Table of Contents:
- Professional Paralegal Resume
- Related Cover Letter
- Paralegal Resume (Text Format)
- Paralegal Resume Writing Tips
- Additional Career Resources
Professional Paralegal Resume
- Candidate is applying for an entry-level paralegal position
- Candidate has 2 years of experience interning at a mid-size law firm
- Candidate emphasizes their ability to research and produce legal documents in a timely manner
SEE ALSO › Popular Resume Samples By Industry
Related Cover Letter
Paralegal Resume (Text Format)
Richard J. Williams
3665 Margaret Street, Houston, TX 47587
Recent graduate in paralegal studies with experience in conducting interviews and legal research. Seeking to bring work experiences and academic training into an entry-level paralegal position at a mid-sized law firm. An organized, dedicated worker looking to work closely with attorneys. Get a more in-depth rundown on career objectives
RG TIP: While this resume uses a Career Objective, you may need a different introduction to properly convey your experience and life situation. Consult our flow chart infographic to decide which resume introduction you should use.
SOUTHERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE Houston, TX
Associate Degree, Paralegal Studies, June 2011
- Graduated with a 3.8 GPA
- Member of the Junior Paralegal Club
WACHESTER LAW FIRM Houston, TX
Intern September 2009 – June 2011
- Assisted three senior paralegals with the research and gathering of legal documents in preparation for trials
- Maintained database and files, answered phones, received messages, and performed other office administrative tasks
- Supported the preparation of documents for criminal and civil trials by scheduling and conducting interviews with clients, witnesses, and other lawyers
- Created and maintained a paper and electronic litigation database
MGA OFFICES Houston, TX
Secretary August 200 7 – August 2009
- Used Microsoft Office Suite software to prepare legal documents and present evidence in spreadsheets for attorney review
- Arranged travel plans for senior management, answered phones and emails
- Scanned, organized, and filed exhibits, briefs, and legal documents into the firm’s paper database
- Coordinated conferences and meetings, and scheduled appointments on the firm’s calendar
- Participated in company-wide training seminars to improve skills
- Attended two annual in-house training to understand office work flow
*To read more about how to write a targeted resume, click here.
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access
- Experience using online appointment scheduling software for a 20-person law firm
- Typing speed: 90 WPM
*To read more about how to write the Skills Section, click here.
Paralegal Resume Writing Tips
Learning from this professionally written paralegal resume sample can help you land more interviews. Failing to follow the tips below may result in your resume being trashed.
Paralegals and legal assistants held about 277,000 jobs in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also estimate that that the paralegal employment opportunities will increase by 17% between 2012 and 2022, which is greater than the projected national job growth average.
As law firms are looking to cut down costs and increase efficiency, paralegals are more affordable hiring alternatives to attorneys and they are able to perform a wider range of duties.
Employers typically look for candidates with either an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelors in another field supplemented with a certificate in paralegal studies. Most go into first job armed with some kind of internship experience in a legal firm completed during their studies.
Employers typically look for candidates with either an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelors with a certificate in paralegal studies.
Here we have a competitive resume of a recent graduate seeking his first job paralegal position. Read on as we highlight its strengths and offer tips on writing that winning resume that will land you the interview. For a comprehensive guide on every single resume section, review our broader resume resources page.
Consider the skills section as a space for you to list out other soft or technical skills that you haven’t stressed elsewhere on your resume. In this case, proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, experience with company-wide scheduling software, along with a high typing speed suggests are hard skills that indicate that our candidate is equipped with the tools to perform well in an office setting.
2. Writing Out Your Career Objective
The career objective section should clearly convey your interest and qualifications for the position you’re seeking. Use this space to highlight specific experiences and personal traits that help you stand out as a desirable candidate. We’ll walk through the career objective in our sample resume.
Here’s the first line:
Recent graduate in paralegal studies with experience in conducting interviews and legal research.
The candidate is a recent college grad with very little working experience, but he brings out his most involved and practical experiences from his time interning in a law firm. Then in the second sentence, the applicant rounds up his major qualifications and express his interest in bringing them into a paralegal position:
Seeking to bring work experiences and academic training into an entry-level paralegal position at a mid-sized law firm.
Lastly, the applicant wraps up the career objective with striking personal characteristics that are also desirable in a paralegal.
An organized, dedicated worker looking to work closely with attorneys.
The career objective functions as a preview and a summary of the body of the resume. Check out the examples below:
Be very strategic about what you put on the body of your resume. When you write out your past work experiences, a tight description is much better than a long, exhaustive list. For one, a thoughtful list reflects thought and mastery over your job. It also lets you highlight to the reader your most impressive skillsets and capabilities.
Our applicant used very descriptive language to detail his job experiences, using keywords that are specific to law practices: “legal documents”, “litigation database”, and “attorney reviews”. But more importantly, the applicant placed great emphasis on words such as “interviewed”, “researched”, “arranged” that denote action, even in the menial tasks. These verbs most vividly communicate job capabilities. Writing in achievement-oriented language makes your resume much stronger.
Another strategy to give your resume more strength and credibility is to quantify your experiences. In other words, provide hard numbers for your achievements, wherever possible. For instance, our applicant wrote that he has “assisted three senior paralegals” and attended “two annual in-house training seminars”.
The reason for doing this? Including measurable figures gives recruiters a real reference point for the scope of your work, and serves to paint a more solid picture of your experiences. Don’t sweat if you have gaps in your work history, they are easily worked around.
4. Action Verbs for a Paralegal Resume
Looking for more verbs? Stop by the longest action verb list in the universe!
Note that the above tips are for the resume displayed. Every applicant is unique and has a different situation and thus will write a different style of resume. Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Additional Career Resources
- ParalegalToday.com – “Provides thought-provoking and practical material to its readers, such as: career and technical information to help readers excel in the workplace, coverage of national news, trends and professional happenings that affect paralegals, as well as colorful and informative pieces on unique areas and people in the profession.”
- Center for Advanced Legal Studies – “Provide students with the skills and practical and ethical knowledge necessary to excel as paralegals and meet the needs of the legal, governmental, and corporate communities.”