Resume

Paralegal Resume Example & Writing Guide

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

Paralegals are indispensable members of legal teams who provide support by conducting research, drafting documents, and helping attorneys with their caseloads. They’re skilled researchers and excellent communicators—able to translate complex legal jargon into language that’s easy for non-lawyers to understand.

Because you’re such an integral part of the team, it’s important to write a compelling paralegal resume that highlights your unique skills and experience. Here are some tips and an example resume to help you write an effective paralegal resume that will get you hired.

David Moore
Houston, TX | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]
Summary

Skilled and experienced paralegal with a passion for providing excellent client service. Proven ability to manage multiple complex cases simultaneously, efficiently handle legal research, and draft pleadings and other legal documents.

Education
Houston Community College Jun '10
Paralegal Certificate
Houston Community College Jun '09
A.A. in Business Administration
Experience
Company A, Paralegal Jan '17 – Current
  • Assisted attorneys with legal research, document drafting and review, client intake, scheduling, and contact management.
  • Drafted correspondence for attorneys in a variety of formats including letters to clients and other parties involved in the matter as well as internal memoranda regarding case strategy or status updates.
  • Provided support for all aspects of litigation from initial filing through trial preparation and post-trial motions/appeals.
  • Maintained attorney files by creating folders within the firm’s electronic file system based on client name, date received, etc., copying documents into appropriate folders when necessary, scanning hard copies into the computer system when needed, organizing incoming mail according to client or subject matter and distributing it appropriately among attorneys’ assistants as well as maintaining an organized calendar for each attorney that includes appointments, hearings & depositions scheduled by staff members along with deadlines for various tasks associated with pending cases.
  • Prepared exhibits such as photographs or diagrams for use at deposition or trial using graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop depending upon the nature of the exhibit being prepared.
Company B, Paralegal Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Assisted attorneys with research and document drafting for cases involving contract disputes, personal injury claims, and landlord/tenant issues
  • Prepared pleadings, motions, discovery requests, depositions, expert witness statements, settlement offers and counteroffers
  • Conducted legal research on a variety of topics including contracts, torts (negligence), property law and criminal procedure
  • Drafted documents related to the sale or purchase of real estate transactions; prepared closing documents for notarization
  • Maintained client files in accordance with attorney instructions and company policies and procedures
Company C, Legal Assistant Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Drafted memoranda, letters and other documents such as complaints, answers to complaints, motions for directed verdicts, orders to show cause and notices of appearance; prepared contracts, leases, promissory notes and loan agreements; drafted powers-of-attorney and non-compete agreements; arranged conference calls between clients and lawyers in the field; coordinated travel arrangements for attorneys and served as a liaison with outside counsel when necessary.
  • Managed incoming mail including correspondence from clients requesting legal help or general information about legal rights but did not provide any legal assistance since duties were limited to administrative support only.
  • Maintained attorney calendar by assigning cases based on relative importance/urgency (e.g., answering phone calls & scheduling meetings); answered phones both within law firm office where it was shared with 2 others or at offsite locations depending upon work load demands; maintained confidential files available only by lawyer’s staff.
Certifications
  • Certified Paralegal
  • Certified Legal Assistant
  • Advanced Certified Paralegal
Skills

Industry Knowledge: Corporate Law, Securities Law, Litigation, Intellectual Property Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, Contracts, Patents
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Westlaw, LexisNexis, Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Pro
Soft Skills: Communication, Customer Service, Attention to Detail, Conflict Resolution, Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving

How to Write a Paralegal Resume

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

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most effective way to showcase your experience and qualifications. But rather than simply listing your responsibilities, you can make your bullet points much more interesting by using them to tell a story about your work.

For example, rather than saying you “assisted attorneys with legal research,” you could say that you “assisted attorneys with legal research for case involving breach of contract, resulting in favorable settlement for client.”

The second bullet point is much more interesting because it provides more detail about what you did and the outcome of your work. And it also provides a clear indication of your level of involvement in the project.

Related: What Is a Paralegal? 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. ATS programs rank resumes by scanning them for specific job-related terms. If your resume doesn’t have enough of the right keywords, the ATS might not forward it to a recruiter.

The best way to make sure your resume contains the right keywords is to read through job postings and take note of the words and phrases that are used most often. Then, make sure to include those same words on your resume. Here are some common paralegal keywords to get you started:

  • Legal Advice
  • Legal Research
  • Litigation
  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Document Preparation
  • Corporate Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Document Drafting
  • Westlaw
  • Document Review
  • Paralegals
  • Legal Consulting
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Document Review Drafting
  • Family Law
  • Trademark
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property
  • Trial Practice
  • Legal Support
  • Document Drafting & Review
  • Trademarks
  • Legal Document Preparation
  • Administrative Law
  • Legal Administration
  • Pleadings

Showcase Your Technical Skills

Recruiters are looking for paralegals who are proficient in the use of technology, like legal research databases and case management software. They also want to see that you have experience with specific programs, like 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 Paralegal Make?

Remember The Basics

As you’re writing your resume, you’ll want to keep a few basic guidelines in mind.

Make Your Resume Easy to Scan

There are a few things you can do to make your resume easier to read, such as left aligning your text, using a standard font type and size, and using bullets instead of paragraphs to list your experiences. You should also use all-caps and bold sparingly, and keep your bullets under two lines. Additionally, you can include some white space on the page to make the document easier to scan.

Be Concise

You want to be clear, concise, and selective when writing your resume. Aim to keep it to one or two pages, unless you have a lot of experience to include. Stick to the most relevant information and be succinct in your wording. Brevity is key.

Proofread

Proofreading your resume is an important step in ensuring that it looks its best. There are a few key things to look for when proofreading: spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, and grammatical mistakes. It is also important to be aware of easily confused words. Spell-checking your resume is a good way to catch mistakes, but it is important to have someone else read it over as well.

Consider a Summary

A resume summary statement is an excellent way to introduce yourself to potential employers, and can be especially helpful if you’re switching careers or have a limited work history. By highlighting your skills and experiences, as well as your intentions for the future, you can help employers see how you might be a good fit for their organization. The summary statement should be brief, no more than a few sentences, and tailored to the specific job you’re applying for.

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