7 Legal Resume Examples for 2024

Creating a legal resume demands precision. This article guides through crafting resumes that appeal to law firms and legal departments. You'll see strong resume samples and get tips to showcase your experience and skills effectively. From paralegals to attorneys, learn to highlight your legal expertise and get the job you aim for.

  Compiled and approved by Marie-Caroline Pereira
  Last updated on See history of changes

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At a Glance

Here's what we see in top legal resumes.

  • Quantifying Impact With Numbers: Good legal resumes show clear results with numbers. This could be cases won, percentage of successful settlements, time saved through efficient processes, or cost reductions in legal operations.

  • Matching Skills To The Job Description: Include skills on your resume that you have and are in the job description. Include things like legal research, case management software, regulatory compliance, document drafting, and litigation support.

  • Highlighting Relevant Experience: Show your relevant legal work. Use phrases like drafted summary judgments or negotiated settlement agreements to describe your experience.

Education section placement

In your legal career, where you place your education on your resume is important. If you've graduated recently, or you are a student, make sure to feature your education first. This will let employers quickly see your academic qualifications. This is especially true for positions in the legal field, where your academic background is often a primary focus for entry-level roles.

If you have been working in the legal area for a while, list your experience first. Your practical experience needs to be the first thing a hiring manager sees, as it's a critical factor in the decision-making process.

Certain skills for legal jobs

When looking to enter the legal sector, make sure your resume highlights critical thinking and attention to detail. These are skills highly valued in legal roles and showing experience or studies that have honed these abilities can set you apart.

Additionally, abilities in research and clear communication are fundamental in legal work, so include any relevant experience that demonstrates strong writing and investigative skills.

Ideal length of resume

For anyone applying to legal positions, keeping your resume to one page is good if you have less than 10 years of experience. This helps you stay precise and to the point, ensuring the hiring manager can quickly review your main achievements and qualifications.

If you're a senior-level professional with ample experience, however, a two-page resume can better showcase your long-term career development, provided every detail is relevant and contributes to your application.

Showcase legal-specific experience

In the legal field, any experience with case preparation, document drafting, or courtroom observation can be particularly persuasive. If you have such experiences, make sure they are front and center on your resume.

Mention any internships or volunteer work you've undertaken at law firms or court systems, as these can be compelling examples of hands-on experience in the legal environment.

Beat the resume screeners

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can be tough to get past, but you can do it. These systems scan your resume for keywords and phrases that match the job. As a legal professional, make sure you include terms like 'case management' and 'legal research' which are often looked for.

Your resume should also have a clean format. Use standard fonts and avoid images or graphics. These can confuse the ATS and cause your resume to be overlooked. Stick to text and make sure your headings are clear.

Remember these two things:

  • Include specific legal skills like 'document review' or 'contract negotiation' to show you fit the job.
  • Use simple bullet points to list your experience and qualifications.
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