Optimize your legal administrative assistant resume with this quick guide
A 5-step resume guide for legal administrative assistants with writing tips, examples, and more. Topics covered include resume formats, summaries, skills, work experience, and educational credentials.
Legal administrative assistants play a crucial support role in law offices and firms. As such, employers in the field of law look for driven and dependable professionals who can carry out essential administrative tasks with efficiency and ease.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about tailoring your resume to perfection as a legal administrative assistant.
Keep reading to learn how to:
- Choose the right resume format as a legal administrative assistant
- Write a resume summary that impresses legal employers
- Select both hard and soft skills to show your range of abilities
- Properly list work experience to showcase your administrative talents
- Accurately list your educational background as a legal administrative assistant
1. Choose the right resume format as a legal administrative assistant
Working in legal administration can be both an entry-level job or a long-term career. As such, the level of experience from one legal administrative assistant to the next can vary greatly – and choosing the best format for your resume is highly dependent on this experience level.
There are 3 main formats you can choose between when creating your legal admin assistant resume:
- Reverse-chronological: This resume focuses on work experience, listing your most recent job first and working backward from there. The RC resume is the standard expected by most employers. However, it requires you to have enough paid work experience to fill at least half to three-quarters of a page.
- Functional: The functional resume is designed for applicants with experience outside of formal jobs, placing the focus instead on education and skills. This format is regularly used by recent graduates of high school and college who have experience within an academic setting, but highly limited formal work experience.
- Hybrid: The hybrid resume combines elements of both the reverse-chronological and functional formats, placing a more even amount of emphasis on all sections of the resume. This format is well-suited for applicants with limited experience, those changing career paths, or those with large gaps in their work history.
2. Write a resume summary that impresses legal employers
Writing a professional summary at the top of your resume gives you the opportunity you need to hook an employer’s attention.
Resume summaries serve as an introduction and brief insight into the applicant’s greatest strengths. Employers will not always read through an entire resume and the summary gives the applicant the chance to plainly list the most important details that make them stand out from the competition.
Here is an example of a weak resume summary, followed by a corrected example and explanation:
Incorrect legal administrative assistant resume summary example:
Enthusiastic Legal Administrative Assistant with experience in both corporate and courtroom settings. Skills include being fluent in legal terminology, organization, and team collaboration. Earned a leadership award in previous position.
What's wrong with this example? Though it starts strong with the descriptive addition of “enthusiastic,” this summary quickly loses the reader’s interest. When writing a resume summary, you want to use compelling language and details that both intrigue and impress employers. This example lacks specificity and fails to engage the reader with clear information regarding the applicant’s skills and accomplishments.
Corrected legal administrative assistant resume summary example:
Enthusiastic Legal Administrative Assistant with 5 years of experience working in corporate law firms and state-level courtrooms. Exceptionally skilled at creating efficient organizational systems, with deep knowledge of legal terminology. Highly adept at team collaboration, earning the Company Leadership Award at previous job.
Why is this better? This corrected example offers the reader much more active and engaging language that takes them through the applicant’s skills, strengths, and accomplishments. They clearly state how many years of experience they have, as well as provide greater context around the leadership award they earned.
3. Select both hard and soft skills to show your range of abilities
Hard skills are your technical abilities that make you capable and competent in a working environment. Comparatively, soft skills are your interpersonal abilities that enable you to work well with others, both peers and customers alike.
As a legal administrative assistant, your resume will need to have a good mix of both your hard and soft skills for an employer to deem you a qualified person for the job.
To help you brainstorm skills, we have provided 10 examples of hard skills and 10 examples of soft skills:
- Word Processing Software (Microsoft 365, Google Docs, etc.)
- File Organization (Digital & Manual)
- Billing & Invoicing
- Schedule & Calendar Management
- Presentation Planning
- Legal Research
- Email Management & Composition
- Processing & Distributing Legal Documents
- Accurate Note Taking
- Active Listening
- Excellent Memorization
- Verbal & Written Communication
- Reasoning (Inductive & Deductive)
- Proactive Problem-Solving
- Attention to Detail
- Friendly Demeanor
- Collaboration & Teamwork
- Reception & Phone Etiquette
4. Properly list work experience to showcase your administrative talents
As a legal administrative assistant, you will have many key responsibilities that make the legal proceedings of your employer possible.
When writing your work experience, you want to showcase your administrative talents as much as possible. For instance, if you are highly knowledgeable of administrative software used to improve business operations, including this information is essential.
Here is an example of a work experience entry from a legal administrative assistant resume:
Legal Administrative Assistant | ERG Law Associates
Miami, FL | April 2018 – June 2020
- Reported to and collaborated with a team of 7 lawyers, who represented both corporate and judicial clients.
- Implemented a digital calendar management platform that helped reduce missed appointments by 15% and boost client satisfaction by 30% through the use of simpler scheduling procedures.
- Conducted in-depth research on client legal issues, presenting data and findings to appropriate staff members.
5. Accurately list your educational background as a legal administrative assistant
There are many educational pathways to becoming a legal administrative assistant. While having at least a two-year degree is recommended, applicants with high school diplomas or GEDs can also apply to employers willing to provide training and certification.
As such, your education section should detail your highest level of training, as well as any additional training and certifications you may have completed.
Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a legal administrative assistant resume:
- Associate’s Degree in Business Administration | Caldwell Community College
- 2012 – 2014 | Wilkesboro, NC