How to Write a Law Resume (With a Template and Tips)

Updated August 10, 2023

If you're interested in obtaining a position in the legal industry, you need a unique resume to apply for jobs. This document summarizes your skills, experience, and training to show prospective employers why you're the best fit for the role. Learning how to create a resume and tailor it to the legal position and employer you're interested in can improve your chance of receiving an invitation to interview. In this article, we explain what a law resume is, discuss how to create one, offer tips to strengthen your document, and review a template and example to help inspire your writing.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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What is a law resume?

A law resume is a document that highlights the skills, experience, and education of candidates interested in a legal position. You may create this type of resume for positions such as a lawyer, paralegal, or solicitor. When applying for one of these roles, you can submit your resume, cover letter, and job application to the employer for consideration. Tailoring your documents to the employer by including details they're looking for in an ideal candidate can help you gain the hiring manager's attention.

Related: How to Write a Compelling Law Student Resume

How to create a law resume

If you want to create an effective resume for a law position, here are the steps you can follow to do so:

1. Review the job posting

Before you start writing your resume, review the job posting and description to familiarize yourself with the employer's requirements. Note keywords they mention, such as specific skills, experience, or credentials they want candidates to have when applying for a law position. Including these keywords throughout your resume allows you to tailor it to the employer, helping you gain the hiring manager's attention.

Related: Resume Tailoring: Definition, Benefits, and How-to

2. Format your resume

Choose between one of the following formats to create an organized and professional resume:

Chronological resume

To create a chronological resume, you place your work experience at the top of the document. List your jobs in reverse-chronological order by listing the most recent position you held first. If you have experience in the legal industry, this may be a good format to use.

Related: How to Use a Chronological Order Example Resume (With Tips)

Functional resume

To use a functional resume format, you place your skills section above your work history. If you're new to the workforce or legal industry, you can use this format to showcase your skills rather than your experience. This shows the hiring manager you're still qualified for the role even though you're lacking experience.

Related: How to Write a Paralegal Resume (With Skills and Example)

Combination resume

Combination resumes use elements from both chronological and functional formats. You can adjust the formatting according to what the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example, if the job posting states the employer's desire for a legal assistant with experience in family law, placing your work history first may be a better option.

Related: What Is the Standard Canadian Resume Format? (With 7 Tips)

3. Include your contact details

List your full name and contact details at the top of your resume. This includes your phone number, a professional e-mail address, and the city and province or territory where you live. You can also list your credentials at the top of your resume, such as a Bachelor of Law or a relevant certificate. This shows the hiring managers you meet their educational requirements so they can assess the rest of your resume.

Related: How to Write Effective Resume Sections (With Samples)

4. Compose a professional summary

Start the body of your resume with a professional summary. This explains the experience, skills, and credentials required to succeed in the legal industry. The goal of your professional summary is to encourage the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume to consider you for the position. Ensure you limit your professional summary to one to three sentences.

Related: Resume Resources for Writing an Effective Job Application

5. Describe your work experience

Highlight any relevant work experience you have in this section. This can include professional experience, volunteer work, and legal internships if you completed any. If you don't have any experience in the legal industry yet, you can include any experience you have that helped you develop transferable skills you may need. For example, if you worked at a fast-food restaurant, you can highlight how it helped you develop interpersonal and communication skills. For each entry, list your job title, the name of your employer, the company's location, and three to five responsibilities you held.

6. List fundamental skills

Choose five to 10 skills you have that you know the employer is looking for in a legal candidate and include them on your resume. Review the job posting again to determine which skills to include, helping you tailor your resume to the employer. Here are some examples of law skills employers may be looking for in a candidate:

  • communication

  • legal research

  • computer

  • negotiation

  • fast typing speed

  • decision making

  • time management

  • public speaking

  • problem-solving

7. Discuss your educational background

Different legal positions have distinct educational requirements. For example, a lawyer typically needs a Bachelor of Law degree, while a legal assistant may just need a legal assistant diploma. Review the requirements employers set to ensure you have the right credentials before applying. If you do, list the type of credentials you have, the name of the school you attended, and its location.

Tips for strengthening your resume

Here are some tips to consider to strengthen your resume and improve your chances of receiving an invitation to interview:

  • Ensure your resume is only one page. Hiring managers often receive multiple applications at a time when they post a job opening. This means they may not consider applications that are too long, so try to limit your resume to one page.

  • Tailor your resume to the employer. If you're applying to multiple law positions, try to tailor your resume to the employer by including specific details they're looking for in a candidate. Including these details shows the hiring manager you understand the role and its requirements.

  • Consider your resume's design. The content of your resume is the most important part, but ensuring it's visually appealing can help you gain the hiring manager's attention. Consider design elements, such as an attractive but legible font, to make your resume more appealing.

  • Review your resume before submitting it. Before you submit your resume for consideration, ensure you proofread it. Look for spelling and grammatical errors you can eliminate to create a professional document.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Professional Resume Review

Law resume template

Here's a template you can use to create your own resume:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification, if applicable]
[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province or Territory]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications, and achievements as a professional.]


(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [Province or Territory]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [Province or Territory]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]


[Degree and Major], [Name of School or University]
[City], [Province or Territory]

Certifications (optional)
[Certification Name], [Host Organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Related: How to Create a Perfect Resume (With Template and Example)

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Law resume example

Here's an example of what a resume may look like when applying for a paralegal position to inspire your own writing:

Nicole Moore | Bachelor of Paralegal Studies
123-456-7890 | | Toronto, Ontario

Professional Summary

Dedicated legal professional with extensive experience conducting research, filing court processes, and preparing legal documents. Thorough understanding of civil rights and criminal law.


Paralegal | January 2018–Current
Evergreen Law | Brampton, Ontario

  • conduct legal research to help lawyers with upcoming cases

  • interview clients to gather facts and information

  • prepare detailed legal documents, such as contracts and briefs

  • take inventory and order office supplies when necessary

  • organize materials for trials and archive appropriately

Legal Intern | September 2016–January 2018
Evergreen Law| Brampton, Ontario

  • created a digital filing system to organize client files

  • scheduled meetings with clients and informed lawyers of daily schedules

  • prepared a master client list with case numbers and file numbers


Excellent communication skills | Strong interpersonal skills | Typing speed of 75 wpm | Ability to multi-task | Proficient research skills


Bachelor of Paralegal Studies | Briarwood University
Brampton, Ontario

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