Lawyer Resume Examples

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Professional Resume Samples for  a  Lawyer

An incomplete resume is an injustice you can correct by implementing our tips and tools

Lawyer Resume Tips and Ideas

Law is a competitive field. Tens of thousands of students graduate law school each year. For this reason, your lawyer resume must make you stand out as the attorney your clients want on their side.

The legal field is diverse, with many specializations. These include, but are not limited to, maritime law, business law, constitutional law, criminal law, family law, environmental law, health care law, and patent law.

Your lawyer resume must demonstrate that you are knowledgeable of the legal system, can remain calm under pressure, are competent at doing research, and a good negotiator. It should also represent a passion for your field. Your resume can do all of that, with the help of our professional resume examples and expert tips.

Top Tips

Format
  • A chronological format is recommended
Design

When designing your resume, consider:

  • Professionalism
  • Readability
Photo

No

Sections

    Required:

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Licensure

    Optional:

  • Language proficiency
  • Volunteer work
  • Achievements
  • Resume summary
  • Resume objective
Resume Length

1-2 pages

Format

Your resume should follow a standard chronological format, as this is expected in professional fields.

Chronological resumes place emphasis on your education and work experience, listing these in reverse chronological order. Begin with your most recent experience and work backward to the most distant.

Functional or combination resumes are not recommended for lawyers.

Design

The design of your resume should reflect your professionalism. It should be well-arranged and free of distractions.

Choose one font, such as Arial, and use it throughout your resume. Keep the font size between 11 and 12 points.

Use headings to identify each section. You can draw attention to the headings by using bold or italic fonts.

Avoid using bright colors, images, or logos on your resume. You can choose to employ a simple border, such as lines or a block background.

Finally, ensure that your resume has ample margins and white space around the text. This will keep it looking uncluttered and inviting.

Photo

In the United States, you should not include a photo with your lawyer resume. Outside of the U.S., customs differ. In some European countries, for example, you will be expected to submit a photo with your resume. Do your research as to expectations in your area.

Sections of a Resume

A number of resume sections are required in order to make your case. These include:

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Licensure

This information will allow your hiring manager to get in touch with you. It also proves that you have the education and licenses required to practice law.

If applicable, you can enhance your argument with additional resume sections, such as:

  • Language proficiency
  • Volunteer work
  • Achievements
  • Resume summary
  • Resume objective

Your resume objective or summary will give your hiring manager an idea of your accomplishments and your goals. Achievements can exemplify how you excel in your field, while pro bono legal counsel can demonstrate additional experience and dedication. If you speak any languages other than English, this can be a real asset, especially if some of your clients will be non-English speakers.

Resume Length

If you have recently passed the bar exam, keep your resume to just one page in length. If you have a great deal of experience, you may extend your resume to two pages, but no more.

If printing your resume, select a high-grade, heavyweight resume paper. If submitting electronically, save it in a PDF format.

Lawyer Resume Section Headings

Practicing law requires extensive education and specific certifications. These, along with your work history, can adequately make your case to your hiring manager.

Education

Practicing law requires a law degree. Exactly what is required may differ depending upon where you live, but will no doubt include at least seven years of schooling. You will need to acquire a bachelor’s degree followed by a Juris Doctorate, or J.D. degree. Advanced degrees may include a master of law or doctor of judicial science degree.

Lawyers are often expected to pursue continuing education throughout their careers. If this is the case for you, be sure to include it on your resume.

Certifications & courses

After graduating from an American Bar Association (A.B.A.) approved law school, you will need to take and pass the bar examination. Most states also require an ethics exam known as the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination or MPRE.

Work experience

Your work experience descriptions are an opportunity to highlight your achievements, such as cases won.

What if you are fresh out of law school? Include your internships in your work history.

If you have practiced pro bono volunteer work as a lawyer, you can also include this in your work experience.

Lawyer Resume Vocabulary & Writing Tips

The words you choose to use in court play a role in the outcome of the case. Likewise, the words you choose to use in your resume greatly impact whether or not you will get the job you seek.

Today, resumes are often pre-screened electronically using computer programs. This software looks for keywords to identify likely candidates. You can look for specific keywords in the job listing or description. You can also employ technical jargon essential to your specialty or field. We’ve assembled the following terms and action verbs to help you get started.

When your resume is completed, take the time to proofread it carefully. Simple mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and grammar can tarnish your background and abilities.

Words to Use

  • Client
  • Court
  • Defendant
  • Prosecution
  • Legal advice
  • Lawsuit
  • Criminal
  • Civil
  • Justice
  • Ethics
  • Attorney
  • Bankruptcy
  • Divorce
  • Affidavit
  • Lawsuit
  • Confidential

Action Verbs

  • Represent
  • Consult
  • Settle
  • Analyze
  • Defend
  • Prosecute
  • Uphold
  • Negotiate
  • Interview
  • Litigate
  • File
  • Research
  • Draft
  • Review
  • Advise
  • Prepare

Resume Samples

1. Candidate seeking entry-level position at law firm

Recent graduate hoping to make the world a better place by securing justice for members of the local community.

  • Graduated with Honors
  • Aided in the preparation of briefs
  • Communicated with clients regarding new and existing cases
  • Assisted with pro bono family law during internship
Build Your Resume
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
  • J.D.Degree
  • Passedbar exam and MPRE
  • Completedinternship with ABC Law Firm

2. Candidate seeking position as property lawyer

Experienced Property Lawyer seeking to further career interests by entering a larger law firm.

  • Worked closely with city planning department and engineers during rezoning
  • Drafted and edited rental agreements to be made between property owners and tenants
  • Advised property owners of duties to tenants as well as civil and criminal liabilities
  • Successfully handled cases involving land encroachment and disputed property lines
Create Your Resume
  • Bachelor’s Degreein Economics
  • J.D.Degree
  • 10years' experience
  • Property lawspecialization