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Legal Assistant Resume: Sample and Full Writing Guide [20+ Examples]

Legal Assistant Resume: Sample and Full Writing Guide [20+ Examples]

Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Career Writer

Need a legal assistant resume sample better than most? Scroll down. But let’s play devil’s advocate—

 

The demand for legal assistants is skyrocketing. So, can you scribble your resume in the margin of a brief and get the job?

 

Maybe if you want to work for Slippin’ Jimmy. But you want the solid legal assistant job. The Ropes & Gray or Foley Hoag-type job.

 

You want high pay, prestige, and a blissed-out work life.

 

That job needs a legal assistant resume that stands out like a bespoke Brioni in a sea of tee shirts.

 

It comes down to (1) how you pick achievements from your past and (2) how you show them on your resume for legal jobs.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • A legal assistant resume example better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a legal assistant resume that gets more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a legal assistant resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a legal assistant to get any job you want.

 

Here's a legal assistant resume template made with our online resume builder tool. Need to make a resume quick, with bonus tips from experts? Use our examples and build your resume here.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you'll get tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.

 

legal assistant resume templates

Sample Legal Assistant Resume - See more templates and create your resume here.

 

 

 

Are you writing a legal administrative assistant resume? Do you need a legal secretary resume sample? See our other guides:

 

 

If you’re making a paralegal resume or law student resume, consider switching to our dedicated guides:

 

 

1

What's the Best Format for a Legal Assistant Resume?

 

Say hello to the hiring manager at that high-powered firm.

 

His name’s Kevin and he’d give his bar membership for a detail-oriented assistant.

 

Are you shocked your legal administrative assistant resume must give him that?

 

Impress him with the best legal assistant resume format. The reverse-chronological resume format would convince a hung jury.

 

It opens with your most recent accomplishments.

 

Fill it with the best resume fonts, big, friendly headings, and lots of white space.

 

But—should you send it as a PDF or in MS Word?

 

Today’s PDFs are machine readable. Send a legal assistant resume PDF unless the job ad outlaws it.

 

Pro Tip: Is this your first time writing a resume? Use the combination resume format. It’ll make your case with all your best transferable achievements from past jobs.

 

Want the due diligence on personal injury legal assistant resume format? See our guide: Best Resume Format: How to Choose? (with Examples and Templates)

 

2

Legal Assistant Resume Summary or Resume Objective

 

A legal brief starts with a short description of the case.

 

The first paragraph of your legal assistant resume should do that for your career.

 

It’s called a resume summary or resume objective. But which is which? And which one should you use?

 

A resume summary works if you’ve got more experience than Phil Beck. It proves you can do that job because it shows you already have.

 

Is your experience still making its opening arguments? Write a resume objective. It conveys your Harvey Specter-level passion.

 

Pack either with evidence of your achievements.

 

These two senior legal assistant resume examples show how.

 

Legal Assistant Resume Examples [Resume Summaries]

 

Where’s the infraction in the first of our senior legal assistant resume samples?

 

wrong
Hard-working legal assistant with 3 years of experience and skills in research and writing. Handled all legal assistant duties and responsibilities in a fast-paced law firm, including writing legal documents and preparing briefs.

 

That's not actionable, but it won’t impress the jury.

 

Do it like the next of our legal assistant resume examples instead:

 

right
Solution-driven legal assistant and CP with 3+ years of experience. Seeking to help Flagler & Comiter's mission to support its clients with high-quality legal representation. At Reiger, Reiger & Wolff conducted 50+ trademark searches. Prepped and formatted 3 litigation briefs with commendation from litigator in each case. Wrote 200+ legal documents, 98% error-free.

 

That legal assistant resume summary could get you hired at Sullivan & Cromwell.

 

Is your experience less convincing? See the junior legal assistant resume examples below.

 

Two Entry-Level Legal Assistant Resume Objectives

 

Still an entry-level legal assistant with no experience?

 

That used to mean you had to show passion. That’s how the first of our legal assistant resume objectives handles it:

 

wrong
Motivated legal assistant, highly skilled in contractual agreements and research. Adept at writing legal documents, spreadsheets, and videoconferencing. Excited to learn on the job.

 

Who’s that, Lionel Hutz? A legal administrative assistant resume objective like that lacks evidence.

 

So—add details, like the next of our entry-level legal assistant resume examples:

 

right
Solution-driven legal assistant, skilled in research, writing, and intellectual property law. Have volunteered as legal assistant at Callanan, Wiltse & Brown and worked as a file clerk at the law firm of Dickey, Mathieu & Hewke. Have been a notary for 2 years, witnessing approx. 30 transactions. As freelance journalist, published stories in Parade magazine and The Boston Globe.

 

I rest my case.

 

And if you have no experience for a resume for legal assistant jobs?

 

That’s next.

 

Pro Tip: The first legal office assistant resume sample summary above says, “solution-driven.” It adds, “seeking to further Flagler’s mission.” Those points came straight from the online legal assistant job description. Seek yours there too.

 

Our resume builder (you can create your resume here) will give you tips and examples on how to write your resume summary or any other section. You can easily copy them straight into your resume - it will save you a ton of time.

 

Inside Zety's resume builder you will find tips and examples for your resume.

 

Ready to write the greatest research assistant legal resume on record? Gunning for the perfect real estate legal assistant resume objective or summary? See our guides:

 

Write a Resume Heading Statement that Wins Jobs: 21 Best Examples Ever

Writing a Resume Career Objective that Gets You on the Employment Fast Track [20+ Examples]

 

3

How to Describe Your Legal Assistant Experience

 

Let’s look in on Kevin, our hiring manager.

 

He really cares about experience.

 

But he doesn’t just want someone who’s had a legal assistant job.

 

He wants to know you’ve had the exact legal assistant jobs that match his needs.

 

So, bind your legal assistant skills resume experience to the job offer like you notarized it.

 

How?

 

First, highlight the legal assistant duties and responsibilities in the job ad.

 

Then, research your past for evidence.

 

Legal Assistant Resume Examples [Experience]

 

The first of these professional legal assistant resume examples can’t be discredited:

 

right

Reiger, Reiger & Wolff

Legal Assistant, CP

2017–2018

  • Conducted 50+ trademark searches.
  • Coordinated all office IT contractors, slashing costs 25%.
  • Prepared and formatted 3 litigation briefs. Commended by litigator for each.
  • Drafted 800+ professional letters, ensuring 100% accuracy.

 

Perfect. You just made your case like Kelly Ayotte. You used measurable accomplishments that replevin the job.

 

Now take out those achievements:

 

wrong

Reiger, Reiger & Wolff

Legal Assistant, CP

2017–2018

  • Responsible for conducting trademark searches.
  • Handled IT contractor coordination.
  • Assisted with preparing and formatting litigation briefs.
  • Tasked with drafting professional letters.

 

So you’ve held legal assistant jobs. But did you do them like Elle Woods or Barry Zuckercorn? I mean—were you good at it?

 

The best legal assistant resume examples use numbers and achievements.

 

Think you don’t have those? See the entry-level legal assistant resume examples below.

 

How to Write a Resume for Legal Assistant with no Experience

 

You want the truth?

 

Nobody will hire a legal assistant with no experience.

 

The good news? You can show experience from:

 

  • Volunteering
  • File clerk jobs
  • Secretary or office assistant work
  • Notary experience
  • Writing experience
  • Research work

 

List any work experience that shows you’ve got those J.A.R.V.I.S. chops.

 

The next entry-level legal administrative assistant resume samples will brief you.

 

Two Entry-Level Legal Assistant Resume Samples [No Experience]

 

The first of these two entry-level legal assistant resume examples pleads no contest:

 

wrong

Legal Assistant Experience: None yet, but I’m a very hard worker, fast learner and I’m passionate about my work.

 

Other Experience: 

  • Dishwasher
  • Hotel night auditor
 

 

Guilty! Up the river with you.

 

So—add transferable experience to get this legal assistant skills resume example:

 

right

Legal Assistant Experience

Various

2017–2018

  • Volunteer fill-in legal assistant, Callanan, Wiltse & Brown.
  • File clerk, Dickey, Mathieu & Hewke.
  • Freelance journalist, published in Parade & The Boston Globe.
  • Freelance Notary, witnessing an average 15/yr transactions and contracts.

 

Vinny Gambini couldn’t have done it better. Even the journalism helps. It shows you’re good at writing.

 

But you might already have the makings of a legal assistant resume like that.

 

Pro Tip: Can’t get a job with a real estate or immigration legal assistant resume? Consider taking a legal secretary job and working up. You can get a paralegal certification in as little as 14 weeks.

 

Your resume for legal assistant jobs shouldn’t read like the Affordable Care Act. Give it zing with action words. See our guide: 240 Resume Buzzwords, Action Words & Power Words to Make Your Resume Shine

 

4

Is Your Education Section Out of Order? It Might Be

 

Every legal assistant resume needs an education section.

 

But there are two ways to write it.

 

Only one will get you hired.

 

Start with:

 

  • School Name and Location
  • Years in School
  • Degree

 

But don’t stop there.

 

Add 3–5 bullet points. Stuff them with achievements that cement you to the job like civil law.

 

The next legal assistant resume examples give full disclosure:

 

Legal Assistant Resume Examples [Education]

 

Pretend Kevin wants someone with writing skills and a detail-oriented mindset. The first of our legal assistant resume samples sets the precedent:

 

right

BA in English, Schreiner University

2009–2013

  • Pursued a passion for writing and research coursework.
  • Excelled in writing classes.
  • Commended by 4 professors for attention to detail.

 

No objection. That assistant was getting ready for this job in college.

 

If you’ve got your paralegal certificate, list that first, before your other education:

 

Paralegal Certificate Course, Brazosport College

2017

  • Excelled in legal research.
  • Praised by professor for project in intellectual property law.

 

The next of our legal administrative assistant resume examples botches it:

 

wrong

BA in English, Schreiner University

2009–2013

  • GPA 2.97.
  • Received degree with concentration in creative writing.

 

That legal office assistant resume example won’t make parole.

 

Pro Tip: Online paralegal degrees aren’t always ABA approved. Most lack internships and other bells and whistles. Here’s a good list of ABA sanctioned online programs.

 

Should you include your major in a resume for legal assistant jobs? What about your school’s location? See our guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Resume for a Legal Assistant

 

If you can prove your legal assistant skills, you’ll land the interview.

 

So why doesn’t everybody do it?

 

They don’t know how to customize a legal assistant resume skills section.

 

The next of our legal office assistant resume examples shows the prima facie evidence.

 

It’s for a job that wants skills in (1) legal document preparation, (2) AV systems, and (3) scheduling appointments.

 

Legal Assistant Resume Examples [Skills]

 

Of course you’ll show legal document prep, AV skills, and scheduling in your skills list, plus a couple more.

 

But then—present your argument like the next of our legal assistant resume examples:

 

  • (1) Wrote 200+ legal documents, 98% error-free.
  • (2) Maintained AV system with zero work stoppages for 3 years.
  • (3) Scheduled 1,000+ appointments per year with 99% client satisfaction.

 

That’s no mere legal assistant resume skills list. It’s a court order for an interview.

 

Use the legal assistant skills for resumes below to start.

 

List of Skills to Put on a Legal Assistant Resume

 

This legal assistant resume skills list files some great resume keywords, but—

 

It doesn’t have them all. Find more in the job ad and other job offers online.

 

Legal Assistant Resume Skills

Soft Skills

Hard Skills

Hard Skills

Interpersonal Skills

Writing

Intellectual Property

Communication

Research

Contractual Agreements

Collaboration

Docketing

Subpoenas

Detail Oriented

Legal Terminology

Electronic Filing

Listening

Legal Document Preparation

Presentation

Perceptiveness

Spreadsheets

Pleadings

Work Ethic

Billing

Desktop Publishing

Listening

Scheduling

Document Organization

Active Learning

Videoconferencing

Family Law

Organization

Transcription

Summons

 

Pro Tip: When you use LinkedIn as your job search site, you get lists of legal assistant or legal administrative assistant resume skills for each job posting. These are the exact skills the employer wants.

 

You’ll get more interviews if you create a master list of skills. Why? See our guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)

 

6

How to Show Certifications on a Resume

 

I’d say this under oath:

 

A paralegal certification, notary license, or professional legal secretary certificate all look great on legal assistant resumes.

 

But that hiring manager is busy. He’s got mountains of research, writing and a thousand calls to make.

 

He might miss your great certification if you hide it in your resume for legal assistant jobs.

 

So list your most important cert:

 

  • At the top of your legal assistant or legal administrative assistant resume, near your name
  • At the beginning of your resume summary
  • In a special “Certifications” section beneath your summary

 

Then the employer will know you’re qualified, even if he skims your resume for legal assistant jobs.

 

Certifications

  • Certified Paralegal (CP)—NALA

 

Legal Assistant Certifications: Clearing the Confusion

 

What’s the difference between a paralegal and a legal assistant? Good question!

 

In the past, paralegal and legal assistant meant the same thing. Both were legal professionals who did quasi-lawyer work.

 

But—

 

Law firms started calling legal secretaries legal assistants too.

 

To confuse things further, NALA (the National Association of Legal Assistants) used to issue a “CLA” certification for paralegals.

 

NALA no longer offers the CLA cert. Today there are only:

 

  • Certified paralegals (CP from NALA or PP from NALS—referred to as both “paralegals” and “legal assistants”)
  • Legal secretaries (PLS—also called “legal assistants”)

 

Pro Tip: Are you a certified paralegal? List that near the top of your general, bankruptcy, or family law legal assistant resume. Otherwise, put your PLS, or Notary license in that place of honor.

 

What’s the difference between free online classes and certifications on a resume for legal assistant jobs? See our guide: How to List Certifications on a Resume: Guide

 

7

Add these Things and Give Your Resume a Fresh Start

 

Let’s get back to our hiring manager, Kevin.

 

Would he rather hire:

 

Someone who “needs a job?” Or—a legal assistant who cares more about her work than Jack McCoy?

 

On a resume for legal assistant work, that means adding “other” sections.

 

See that in two sample legal assistant resume sections.

 

Legal Assistant Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

wrong
  • I like unboxing Hummel figurines.
  • I have a pontoon boat and love using it on weekends.

 

Interesting. Now let’s show you’re a great legal assistant instead.

 

Do it like this sample from a resume for legal assistant jobs:

 

right

Publications

  • Above the Law blog—Article about intellectual property.
  • Interviewed by The Lawyerist podcast about contractual law.

 

Conferences

  • NALS Conference 2017—Spoke on a panel about intellectual property.
  • NALS Conference 2015.

 

Additional Activities

  • Member, NALS.
  • Volunteer 2x/mo at Shady Grove Homeless Shelter.
  • Do yoga 3x per week as self care.

 

That’s no generic legal administrative assistant resume. It’s a fledgeling Stephen Neale.

 

Even the “yoga” helps because you listed it as self-care. You obviously know enough to do self-maintenance.

 

Pro Tip: Even with no experience, you can have a killer resume. Cram it with positions you had at school (assistant, intern, projects, part-time jobs). Pack each with bullets that show your super-helper powers.

 

Should you put scholarships on a resume for legal assistant jobs? Internships? Software? Foreign languages? See our guide: What to Put on a Resume to Make it Perfect

 

8

What About a Legal Assistant Cover Letter?

 

Do you need to send a cover letter with a legal assistant resume?

 

If you want the firm to take you seriously, yes.

 

Most hiring managers will skim your resume in six seconds.

 

A decent legal assistant cover letter can turn those seconds into minutes and a phone call.

 

So—

 

Use the manager’s name if you can find it. Then show you understand his needs.

 

Then show the smoking gun: proof you’ve already solved problems like his.

 

This short example legal assistant cover letter gets it right:

 

I’ve wanted to work exclusively in intellectual property law for years. At Reiger, Reiger & Wolff, I conducted over 50 trademark searches and prepared 200+ legal documents, many in the intellectual property field.

 

The partners commended my work ethic and attention to detail, but I was excited to find Flagler & Comiter. Your commitment to providing excellence in intellectual property law to clients dovetails with my own...

 

Always end a cover letter with an offer. For example: “I’d be happy to jump on a call to discuss how I built and led a team of 50+ volunteers for a money making hobby project."

 

Pro Tip: When you get the interview, wear a suit. Bring extra copies of your resume. Research the firm and have some interesting questions ready to ask them.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Why does “PS” on a cover letter make the hiring manager want to read your legal administrative assistant resume? See our guide: How to Write a Cover Letter of Application in 8 Simple Steps (+12 Examples)

 

9

Do This Before You Add Contact Info to a Resume

 

Is it easy to add contact info to a legal office assistant resume?

 

Of course list:

 

  • Full Name
  • Updated Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address

 

Like this:

 

Ana Mexia, Legal Assistant, CP, ana.q.mexia@gmail.com, 214-893-8361

 

A "professional email address” is john.doe@gmail.com. Don’t use bigstevefunboyparty23234@yahoo.com.

 

But don’t leave off your LinkedIn profile. Today, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn for hiring.

 

Pro Tip: Did you work as a receptionist for just a couple months? Ditch it from your legal administrative assistant resume. Use the space to show how much you soared in more relevant jobs.

 

Which legal assistant resume format makes hiring managers think you’re hiding something? See our guide: How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide (+30 Examples)

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s a recap of how to write a legal assistant resume:

 

  • Write a legal assistant resume objective or resume summary. Stuff either one with metrics to get custody of the interview.
  • Read the job description like an email from Erin Brockovich. Write legal assistant resume bullet points full of achievements that match.
  • Add other sections that prove you bleed legal assistant skills. List publications, certifications, volunteer work, conferences, and professional associations.
  • Write a legal assistant cover letter. In it, show you understand the firm’s problems and you’ll solve them like Evan Chesler.

 

Do you have questions on how to write a great resume for a legal assistant? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments! We’d be happy to reply.

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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