How to Write a Paralegal Resume

Paralegals offer valuable support to law firms by streamlining procedures and organizing materials for attorneys. When applying for paralegal jobs, you need a resume that features these skills and your relevant work, school, and other credentials. Read on to learn how to write a resume that gets you interviews for your next paralegal job.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Craft an outstanding profile with a summary of your paralegal qualifications

Use the Profile section of your resume to briefly describe why you’re a great candidate for the job. This section should cite your key strengths, years of related legal experience, and any career highlights that speak strongly to the job opening. If you’re a Certified Paralegal, you’ll also want to mention this sought-after credential in your Profile.

Mid-Career Profile Example

Dedicated Paralegal with strong knowledge of both common and New York legal standards. Assisted in 700+ cases and conducted 2,000+ client interviews during 7+ years of experience at family law firms. Bachelor of Paralegal Studies from Syracuse University.

Entry-Level Profile Example

Highly organized Paralegal with recent experience in personal injury law. Committed to helping firms build and maintain positive attorney-client relations.

2. Create a powerful list of your paralegal experiences

As a paralegal, your job is to support attorneys and expedite law office procedures. When writing your Experience section, focus on how you’ve helped firms streamline operations or break large projects into manageable steps. Also, emphasize your organizational skills since a key part of this role is researching and managing multiple case files across different clients.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example

Staff Paralegal
Legal Assistance of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC | January 2018-Present

  • Conduct legal research for family court and custody cases
  • Prepare motions, subpoenas, complaints, and witness lists for attorneys
  • Manage case files and associated documents
  • Serve as liaison between attorneys and clients to ensure positive, productive communications at all points
  • Screen potential clients for subsidized legal assistance

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example

Jenkins Law Firm, Watertown, NY | June 2022-Present

  • Draft pleadings, witness lists, and trial motions
  • Assist with research for personal injury lawsuits
  • Manage case files and documents
  • Digitize physical documents in the electronic filing system

Show your foundational knowledge by giving the basic details of your highest education degree. You’ll also want to specify where you gained your legal expertise – this may mean naming your college major, listing relevant courses, or citing a paralegal certificate.

Below are templates and examples to help you format these details on your resume. Note optional template areas appear in [brackets].



  • Certification Name, [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]


  • Certified Professional Paralegal, The Paralegal Association, 2021



  • Degree Name – [Major]
  • School Name, City, State Abbreviation – [Graduation Year]
  • [Select Coursework]


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) – Paralegal Studies
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY – 2020

Paralegal jobs typically require a strong blend of research, technical, and client relations skills. While you can highlight these skills in your Experience section by relating them to specific cases or achievements, a Key Skills list lets you gather them all in one easy-to-read section for hiring managers. Consider including any of the below terms.

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Case Management Client Service & Communications
Contract Management Court Procedures
Deadline Management Document Drafting & Preparation
eDiscovery & Document Management Filing & Retrieval Systems
Legal Ethics & Confidentiality Legal File Digitization
Legal Research & Analysis Legal Terminology & Procedures
LexisNexis Microsoft Office Suite
Process Streamlining & Improvement Task Prioritization
Team Collaboration Trial Preparation & Support
Westlaw Writing, Editing & Proofreading

How to Pick the Best Paralegal Resume Template

Using a template can make it easier to draft and customize a polished resume for each paralegal application. Look for clean and simple templates, with enough white space that the page doesn’t seem cluttered. Law firms deal in paperwork all day, so showing you how a crisp professional document should look can help you make a good impression.

Paralegal Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Penny Paxmont
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
100 First Street, West Genesee, NY 13031


Dedicated Paralegal with strong knowledge of both common and New York legal standards. Assisted in 700+ cases and conducted 2,000+ client interviews during 7+ years of experience at family law firms. Bachelor of Paralegal Studies from Syracuse University.

Key Skills

  • Common legal research strategies, citation methods, and standards
  • Legal writing, editing, and proofreading
  • LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Microsoft Office applications
  • New York family and criminal law practices
  • Process streamlining and improvement
  • Teamwork and collaboration

Professional Experience

Staff Paralegal, CNY Legal Assistance, Syracuse, NY | January 2018 to Present

  • Perform legal research to help prepare for ~20 criminal and family law cases per month
  • Draft and organize legal documents such as subpoenas, motions, and witness lists
  • Manage case files, digitizing any physical documents
  • Screen potential clients per the clinic’s eligibility requirements


  • Improved the firm’s filing database system by introducing a checklist for opening litigation files. Measure reduced time needed to catalog new cases by 15%.

Paralegal, Collins & Griffith Law Firm, Central Square, NY | August 2015 to December 2017

  • Helped draft subpoenas, motions, witness lists, and other documents
  • Assisted with legal research for family law cases
  • Served as liaison between attorneys and clients
  • Answered phone calls, booked appointments, and oriented new clients

Education & Credential

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Certified Professional Paralegal, The Paralegal Association, Tulsa, OK

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Expert Advice
Recruiter Interview With Erica Pizem
Erica Pizem - Legal Recruiter and Expert Contributor, Linkedin
Meet our Expert: Erica is a licensed attorney and legal recruiter, whose primary focus is successfully matching lateral attorney candidates with both large and boutique law firms in the New York City area.
1. What are the most in-demand skills for paralegals that should be featured on a candidate’s resume? Please include both hard and soft skills. -

Prospective paralegals should highlight that they can support an attorney by preparing various documents, including but not limited to memos, briefs, pleadings, legal correspondence, and emails on behalf of attorneys. Additionally, candidates should emphasize that they have excellent written and oral skills, as paralegals often need to communicate with attorneys, clients, opposing counsel, and other legal professionals. Furthermore, prospective paralegals should mention they are detail-oriented, organized, and able to multitask, as paralegals often need to balance different assignments with different deadlines daily.

2. What work experience and/or other accomplishments are hiring managers seeking in a paralegal?-

Hiring managers are interested in hiring candidates with a bachelor’s degree or a paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal certification program. They would also prefer to hire candidates with relevant skills in the prospective employer's area of expertise or specialty. Most importantly, hiring managers want candidates with office administration experience, preferably in a legal setting.

3. What else should a paralegal candidate be prepared to provide hiring managers besides a resume?-

Besides a resume, a prospective paralegal should include a cover letter detailing their interest in the position and mention any language skills. The candidate should also mention their proficiency in Microsoft, Teams, and Adobe and highlight their familiarity with the relevant legal electronic databases, as paralegals often need to file, manage, and maintain documents in electronic databases.

4. What advice would you give a paralegal candidate about their job search? -

A prospective paralegal should maintain an updated LinkedIn profile, as the LinkedIn profile is usually one of the initial steps a hiring manager will seek out when researching a potential candidate. Additionally, a candidate ought to utilize the plethora of online websites for legal positions and can even search the “jobs” section of their local newspaper or local law journal.

Frequently Asked Questions: Paralegal Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for paralegal resumes?-

Resumes are concise, so every word matters. This rule is especially true for the verbs you use to start your Experience section bullet points. If you need help finding a unique verb for each bullet, the list below can give you some fresh ideas.

Action Verbs
Analyzed Assisted
Discussed Drafted
Enhanced Exhibited
Expedited Facilitated
Filed Garnered
Generated Helped
Interviewed Investigated
Maintained Managed
Met with Negotiated
Organized Prepared
Prevented Processed
Ranked Researched
Reviewed Streamlined
Summarized Supported
Uncovered Updated
Verified Wrote
How do you align your resume with a job posting?-

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs for paralegals and legal assistants will increase by about 14 percent (or nearly 50,000 jobs) between 2021 and 2031. This growth rate is much faster than the average for all US vocations.

When you’re applying for similar paralegal positions, you may be tempted to use the exact same resume. But this approach can backfire and keep you from moving to the next hiring round. While some job skills do overlap, each hiring manager will look for different credentials in an applicant, such as experience with criminal law or the ability to create a file organization system. Get their attention by including keywords and phrases from the job posting in your Key Skills and Experience sections. Also, if the job requires a certification you have, add that to your Profile so you stand out as a qualified applicant right away.

What is the best paralegal resume format?-

In nearly all cases, you should use a Combination (or Hybrid) resume, because it’s easiest for hiring managers to learn about your pertinent skills and experience – it’s also easiest for you to align with your job goals.

With the combination format, you highlight your most relevant skills and experience in your Experience or Work History section, as well as an intro section. (This combination of work history and intro content is where the format gets its name.) Your resume intro should usually include a Profile summary and Key Skills section, but you may also add a Career Highlights or Awards section. By carefully choosing the details for your intro, you can (a) position yourself for your target job and (b) give hiring managers a clear, quick view of what you have to offer.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Don’t forget to include a targeted cover letter with your resume before you send your application. This document gives you space to describe how you’d help the hiring organization and elaborate on your work highlights, such as finding a precedent that solidified a case or reducing the time it took to onboard clients. If you get stuck, see our paralegal cover letter guide.

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