The legal industry offers a huge variety of career options, each with its own specific requirements. One thing they all have in common, though, is the need for a strong resume. Legal occupations in particular call for attention to detail and the ability to communicate clearly with diverse individuals and groups. Studying career-specific resume samples is one of the best ways to learn how to format and focus your skills and abilities.
Our legal resume samples are a guide for creating a successful legal resume. Not only do they provide a structured template, but they also include examples of best writing practices along with tips to ensure recruiters and hiring managers give your resume the attention it deserves. With legal occupations projected to grow by 10% through 2026, having a top-notch resume can help you secure your place in the legal world.
Legal Resume Samples
Legal secretaries provide support for law offices. Because a large part of this job is preparing legal documents, employers expect applicants in this field to have excellent writing skills and attention to detail. Your resume serves as evidence that you have these abilities, and legal resume samples show you the best ways to exhibit your skills.
- Experienced legal secretaries who are looking to relocate or seeking higher pay.
- Legal Skills To Include:
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
- Excellent command of business English
- Exceptional grammar, spelling, and proofreading skills
- Familiarity with legal terminology
- Ability to work collaboratively and independently
More Information: Learn more by checking out our legal secretary resume sample.
Competition is high for judge positions, as a large portion of candidates become judges by election or appointment. This makes it even more important for jobseekers in this career to have a strong resume. Judges must exhibit a balance of both hard and soft skills that include in-depth knowledge of the law as well as compassion. A well-crafted resume emphasizes those skills as well as relevant job experience.
- Experienced judges in search of a seat on the bench in a higher court.
- Legal Skills To Include:
- Litigation management
- Knowledge of evidence and procedural issues
- Excellent legal writing skills
- Able to comply with ethical standards
- Capable of remaining impartial
- Outstanding logic and reasoning skills
More Information: Check out a judge resume sample for more information.
A niche field in the litigation support category, e-discovery combines knowledge of legal practices and information technology. This rapidly growing specialty field is becoming more competitive as IT professionals, paralegals, and even attorneys are vying for positions in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. Resumes that clearly identify both legal and IT experience relevant to specific positions have a better chance of making it through the initial screening process.
- IT and legal professionals in search of a new challenge related to their current career field.
- Legal Skills To Include:
- Knowledge of e-discovery software
- Impeccable attention to detail
- Experience with litigation support software (LAW, PreDiscovery, Ipro, ADD)
- Excellent organizational and time-management skills
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively
More Information: Learn more by reviewing this e-discovery specialist resume sample.
Stiff competition for executive positions means you need to structure your resume for visibility. With the advent of applicant tracking systems, including the right keywords and phrases is the best way to ensure hiring managers see your resume. If you’re on the executive track, use our legal resume samples to guide you.
- Experienced jobseekers in pursuit of a director or managerial position commensurate with their professional growth and development.
- Legal Skills To Include:
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail
- Considerable knowledge of legal and scientific matters
- Knowledge of industry specific laws and regulations
- Possess integrity, tact, and diplomacy
More Information: If you’re passionate about compliance, take a look at our regulatory affairs director resume sample to learn more.
Qualifications for the position of police sergeant vary from state to state and department to department. Requirements for a sergeant on a local police force are likely to differ from those for a campus police force. In either case, it is important that your resume is clearly written and focused on position-specific skills and abilities. Studying legal resume samples helps ensure your law enforcement resume is on target.
- Certified police officers who want to expand their policing abilities in a more demanding leadership capacity.
- Legal Skills To Include:
- Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws
- Strong communication skills, both oral and written
- Ability to give credible testimony in a court of law
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- Solid knowledge of law enforcement procedures and practices
More Information: Take a look at our police sergeant resume sample to learn more.
Popular Legal Resume Questions
Because so many positions in the legal field require a variety of skills, a summary statement is a great way to illuminate relevant skills and experience. Start by identifying what the employer is looking for, then list ways you meet those qualifications. Once you have this information down, condense it into four to six bullet points that clearly illustrate why you are the best candidate for the position. Use our legal resume samples to help with formatting and focus. Be sure to include both soft skills and two or three hard skill sets in your summary.2. How do I list education on a legal resume?
Education should appear at the end of your resume in reverse chronological order with the most recent educational achievement listed first. Be sure to include any degrees in progress, certificates, and licensing programs as well as relevant internships, professional development courses, seminars and training. Avoid listing GPA unless specifically requested by employers, and you may withhold completion dates if it causes a gap in the resume.3. How can I separate my legal resume from other candidates’ resumes?
Everyone wants their resume to stand out. With recruiters spending only an average of six seconds on each resume, the best way to separate your resume from the crowd is to customize it to each position you apply for. Remember that hiring managers choose whether to keep reading based on the top one-third of your resume. This content consists of the summary statement and achievements sections. The achievement section is where you shine a spotlight on why and how you are a better candidate than those in the other resumes.4. What goes in the header of a legal resume?
Resume headings introduce you to recruiters and hiring managers, and our legal resume samples show you the right way to do them. Start with your name and include first name, middle initial, and last name. Consider putting your name in a slightly larger font size, a different font style, or a rule line to make it stand out.
Next is your contact information: address, phone number, and email. These days you don’t have to give your full home address; you can just list your city and state. Follow your address with current phone numbers, cell and/or landline, where you can be readily reached. Be sure each phone has a professional voicemail message as well. Lastly, list a professional email address. If your email address sounds unprofessional, consider using/creating an alternate email account for job search purposes.
Present your experience, like your education, in reverse chronological order. Begin with your current or most recent employment and go back no more than 15–20 years. Include the names of each employer and their location along with dates (mm/yy or just year). Each place of employment should have five to eight bullet points outlining your responsibilities, achievements, contributions, and accomplishments. It is also important to present these in terms of what you did and how you did it. Legal resume samples show you how to include specific projects and quantifiable metrics when possible to fully illustrate what you have to offer this particular employer.
How to write a Legal Resume
There are quite a few different job positions that could come under the heading of “legal”. Some examples include paralegal, legal secretary and attorney. You’ll need to make sure your legal resume is appropriate to the specific job being applied for. Types of legal work also vary and you’ll need to demonstrate experience in the specific industry that the job is in, such as Criminal Law, Employment Law, Family Law or other. The best structure for legal resumes is demonstrated in this sample legal resume. An online search will provide other legal resume samples that can be drawn from. It is recommended to follow the outline below for your legal resume:
All resumes should list contact details at the top. List your full name, telephone numbers (home and cell) email and home addresses. Students can also include their university address.
Inexperienced legal applicants or those with just a couple of years experience should include an objective next. A sample legal resume should include a simple sentence stating the objective that you wish to achieve with your legal resume. Something like this may work well:
Talented legal secretary with more than two years experience in family law practice seeks position of greater responsibility in larger practice.
Your objective will be where the eye is naturally drawn, so make sure it says something great about you to attract the attention of the recruiter.
A legal resume sample for a more experienced individual will usually list their main achievements, rather than an objective. Due to positioning on the page, this will be where recruiters naturally look first, so be sure to make it good. You can really sell yourself in this section–it is your chance to shine and show that you are better than the other resumes the hiring manager is looking at. List three to five of your best achievements in the workplace. Legal resumes doing this stand a better chance of securing that interview. Use action verbs to make your main achievements stronger. Our sample legal resume demonstrates how this is achieved:
- Performed extensive detailed and complex research in groundbreaking case that led to eventual acquittal of client.
List education in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent job that you held. Many legal employees may have specific qualifications, such as a law degree. If so, make sure they stand out. Make sure to include subject/s studied, educational institutes attended and their location, dates of graduation, any professional qualifications achieved.
Legal Work Experience
Once again, this section of your legal resume should be organized in reverse chronological order. Your goal with this section is not just to list off your responsibilities, but to make yourself stand out by turning those responsibilities into achievements. Those who just list responsibilities may be disappointed, since the hiring manager will know what a legal employee does. Tell them instead things about you that can add value to an organization. Don’t forget to include more general skills such as team working, project management, leadership, research skills and communication. Any of these might tip the balance in your favor and swing you that interview. Our sample legal resume recommends bullets that are structured as follows:
- Instigated new process for responding to clients, resulting in letters being prepared more quickly and increased client satisfaction by 15%.
More senior legal resumes may want to demonstrate some management experience if the role requires it. Try to make achievements quantifiable with figures where possible. Be sure to use “action verbs” when creating the bullets for your resume, as these will help your achievements to seem more notable. Here we’ve used the word “Instigated” as this demonstrates initiative and a proactive approach to work.
Recent graduates can include relevant activities on their legal resume next. Again, activities relating to research or communication skills may be useful. Don’t forget to include internships if you didn’t list them under work experience. Senior legal professionals should be sure to include memberships of professional organizations or voluntary work performed. Use action verbs for stronger, more convincing bullets.
Try to work keywords into your legal resume. These are words and phrases that employers will search for when looking for applicants on job websites. Tip: look at the job advertisement and skills and experience required. These will give you clues of keywords and phrases to work into a good sample legal resume.
This template demonstrates how sample legal resumes are best structured and the detail to work in. If you are still at school your university may also be able to provide you with sample legal resumes to consider, which may have some other great ideas. From this page you can find sample resumes to get you started.
Legal Resume Samples
- Campus Police Officer
- Contract Analyst
- Contract Drafting Legal Specialist
- Court Messenger
- Court Reporter 2
- E-Discovery Specialist
- Environmental Law Attorney
- File Clerk
- Judicial Law Clerk
- Jury Consultant
- Law Firm Administrator
- Legal Analyst
- Legal Assistant
- Legal File Clerk 2
- Legal Secretary 3
- Legal Secretary 4
- Legal Services Director
- Litigation Support Director
- Patent Agent
- Police Sergeant
- Regulatory Affairs Director
- Right Of Way Agent