How to Write a Lawyer Resume (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 31 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're looking for a job as a lawyer, highlighting certain elements when applying may help you get the attention of an employer. Lawyers often detail their education, experience and related qualifications by writing a resume that may make a positive impression on hiring managers. Learning about writing a resume for a lawyer can help you write one that may differentiate you from other candidates. In this article, we explain what a lawyer resume is and how to write one, share a template and example you can use as a reference and provide tips for writing an effective resume.

What is a lawyer resume?

A lawyer resume is a document that describes a lawyer's educational and employment background. It emphasises their essential skills and qualifications. A lawyer's resume also shows their specific credentials to demonstrate their ability to practise law.

Related: What Does a Lawyer Do? (With Qualifications and Skills)

How to write a resume for a lawyer

Here are some steps you can take to write a resume that may help you appeal to hiring managers when you're looking for a job as a lawyer:

1. Tell the reader who you are

Start your resume by providing basic information about yourself in case the hiring manager wants to schedule an interview with you. At the top of your resume, add your full name, title, phone number and email address on separate lines. You can also add a link to your website or professional social media page if you have one. Some professionals include their general location, but avoid sharing your full address to protect your privacy.

2. Create a professional summary

This section, also called a professional statement, is a comprehensive summary of your qualifications for the role. It typically consists of one to three paragraphs that focus on your educational background, skills and achievements. You can also include your career goals as a lawyer.

3. Describe your relevant experience

If you have over one year of professional experience, include your employment history under your personal profile. This section includes positions you've held in the field and related experiences, such as internships and training roles. Start by listing your position and add the name of the employer and the duration of the work experience. Then, add a bullet list describing your primary responsibilities in the role. Consider quantifying your duties to show hiring managers the extent of your experience. For example, instead of mentioning that you helped a firm increase its revenue, include the specific amount or percentage you contributed.

4. List your education and credentials

If you have over one year of professional experience, include your educational background underneath your employment history. If you've worked as a lawyer for less than a year or are new to the field, include this section above your employment history instead so you can highlight your relevant qualifications. The education section of your resume includes relevant diplomas, certificates and degrees you've earned and the institutions where you earned them.

Related: Professional Qualifications vs. Academic Qualifications: How They Differ

5. Detail your skills and abilities

Use the bottom portion of your resume to list your technical skills, interpersonal abilities and your best professional attributes. Bullet points and short actionable phrases in this section can help to enhance the aesthetic appeal and emotional intrigue of your application. Here are eight skills to consider including on your resume when applying to a position as a lawyer:

  • data analysis

  • dedication to research

  • knowledge of history, laws and court case precedent

  • organisational skills

  • attention to detail

  • commitment to ethics

  • debate and persuasion

  • written communication

6. Add a distinguishing element

The last step in creating an impactful and engaging resume is to include an optional component. Optional sections highlight a person's unique personal or professional history. They may include volunteer work, life experiences, research projects, awards or publication history.

When applying for a position in law, consider including a section that depicts your publication history or one that highlights your tutelage. For example, you might mention a mentorship experience you had with a senior lawyer. Adding a section like this can help you distinguish yourself from other applicants, and it can make your resume more memorable.

Resume template for a lawyer

Here is a template to use when completing a resume for a position as a lawyer:

[Your full name]
[Position title]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [Professional link]

Professional Summary

[One- to three- paragraph professional introduction or summary]

Work-related experience

[Position title]
[Name of law firm or other employer], [duration of work experience]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

[Position title]
[Name of law firm or other employer], [duration of work experience]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

  • [Duties, responsibilities or accomplishments]

Education and credentials

[Degree, certification or significant accomplishment]
[Name of college or university, dates of attendance]

[Degree, certification or significant accomplishment]
[Name of college or university, dates of attendance]

Skills and abilities

[Technical skill or unique trait] | [Technical skill or unique trait] | [Technical skill or unique trait]

Title of optional section

  • [distinguishing detail]

  • [distinguishing detail]

  • [distinguishing detail]

Related: Top Resume Sample Formats (With Tips and Examples)

Resume example for a lawyer

Here's an example of a resume for a lawyer you can use as a reference when writing your own:

Lauren Chan Contract lawyer
0921 1290 | laurenchan@email.com | laurenchanmei.com

Professional Summary

A graduate of the Bachelor of Laws programme at Hong Kong University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, I have an educational and professional background in business law. My educational background includes real estate, litigation and contract law. I specialise in drafting contracts for large organisations, particularly employment and client agreements.

My motivation as a lawyer lies in the ability to help organisations attract, hire and retain quality employees and ensure satisfactory working agreements between organisations and their clients. I take pride in my attention to detail and organisation skills, which allow me to draft and manage contracts, agreements and other legal documentation effectively. I'm currently seeking a position that allows me to contribute to organisational growth through efficient legal representation.

Work-related experience

Contract lawyer
Johnson & Lin Manufacturing, December 2020–Current

  • advise executives on contractual law

  • draft contracts and agreements

  • evaluate and revise contracts and agreements to ensure accuracy

  • assist organisations in negotiating contracts with clients

  • maintain updated employment contracts

Solicitor trainee
LGR Law Firm, November 2018–December 2020

  • evaluated legal issues to develop strategies

  • performed legal research

  • drafted legal documentation

Education and credentials

Postgraduate Certificate in Laws
University of Central Hong Kong, September 2017–September 2018

Bachelor of Laws
Hong Kong University, May 2013–May 2017

Skills and abilities

Highly justice and ethics oriented | Profound speaking and orating ability | Detailed research and analytic skills | Superb knowledge of law and case precedent | Excellent time management and resource allocation

Publications

  • Evolving Ethics in Contract Law, Hong Kong University Press, October 2016

  • The Impact of Workers' Issues on Employment Contract Semantics, UCHK Academic Journal, January 2018

Related: How to Write a resume (With Template and Example)

Tips for writing a resume for a lawyer

Here are some tips you can use to help you write an effective resume when you're looking for a position as a lawyer:

Research the organisation and position

Customising your resume to suit the requirements the employer prefers in a candidate may improve your chances of getting an interview. You can do this by reviewing the job description to identify specific credentials and highlighting the ones that apply to you on your resume. You might also find it helpful to research the organisation where you're applying to learn about the company culture and goals. Then, emphasise the qualities you have that align with the organisation to help you get the hiring manager's attention.

Focus on readability

It's important to consider the physical readability of your document. A resume that is easy to read and scan is likely to provide a more enjoyable experience for the person reviewing it. Here are some ways you can increase the aesthetic appeal and overall ease of readability of your resume:

  • Use bold text or font to distinguish each section.

  • Avoid decorative fonts that may be incompatible with resume scanning platforms.

  • Use a combination of line breaks and bullet points to create more white space on the page.

  • Ensure your side margins are a minimum of 0.75 in width.

  • Review your document to make sure your formatting and alignment are cohesive throughout.

Use specific and actionable language

Whether you're writing your personal profile or listing your relevant experiences or skills, remember to use action verbs and quantitative language. These words can help you highlight your achievements and abilities. Here's a list of eight verbs to consider including in your resume when applying for a position as a lawyer:

  • negotiating

  • advising

  • researching

  • optimising

  • drafting

  • coordinating

  • finalising

  • editing


Explore more articles