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.
Featured Resume Example: Lawyer
Name: CARLA PHAM
Address: City, State, Zip Code
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. Import your preferred template to our resume builder.
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 resume 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.
Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume
- DO indicate your areas of expertise. Different firms will require lawyers to have different areas of expertise. Make sure to highlight your best abilities and experiences in your resume, based on your areas of specialization. For example, in your work history section you could write, “Managed 50+ cases related to child welfare and more than 20 involving other family laws.”
- DO include certifications that are relevant to the position. Certifications in the legal industry can give you an edge over other candidates. If you have a number of certifications, list them under a “Certifications” section, including the name of the professional body where you received training or certification For example: “Accredited Estate Planner, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.”
- DO use active verbs to describe your achievements. “Was responsible for” or “assisted” are examples of passive phrases — avoid them when describing your accomplishments. Instead, use strong verbs. For example: “Litigated a $500 million case successfully” puts you at the center of your own achievements, rather than stating “Was tasked with litigating a $500 million case.”
- DON’T make a generic resume. One of the most common resume mistakes is to create a one-size-fits-all resume. A customized resume for each specific job opening gives you a better chance of landing the job. Analyze the job description, figure out key requirements for the position and address them in your resume. For instance, while applying to a firm that is looking for a criminal lawyer, your resume should be geared to spotlight skills and experiences that relate to criminal law.
- DON’T just copy and paste keywords into your resume. It seems easy to simply copy and paste details from the job description right into your resume, but just regurgitating key phrases won’t make your resume stand out. Prove you have the right stuff by mentioning core abilities such as communication and negotiation skills, and backing them up by showing how you’ve applied them in your work experience. The goal is not to list random terms, but present a story of how you’ve used your abilities successfully.
- DON’T add irrelevant information to your resume.Recruiters take a scant few seconds to read a resume — don’t put them off by including details that don’t apply to the job. That means avoid including details such as personal activities or political interests. Stick to the facts, and highlight skills that are beneficial for the job role.