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Lawyer Resume Example & Writing Guide

  • Why use this lawyer resume example?
  • How to write a great lawyer resume
  • Which key skills are relevant for a lawyer resume?
  • Lawyer resume example

No matter their role in the justice system, a successful lawyer needs to be knowledgeable and persuasive. They must be familiar with the codes and regulations of their chosen field of law and be capable of making eloquent arguments. For this reason, lawyers creating professional resumes should always try to show off their knowledge and experience using language that is rich in detail but also easy to parse.

Why use this lawyer resume example?

Using this lawyer resume writing guide and document template, you’ll be able to create a resume that lets potential clients and law firms learn about your educational credentials, your areas of expertise, and your personal strengths as a legal professional. This guide will also show you how to give your resume a layout that clearly outlines your most formative work experiences. Finally, this guide will offer tips on how to adjust the format and wording of your resume to fit your current level of experience. 

How to write a great lawyer resume

Nearly every resume should open with a professional summary - a one-paragraph statement describing your professional background, personal strengths, and most noteworthy accomplishments. This being a lawyer’s resume, your professional summary should also list your specific fields of legal expertise, such as:

  • Bankruptcy

  • Corporate Law

  • Tax Law

  • Estate Planning

  • Intellectual Property/Copyright

  • Immigration

  • Employment/Labor

  • Personal Injury

  • Criminal Defense

The contacts section of your lawyer’s resume, as with most other resumes, should be on the first page before, after, or adjacent to your name and title.

Lawyers creating their resumes should put their educational section on the first page of their resume (much like academics listing their degrees and doctorates near the start of their Curriculum Vitae).  Besides listing the colleges/universities they attended and the degrees they received, also describe the states or territories where you took your bar examination.

The bulk of your lawyer’s resume should list your work experiences from most recent to oldest - the firms or companies you worked for, the services you regularly offered, and specific moments where you exceeded employer expectations. If you work or have worked in private practice, add a single entry to your work experience section describing your full background in solo law (the clients you represented, courts you conducted cases in, etc.).

Every lawyer resume should have sections that describe your key skills and certifications. These two sections don’t necessarily need to go on the first page of your resume but should be displayed in a place of prominence that hiring managers won’t overlook.

The lawyer resume format and layout you choose should be clear and accessible. The text font should be legible while the section titles should be large and bolded. Any splashes of color you add to the header section should have light hues that don’t strain the eyes - grey, a gentle sea green, etc. If you’re a freshly minted lawyer with less than four work experiences, you can add a sidebar for your education, key skills, and certification sections.

Which key skills are relevant for a lawyer resume?

Add a mix of hard and soft skills in your resume’s Key Skills section - talents and proficiencies that are helpful in a wide range of circumstances. For instance:

  • Communication

  • Empathy

  • Debate

  • Research

  • Time Management

  • Client Relations

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Networking

  • Accounting

Lawyer resume example


Summary example

Superior litigator, negotiator, and communicator with 13 years’ experience deploying various approaches to reach satisfactory resolutions and outwork the opposition. Specialize in administering bespoke, research-backed legal advice to business owners covering a range of matters, from transactions, risks, taxation, and intellectual property rights to contracts and agreements. Protect commercial assets and company reputations by navigating, preventing, and resolving complex legal issues, while ensuring legal compliance, brokering contractual terms, transactions, and settlements, and regulating legal paperwork.

Employment history example

Lead Attorney & In-house counsel at The W Tax Group. Southfield, MI.

2014 - Present

As lead attorney, deliver viable solutions and advice to clients on how to best resolve unpaid tax debts, specializing in legal / business risk analysis, negotiations, compliance matters, and vendor relations. Negotiate debt settlements or resolutions for unpaid debt as Revenue Officer Defense for diverse midsized businesses and individuals. As In-House Counsel, draft and broker vendor contracts and administer evidence-backed legal / business advice to investors and stakeholders. Position sales team to utilize solutions-based selling by explaining complicated tax issues in understandable terms. Underpin general health of The W Tax Group, including navigating company through the global pandemic. Increase customer retention and achieve high customer satisfaction ratings on continuous basis by focusing on quality service and excelling in crisis management. 

  • Founded and serve as principal of tax debt resolution company, acquired in 06.2017, with direct report to investor. 

  • Facilitated year-over-year growth, increasing sales to $2M annually and expanding team to 14 members by implementing and adapting operational structure.

  • Saved taxpayers $4.2M+ (93%) in tax debt through the Offer in Compromise Program, while representing 400+ individual and business tax debtors at any given time.

  • Drove sales by rolling out add on and subscription service packages sold to potential / existing clients and capturing new business by heading sales calls covering complex and high worth sales opportunities.

  • Leveraged in-depth understanding of IRS administrative code and manual to negotiate resolutions for individuals and businesses with state, and federal tax issues: Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, levy, garnishment, payroll and debt, liens, audits, and audit reconsiderations. 

  • Trained 20+ team members with emphasis on mitigating IRS / State tax debt issues, while leading weekly staff meetings for back-end professionals. 

Attorney at Harrington Dragich PLLC. Grosse Point Woods, MI.

2009 - 2013

Administered commercial litigation and corporate bankruptcy services for clients undergoing periods of financial distress.

Negotiated Chapter 11 plan as debtor counsel in consideration of diverse secured, priority, and unsecured debtor interests. Applied in-depth knowledge of relationships between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and automakers and overall understanding of auto OEMs. 

  • Represented debtor in complex end-to-end Chapter 11 proceedings ($900M in revenue pre-Chapter 11). 

    • Headed debtor financing and asset sales (subsidiary entities / real, personal, intellectual property) enabling secured and priority creditors to receive full payment, resulting in maximum returns for unsecured creditors. 

    • Reviewed 100+ contracts determining which were necessary to advance under bankruptcy supervision, which were not, and those requiring renegotiation of different terms.

  • As liquidating trustee, maximized return for unsecured creditors, utilized pursuit of preferential and / or fraudulent transfers from 150+ creditors, and asset sales (real, personal, intellectual property).

    • Managed 85 lawsuits filed against creditors demanding return of preferential or fraudulent transfers. 

  • Protected web hosting service providers by drafting master service agreements, hosting agreements, and co-location agreements governing customer transactions.

Education example

Juris Doctor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

bachelor of Arts in Psychology at The University of Michigan

Skills example

  • Leadership

  • Strong mediation techniques

  • legal research

  • Contract negotiation skills

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