Legal Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Legal jobs pay big and let you use your powers for the public good. But how can you convince a firm to hire you? Show your legal skills with your professional legal resume.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Legal Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Looking for a legal job is awful. You hunt and apply, and hear the silence of an empty courtroom.

 

Plus, you feel like your law resume is vanishing without being read.

 

That feeling is probably true.

 

Hiring managers skim resumes. They don’t read them carefully.

 

Your wonderful legal skills are probably being disregarded.

 

Break precedent with a great law firm resume.

 

With the right law firm accomplishments, you’ll shine like Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

 

In this guide:

  • A legal resume sample better than most.
  • How to write a legal resume that gets you hired.
  • How to customize your legal job description for resumes.
  • Why you can’t just list legal skills (and what to do instead).

 

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legal resume templates

 

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Legal Resume Template You Can Copy and Use

 

Jim Wentz

Legal Assistant

 

Personal Info

 

Phone: 702-510-1765

E-mail: jimzwentz@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/jimzwentz

twitter.com/jimzwentz

 

Summary

 

Expert legal assistant with 3 years of experience finding efficiencies in law offices. Seeking to deliver time savings at Chelton & Zanahoria. Wrote 200+ legal documents at Michaud & Love with 99.9% accuracy. Saved 6+ hours a week with filing skills.

 

Certifications

 

  • 2019 — Paralegal — NALA
  • 2018 — Notary

 

Experience

 

Legal Assistant

Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV

2016–2019

  • Answered 60+ client calls each week for attorneys. Saved time for partners by answering client questions and solving minor issues.
  • Created attorney billing statements. Achieved a 10% increase in billable hours, enabling a 15% revenue boost.
  • Filed physical and digital records and documents. Created new physical filing system that saved 6+ office hours per week.
  • Wrote 200+ legal documents, 99.9% error-free.

Key Achievement:

  • Used Clio to manage documents for 600+ clients.

 

Office Clerk

Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV

2014–2016

  • Scheduled 1,700+ appointments and meetings with clients.
  • Proofread 25+ legal documents a week with 98% accuracy.
  • Answered 15+ phone calls each day.
  • Performed 30 trademark searches.

 

Education

 

Paralegal Studies, Post Baccalaureate Certificate

College of Southern Nevada

2012–2014

  • Excelled in writing legal documents.
  • Recognized by professors for research skills.

 

BA, Liberal Arts

University of Nevada, Reno

2008–2012

  • Pursued a passion for writing.
  • Awarded Daisy N. Roark Scholarship for research excellence.

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Member, NALA.
  • Deliver 2x per month for Meals on Wheels.
  • Daily cycling for fitness and self-care.

 

Hard Skills: legal document writing, billing, research, docketing, scheduling

 

Soft Skills: interpersonal skills, written communication, efficiency, time management

 

Need a certain kind of law resume? See our guides:

 

Thinking about law school? You know you can do it. See our guide: Law School Resume Sample & Guide

 

Here’s how to write a legal resume that changes lives:

 

1. Use a Trusted Legal Resume Format

 

How can you look your best?

 

You don’t want to write a legal resume that makes the wrong impression.

 

You can believe your resume format is a big part of your case.

 

Use the reverse-chronological layout to acquit yourself in style.

 

Then follow these tips:

 

Legal Resume Format

 

Expert Hint: Legal assistants average $57,000 a year. Paralegals earn $74,000. You can get an associate’s degree in paralegal studies for as little as $3,000 in 15 months. The smart money? Work as a legal assistant or legal secretary while you get your paralegal degree online. Then move your law resume up to higher pay.

2. Write a Legal Resume Summary or Objective

 

Nightmare time.

 

You write the best law resume in the pile. But—

 

The partner doesn’t read it because she’s got 200 more.

 

Don’t let her do that.

 

Get her attention like a subpoena and start your resume with a stunning resume profile.

 

See these legal resume examples:

 

Legal Resume Summary Examples

 

Legal Assistant

Good Example
Expert legal assistant with 3 years of experience finding efficiencies in law offices. Seeking to deliver time savings at Chelton & Zanahoria. Wrote 200+ legal documents at Michaud & Love with 99.9% accuracy. Saved 6+ hours a week with filing skills.

Attorney/Lawyer 

Good Example
Driven litigation attorney with 2+ years of experience. Seeking to use proven skills in negotiation and trial preparation to help clients at Jolicoeur and Peabody. At HSL, billed for 1500 billable hours per year while maintaining 97% client satisfaction rate. Brought 32 cases to trial, settling 95% of cases out of court.

Paralegal

Good Example
Certified paralegal with 4+ years of experience and a background in personal injury law. Seeking to save time at Beckstead & Passalaqua with expert legal research, legal document writing, and trial preparation. Assisted Chewonki Health’s Legal Affairs team in implementing a new filing system. Fluent in Spanish.

The gist?

 

Those resume profiles all include:

 

  1. An adjective (driven, certified)
  2. The legal job title from the online ad
  3. Years of experience (2+, 4+)
  4. How and who you’ll help (save time at Beckstead & Passalaqua)
  5. Best legal moments (97% client satisfaction rate...)

 

Now—

 

What if you’re still drying the ink on your legal degree?

 

Shake off the fear.

 

See these entry-level legal resume samples:

 

Entry-Level Legal Resume Objective

 

Entry-Level Paralegal 

Good Example
Engaged paralegal and recent graduate with College of Eastern Idaho Paralegal Certificate and concentration in bankruptcy law. Seeking to used my skills in legal research and foreclosure trial assistance as a junior paralegal for the ACLU.

Entry-Level Attorney

Good Example
Passionate attorney seeking to increase billable hours at Litman & Chouinard. Judged 5 Moot Court Competitions. Perform one pro bono trial preparation per month for small claims court. Have reviewed 12 contracts for local artists.

See what they did?

 

Both those entry-level resume examples show their best law achievements to date.

 

3. Write a Specific Legal Job Description and Skills Section

 

You know what’s hard?

 

You sit down to write a legal resume...

 

It’s a piece of paper. It’s supposed to prove they should hire you.

 

That’s enough to make you jump bail.

 

But here’s the good news. Hand-pick moments from your past that fit this legal job, and you’ll look like Elle Woods.

 

That starts with finding resume keywords and resume skills buried in the job ad.

 

Then, target your resume with them.

 

See these legal resume samples:

 

Legal Job Descriptions for a Resume [Sample]

 

Legal Assistant

 

The job wants someone skilled in answering calls, billing, filing, and legal writing.

Good Example

Experience

 

Legal Assistant

Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV

2016–2019

  • Answered 60+ client calls each week for attorneys. Saved time for partners by answering client questions and solving minor issues.
  • Created attorney billing statements. Achieved a 10% increase in billable hours, enabling a 15% revenue boost.
  • Filed physical and digital records and documents. Created new physical filing system that saved 6+ office hours per week.
  • Wrote 200+ legal documents, 99.9% error-free.

That binds you to the job.

 

Attorney

 

This job wants a lawyer skilled in managing case files and mediations.

 

Good Example

Experience

 

Attorney

Whitman, Price, & Hadad, New Orleans, LA

2016–2019

  • Managed 32 case files from planning through trial and/or appeal.
  • Scored 96% or higher in client exit surveys.
  • Performed 90+ mediations with a 94% settlement rate.
  • Sustained billable hours of 1500+ per year.

Nice.

 

Do it like those legal resume examples and you’ll seem like Atticus Finch.

 

But hold on—

 

What if you’re writing a law firm resume with no experience?

 

Work that same magic with skills that slot into the job.

 

See these law resume examples with no experience:

 

Entry-Level Legal Resume Job Description [Sample]

 

Legal Assistant

 

Say the job needs scheduling, proofreading, and answering phones.

Good Example

Office Clerk

Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV

2014–2016

  • Scheduled 1,700+ appointments and meetings with clients.
  • Proofread 25+ legal documents a week with 98% accuracy.
  • Answered 15+ phone calls each day.
  • Performed 30 trademark searches.

Flawless.

 

Law School Application

 

Say you were a marketing specialist. Well, you know law school students need skills in research, presentation, and collaboration.

Good example

Marketing Specialist

OptiTronz

2015–2019

  • Performed market research, identified customer needs, and analyzed competitor performance.
  • Researched facts online and during phone and face-to-face interviews for external and internal communications.
  • Delivered presentations at 30+ industry events.
  • Collaborated with internal stakeholders to communicate business unit position and branding.

See, this example uses power words instead of simply listing job duties. That’s Jones-Day-worthy.

 

Now you know—your legal resume skills must come from the job ad.

 

Need a few skills to get you started? Take a look:

 

Legal Skills for Resumes

 

Paralegal

  • Legal document writing
  • Legal research
  • Writing briefs
  • Investigation
  • Client counseling
  • Office administration
  • Proofreading
  • Writing reports
  • Settlement knowledge
  • Litigation assistance

 

Legal Assistant

  • Legal writing
  • Docketing
  • Research
  • Filing
  • Billing
  • Scheduling
  • Proofreading
  • Correspondence writing
  • Transcription
  • Legal terminology

 

Attorney

  • Legal procedure
  • Trial
  • Writing briefs
  • Negotiation
  • Product law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Healthcare law
  • Client advocacy
  • Corporate law
  • Client management

 

Law School Applicant and Transferable Skills (Soft Skills)

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Computer skills
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Negotiation

 

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

create your resume now

 

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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

4. Enhance Your Education Section

 

Your education section is no joke in a legal resume.

 

But did you know—

 

It needs to sell a few more of your skills.

 

These legal resume samples show how:

 

Legal Resume Example—Education

Good Example

Paralegal

 

Education

 

Paralegal Studies, Post Baccalaureate Certificate

College of Southern Nevada

2012–2014

  • Excelled in writing legal documents.
  • Recognized by professors for research skills.

 

BA, Liberal Arts

University of Nevada, Reno

2008–2012

  • Pursued a passion for writing.
  • Awarded Daisy N. Roark Scholarship for research excellence. 
Good Example

Attorney

 

Juris Doctor

Whittier Law School, 2010–2013

  • Inductee, Moot Court Scholars Board.
  • Excelled in litigation and trial preparation coursework.
  • Wrote weekly column on bankruptcy law.
  • Presented 7 legal arguments during Moot Court. Member of team that dominated state finals.

5. Increase the Value of Your Legal Resume

 

You’ve come so far.

 

Don’t blow it by giving up before you’re done.

 

Your legal resume can wow them like Marshall Eriksen. If—

 

You pack it with incontestable proof.

 

Include certifications, publications, and other bonus items.

 

Here’s a full list:

 

See these legal resume examples:

 

Law Resume—Extra Sections

 

Legal Assistant

Good Example

Additional Activities

 

  • Member, NALA.
  • Deliver 2x per month for Meals on Wheels.
  • Daily cycling for fitness and self-care.

 

Certifications

 

  • 2019 — Paralegal — NALA
  • 2018 — Notary

Attorney

Good Example

Journals 

 

  • Journal Note: Examining Neidermeyer CA. L. REV. June 2017 

 

Conferences

 

  • ABA Conference
  • Legalweek — Gave talk about litigation 2017

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Volunteer to deliver meals monthly at local food kitchen.
  • Avid swimmer, hiker, mountain biker.

Why do those legal resume samples work? They show added competencies you can’t get from work experience.

Expert Hint: Writing a cover letter for your resume for legal jobs will boost your odds. The chance they’ll read it is 50/50, but if you don’t write one and they want it, you’re sunk.

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

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CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

Here’s how to write a legal resume:

  • Start with our legal resume template. Add high moments from your legal career.
  • List legal skills like research or trial prep. Use numbers to prove you’re Watchell-Lipton-level.
  • Write a legal resume profile. Craft it into a snapshot of your legal skills, experience, and certifications.
  • Add “extra” sections to show you know a tort from a cream pie.

 

Got questions on how to write good resumes for legal jobs? Not sure how to put legal experience on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply! 

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer (CPRW) is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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