Paralegal Resume: Example and Tips
Paralegals assist lawyers in preparing for trials, hearings and closings. These law professionals are entrusted with legal research, client interviews and office administration. This position requires a thorough understanding of law and legal proceedings, and an associate degree and/or a certificate in paralegal studies is preferred by most employers.
Use our tips and resume examples to showcase your best attributes professionally in your own resume, and stand out in the eyes of hiring managers.
Featured resume example: paralegal
Name: SELINA ADKINS
Address: City, State, Zip Code
Efficient and inquisitive legal assistant pursuing position as paralegal. Will capitalize on in-depth research experience, and ability to comprehend multifaceted legal structures and situations. Ready to take on a role that will greatly expand knowledge of law.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATION
- Capable of grasping legal minutia while performing thorough research and essential administrative work.
- Answer calls, emails, written letters; oversee firm’s schedules.
- Clear, concise, bilingual communicator.
- Proficient in MS Office
- Litigation support
- Court transcription
- Legal Research
- Exceptional writer
- Document filing
- Create, update, and manage schedules for self and three firm partners.
- Keep workspace tidy, organized and accessible to coworkers.
- Closely adhere to and enforce filing system.
- Navigate and search through four distinct legal databases.
- Provide lawyers with essential background information across many cases.
- Provided Alliant executives with detailed reports on competitors and wider industry.
- Can grasp complex legal topics in abstract if not in totality.
- Served as sole liaison between multiple parties across ten cases; all information was succinctly, clearly relayed and never overly simplified.
Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class paralegal resume
- Summary Provide a brief overview of your best skills and work experiences in 2-3 sentences. Bring attention to core skills such as document management and transcription abilities, as well as examples of how you’ve helped a firm. For example: “Efficient paralegal skilled as transcriptions and document management, with experience supporting legal firm of 5 partners.”
- Skills While technical skills such as drafting lawsuits, writing briefs and proficiency with database programs are essential for this job, don’t ignore equally important intangible (or “soft”) skills such as oral and written communication, and organizational abilities. You can divide your skills into two category: “Paralegal Skills” and “Soft Skills.”
- Work history In this section, give examples of how you’ve contributed to previous organizations. For example: “Developed a more efficient digital database that reduced use of paper records by 40 percent.” Avoid mentioning generic day-to-day tasks such as “supported attorneys.”
- Education Emphasize your law-related training and coursework, as well as your highest academic credential, e.g., “Associate of Science: Paralegal Studies.”
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Do’s and don’ts for your resume
- DO add relevant certifications. Having certifications in specialized areas (e.g., certification in Microsoft Office software) as well as legal work (e.g., a Certified Legal Assistant or Certified Paralegal) can help elevate your resume above other applicants. Be sure to list these certifications and training to your education section.
- DO use action verbs to energize your resume. Using weak phrases like “was responsible for” takes away from the power of your work accomplishments. When highlighting your past roles and achievements, use strong verbs such as “developed” or “designed.” For example: “Managed litigation calendaring, and preparation and filing of court documents for average of 20+ cases per week.”
- DO check your resume for typos and mistakes. Paralegal work requires attention to detail and accuracy, which means typos and mistakes in your resume is a no-no. Make sure you double-check all your content before sending it in, and confirm your information is accurate, with correct grammar and spelling.
- DON’T add irrelevant details. Avoid cluttering your resume with information that isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying to, such as personal hobbies or unrelated extracurricular activities. Recruiters only take a few seconds to browse a resume — don’t waste those seconds with unnecessary content. Limit the information you provide to skills and experiences that directly answer one question: how you are the best fit for this particular job.
- DON’T make your resume too long.As we mentioned, recruiters only take a few seconds to scan your resume, so keep your content tight. Use concise phrases and bullet points to describe key skills and accomplishments, and aim to keep your resume one-page long.
- DON’T use the same resume for all your job applications. Every job role has different responsibilities and requirements — one paralegal position might stress documentation skills, while another might require more phone coverage. Instead of using a single resume for every job opportunity, make sure you create different versions of your resume to address the requirements of different jobs, and update your summary, skills and work history sections accordingly.