Choose the right resume format and make sure your resume layout is professional. Check actionable resume formatting tips and resume formats examples & templates.
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 Template You Can Copy and Use
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.
- 2019 — Paralegal — NALA
- 2018 — Notary
Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV
- 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.
- Used Clio to manage documents for 600+ clients.
Michaud & Love, Las Vegas, NV
- 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.
Paralegal Studies, Post Baccalaureate Certificate
College of Southern Nevada
- Excelled in writing legal documents.
- Recognized by professors for research skills.
BA, Liberal Arts
University of Nevada, Reno
- Pursued a passion for writing.
- Awarded Daisy N. Roark Scholarship for research excellence.
- 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
- Choose 1-inch resume margins on all sides of your resume.
- Pick a common resume font like 10–12pt Arial or Garamond.
- What should a resume look like? Create resume sections for Heading, Summary, Experience, Education, and Skills.
- Use white space for readability.
- Keep your resume length short at one page unless you’ve got 7+ years of legal experience. Only then a two-page resume is fine.
- Create a PDF resume. They don’t turn delinquent once you send them.
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
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
Those resume profiles all include:
- An adjective (driven, certified)
- The legal job title from the online ad
- Years of experience (2+, 4+)
- How and who you’ll help (save time at Beckstead & Passalaqua)
- Best legal moments (97% client satisfaction rate...)
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
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.
Then, target your resume with them.
See these legal resume samples:
Legal Job Descriptions for a Resume [Sample]
The job wants someone skilled in answering calls, billing, filing, and legal writing.
That binds you to the job.
This job wants a lawyer skilled in managing case files and mediations.
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]
Say the job needs scheduling, proofreading, and answering phones.
Law School Application
Say you were a marketing specialist. Well, you know law school students need skills in research, presentation, and collaboration.
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
- Legal document writing
- Legal research
- Writing briefs
- Client counseling
- Office administration
- Writing reports
- Settlement knowledge
- Litigation assistance
- Legal writing
- Correspondence writing
- Legal terminology
- Legal procedure
- Writing briefs
- Product law
- Healthcare law
- Client advocacy
- Corporate law
- Client management
Law School Applicant and Transferable Skills (Soft Skills)
- Interpersonal skills
- Computer skills
- Time management
- Attention to detail
- Problem solving
- Active listening
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.
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
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:
- Associations (NLA, ABA, NALA, ASAP)
- Certifications (Bar association membership, CP, etc.)
- Volunteering and pro bono work
- Freelance projects
- Additional activities
- Sports & fitness
See these legal resume examples:
Law Resume—Extra Sections
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.
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.
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!