Q: Do employers expect to see law students’ Education as the first entry atop their resumes?
A: Employers expect a resume to be compelling rather than cookie cutter. If a student has had a prior career that is pertinent to the practice of law, involving for example research, writing, and a dedication to accuracy and deadlines…such as journalism, or has shown a longstanding and outstanding commitment to the law…such a paralegal job at a well known firm, the resume could begin there and proceed chronologically.
If a law student’s college was more prominent than his or her law school, starting with the college atop the Education section, atop the resume or not, and similarly moving chronologically in the Employment section, identifying any Pre-Law Roles or Prior Business Experience, for example, with subheadings rather than providing one undifferentiated list of jobs before and during law school, will be more impactful then the “law school look” resume everyone on campus is advised to use.
Standing out, in a positive, professional way is what a good job search is about. Try different approaches rather than just one, if you have any concerns, and test the reaction among employers. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that they don’t all just think one way, either.