating in Competitions
- For Moot Court Competitions, most, if not all colleges have a process of intra-college bidding based on either an intra college moot court competition or something else that decides which team shall represent the institution at the state/national/international level.
If one has a knack for public speaking and/or research, moots are a brilliant means to hone those skills and learn about a subject matter in depth. The month or two long process of preparing for the same is also a very happening time and brings the best out of law students as they have to learn to manage the stress of the deadlines of the competition along with their academic obligations in college. One must take part in the intra college shortlisting process for being able to take part in these competitions elsewhere.
- For Parliamentary Debating also, most, if not all colleges have an internal method of deciding who gets to represent the college in which tournament and in order to be able to do that one must become a part of that elimination process. This may be in the form of taking part in an intra college Parliamentary Debating tournament and/or becoming a part of the Debating Society of the college.
- For most other competitions whereas many individuals can participate and there is no team/individual participation cap, one can register and participate individually. One can know about these competitions through various websites that aim to keep law students abreast with new and upcoming events. Some of these are listed below:
- Legal Bites
- Live Law
2. Writing a Research Paper
Various institutions run various journals and magazines under different subject heads and call for research papers on their websites or through other legal websites (abovementioned). This process is either peer-reviewed or reviewed by teachers/professors.
Getting research papers published involves a slightly lengthy process that involves editing, adding/subtracting references, formatting that may be conveyed to the author by the editing team once the paper is selected for publication. There are other methods of publication as well which require paper presentation in various conferences contingent on which one's research paper is selected for publication.
3. Applying for Internships
No doubt it is not an easy task to get an internship in the legal field in India owing to the high level of competition, however, if one applies 3-6 months in advance, there is a better chance at securing an internship spot. A good cover letter goes a long way in casting a good impression too.
For this one must mention the following things:
- The period for which one is seeking the internship and the specification of the dates
- Your background experience with respect to your erstwhile internships and your co-curricular and extracurricular endeavours
- The reason you wish to intern in the place you're applying for an internship to
- A thankful note requesting the perusal of the attached documents and an expectation of an affirmative reply
Once you have applied for the internship, you must follow up on the process of your internship application by either email or telephoning the office. Oftentimes one does not know when the firm/Company decides to shortlist interns and if you have not been shortlisted, knowing that helps you re-navigate your course of action in order to secure an internship elsewhere.
Apart from the fact that volunteering is in and of itself a good activity, there is also a consequential argument behind why one should volunteer. Volunteering brings a reflection of who you are as an individual to your Curriculum Vitae. This reflection speaks of an individual who is ready to walk the extra mile even if there are no returns attached to it. It shows good character and helpfulness. In a situation where you may be pit against another candidate with equal qualifications and grades, a bit of volunteering will set you apart.
For volunteering in law school, one can apply to any NGO for legal or non-legal work. There are many NGOs in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. These NGOs range from teaching ones to ones providing free legal aid. Any law student is an asset to such organisations with their knowledge in law and command over the language.
Lastly, one must ensure that one does not get so engrossed in building a Curriculum Vitae that one neglects tasks that bring them pleasure. There may be times when one is in a dilemma and has to choose between two tasks where one of them probably brings pleasure and enrichment of a kind that cannot be quantified in a Curriculum Vitae and the other is a monotonous task that only decorates the C.V. Oftentimes, law students overlook their mental health and that accumulates and manifests into detrimental habits later on.
Five years is a long time and one can always commit oneself to a task a couple of months later than planned if something more fun/fulfilling comes up. It is, after all, our own duty, to check up on ourselves and our mental health and that can only happen if we maintain a balance between fun and work. Of course, this balance may look different for different human beings that is completely alright.
Hope you have a great time in law school!