Resume

Legal Counsel Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Legal Counsel resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Lawyers are highly educated, highly paid professionals who specialize in protecting their clients from legal liability. They do this by researching and interpreting laws, drafting contracts and agreements, and representing their clients in courtrooms across the country.

Because the legal field is so broad, there’s a lot of room for specialization within it. Some attorneys focus on criminal law, others on real estate or intellectual property. Some work in private practice, others in government. Some specialize in family law or tax law or immigration law. And some do it all!

In order to land a job as a lawyer, it’s important to have experience that showcases your skills and interests. And in order to write a stellar resume that will get you noticed by hiring managers, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to do and why you’d be great at it.

Here are some tips and an example to help you write an effective legal counsel resume that will get you noticed by hiring managers.

Michael Garcia
Chicago, IL | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]
Summary

Driven legal counsel with experience in a wide range of legal practice areas, including contract drafting and review, employment law, and intellectual property. Proven ability to provide sound legal advice while managing competing demands and tight deadlines.

Education
Loyola University Chicago School of Law Jun '10
JD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Jun '06
B.A. in Political Science
Experience
Company A, Legal Counsel Jan '17 – Current
  • Drafted and reviewed a wide variety of legal documents, including contracts, agreements, memoranda, letters, notices, policies and procedures; conducted document searches for the company’s attorneys in response to requests from outside counsel or internal departments regarding pending litigation or regulatory matters.
  • Provided advice on compliance with applicable laws and regulations as well as best practices within the organization.
  • Assisted in drafting responses to government inquiries related to corporate activities (e.g., subpoenas).
  • Coordinated with external counsel when appropriate and provided support for other business units as needed (e.g., HR/Employee Relations).
  • Served as an advisor to management on employment law issues pertaining to the company’s employees and contractors and assisted with training programs designed to educate managers about their responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, etc..
Company B, Legal Counsel Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Assisted in the drafting of over 100 contracts and agreements, including non-disclosure agreements, licensing deals, and joint venture partnerships
  • Prepared a variety of legal documents for review by senior management, including M&A transactions and IP protection strategies
  • Conducted due diligence on potential business partners to ensure that all risks were identified prior to entering into an agreement
  • Managed relationships with outside counsel firms as well as internal departments (e.g., HR) throughout the course of projects
  • Served as primary point of contact for all corporate legal matters; resolved issues expeditiously while maintaining client satisfaction
Company C, Paralegal Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Managed 40+ open files, organized and maintained all documents in a complex database system.
  • Provided support to attorneys on various projects including but not limited to trial preparation (e-discovery, witness interviews) drafting memos, letters etc., as well as responding to client inquiries regarding current matters.
  • Drafted legal notices for the firm’s e-signature process, reviewed contracts for completeness and accuracy and prepared for signature by corporate counsel when required; coordinated with vendors/suppliers of the company by reviewing invoices before submitting them to finance dept.; researched records from courts and other locations via public access terminals or through requests submitted to clerks’ offices where applicable.
Certifications
  • Juris Doctorate
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
Skills

Industry Knowledge: Corporate Law, Tax Law, Intellectual Property Law, Real Estate Law, Litigation
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Legal Research, Case Law, Legal Citation
Soft Skills: Communication, Strategic Thinking, Legal Research, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Legal Writing, Public Speaking, Leadership

How to Write a Legal Counsel Resume

Here’s how to write a legal counsel resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most important part of your resume because they’re the first thing recruiters and hiring managers will see. And they’re the best way to showcase your experience and qualifications.

But many lawyers make the mistake of using generic bullet points that don’t really tell a story or provide any context. For example, rather than saying you “provided legal counsel,” you could say you “provided legal counsel for Fortune 500 company in dispute with federal government over $1 billion contract.”

The second bullet point provides more detail about the nature of the dispute and the parties involved. And it also provides a specific dollar amount, which helps readers understand the significance of the case.

Related What Is a Legal Counsel? How to Become One

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you submit your resume online, it’s likely that it will be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS) for certain keywords. These programs search for specific terms related to the job opening in order to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the role. If your resume doesn’t include enough of the right keywords, your application might not make it past the initial screening process.

The best way to make sure your resume contains all of the right keywords is to read through job postings and take note of the terms and phrases that are used most frequently. Then, make sure to include those same terms on your resume. Here are some commonly used legal counsel keywords:

  • Corporate Law
  • Legal Advice
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Legal Writing
  • Litigation
  • Legal Research
  • Civil Litigation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Intellectual Property
  • Corporate Governance
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Due Diligence
  • Contract Law
  • Arbitration
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Privacy Law
  • Trials
  • Mediation
  • Family Law
  • Due Diligence
  • Legal Opinions
  • Corporate Governance
  • Negotiation
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Drafting Agreements
  • Licensing
  • Joint Ventures
  • Business Planning
  • Trade Secrets

Showcase Your Technical Skills

As a legal counsel, you will need to be proficient in the use of technology in order to effectively do your job. This includes being able to use legal research databases, case management software, and document management systems. You should also be familiar with Microsoft Office Suite and Westlaw. Being able to list your level of expertise in each area will show that you’re a valuable asset to any law firm.

Related: How Much Does a Legal Counsel Make?

Remember The Basics

As you write your resume, it’s important to keep a few basic rules in mind.

Make It Easy to Scan

There are a few things you can do to make your resume more readable and easier to scan, such as using left-aligned text, a standard font type and size, and bullets instead of paragraphs. You should also try to keep your bullets to 2 lines or less, use digits for numbers, and have a separate skills section. Finally, make sure you have some white space on your resume to help it look less overwhelming.

Be Concise

A resume should be one page long if you have less than five years of experience. If you have more than five years of experience, a two-page resume is appropriate. You can shorten your resume by removing irrelevant information, filler words, and details that are not important to the job you are applying for.

Proofread

Proofreading your resume is important in order to make sure it looks professional and error-free. Spell checking is a must, as are punctuation and grammar checks. It is also helpful to have someone else proofread your resume for you, as they may catch mistakes that you have missed. Beware of easily confused words, and make sure that your tense is consistent throughout the resume.

Consider Including a Summary

When you’re writing a resume, one of the most important things to do is to make sure that you capture the attention of potential employers right away. A great way to do this is by using a resume summary statement. This is a brief paragraph at the top of your resume that explains who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for. This is a great opportunity to show off your best skills and to make it clear to employers why you’re a great fit for the role you’re applying for.

A well-written resume summary statement can help you to stand out from the competition and to get the attention of hiring managers. It’s important to remember to keep it brief and to focus on your most relevant skills and experiences. If you can manage to do that, you’re sure to make a great

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