7 Paralegal Resume Examples for 2024

Crafting a strong paralegal resume demands attention to detail. This guide provides job seekers with successful examples and focused advice to highlight legal skills and experience. Learn the essentials, from formatting to showcasing your proficiency in legal research and case preparation. This knowledge, combined with our strategic approach, equips candidates to present their qualifications effectively in the competitive legal job market.

  Compiled and approved by Jason Lewis
  Last updated on See history of changes

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At a Glance

Here's what strong paralegal resumes feature:

  • Quantifying Impact: The best paralegal resumes show impact with numbers. They add specifics like cases managed, documents filed, percent of successful motions, and time saved through process optimization.

  • Relevant Skills To The Job: Include skills on your resume that you have and are mentioned in the job description. For paralegals, skills like legal research, case management software, documentation review, litigation support, and e-discovery tools are valuable.

  • Industry Trends: Digital proficiency is a trend in legal assistance. Show you are up to date with phrases like familiar with legal software or digital document management.

Where to place your education

If you are new to working as a paralegal or have recently finished a degree or certificate in paralegal studies, place your education section at the top of your resume. This shows hiring managers your relevant coursework and training are fresh. If you have more work experience in the legal field, show your work history first to display your practical skills.

Include details like the name of the educational institute, your degree, and the date of graduation. For a paralegal position, also list any important courses that are directly relevant to the work you are applying for, such as 'Legal Research' or 'Litigation'.

Showcase writing and research skills

Strong writing and legal research skills are key for paralegals. On your resume, highlight any experience you have with drafting legal documents or conducting research. Use specific examples, like 'Drafted deposition summaries for civil litigation cases' or 'Conducted legal research for trademark applications.'

Include any achievements that show your skills in action, such as a research project that helped win a case or streamline a process. This shows employers you can apply your skills in a way that adds value to their team.

Keeping your resume concise

Your resume should be one page long if you have less than 10 years of experience. This length is easy for employers to review and shows you can share your most relevant information clearly and quickly. If you are applying for a senior paralegal role with over a decade of experience, a two-page resume is appropriate.

On your resume, include only the most recent and relevant experiences. This could mean removing some older work history or less relevant education details if they take up too much space.

Highlight legal software proficiency

As a paralegal, you will likely use specific legal software for tasks like document management or research. Show you are ready for the job by listing any software you are skilled in, such as LexisNexis or Westlaw. Being proficient with these tools can set you apart from other candidates.

Also, mention any experience you have with electronic discovery (eDiscovery) platforms. Many firms use eDiscovery to manage legal cases, and your knowledge in this area can be a strong point on your resume.

How to beat resume screening software

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by many employers to screen resumes before a hiring manager sees them. You need to format your resume in a way that these systems can read it easily. Here are tips for paralegals to make sure their resumes pass through these systems.

  • Use standard job-related keywords such as 'legal research', 'case management', or 'document drafting' to highlight your skills.
  • Make sure your resume includes specific terms that are common in the legal field, like 'litigation support' or 'regulatory compliance'.

Keep your resume layout simple. Do not use tables or graphics that can confuse the ATS. Use clear headings for sections like 'Work Experience' or 'Education'. This will help the system to understand and categorize your information correctly.

Customize for paralegal role

When you apply for a paralegal job, make sure your resume shows you're a good fit. Focus on work you've done that's like the job you want. Share skills that will help you do well in this role. Use words from the job ad in your resume.

  • Showcase legal tasks you've handled, like legal research or document management.
  • For senior roles, mention how you have led projects or teams, like 'Managed a team of junior paralegal staff.'
  • If you're coming from another field, talk about similar work, like managing documents or research tasks.
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