Crafting the Perfect Resume for Paralegal Jobs

Crafting a winning resume for a paralegal job requires good writing skills and attention to detail. Trust our examples to help you create the perfect resume!

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Paralegal Resume Examples and Templates: What You Need to Know

A paralegal (also known as a legal assistant) carries out a lot of different tasks to assist attorneys every single day. Most paralegals are familiar with legal research, administrative duties, and multitasking for various cases at once.

There are four levels of paralegals: entry-level, mid-range, senior, and specialist. Writing a resume for each position will be quite different from one another, depending on the paralegal experience required in the field and the types of law being practiced.

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What is a Paralegal Resume?

A paralegal resume is differentiated by relevant paralegal work experience and history at law firms or other law-related agencies, as well as specific skills and qualifications that apply to paralegal work.

Paralegal Resume Format

Formatting a job-winning paralegal resume is fairly simple. There are five main components:

  1. 1. An eye-catching header
  2. 2. A brief resume summary
  3. 3. List of skills
  4. 4. Work experience section
  5. 5. Education (optional)

Header

 
The header of your resume should contain all your contact information, including:

  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • Your LinkedIn profile link (if applicable)

Resume Summary/Objective

 
The paralegal resume objective gives hiring managers a brief overview of your specific skills and work history. This summary should not be too long; a few sentences will do.
 
Skills, Certifications, and Work Experience
 
All of these sections are crucial for your resume. The Skills section can be a short list of bullet points to make it easier for hiring managers to read. Here are a few relevant skills to consider for your resume:

  • Proofreading or preparing legal documents
  • Experience with specific legal software (i.e., LexisNexis, Westlaw, CMS systems, etc.)
  • Case filing system experience or case management
  • Communication skills
  • Microsoft Office or Google Suite
  • Time management

Certifications are not necessarily required for entry-level positions, but if you want to apply for a higher level position, recruiters will typically feel more comfortable hiring certified paralegals over those without the same qualifications. If you are unsure of what certifications to include, then check out ResumeHelp’s blog for more. Some law firms will only accept certifications from organizations approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Here is a quick list of organizations many recruiters will accept:

  • National Federation of Paralegals Association
  • The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)

The work experience section should demonstrate that you are capable of providing trial preparation assistance. This can include any previously held jobs or internships if they involve activities (e.g., office organization or project management) that apply to paralegal work. Mostly, recruiters are looking for candidates who can perform quick legal research, proof or copy legal documents before a trial, and other administrative aid. Similarly, you will want to feature your particular discipline. Paralegals focus on a variety of different areas of law, such as:

  • Criminal law
  • Corporate law
  • Family law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Personal injury law
  • Real estate law

Education Section

 
In addition to listing your top education credentials, you can list relevant paralegal studies, relevant volunteer or club opportunities, or any other activities that show off relevant paralegal skills you excel at. However, if you are a higher-level paralegal, then you should focus more on building up your work history. Recruiters will be far more interested in hiring a mid-level or senior candidate based on their previous experience instead of their old GPA.


Paralegal Resume Example

Jane Doe
 
123 Main Street
 
Los Angeles, CA 12345
 
(123) 456-7890
 
 
Resume Summary
 
Detail-oriented and organized Legal Assistant with two years of diverse paralegal experience. Adept at preparing legal documents for trial preparation and various cases.
 
Skills

  • Proofreading
  • Multitasking
  • E-filing and filing case information
  • Communication skills

Certifications

 
Certified paralegal by The National Association of Legal Assistants, 2020
 
Work Experience Legal Assistant, Doe and Associates Law, Mar 2020 – Present, Los Angeles, CA

  • Authored legal documents like briefs, contracts, and wills on behalf of clients.
  • Prepared summaries of cases and recommended alternatives and solutions.
  • Scheduled client meetings and prepared meeting documents and minutes.

Legal Assistant Intern, Example Law Firm, Mar 2019 – Mar 2020, Los Angeles, CA

  • Collected online legal and non-legal data to support cases assigned.
  • Processed filing of court documents and collated evidence and other legal documents for case files.
  • Organized the supporting materials and prepared exhibits for trial cases.
  • Managed logistics for the delivery of documents for court proceedings and meetings.


FAQs: Paralegal Resumes

Q: How many pages should a paralegal resume be?

In most cases, resumes should not be any longer than a single page. This is especially true for entry-level or mid-range paralegals since you won’t have much experience in the field. Senior and specialist paralegals, however, will have more experience that can be featured in a resume, which will help them land higher paralegal positions.

Therefore, only seasoned paralegals should have resumes that extend to two pages at the most. Much of the resume should contain all your relevant paralegal work experience, relevant skills, and specific certifications you have earned working over the years.

Q: Where can I find free resume templates?

ResumeHelp’s resume builder is a great tool for building your professional resume in mere minutes. With plenty of resume templates, paralegal resume samples, and expert job-specific guidance, you no longer have to stress out over writing new resumes from scratch ever again.

Q: Do I need to write a cover letter for my job application?

Though some job descriptions will list the cover letter as optional, it is still a good idea to write one anyway. A good cover letter can elaborate on your skills and work experience as well as tell hiring managers why you are the perfect fit for the job. It will also make you stand out against candidates who did not write one.

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