7 Attorney Resume Examples for 2024

Aspiring lawyers, drafting your resume is key to getting hired. This guide provides examples and expert tips to help you showcase your legal skills effectively. Learn how to highlight your qualifications, experience, and education in a way that speaks to law firms and legal departments. Our advice is tailored to the specifics of the legal industry, ensuring your resume addresses the right points for your next legal job.

  Compiled and approved by Diana Price
  Last updated on See history of changes

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At a Glance

Here's what we see in the strongest attorney resumes.

  • Show Impact With Numbers: You should show your impact with numbers. Use case win rates, amounts recovered, contracts reviewed, and legal issues resolved to show your success.

  • Match Skills To The Job Description: Include skills on your resume that you have and are also in the job description. Some key ones are legal research, case management software, trial preparation, litigation strategy, and regulatory compliance.

  • Highlight Legal Specializations: If you specialize, show this clearly. Use phrases like environmental law expertise or intellectual property cases to display your focus area.

Position your education wisely

As an attorney, put your legal education near the top of your resume if you are fresh out of law school or have gone through recent significant legal education, like an L.L.M. Your J.D. or other comparable degree should be one of the first things employers see if you're new to the field. It shows your most relevant training.

If you have been practicing law for a while, your work experience should come first. Show your practical experience in the field before listing your education background. This way, the reader sees your hands-on expertise right away.

Highlight relevant case experience

In the legal field, specific case experience can set you apart. Highlight key cases you have worked on that show your legal skills. Mention any cases that had significant outcomes or that relate closely to the position you seek now.

Also, list any specialized legal areas you have experience in, like environmental law or intellectual property. This gives employers a clear view of where your strengths lie as a legal professional.

Keep it concise and relevant

For attorneys with less than ten years of experience, aim for a one-page resume. This keeps your resume clear and to the point. Include relevant positions and skills that match the job you want.

If you are a senior attorney, a resume of two pages is acceptable. This allows you to detail your most vital roles and contributions. Still, be sure to only include experience that shows your expertise and value.

Include professional affiliations

Membership in legal associations or groups shows your commitment to the field. List any bar admissions or professional bodies you belong to at the end of your resume. This shows you are active and respected within the legal community.

Also, note any publications or speaking engagements in the legal realm. This demonstrates your depth of knowledge and your ability to share and discuss complex legal matters, which is valuable in this industry.

Beat the resume screener

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) scan resumes before they reach a hiring manager. Your resume must be ATS-friendly to ensure it's seen. Here are tips to help your resume pass the screeners:

  • Use standard job titles like 'attorney' instead of creative ones. ATS may not recognize titles like 'legal guru'.
  • Include keywords from the job description, such as 'litigation' or 'corporate law', to match what the ATS is programmed to look for.

Remember to format your resume with clear headings and use a simple layout. Complex designs can confuse the ATS and cause your resume to be overlooked.

Tailor your resume to your law experience

You should shape your resume to show you are a good fit for a lawyer role. Focus on examples from your past work that match what a legal job asks for. Talk about the law areas you know, the cases you have worked on, and how you work with others.

  • List key cases you've worked on, use terms like civil litigation or criminal defense as it fits your experience.
  • Show off your leadership by listing any legal teams or projects you've led with phrases such as managed a team of paralegals or oversaw a high-profile corporate merger.
  • If you are moving into a legal role from a different job, match your skills to what lawyering needs. If you've made deals or handled tough talks, say something like negotiated contracts or resolved client disputes.
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