Lawyer Resume Example

Lawyer Resume Example and Writing Tips

Building a lawyer resume is trickier than it seems. You have a lot of critical experience, qualifications, and certifications to list and not a lot of room. Further, you need to get specific with your legal experience to ensure hiring managers know that you’re an expert in a certain legal practice. In this blog post, we review the top resume examples lawyers need to build the perfect resume.

Key Sections To Include in a Lawyer Resume

The key elements of a lawyer resume include the header, summary, work experience, education, and skills. These sections apply to all legal professionals, from legal interns to immigration to family lawyers.

You can get started building your lawyer resume with these sections built-in using our resume templates.

It’s usually optional to list your job title in your header, but it’s required in a lawyer resume. Because legal practices are so different, it’s important to immediately differentiate yourself by listing “corporate law professional” or “criminal law lawyer.”

You must also include all the typical header information, such as:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Location

Here’s a lawyer resume example header:

Emily Lopez
Immigration Lawyer
Austin, Texas

Resume objective or summary

Your lawyer resume summary must be specific to your field and list experience that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. This helps your resume get picked up by the company’s ATS – and once it’s being read by a human – it helps the hiring manager quickly digest your relevant qualifications.

The summary should be a brief 2 to 4 sentences to save space. In this space, quickly summarize your skills and how they can contribute to the company’s success.

Work experience

This section is your chance to display your past achievements and highlight what a successful attorney you are. Your experience section is a great opportunity to not only showcase some of your work responsibilities but also highlight any important court cases you’ve been a part of.

A great lawyer resume should use this section to list outstanding accomplishments, like winning client cases. However, don’t forget the small, tedious tasks, like preparing legal documents. Small tasks may not be exciting, but companies need those skills to succeed.


Some professions can successfully get by without a college degree, such as a marketing associate getting into a sales role on transferable skills. However, listing education on resumes is vital for legal professionals. 

A law degree is required to practice, so employers need to know if you have the right certifications to work for them. Legal professionals must have at least a Bachelor’s degree and a law school degree, and most are expected to complete continuous programs to stay up to date with current laws.

Here’s an example lawyer resume education section:

Juris Doctor Degree
The University of Texas School of Law
2002 – 2005
Austin, Texas

Bachelor of Arts, English
Texas State University
1997 – 2001
San Marcos, Texas

Hard skills

A lawyer resume must list your top technical skills to display your expertise and knowledge of the role. Specific legal fields have different technical skills – for example, a family lawyer needs the ability to draft custody agreements, wills, and prenuptial documents.

Here are a few of the top lawyer hard skills:

  • Litigation
  • Legal research
  • Court appearances
  • Case management
  • Document review
  • Legal writing

Soft skills

Soft skills are too often forgotten in resumes, but they’re absolutely essential for lawyer resumes. Legal professionals need a slew of soft skills because they closely work with people. They also require organizational and time management capabilities.

Here are a few of the main soft skills for an attorney resume:

  • Expert communication
  • Negotiation
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Conflict resolution
  • Attention to detail
  • Emotional intelligence

Optional sections

Certain sections are optional but have the potential to bring a lot of value to your resume. It isn’t necessary to add Volunteer Work, Languages, and Hobbies and Interests to every resume, but it could help with certain applications.

For example, many lawyers have offered volunteer services for low-income individuals and this is a powerful addition to a resume. This achievement isn’t just experience, it also shows the passion and drive of a person willing to work for no compensation.

Tips for Writing a Lawyer Resume

Beyond the typical sections, we also have a few tips to make your lawyer resume stand out from the crowd. 

These best practices take your resume to the next level, such as quantifying achievements and tailoring each resume to a specific job post. These steps take a little extra time, but it’s more than worth it.

Browse our resume articles for more tips and tricks on landing your dream job.

Use a reverse chronological structure

A reverse chronological structure, also called a chronological structure, is the practice of listing your work experience and education from most recent to least.

This is the most common resume structure in the US and we highly recommend you use it. This format ensures that the hiring manager sees your most recent, relevant qualifications first. Recruiters only spend a few seconds scanning each resume and you wouldn’t want them focusing on your first entry-level role.

Tailor your resume to each job ad

You must personalize every resume you send out. This might sound tiring to anyone in the middle of a job search, but it’s definitely worth it.

Customizing each resume helps it seem personal and less copy/pasted – and hiring managers can tell when it is. A personalized resume is relevant to the position, listing the exact qualifications and skills necessary.

Tailoring each resume also helps make your resume ATS-friendly, as applicant tracking systems scan resumes for specific keywords that are in the job description.

Personalizing each resume helps a lawyer stay hyper-relevant when applying for a job. Most legal professionals have many credentials and qualifications, so their resumes could get far too long listing them all. Stay succinct and only mention what’s relevant.

Quantify your resume achievements

Quantifying your accomplishments helps hiring managers understand your skills and impact quickly. It also sounds actionable and positive, giving a great first impression.

Try quantifying popular topics like the number of clients you’ve served, the number of cases you’ve taken, or your total client satisfaction rate.

Every legal practice has specific skills beyond research and case management. Ensure you list any skills that are specific to your field. For example, a real estate attorney resume should list the ability to draft and negotiate real estate transactions.

It’s also a great idea to mention any foreign languages you speak if you’re an immigration lawyer, as it adds a lot of value to your resume.

Use layman’s terms

Hiring managers are rarely experts in the field they’re hiring for, so try not to use legal jargon or complicated terms. This will just confuse them and they won’t be able to properly understand your qualifications.

If you’re in doubt, try asking a friend who isn’t a lawyer for advice. Have them read through your resume and let you know if anything’s too confusing.

Make Your Application Stand Out With Your Lawyer Resume

A lawyer resume needs detailed information on it, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Be professional and concise, and specify your legal field, and you can catch the attention of your ideal employer.

Ensure you list all your relevant certifications and degrees, provide your top hard and soft skills, and include valuable optional information – volunteer work and known languages are strong additions to your resume.

Why not take this information and get started now? CVwizard’s Resume Builder makes it quick and easy to create a professional lawyer resume. They’re also easy to edit, so you can tailor each one to different roles.

Share via:

Make an impression with your resume

Create and download a professional resume quickly and easily.

Create resume