Welcome to the Paralegal resume sample and writing tips page. Here, you can learn how to sharpen your resume and land more interview callbacks.
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Table of Contents
- Paralegal Resume Sample
- Related Cover Letter & Resume
- Paralegal Resume (Text Format)
- 4 Steps to Writing An Excellent Resume
Paralegal Resume Sample
- Candidate uses Career Objective to detail experience, skills, and intent
- Candidate lists noteworthy accomplishments under Professional Experience
- Candidate includes certifications and learned skills under Additional Skills
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Related Cover Letter & Resume
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Paralegal Resume (Text Format)
(xxx)-xxx-xxxx | [email protected] | 123 Your Address, City, State, Zip Code
Paralegal graduate with 2 years of experience, specializing in preparing affidavits, briefs, legal correspondences, and other legal documents. Organized, hard-working individual seeking to apply academic training under an attorney for hands-on work experience. Interested in working for a boutique law firm with a focus on criminal defense or personal injury.
Goodman & Associates, Albuquerque, NM September 2015 – Present
- Organized and copied exhibits for 3 major cases; currently assist senior paralegals with Bates Stamping their exhibits for any upcoming trials.
- Improved filing database by systematically arranging litigation files and introducing an improved file-opening checklist, resulting in a 15% reduction in the time it takes to catalogue new cases.
- Schedule and conduct interviews with clients and professionals to discuss details and nature of each case.
- Prepare and file affidavits, legal correspondence, and other legal documentation for in-house attorneys and partners.
- Experienced with filing pleadings and preparing wills, appeals, contracts, and briefs.
Wroklaw Offices, Las Cruces, NM June 2012 – August 2015
- Identified laws and court decisions relevant to client cases by reviewing legal publications and performing database searches.
- Organized and maintained company’s law libraries, case files, and various legal documents.
- Assisted in mailing, faxing, and delivering company’s documents and correspondence with clients, court officials, and witnesses.
- Prepared and processed over 100 summons, complaints, motions, pretrial agreements, subpoenas, and other legal documents.
- Attended annual, non-compulsory in-house training and improvement sessions to remain up to date on industry best practices and policy.
Associates Degree, Paralegal Studies, Cape Fear Community College, May 2012
- Intuit QuickBooks certified
- LexisNexis certified
- Proficient in Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office Suite
4 Steps to Writing An Excellent Resume
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there were 279,500 paralegal positions in 2014; that figure is expected to increase by 8% over the next ten years, with an approximate 21,200 paralegals entering the field.
The professional experience section of a resume is crucial because it serves as a metric for both your success and potential as a candidate.
With a median salary of $48,800 a year, becoming a paralegal is a desirable career path for those interested in the legal field.
For an entry-level position, the only educational requirements are an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a certificate in paralegal studies. They are much cheaper than lawyers and can work in a variety of capacities, making them valuable assets to law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies.
1. Write a Resume Objective that Shows Your Skills, Specialisations, and Intent
A career objective geared towards a position as a paralegal should highlight any previous academic training or experience, specializations or skills specific to the legal field, and the applicant’s intent. Let’s take a look at the sample resume to break it down:
- “Paralegal graduate with 2 years of experience, specialising in preparing affidavits, briefs, legal correspondences, and other legal documents.”
In the first example, the applicant briefly outlines their experience and what skills they developed during that time. This is a good way to begin a career objective, since it provides pertinent background information about the candidate. Next, our applicant explains their intent:
- “Organized, hard-working individual seeking to apply academic training under an attorney for hands-on work experience.”
Here, the applicant states that they want to leverage their knowledge about the legal field to gain firsthand experience.They even go on to mention what kind of firm they hope to work for and exactly what areas of law interest them:
- “Interested in working for a boutique law firm with a focus on criminal defense or personal injury.”
By narrowing down what you are looking for in a job, you demonstrate to employers that you are ambitious and take initiative. These are key traits that will bolster your resume and your chances of getting the job.
If you need more ideas on how to write a career objective, then check out our detailed resume objective guide.
2. Enhance Your Professional Experience
The professional experience section of a resume is crucial because it serves as a metric for both your success and potential as a candidate. With this in mind, what you include should be results-oriented, detailing only your noteworthy achievements and duties. Let’s refer to our sample resume to get a clearer idea on what to include:
- “Improved filing database by systematically arranging litigation files and introducing an improved file-opening checklist, resulting in a 15% reduction in the time it takes to catalogue new cases.”
In this example, the applicant provided a quantifiable achievement that demonstrates how they contributed to the firm. Using hard numbers to back up your experience shows that you are an asset and will increase your chances of getting the job.
- “Prepared and processed over 100 summons, complaints, motions, pretrial agreements, subpoenas, and other legal documents.”
Again, we see quantifiable experience that demonstrates competency and capability. This particular bullet point also shows that the candidate is well-versed in a certain aspect of the legal field.
Another thing to consider when writing your professional experience section are industry-specific buzzwords and descriptive language. For example, terms like “Bates Stamping,” “affidavit” or “subpoenas” apply directly to the legal field and are more informative than vague terminology like “forms” or “pages.”
3. Use Vivid Language
Using strong action verbs is also helpful. For example, our applicant enhanced their filing database by “arranging litigation files” and “introducing an improved file-opening checklist.” Emphasis on these words denotes initiative and they make your resume sound more impressive.
Here is a list of action words you can apply to your resume:
Organize Improve Design Introduce Conduct Schedule Assist Prepare Filing Document Process Attend Specialise Apply Sustain
4. Include an Additional Skills Section
An additional skills section is a great way to round out your resume. In it, you should mention any certifications or soft skills that are relevant to the industry. Our applicant included a LexisNexus certification, which is specific to the legal field; appending a niche resource like this will impress employers and increase your chances of getting the job. Here are more examples of relatable certifications and skills you might consider using:
- Westlaw certified
- Proficient in Bridgeway Software i.e. LawManager, eCouncel, and Secretariat
- Sure Will Writer certified
- Proficient in Adobe Systems and Adobe Acrobat
- Summation certified
- Proficient in Paralegal Pro-Pack software
Want to learn more about how you can best present your skills and certifications? Be sure to check out our additional skills writing guide.