The ultimate guide to writing a resume as a lawyer

The road to becoming a lawyer is paved with hard work and years of dedication to the field. When applying for jobs as a lawyer, emphasizing this experience is a major factor that can help you to stand apart from competing applicants. 

In this guide, we will take you through a few steps to improve your lawyer resume to land the job of your dreams.

Keep reading to learn how to: 

  • Pick a resume format that emphasizes experience 
  • Showcase your experience and specializations in your resume summary
  • Highlight your diverse skill sets as a lawyer
  • Prioritize your strengths and accomplishments as a lawyer in your work experience section
  • Accurately and succinctly list your educational credentials as a lawyer
  • Add relevant extra sections to make your lawyer resume shine

1. Pick a resume format that emphasizes experience

When choosing a resume format as a lawyer, you want to select the format that will best emphasize your experience in the field. In this case, your two best options are the reverse-chronological resume or the Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The reverse-chronological resume puts the primary focus on work experience, listing your most recent position first and working backward from there. This is the most common resume format and allows you to prioritize your key responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments that you gained from past experiences. 

The CV is a long-form resume that consists of multiple pages. This format is most commonly used within academic or scientific fields. However, for lawyers with 10+ years of experience, the CV gives you the best opportunity to list your extensive background and work history to the fullest extent. 

Typically, an employer will indicate in a job posting whether or not they expect to see a multi-page CV. Always pay attention to these details and make sure to include the proper documents and materials within your application. 

Try our AI Resume Writer and have your resume ready in minutes!

Our AI Resume Writer can generate a great first draft of your resume in seconds. Simply enter your job title and let artificial intelligence find the right words for your resume.
AI Resume Writer

2. Showcase your experience and specializations in your resume summary

Your resume summary is an essential component of your resume, as it helps to introduce you as a professional to employers. 

When writing your resume summary, you should keep in mind what impression the summary will leave on the reader. This is your best opportunity to make yourself stand out from your competitors with your skills and areas of expertise. 

To illustrate this, here is an example of a weak resume summary, followed by a corrected example

Incorrect lawyer resume summary example

Experienced Lawyer seeking an attorney position with an established law firm. Skilled in client relationship management and developing winning case strategies. Exceptional negotiation abilities and experienced in corporate law. 

What's wrong with this example? In this example, the applicant provides very few details that offer specific insights into their professional career. To improve this summary, the applicant needs to offer more quantifiable examples regarding their experience and focus more on their specializations. 

Corrected lawyer resume summary example

Detail-Oriented Lawyer with over 7 years of experience working in corporate law. Specialized in corporate taxes and financial planning, with deep knowledge of evolving government regulations. Highly competent in successful negotiations of substantial corporate contracts. 

Why is this better? This corrected example offers a much higher level of specificity and detail. The applicant establishes their years of experience as well as their specialization in corporate business and affairs. They go on to highlight their negotiation strengths, giving the summary a nice finishing touch that will compel employers to read on.

3. Highlight your diverse skill sets as a lawyer

Working as a lawyer requires you to have many different kinds of skills, from general abilities such as legal research to more complex and specialized areas of expertise. 

Here are 10 examples of technical skills and 10 examples of interpersonal skills that are key to include on a lawyer’s resume

Technical skills 

  • Case Analysis and Research
  • Legal Due Diligence
  • Data Analytics
  • Client Advising and Consultation
  • Extensive Written and Verbal Communication
  • Preparation of Legal Documents
  • File Organization and Management
  • Law Interpretation
  • Court and Trial Proceedings
  • Industry Specializations (Environmental Law, Tax Law, etc.) 

Interpersonal skills 

  • Integrity
  • Active Listening
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • Negotiation
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Confidentiality
  • Dependability

Find out your resume score!

Our AI Resume checker can scan your resume for issues and give you tips on how you can improve it.
Resume Analytics

4. Prioritize your strengths and accomplishments as a lawyer in your work experience section

Your work experience section is highly important as a lawyer. This is the section where you will showcase your greatest strengths, key responsibilities, and major accomplishments within previous positions. As such, your work experience section should prioritize each of these to the fullest. 

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a lawyer resume

Lawyer | M&J Law Associates

New Orleans, LA | June 2015 to January 2020

  • Managed more than 25 corporate lawsuits per year, representing clients on cases such as fraud schemes and criminal cases. 
  • Assisted in raising firm’s success rate from 89.7% to 93.9% by implementing new case management strategies. 
  • Supervised a team of 10 legal assistant interns, delegating necessary word-processing and organization tasks to them.

5. Accurately and succinctly list your educational credentials as a lawyer 

As a lawyer, you are required to have earned a degree through a law school program and pass the bar examination in your state of residence. These credentials are extremely important to include accurately in your resume’s education section

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a lawyer resume


Juris Doctor | Stanford University
Stanford, CA

  • Graduated Cum Laude in 2020

B.A. in Business Administration | Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

  • Graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017
  • President of the Environmental Law Society 2015-2017

6. Add relevant extra sections to make your lawyer resume shine

In the world of law, where expertise and credibility are essential, incorporating relevant extra sections into your lawyer resume can make a significant difference.

While your education and legal experience hold substantial weight, additional sections provide an opportunity to demonstrate your well-roundedness and dedication to serving the community.

Consider including one or more of the following:

  • Volunteer legal services
  • Publications
  • Speaking engagements
  • Professional memberships
  • Language proficiency
  • Awards and recognitions

One powerful extra section to consider is

Volunteer Legal Services

  • Volunteer Attorney, Legal Aid Society (Anytown, USA, 2019-Present)
    • Provide pro bono legal representation to individuals with limited financial means.
    • Handle a wide range of cases, including family law, landlord-tenant disputes, and immigration matters.
    • Advocate for the rights of underprivileged clients, ensuring access to justice and fair legal outcomes.
    • Collaborate with a team of legal professionals to conduct research, draft legal documents, and prepare for court proceedings.
    • Received recognition for outstanding service and commitment to providing legal assistance to vulnerable populations.
Published on May 31, 2022

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

All lawyer resume examples

Professional Lawyer Resume Example
Professional Lawyer Resume Example
Litigation Associate Resume Example
Litigation Associate Resume Example
Corporate Counsel Resume Example
Corporate Counsel Resume Example
Trademark Paralegal Resume Sample
Trademark Paralegal Resume Sample
Litigation Assistant Resume Example
Litigation Assistant Resume Example
Public Defender Resume Example
Public Defender Resume Example
Solicitor Resume Template
Solicitor Resume Template
Senior Associate Resume Example
Senior Associate Resume Example
Family Advocate Resume Example
Family Advocate Resume Example

Let your resume do the work.

Join 3,600,000 job seekers worldwide and get hired faster with your best resume yet.

Sign Up
Learn to write a great resume that will get you invited to more job interviews.