2 Attorney Resume Examples & Writing Guide

This guide provides 2 attorney resume examples and step-by-step instructions to write your own. Learn what to include and how to structure an attorney resume to get more interviews. Discover how to highlight your legal skills and experience. Use this advice to create an effective attorney resume that grabs recruiters' attention and lands you the law job you want.

A strong resume is essential for attorneys seeking their next legal role. While the basic principles of resume writing apply, lawyer resumes have some unique elements. Recruiters and law firms look for specific information and qualifications when evaluating candidates.

Your attorney resume needs to quickly convey your legal skills, experience, and education. It must be concise while still painting a picture of your capabilities and achievements. The format, language, and content all play a part in making an impression.

Crafting a standout legal resume doesn't need to be a struggle. This guide provides two attorney resume samples along with expert tips for each section. See how to effectively highlight your background and credentials. Learn what to include, how to phrase things, and what structure works best.

With these resume examples and advice, you can create a compelling document that grabs attention and lands interviews. Increase your odds of getting hired at a top law firm or legal department. Take your attorney career to the next level with a powerful, polished resume.

Common Responsibilities Listed on Attorney Resumes

  • Representing clients in legal proceedings and negotiations
  • Researching and analyzing laws, regulations, and legal precedents
  • Drafting legal documents such as contracts, pleadings, and briefs
  • Providing legal advice and counsel to clients
  • Conducting depositions and interrogatories
  • Preparing cases for trial and presenting arguments in court
  • Negotiating settlements and plea bargains
  • Staying up-to-date with changes in relevant laws and regulations
  • Managing and overseeing legal teams or associates
  • Ensuring compliance with ethical and professional standards
  • Maintaining client confidentiality and privileged information
  • Building and maintaining client relationships
  • Managing case files and documentation

How to write a Resume Summary

The summary or objective section of your resume is your first introduction to potential employers. A well-crafted section can set the tone for the rest of your resume and significantly influence the impression you make on hiring managers. Therefore, it is critical to give this section due consideration and imbue it with your distinct professional essence.

As an attorney, the nuances required of your summary/objective section are unique. You're not merely advertising your management prowess or programming acumen. Instead, you're playing on your legal expertise, interpretative skills, attention to detail, and above all, your logical and persuasive communication capacities. These abilities need to seep into every word you pen down in this section.

Start by identifying your most significant accomplishments and experiences, as these can effectively showcase your key capabilities. Don't just list your achievements; instead, hint at your potential to solve problems, handle responsibilities, and imbue trust, all while abiding by the highest ethical standards.

Next, consider your career goals. An objective defined by clear, legal ambitions can go a long way in illustrating your proactive attitude and sincere motivation. However, balance is key. While it's essential to state your career aspirations, your objective claims must align with what the potential employer can offer; otherwise, your resume might seem unsuitable to the job requirements.

Also, underscore the value you can bring to the organization. Essentially, your potential employer should be able to engage with you through your words, discern your persistence, and understand your plans for the legal field and the team.

As an attorney, watching word choice is pivotal, especially when the space is limited, and impact maximization is required. Stick to a formal, yet engaging, language. Remember, your lexical choices reflect your communication style; hence, stay clear of jargon or complex legal vernacular. You might well be talking to HR personnel who appreciate legible, penetrable phrasing.

Resist the temptation to elaborate on your law school grades or the details of your past jobs. These items will find their own places in the education and experience sections, respectively. The space in the summary/objective needs to be occupied by a distilled, compelling narrative of who you are professionally and what you aspire to achieve.

In essence, the best summary/objective section for an attorney's resume strikes harmony among legal skills representation, demonstration of career goals, hinting at your potential value addition, and maintaining memorable, clear language. A job application is a legally applied first impression; take time to ensure it warrants a second look.

Strong Summaries

  • Highly dedicated attorney with over 10 years of experience in civil litigation, specializing in contract law, looking to leverage extensive background in client counseling and trial preparation in the role of Senior Attorney with XYZ firm.
  • Experienced Corporate Attorney with a continuous record of success in achieving positive outcomes for high-profile clients and corporations, seeking to apply in-depth knowledge of corporate law in a thriving law firm.
  • Energetic patent attorney with demonstrated expertise in IT-related patent law, with an extensive technical background in computer science. Looking to enhance the patent acquisition and defense strategies of innovative tech companies.
  • Dedicated family attorney with 15 years of experience and a passion for helping families navigate complicated legal situations. Known for balanced advocacy and a high level of empathy in handling sensitive cases.
  • Meticulous environmental law attorney focused on providing sound counsel and understanding the intersection between legal issues and public policy, seeking to leverage skills to push for environmental justice.

Why these are strong?

These examples are all strong because they emphasize different elements important in an attorney's professional summary: specialization in certain fields of law, years of experience, strong track records, passion, and a dedicated focus on certain key client needs. Also, they talk about what they can bring to the company explicitly which makes their goals clear. It is considered a good practice as it outlines their professional identity, draws attention to their qualities and immediate career goals. It also tailors the resume towards the job they are applying for which is always recommended in the job search process.

Weak Summaries

  • Dynamic Lawyer that knows the law and has argued in some cases. Skilled in asking questions to witnesses and writing briefs. I can handle any case!
  • Top Lawyer, I'm the best in the business. I've won all my cases and my clients love me. Hire me if you want to win.
  • I am a Lawyer with many years of experience and I love the law. I've been practicing law for ages. Looking for a firm that appreciates my talent. I also wrote a book about the law.

Why these are weak?

The common thread in these bad examples is a lack of specificity, overall vagueness, overconfidence, arrogance, and lack of professional language. In the first example, the summary appears informal and doesn't provide a defining success element or any compelling skills. The second example comes off as bragging without providing any proof of accomplishments, which can be a turn-off to potential employers. The third example is also generic and lacks information about specific areas of expertise or notable achievements. Moreover, mentioning personal aspirations like looking for a firm that appreciates talent and writing a book on law, might come across as self-centered instead of showing how the candidate can add value to the potential employer's organization.

Showcase your Work Experience

A work experience section is indeed an instrumental factor in your resume. Not only does it shed light on your professional history, but it also gives the potential employers a glimpse into your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments in the field. For an attorney like you, this section tells the story of your legal journey, flags your suitability for the position, and shows how you've added value in the past. Essential aspects are as follows:

Three Keys Components to the Work Experience Section:

  • Job Title: Begins with your most recent job followed by each previous position, documented in reverse chronological order. The job title, name of the firm or company, and dates worked are essential details.

  • Responsibilities: This should consist of a brief summary of the major tasks you performed during your job. Remember to customize this for each application to match the job description for the role you are applying for. It is an opportunity to display how you suit the potential role based on your proven track record.

  • Accomplishments: While responsibilities detail what you were assigned to do, accomplishments illustrate how well you did it. Adopting STAR (situation, task, action, result) format may be an effective strategy for compiling these.

Making It Simple and Effective

When managers or recruitment officers read the work experience section, they should immediately understand what your profession is, what kind of tasks you are familiar with managing, and what impacts you have made in the past. Hence, your shared facts should be direct and clear, leaving no room for jargon or ambiguity.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact using concrete numbers, metrics, and percentages to demonstrate the value you brought to your previous roles.

Striking The Right Balance

When detailing responsibilities, it's advised to capture the breadth of your work but avoid going overly granular. The responsibility descriptions mustn't come across as a bland list of duties. Instead, it may be well worth keeping them action-oriented and energetic. The key is to steer clear from platitudes and instead focus on facts and unique selling propositions to make a memorable impression.

Using Active Verbs and Quantifiable Achievements

Using action verbs like 'led', 'managed', 'negotiated' etc., serve to enliven your responsibilities and provide an edge of authority. Moreover, quantifying achievements wherever applicable serve as proof of your accomplishments, be it 'increased client retention by 25%' or 'led a team of 5 associates', such figures impart substance to your claims.


With resumes increasingly being screened by automated systems, it has become imperative to incorporate relevant keywords in your resume. Scour the job description for potential keywords- these typically are the skills or qualifications the employer has listed as required or desired.

Keep these in mind while compiling your work experience section and you're sure to construct a resume that's a truthful, engaging reflection of your professional journey as an attorney!

Strong Experiences

  • Represented clients in numerous complex contract disputes and civil litigation cases with an 80% success rate.
  • Handled labor law issues, including wrongful termination and employee classification disputes, achieving successful resolution in 90% of cases.
  • Drafted, reviewed, and negotiated various legal documents such as contracts, agreements, and policy documents to ensure optimal client interest and legal compliance.
  • Managed and maintained case files accurately and organized to ensure smooth case management and up-to-date information for quick retrieval.
  • Conducted in-depth legal research to support defenses, gather evidence and develop strategies for complex cases.
  • Led a team of junior attorneys to handle high-stakes intellectual property litigation for technology-sector clients.

Why these are strong?

These examples are good practices because each bullet point quantifies the accomplishment, detailing the result of the actions which shows expertise and work impact. The language used is clear and professional, incorporating relevant legal jargon to demonstrate industry knowledge. Also, abilities such as leadership, document management, and complex research skills are exemplified within the context of real work scenarios, giving a comprehensive overview of the person's capabilities.

Weak Experiences

  • Handled cases without specifying the types of cases or results
  • Worked on legal contracts without mentioning complexities or specifics
  • Assisted in client communication without detailing their concerns or objectives
  • Wrote legal documents without disclosing the nature of these documents or their impact
  • Collaborated with others without specifying role, team size, or results
  • Represented clients in the court without mentioning the size of the client base or specific outcomes

Why these are weak?

These examples fall into the category of bad practices because they lack detail and specificity, which are crucial in a potential legal employer's evaluation of a candidate's qualifications and fit for a role. Employers are looking for evidence of successful outcomes, real problem-solving skills and a sense of the applicant's level of experience and roles they've played on teams. Vague descriptions like 'handled cases' or 'worked on legal contracts' provide no insight into an attorney's capabilities or accomplishments. In contrast, specific accounts demonstrate an understanding of practical applications and outcomes in the field. In addition, lack of quantifiable results, complexities of cases or details about clients could signal a lack of significant experience or achievement.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

Everyone knows that to be a successful attorney, you need a good blend of diverse skills. But when crafting your resume, it's essential to include both your hard and soft skills. Moreover, incorporating relevant keywords to match the required skills can increase your chances to pass through the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Let's explore these points further.

Hard & Soft Skills: The Backbone of an Attorney Resume

Hard skills are those that you learn through education and experience. For an attorney, these can include knowledge of the law, legal research, client services, and more. They are the fundamental abilities you need to fulfil your obligations.

However, just as important are your soft skills. These are less tangible, but equally crucial. Think about things like your communication skills, your problem-solving abilities, or your capacity for teamwork. For an attorney, being able to negotiate, having strong ethics, and demonstrating resilience often are necessary soft skills.

Together, hard and soft skills show a potential employer that you've got the technical know-how and the personal attributes to handle the job.

Keywords, ATS and Matching Skills: Connecting the Dots

Today's technology shapes how resumes are evaluated. ATS, used by many law firms, scans your resume for specific keywords before a human eye gets to it. These keywords often relate to the skills required for the job.

An attorney position might, for instance, use keywords like "litigation," "corporate law," "patent law," or "negotiation." If these terms are in the job description, they should be on your resume (assuming you have those skills).

The logic is simple - the greatest overlap between the keywords in a job description and those in your resume increases your chances to pass the ATS. More matches should equal a higher ranking in the ATS, bringing your resume closer to the top of the pile.

Yet be watchful, excessive repetition of keywords or including skills you don't genuinely have may harm rather than help. Honesty and clarity are, after all, skills an attorney needs too.

Leveraging hard and soft skills, along with the proper use of keywords, can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed and landing that attorney job you desire. It's not a magic trick or a guaranteed pass, but a strategic technique to make your resume effective in the modern job-search environment.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Legal research
  • Litigation
  • Legal writing
  • Case analysis
  • Contract drafting
  • Negotiation
  • Legal analysis
  • Trial preparation
  • Legal documentation
  • Legal compliance
  • Legal strategy
  • Evidence gathering
  • Legal interpretation
  • Legal advocacy
  • Legal drafting
  • Soft Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Professionalism
  • Adaptability
  • Ethical judgment
  • Teamwork
  • Stress management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Client relationship management
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Represented
  • Negotiated
  • Drafted
  • Analyzed
  • Litigated
  • Researched
  • Advised
  • Argued
  • Reviewed
  • Interpreted
  • Settled
  • Presented
  • Defended
  • Filed
  • Interviewed
  • Consulted
  • Prepared
  • Documented
  • Advocated
  • Mediated
  • Resolved
  • Conducted
  • Evaluated
  • Served
  • Communicated
  • Collaborated
  • Managed
  • Facilitated
  • Assessed
  • Protected
  • Negotiated
  • Enforced
  • Advised
  • Guided
  • Reviewed
  • Drafted
  • Complied
  • Education & Certifications

    As an attorney, adding credentials to your resume is a crucial step. Start by including an education section, typically placed near the end but can be moved toward the top if you're a recent graduate. List your law school, degree, and the year of graduation. Follow it by mentioning any specializations or honors if applicable. Simultaneously, establish a separate certificates section if you've pursued any additional courses or obtained professional certifications. Just list the certificate name, issuing organization, and attainment date. Remember, credibility is key in a legal resume.

    Some of the most important certifications for Attorneys

    The CIPP certification demonstrates a strong understanding of global concepts of privacy and data protection law and practice.

    CISSP certification validates a candidate's ability to design, implement, and manage a best-in-class cybersecurity program.

    CEH certification equips professionals with the skills to understand and think like a hacker, identifying vulnerabilities in systems.

    CFE certification demonstrates expertise in fraud prevention, detection, and deterrence.

    CISM certification focuses on information risk management and governance, demonstrating the ability to manage information security programs.

    Resume FAQs for Attorneys


    What is the ideal length for an attorney resume?


    The ideal length for an attorney resume is typically one page. However, if you have extensive experience or accomplishments, it can be acceptable to extend to two pages.


    What is the best resume format for attorneys?


    The reverse-chronological format is generally recommended for attorney resumes. This format lists your work experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent position first.


    How should I organize my attorney resume?


    A well-organized attorney resume should include sections for contact information, a professional summary or objective, work experience, education, bar admissions, and any relevant skills or certifications.


    Should I include my GPA on my attorney resume?


    It is generally recommended to include your GPA on your attorney resume if it is above a 3.5 or if you are a recent graduate. However, if your GPA is lower or you have been out of school for several years, it is acceptable to omit it.


    How should I highlight my legal writing skills on my attorney resume?


    You can highlight your legal writing skills by including specific examples of legal documents you have drafted, such as briefs, contracts, or memoranda. You can also list any publications or writing awards you have received.


    Should I include my pro bono work on my attorney resume?


    Yes, it is recommended to include any pro bono work or volunteer experience on your attorney resume. This demonstrates your commitment to public service and can help you stand out from other candidates.

    Attorney Resume Example

    As an Attorney, you'll represent clients in legal proceedings, meticulously prepare cases, and argue persuasively in court. When crafting your resume, spotlight your law degree and specialization. Emphasize litigation experience through quantified achievements. Showcase strong legal research, writing prowess, and any published works or speaking engagements. Use clear sections and tailor the content to resonate with the firm's needs.

    Benjamin Snyder
    (560) 486-0754

    Seasoned attorney with over a decade of experience in complex litigation and corporate law. Proven track record of successfully representing clients in high-stakes cases and negotiating favorable settlements. Skilled in legal research, drafting persuasive arguments, and providing strategic counsel to clients across various industries.

    Work Experience
    01/2018 - Present
    Latham & Watkins LLP
    • Led a team of attorneys in a multi-million dollar patent infringement case, securing a favorable settlement for the client
    • Advised Fortune 500 companies on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance
    • Developed and implemented innovative legal strategies to minimize clients' exposure to litigation risks
    • Mentored and trained junior associates, fostering a collaborative and high-performing team environment
    • Recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for three consecutive years
    Senior Associate
    06/2014 - 12/2017
    Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • Represented clients in complex commercial litigation cases, including breach of contract and fraud claims
    • Conducted extensive legal research and drafted persuasive briefs and motions
    • Collaborated with expert witnesses to develop compelling testimony and evidence
    • Negotiated favorable settlements on behalf of clients, saving them significant time and resources
    • Recognized for exceptional client service and legal acumen
    09/2010 - 05/2014
    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    • Assisted in representing clients in high-stakes litigation, including class action lawsuits and government investigations
    • Conducted legal research and drafted memoranda on complex legal issues
    • Prepared witnesses for depositions and trial testimony
    • Assisted in negotiating favorable settlements and plea agreements
    • Recognized for strong work ethic and attention to detail
    Law Clerk
    06/2009 - 08/2009
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
    • Conducted legal research and drafted bench memoranda for federal appellate judges
    • Analyzed complex legal issues and provided recommendations for case dispositions
    • Observed oral arguments and gained valuable insight into the appellate process
    • Developed strong legal writing and analytical skills
    • Received positive feedback for thoroughness and clarity of legal analysis
  • Complex litigation
  • Corporate law
  • Legal research
  • Drafting legal documents
  • Negotiation
  • Appellate advocacy
  • Client counseling
  • Trial preparation
  • Legal writing
  • Oral argumentation
  • Discovery management
  • Witness preparation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Contract review
  • Risk assessment
  • Education
    Juris Doctor
    09/2006 - 05/2009
    Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
    Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
    09/2002 - 06/2006
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Corporate Attorney Resume Example

    A Corporate Attorney advises companies on legal matters, drafts contracts, oversees compliance, and mitigates risks. When crafting a resume, prominently feature experience in negotiating complex deals, interpreting regulations, and protecting corporate interests. Quantify achievements like litigation wins and cost savings. Showcase industry knowledge and attention to detail.

    Austin Lynch
    (525) 531-0956
    Corporate Attorney

    Seasoned Corporate Attorney with over a decade of experience providing strategic legal counsel to Fortune 500 companies. Proven track record of successfully negotiating complex contracts, managing high-stakes transactions, and mitigating legal risks. Recognized for strong leadership skills and ability to build consensus among diverse stakeholders.

    Work Experience
    Senior Corporate Counsel
    01/2018 - Present
    JPMorgan Chase & Co.
    • Serve as lead counsel on multi-billion dollar M&A transactions, ensuring compliance with SEC regulations and minimizing legal exposure.
    • Negotiate and draft complex commercial agreements, including joint ventures, licensing deals, and vendor contracts.
    • Provide strategic guidance to senior executives on corporate governance matters, risk management, and regulatory compliance.
    • Manage a team of junior attorneys and paralegals, fostering a collaborative and high-performance culture.
    • Recognized with the company's prestigious "Excellence in Leadership" award for outstanding contributions and mentorship.
    Corporate Attorney
    08/2014 - 12/2017
    Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • Represented private equity firms and portfolio companies in leveraged buyouts, mergers, and other complex corporate transactions.
    • Conducted comprehensive due diligence reviews, identifying and mitigating potential legal risks and liabilities.
    • Drafted and negotiated transaction documents, including purchase agreements, credit facilities, and shareholder agreements.
    • Advised clients on corporate governance best practices, fiduciary duties, and SEC reporting obligations.
    • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop innovative legal strategies and solutions for clients.
    Associate Attorney
    09/2011 - 07/2014
    Ropes & Gray LLP
    • Supported senior attorneys in representing public and private companies in a variety of corporate matters, including securities offerings, M&A, and corporate restructurings.
    • Conducted legal research and analysis, drafted memoranda, and prepared SEC filings and disclosure documents.
    • Assisted in negotiating and drafting transaction agreements, including stock purchase agreements and asset purchase agreements.
    • Managed closing checklists and coordinated with clients, counterparties, and internal teams to ensure smooth and timely deal closings.
    • Demonstrated strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Securities Law
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Due Diligence
  • Corporate Governance
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Transactional Law
  • Private Equity
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Legal Research and Analysis
  • Drafting and Reviewing Agreements
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Education
    Juris Doctor
    08/2008 - 05/2011
    Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
    Bachelor of Arts, Economics
    09/2004 - 06/2008
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA