Lawyer Resume: Examples and Tips
The position of lawyer requires excellence in communication skills, and full knowledge of law and legal proceedings. A degree in law, with an aptitude for details, research and analysis is also a must.
To stand out from other applicants, use our resume examples and tips to present your qualifications best.
Table of Contents
Featured Resume Example: Lawyer
Driven and detail-oriented lawyer with nearly a decade of experience working in law. Excel at leveraging research and close collaboration with clients to avoid or win litigation. Can expertly manage and delegate tasks to ensure clarity and efficiency in all areas of work
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATION
- Have achieved desirable settlements in over 80 percent of cases.
- Expert at clearly articulating legal subtleties and complexities to clients and coworkers.
- Remain informed about evolution of business-relevant laws, adjust plans for future strategy accordingly.
- Negotiate and reach settlements with other parties; have successfully avoided litigation in all but three cases over three years.
- Advise executives, other employees, and third-party clients regarding law as it relates to their jobs, rights and opportunities.
- Stay up-to-date on changing laws, update all employees as it relates to their work.
- Performed research and drafted thorough briefings to assist attorneys in trial preparation.
- Mentored, trained and continued to supervise two junior paralegals.
- Oversaw travel arrangements, scheduled meetings external and internal.
- Took thorough notes while managing all senior leadership schedules.
- More efficiently categorized proprietary digital database that reduced future research and contract drafting time by 15 percent.
- Took thorough notes during meetings with all partners or executive staff.
- Patent law
- Finance knowledge
- Residential mortgage lending regulations
- Equity programs
- Corporate transactions
- Broad-based compensation programs
Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Lawyer Resume
- Summary Highlight your core skills, work history and accomplishments in a few sentences, answering the key question: What makes you the right fit for this particular job? Make sure to mention must-have abilities, such as communication and negotiation skills, or a deep understanding of law and legal proceedings. For example: “Driven and detail-oriented lawyer with expertise in leveraging research to avoid or win litigation cases.”
- Skills Scan the job posting to pick up on specific required skills (e.g., “exceptional problem-solving abilities” or “drafting legal texts”), and feature your own abilities that match those skills here. Consider creating subcategories for this section (“hard skills” and “soft skills”).
- Work history Place emphasis on achievements instead of day-to-day responsibilities, and use metrics to illustrate your effectiveness. For example, stating “Performed research and drafted thorough briefings to assist attorneys in trial preparation for 200+ court cases” is more effective than stating “Assisted attorneys in trial preparation.”
- Education Include any academic degrees or training you’ve had in law or related fields. Also, include certifications you’ve picked up that showcase your expertise in particular fields of law, such as “Accredited Estate Planner Estate Planning Law Specialist.”
See Why My Perfect Resume is a 5-Star Resume Builder
Find the Right Template for Your Resume
These three professionally-designed templates will help you project the right image for a lawyer position.
This popular layout presents your credentials in clean and crisp fashion, topped with a unique monogram header design.
This streamlined design uses a colorful header along with bold fonts to display your name and section headings, while leaving plenty of flexibility for customization.
This template arranges section headings in the left margins, making for easy navigation. The job seeker’s name gets an elegant graphic treatment.
Lawyer Resume FAQs
1. What are the skills you should emphasize for the role of a lawyer?
Emphasize your specializations in law, as well as useful skills like these:
- Communication skills (oral and written)
- Negotiation skills
- Research skills
- Document filing
- Case analysis
- Legal writing
- Dispute arbitration
2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit a lawyer resume?
In addition to showing your expertise in a particular field of law, consider training or certifications like the following to enhance your resume:
- Accredited Tax Preparer, Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation
- Professional Paralegal, NALS the Association for Legal Professionals
- Accredited Estate Planner, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
- Certification for Institutional Review Board (IRB) Professionals, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research
3. How should you format your resume?
Since a lawyer is a mid-level position, you should have in-depth knowledge of your field and a few years of work experience under your belt. Your best option is therefore a chronological format, which focuses on your work history, and demonstrates how you’ve progressed in your career. If you’re switching from a different industry to the legal field, you should consider a combination format, in which you can feature the skills most relevant to the job of a lawyer. If you lack experience, go for a functional format, which emphasizes your training and skills.
4. How do I incorporate keywords in my resume?
Employers and applicant tracking systems (ATS) will be looking for key words and phrases in your resume that indicate you fit the position. To get the right keywords into your resume, take a thorough look at the job description and pinpoint the phrases that define the job’s requirements (e.g., “drafting or negotiating commercial agreements” or “experience in juvenile dependency law”). Then feature skills and work experiences that show you can handle these requirements. For example, in your work history section, you could write: “Managed 5 juvenile dependency cases per day, including case assessments and communications with social workers and other providers”).
5. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?
To move up to a more senior position such as partner or managing partner in a law firm, keep these areas in mind as you build your resume:
- Look to gain more diverse experiences in legal proceedings and client management.
- If you have not attained any certificate in a specific field of law, you should look to do so — this will increase your credibility in the field and showcase your expertise.
- These positions call for the leadership of numerous employees and teams, so build on your experiences working with your own teams, and leading others to positive outcomes.