4 Legal Assistant Resume Examples & Writing Guide

Want to get hired as a legal assistant? It all starts with your resume. This guide provides 4 legal assistant resume samples and step-by-step tips to help you write a resume that gets results. Learn what to include and how to structure each section. Follow the examples to create a resume that makes a great first impression on law firms and gets you more interviews.

How to write a Resume Summary

In building your journey through professional life, you may have encountered both tumultuous tides and periods of mesmerizing calm. Those experiences help shape and enrich you as an individual and as a professional, and translating those experiences into written words can indeed be a daunting endeavor. It's like writing a new chapter of your story, one where you're the author navigating a universe full of possibilities. And it all starts with the essential concept, the summary.

The Power of the Summary/Objective Section

The summary or objective section on your resume serves as your first handshake with your potential employers—it's your golden opportunity to introduce yourself, express your passions, convey your skills and flaunt your experiences in a succinct, engaging manner.

When done right, it can illuminate your persona in prospective employers' minds—much like the beams of a lighthouse piercing through the dense ocean fog—guiding their attention to believe in your expertise and trust in your capabilities. Plus, the summary is your platform to make a lasting impression, as it is typically the first slice of text read by hiring managers.

Without overstating the obvious, creating a powerful, persuasive objective section carries immense value. But how do you spring to life vividly on paper? How do you strike that perfect balance between highlighting your skills without overselling yourself? Let's glance through the lens of a Legal Assistant and craft a clear, convincing summary.

The Art of Shaping an Effective Summary

In structuring your summary/objective section, start by succinctly stating your profession and the number of years of experience you hold. If you're seeking a specific position or have a concrete career goal, include that. Straight away, you're positioning yourself as a decisive and committed professional with a clear view of their career arc.

Next, outline the core competencies you've honed in your journey so far, like research skills, interaction with clients, preparation of legal documents, or case management. Rather than listing tasks, underline the impact you made in your previous roles, conveying a sense of authority and professional achievement.

Follow this with a nod to your strong interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate, and your knack for thriving in fast-paced environments - denoting adaptability, collaboration, and resilience. Pepper your summary with relevant legal terminologies to signify domain expertise and advertize your fluity in the field.

To culminate, underline a key achievement or a significant project you oversaw, helping employers envisage your contributions at their organization. This would help crystalize your value proposition and assert your ability to drive meaningful change.

Remember—You are Trustworthy and Unique

Whilst weaving your professional tale, remember to market your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Each word should echo your individuality, that unique spice which separates you from the field. Keep your language simple, read-friendly and devoid of jargon, so that readers at every rung of the corporate ladder comprehend your career narration.

Also, to create a more potent and engaging summary/objective section, focusing on answering "why should we hire you?" would align the emphasis on your values, accomplishments and what makes you an idyllic candidate. Most importantly, let your summary be a projection of the best version of you and your career; as authentic, genuine and riveting as you indeed are.

In the grand voyage that is your professional journey, the summary/objective on your resume is your flag marking your territory in unchartered territories. Meticulously curate this message with acumen, vivacity, precision, realizing it as the compass guiding recruiters to recognize your unique worthiness and potent promise; offering a glance into not just who you are, but also who you aspire to become. In crafting this story of you, there's no exact science, no rigid formality, no handed-down methodology, just a testament to your journey, your growth, and your aspirations.

Strong Summaries

  • Experienced Legal Assistant with over five years of experience in a top-tier law firm. Skilled in managing large volumes of documentation, coordinating multi- disciplinary teams, and ensuring accurate and timely completion of all tasks.
  • Motivated Legal Assistant with extensive knowledge about legal procedures and a strong commitment to helping clients. Proficient in conducting in-depth legal research, preparing legal documents, and managing caseloads. Pursuing a challenging role to promote positive customer experiences.
  • Detail-oriented Legal Assistant providing administrative support in legal setting. Proven ability to manage deadlines and work under pressure. Aiming to leverage my skills to effectively fill the role in your company.
  • Dynamic Legal Assistant with a demonstrated track record of success in supporting lawyers in managing complex cases. Proficient in drafting memoranda, reviewing court filings, and conducting legal research. Looking to contribute my skills to provide exceptional legal support.

Why these are strong?

The above examples are good because they showcase the person's skills, experience, and what they're hoping to achieve in the role they're applying for. These summaries provide comprehensive, relevant detail - mentioning specific industry terms like 'legal procedures', 'manage deadlines', 'legal research' and 'memoranda'. This makes it very clear that the individual has a solid understanding of the position. Furthermore, they demonstrate a proactive, can-do attitude by expressing eagerness to apply their expertise to the benefits of the company, which is always a good impression to make with a potential employer.

Weak Summaries

  • I am an assistant looking for a job as a legal eagle to help out with various legal jobs. While I do not have any specific experience in the legal sector, I believe that my tendency to binge-watch courtroom dramas on television has adequately prepared me for this role.
  • Hey, new possible employer! This is Johny-boy here, currently unemployed but with immense talent. Need a legal assistant? Buzz me up. Part-time worker and yearned no experience in legal things, but pretty sure Google search will help me out in times of crisis.
  • I'm a legal assistant looking for a change. No new challenges or changes wanted. I can only work the same way and I won't accept any change in work strategy or method.

Why these are weak?

These examples are lacking in professional phrasing and contains an unprofessional tone. The casual language used does not reflect the seriousness or professionalism typical in the legal sector. They also suggest an unwillingness to learn, grow, or adapt, all of which are crucial abilities in a legal environment. Moreover, admitting to not having relevant experience or confident in using Google as a resource undermines their competence and reliability as a potential employee. Furthermore, the examples do not state any particular skills, expertise, or achievements, which is essential in making a first impression.

Showcase your Work Experience

The Work Experience section of your resume is not just a list of job titles and tenure; it is the beating heart of your career story, the narrative of your professional journey. It is the bedrock upon which potential employers will evaluate your capabilities and determine your suitability for an open role. It’s essential, therefore, that this section is constructed with clarity, elegance, and a meticulous attention to detail.

Even for a role as detail-oriented as a Legal Assistant, your Work Experience section demands more than a mere chronology of roles. It is the place to communicate not just your experience, but also the scale, context, impact, and results of your actions.

Understanding The Role Of The Legal Assistant

Legal Assistant roles typically involve a blend of administrative and legal tasks. From conducting legal research and drafting documents, to maintaining files and liaising clients, the role requires a sophisticated blend of technical competencies and interaction skills. It's essential, then, that the Work Experience section of your resume reflects this rounded skill-set.

Expert Tip

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

Structuring Your Work Experience

Begin by listing your roles in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. For each role, include the job title, the name of the organization, and the dates of your tenure.

Having set out the basic details, proceed to capture the responsibilities and achievements in each role. Most importantly, target the tasks and results that align most closely with the requirements of the role for which you’re applying. Remember that your potential employer is primarily interested in learning how your past experiences can add value to their operations.

Avoid falling into the trap of spinning out job responsibilities as though reading from a job description. Instead, endeavor to demonstrate how you applied your skills in the course of your duties and the outcomes of these applications.

Present everything in clear, concise language, respecting the fact that the reader of your resume will be reviewing many others. Ensure that your document is easily digestible and fitting into a two-page limit.

Finally, remember to review, revise, and proofread your Work Experience section carefully. Any errors or inaccuracies could lead potential employers into evaluating your application less favorably.

In conclusion, a stellar Work Experience section is ultimately about presenting a compelling, accurate, and insightfully rendered account of your career to date. It's about how you tell your story, how you detail your tasks and your triumphs, and how you relate all this to the needs of your potential employer. And it's about doing all this with the grace, clarity, and attention to detail that is befitting of the consummate Legal Assistant.

Strong Experiences

  • Conducted in-depth legal research for over 20 case files and presented findings to attorneys.
  • Prepared various legal documents and briefs including wills, contracts, and appeals.
  • Managed attorney calendar, scheduled depositions, and coordinated meetings.
  • Utilized legal database software to organize case files and streamline case preparation.

Why these are strong?

These examples showcase the use of active verbs which clearly describe the actual tasks performed by the legal assistant. They quantifiably measure the applicant's responsibility and provide scope to their work. It also shows that the legal assistant is familiar with typical tasks within their role like conducting research, preparing legal documents, and managing schedules.

Weak Experiences

  • Did law things
  • Achieved stuff at law firm
  • Helped lawyers
  • Typical office tasks
  • Responsible for everything
  • Some paralegal work

Why these are weak?

The examples given above are classified as bad because they lack specificity and professionalism. In a resume, especially one for a legal assistant, an employer would want to see specifics about the tasks performed, skills applied, and results achieved. Statements such as 'Did law things' or 'Achieved stuff at law firm' are poor descriptions and fail to give an accurate idea about the applicants experience and competency. Terms like 'Helped lawyers' or 'Typical office tasks' are too vague and don't offer any insight into the applicant's abilities. A phrase like 'Responsible for everything' could be misleading or overwhelming. 'Some paralegal work' undermines the importance of those duties. These bullet points would not be considered good practice because they don't efficiently convey the candidate’s qualifications or the responsibilities they assumed in their previous role.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

Being a successful Legal Assistant isn't about just knowing the law. It's also about possessing a balance of hard and soft skills that can make your daily tasks easier, while also making you a valued member of your legal team. Here's how these skills can impact your resume, and how keywords and Application Tracking Systems (ATS) are linked to these skills.

Understanding Hard and Soft Skills

Hard skills are teachable abilities that are easy to measure, like knowledge of legal documents and terminologies, or the ability to use a specific software. They're often gained through education or specific job experience. In comparison, soft skills are interpersonal attributes like good communication, time management and problem-solving.

For a Legal Assistant, hard skills might include legal research, case management, or administrative support. Soft skills, on the other hand, could be teamwork, attention to detail, or ethical judgment. Both are valuable for doing the job effectively and should be highlighted in your resume.

Using Keywords

Keywords are crucial since they indicate your skills and qualifications to potential employers. In your resume, you deploy them in the skills' section to illustrate your competence. For instance, keywords for a Legal Assistant might be 'legal writing', 'document management' or 'customer service' — which are a combination of hard and soft skills.

ATS and Matching Skills

An Application Tracking System (ATS) is software used by hiring organizations to sort and scan resumes. It looks for keywords that are related to the job description to decide if a candidate's resume matches the job requirements.

To pass an ATS, your resume's skills section should reflect the keywords mentioned in the job description. Including these terms boosts your chances of advancing through the hiring process, as the software will pick up on these. Be sure to use the keywords naturally and appropriately — misusing them can hurt your chances.

To summarize, hard and soft skills are the backbone of a Legal Assistant's role. Identifying and highlighting these skills with the right keywords can help you create a standout resume. And by taking into account how ATS works, you can make your resume more likely to reach a human reviewer.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Legal research
  • Case management
  • Document drafting
  • Legal writing
  • Contract review
  • Litigation support
  • Legal analysis
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Evidence gathering
  • Legal software proficiency
  • Trial preparation
  • Legal document management
  • Client communication
  • Legal terminology
  • Legal document review
  • Soft Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Confidentiality
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Research skills
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy
  • Conflict resolution
  • Top Action Verbs

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

  • Researched
  • Managed
  • Drafted
  • Wrote
  • Reviewed
  • Supported
  • Analyzed
  • Complied
  • Gathered
  • Prepared
  • Managed
  • Communicated
  • Terminated
  • Negotiated
  • Advised
  • Documented
  • Filed
  • Presented
  • Assisted
  • Resolved
  • Collaborated
  • Organized
  • Evaluated
  • Maintained
  • Coordinated
  • Conducted
  • Drafted
  • Reviewed
  • Prepared
  • Communicated
  • Analyzed
  • Assisted
  • Managed
  • Negotiated
  • Advised
  • Filed
  • Presented
  • Education & Certifications

    To add your education or certificates to your resume, you need to create a section titled 'Education' or 'Certifications'. Begin by stating your highest level of education, including the institution and year of completion. Next, detail all relevant certifications, along with the issuing authority and the date received. As a Legal Assistant, include any legal-based certifications that showcase your skills and expertise. Remember quality over quantity—highlight certificates or courses that are most relevant to your industry or the role you're applying for.

    Some of the most important certifications for Legal Assistants

    The CLA certification is a professional credential for legal assistants and paralegals.

    The ACP certification is for paralegals who want to specialize in a specific area of law.

    The CLP certification is for legal professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise.

    The CLSS certification is for legal secretaries who want to advance their careers.

    The CP certification is for paralegals who want to enhance their professional credentials.

    Entry Level Legal Assistant Resume Example

    An entry-level legal assistant provides vital support by conducting legal research, drafting correspondence, managing files, and ensuring organizational efficiency. When crafting your resume, emphasize skills like meticulous attention to detail, strong written communication abilities, and proficiency with legal software. Include examples highlighting your knack for multitasking and eagerness to learn legal practices. With a clear, well-proofed resume tailored to this role's needs, you'll impress potential employers.

    Kathryn Peters
    (430) 227-6125
    Entry Level Legal Assistant

    Highly motivated and detail-oriented legal assistant with a strong passion for providing exceptional support to legal professionals. Adept at conducting thorough legal research, drafting documents, and maintaining organized case files. Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of accuracy and confidentiality.

    Work Experience
    Legal Assistant Intern
    06/2023 - Present
    Berkman & Associates
    • Assisted attorneys with drafting legal documents, including pleadings, motions, and correspondence
    • Conducted extensive legal research using LexisNexis and Westlaw databases
    • Maintained accurate and up-to-date case files, ensuring all deadlines were met
    • Collaborated with a team of legal professionals to prepare for court proceedings and client meetings
    • Demonstrated strong attention to detail and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
    Administrative Assistant
    09/2021 - 05/2023
    Madison & Partners
    • Provided comprehensive administrative support to a team of 10 employees
    • Managed calendars, scheduled meetings, and coordinated travel arrangements
    • Drafted and proofread correspondence, reports, and presentations
    • Maintained organized filing systems for both physical and digital documents
    • Demonstrated excellent communication skills and ability to work effectively with clients and colleagues
    Customer Service Representative
    06/2020 - 08/2021
    Apex Solutions
    • Provided exceptional customer service to clients via phone, email, and live chat
    • Resolved complex customer inquiries and complaints with empathy and professionalism
    • Maintained accurate records of customer interactions using CRM software
    • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to improve customer experience and streamline processes
    • Consistently exceeded monthly sales targets and received positive feedback from customers
  • Legal research
  • Document drafting
  • Case management
  • Administrative support
  • Customer service
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • LexisNexis
  • Westlaw
  • Project management
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Education
    Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
    09/2016 - 05/2020
    Columbia University, New York, NY