Resume Tips for Paralegals

by Matthew Schmidt


A good lawyer is more than a smooth talking individual with a nice suit. A competent attorney is one that has a solid understanding of the law and is able to effectively argue for their client in a legal proceeding. A lawyer can be busy with multiple clients and different types of court they have to work in. Time constraints require lawyers to have support in their duties.

This is where legal assistants come in. A legal assistant works under the supervision of an attorney researching legal procedures and preparing for matters of litigation. The job requires accuracy and solid legal knowledge. Here are some resume tips to show you have the back of any attorney:

  1. Show your ability to work under pressure. Things can change on a whim in the legal profession. Deadlines for paperwork need to be met and new information or witnesses can change a court decision. Emphasize your ability to multi task and manage a schedule to get the work done.

  2. Clearly show analytical skills. Legal assistants are responsible for researching past cases and rulings. They need to review the facts so lawyers are able to argue effectively for the client. Accuracy of information is needed as court decisions are based on precise testimony and evidence.

  3. Demonstrate communication skills. Legal assistants play an integral part in the preparation of cases. Information is gathered from a variety of witnesses and experts. Legal assistants must be able to communicate what information they need form sources to make a strong fact based case. They are also responsible for keeping track of paperwork and writing reports and legal documents for lawyers to review. Documents must be clear, detailed, and concise for the sake of time and accuracy.

  4. Use relevant keywords. Like many professions, the legal sector seems to have its own language. Legal procedures and court proceedings have their own phrases. Terms such as "taking a deposition" or "affidavit in support of petition" in the resume can capture the attention of an attorney and show legal knowledge of the applicant.

  5. Don't overlook financial skills. Legal assistants with financial knowledge can be a benefit for any attorney. Many times financial records and documents may be used in the preparation of legal motions. They may also be involved in writing legal documents in support of transactions and mortgages. For any lawyer lacking knowledge in this area, an informed legal assistant is an advantage.

Be sure to proofread the resume to make sure it is error free. Small mistakes can toss the resume out in a field that relies on detail and correct information. Keep the resume professional with well-known fonts like New Times Roman. The best-selling point of an attorney is their ability to win cases and make effective arguments for those they represent. This should be central to the resume's message.

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