Lawyer Resume Examples And Tips

Finding the inspiration to write an awesome resume can be tough. You may want to tailor it to fit a specific job description. Or maybe you're having a hard time deciding what job experiences to include. Everything that goes into creating a perfect lawyer resume can take hours, days, even weeks. All of that work for an employer to take a glance. Studies show that employers only spend about 5-7 seconds looking at a single resume. No pressure or anything, but that leaves you with about 6 seconds to make an impression.

Now, take a deep breath. We're going to figure out exactly what you need on your resume as a lawyer. Since we've looked over 3,330 lawyer resumes, we're close to being experts to knowing exactly what you need on your resume. No matter whether you're an experienced lawyer or an entry-level lawyer what you want to make sure the resume captures exactly what you can bring to the table, so let's hop to it.

Five Key Resume Tips For Landing A Lawyer Job:

1.
Relevant Experience
Make sure that the jobs, experience, and accolades that you do include are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
2.
The Right Skills
This is a great time to run wild with those keywords found in the job description. If they’re looking for someone with Legal Documents, be sure to list it as a skill.
3.
Quantifiable Achievements
Achievements and awards relevant to the position speak louder than a high GPA, especially if you can quantify your achievement with a number.
4.
Your Unique Qualities
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at hundreds of resumes. Let yours stand out, and try not to sound too boring.
5.
Strong Content
If you’ve had a lot of jobs, this shouldn’t necessarily be a list of all of them. This is a document designed to market you to a potential employer, so choose the strongest content.

Lawyer Jobs You Might Like

How To Write A Lawyer Resume

1
Contact Information

Sometimes it's easier to take small, baby steps instead of tackling an entire task. By breaking it down, you can keep a checklist and check things off the list as you go. This will give you a sense of accomplishment. With that being said, the first thing we'll tackle is your contact information.

Your Name: The first thing to focus on is making sure you get your name on the resume. In terms of formatting, it's in a larger font than the rest of the resume. With only a few seconds to really impress, you want to make sure the employer knows who you are.

Address: If you're applying to a local area, it's a good idea to put your complete address here. Or at the very least the state you reside in. However, if you're applying out-of-state, you may want to leave out your home address. Some employers won't consider you if you have an out-of-state address.

Social Media: Living in the day-and-age that we do now, social media plays a big part in our every day lives. That includes what we put on our resumes. If you're going to include your LinkedIn profile, which is highly recommended, you'll want to update the profile so it has relevant information.

2
Professional Summary (Objective)

This is one of those things that you can take it or leave it. Not every lawyer resume includes a professional summary, but that's generally because this section is overlooked by professional writing services. If you have the space to include it, you should. Especially considering you have such a short time to impress anyways. The key to this section is keeping it short and sweet while summarizing the resume. You know your professional summary is on point if you can answer these questions:

  • Why should this employer hire you?
  • How does this particular position align with your career goals?
  • What specific experience or skills make you the perfect fit?

3
Skills

Not sure which skills are really important?

3 Big Tips For Listing Skills On Your Resume

This is where you might want to refer to the job description of the position you're applying for. While you only want to include skills you actually have, you might be able to tailor your resume to each job you're applying to by looking at what skills they're looking for and including those on your resume.

If you haven't started your job search just yet, then you might find looking at other lawyers resume examples to be helpful. We found that the most common skill amongst these resumes was legal advice. This skill was followed up by law firm. When you're writing your skills section, you should keep this in mind:

  • Include 6-12 skills
  • Only list hard skills; soft skills are hard to test
  • Highlight your most impressive skills or achievements
Remember, you'll want to stay truthful about what skills you actually have. But don't be afraid to use that job description to your advantage.

Top Skills for a Lawyer
Source: Zippia.com
4
Experience

It can get a little tricky when it comes deciding what to include in your experience section. From the amount of experience you have to what type of job you're applying for, lots of factors need to be taken into consideration.

When you're applying for a job you want to keep in mind that any experience you list should be relevant to the position you're applying to. Also, be sure to nix any experience outside of the past 10 years.

When you're writing about your roles and responsibilities in each position, you'll really want to keep each experience detail-oriented. If you can, include numbers to show how great you were in that position.

What experience really stands out on resumes?

Adam Chodorow

Vice Dean, Arizona State University

Law firms often say that they are looking for practice-ready attorneys - that is, attorneys who can come in and contribute on day one. The fact is - no matter how much experience law students get, there will always be a steep learning curve once they graduate. With that said, externships and summer positions in the field the students want to practice in will help students along that curve and signal to employers that they truly are interested in the type of work an employer does. Thus, those interested in criminal law should try to get externships and summer positions as prosecutors or with the public defenders' office or defense firms; those interested in family law might try to get an externship with a judge working on family law.Show more


Work History Example # 1

Legislative Assistant

American Civil Liberties Union
  • Advised the Congresswoman on issues pertinent to key topics she would be addressing, briefed on, or defending.
  • Awarded formal commendation from Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform for superior legislative services.
  • Prepared General Officers and DoD leadership for testimony.
  • Communicated with a wide range of Congressional Representatives to produce and implement new systems which improved the handling of veterans.
  • Tracked and advised Member on the following legislative issues: Education, Science and Technology, Judiciary, and Immigration.

Work History Example # 2

Civil Lawyer

DLA Piper
  • Represented mid-market companies in private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions, debt financings and joint ventures.
  • Assisted clients at the notary public office and negotiated licensing agreements for virtual data rooms.

Work History Example # 3

Judicial Clerk

United Parcel Service
  • Mastered facility computer system conversion, which included original UPS address database and a new internet-based system.

Work History Example # 4

Lawyer

Thomson Reuters
  • Provided legal counsel on current operations throughout U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
  • Counseled national lender on state-by-state registration of trade names and corporate agents.
  • Drafted, negotiated and provided counsel to executive level clients on key national and regional operational and revenue-generating agreements.
  • Provided legal services and litigation services to FDIC.
  • Started at the FDIC as a litigation attorney (LG-11.4).

Show More
5
Education

While this section may not be the largest section on your resume, it is an important one. Many employers will spend time looking over this specific section, so you'll want to make sure you have it filled out accurately.

In your education section, there are certain things you'll want to highlight, including:

  • Date of Graduation
  • Graduate Degree
  • Any Work-related Education Certificates
  • Name of the School
  • GPA (optional)
Every employee is going to look for something different when it comes to your education section. So it's important to highlight what you think they'll be looking for. Make sure to thoroughly read through the education requirements listed on the job description. It should include exactly what they're looking for. There are some things you need to keep in mind while writing your education section.

  • If you graduated within the last 5 years, make sure your education section is either in line with or above your experience section.
  • Include the date you graduated, or range of years you attended school, as well as any honors you received and your GPA if it was over 3.4.
  • If it's been longer than 5 years since you graduated, then it's okay to move your education section down below your professional experience. You really want the focus to be on your experience at this point.
  • If you have multiple advanced degrees, such as Master's or Doctoral degrees, rank them with the highest degrees first.
  • If you haven't graduated yet, you should still include an education section. List the name of the institution, degree type and when you're expecting to graduate.

Related Lawyer Resume Templates

Lawyer Jobs

Lawyer Salary

Did your resume land you an interview? Be prepared to talk salary.

How To Answer "What Are Your Salary Requirements"

When you are ready to send your resume to employers, it's important to be aware of the current market conditions for lawyers. Salary can vary based on factors such as location, company, and industry. Check out our detailed salary information for lawyers to learn more.

Average Employee Salary
$121,000
$62,000
$121,000
$234,000
Updated October 2, 2020