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Resume Samples

Persuasive Paralegal Resume Example (+Writing Tips)

paralegal working on a contract in office

Paralegals provide an exceptionally valuable service to lawyers and their clients. They are often responsible for doing the leg work that leads to great outcomes in court. So it’s hardly surprising that the demand for paralegal professionals is projected to increase by 12% in the current decade

The rising demand also often translates to better pay and work perks. Gone are the days when paralegals were treated as mere “helpers” to “the real” legal staff. As the American Bar rightfully states:

Paralegals can be delegated any task normally performed by a lawyer, as long as the lawyer supervises the work, except those proscribed by law. [Respectively], the paralegal staff can be a profit center for your practice.

With more and more firms agreeing with the above sentiment, the timing couldn’t be better for job searchers. All that’s left for you is to create a persuasive paralegal resume and pair it with an equally eloquent cover letter

We’ll help you with the former. Check out this sample paralegal resume you can use as a reference, paired with some helpful writing tips.

Paralegal Resume Example (Word version)

paralegal resume sample

Download example (.docx)

Plain Text Version

Professional Summary

Paralegal with nearly four years of experience in the criminal justice system. Strong commitment to achieving fair outcomes and advocating for disadvantaged communities that are often unfairly targeted by the legal system. Brings a wide range of legal (legal research, case preparation, petition drafting, client interviewing) and soft skills (active listener, high emotional intelligence, tactful negotiator) to the table.

Work History

Franklin County Public Defender’s Office
Associate Paralegal
September 2018 – Present

Worked as a paralegal on more than 450 cases in a four-year period. Responsible for ensuring that public defenders were prepared with accurate and up-to-date case information. Currently working as the sole paralegal team with an above-average track record in the areas of acquittals, dismissed cases, deferred adjudication, and mental health/substance treatment referrals.

Able to work cooperatively with private and state attorneys.

  • Conducting client interviews
  • Filing legal paperwork
  • Legal research
  • Writing proofreading and editing briefings
  • Reviewed plea agreements

Immigration Law Associates
Paralegal Intern
May – September 2018

As a bilingual individual, I was also able to provide translation services to Spanish-speaking migrants in need of help. I was also trained to take dispositions, prepare legal case documents, and draft petitions for employment-based immigration. 

  • Attended courtroom proceedings and depositions
  • Assisted attorneys and paralegals with recordkeeping
  • Observed client and witness interviews

Education

Columbus Community College
Paralegal Studies – Associate in Applied Science
June 2018
Dean’s List
President Association of Legal and Law Enforcement Professionals

Columbus Technology North
High School Diploma/Certified Office Worker
May 2014
Honor Roll

Memberships and Awards

  • Association of Paralegal Professionals – Gold Member
  • Tri-State Society For Legal Ethics – Associate Secretary/Treasurer
  • Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Paralegal of the Year – City of Columbus Lawyer’s Association 2020

How to Write a Paralegal Resume 

The above resume example showcases how a paralegal with limited work experience can build a compelling case for the employer. 

To help you write a similarly effective resume, we’ve lined up some extra tips.  

Mix Passion and Practicality

People often enter legal careers because they have a passion for law and justice. That’s wonderful, and you can reflect that in your resume. For example, you might talk about your passion for advocating for people who have been injured on the job or unfairly discriminated against because of their gender, age, or race. 

However, you should also pair such burning enthusiasm with some illustrations of how you are actually delivering value for the clients and the law firm. Always back “passion claims” with concrete examples of duties, accomplishments, or client outcomes. Speaking of which… 

Always Mention Accomplishments in Addition to Duties

Your duties are the things you do as part of your job on a daily basis. Your accomplishments are the admirable things you achieve as a result of doing your job well. Keep this in mind as you discuss your work history.

For example, it’s important to discuss what you do each day. You might mention that you regularly review case evidence and depositions. At the same time, you should also include how this has led you to find outcome-changing information in nearly half of the cases you’ve worked on. The easiest way to present your work through the lens of outcomes and accomplishments is by using strong verbs

Associations Are Important

It’s not just what you know. It’s who you know! This is certainly true in the legal field. Networking is key, and so is your reputation. No, your resume has no place to name drop. However, you should include any memberships that you have in community or law-related organizations. This can give you some extra points from the employer. 

Show Your Career Growth

The real point of a resume is to show how you have grown professionally over time. The education and work history sections of your resume should reflect this. For example, you might want to show increasing responsibilities over time and the evolution of your hard skills. 

Edit Carefully

Imagine filing a brief to be read by a judge, that’s full of spelling errors. Since this is a job that requires attention to detail and excellent writing skills, be sure to proofread and edit  your resume. Try using a spelling and grammar-checking app, then ask a friend or family member to read your resume out loud to you. This way you can not only catch some grammar goofs, but also get a better sense of how you come across as a professional. 

Final Tip: Format Carefully 

An attractive resume is going to stand out. It’s also more likely to be read than one that isn’t so nice looking. There’s also the matter of readability. A busy hiring manager will always give preference to someone who submits a document with easy-to-discern sections, subheadings, and other elements that make a resume easy to scan.

Author

  • Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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