Legal Assistant Resume Examples, Skills, and Keywords

Your legal assistant resume should written with your potential employer's time in mind. They're busy and want a legal assistant to help keep their office organized, so write your resume accordingly. Writing a legal assistant resume can be simple if you know what legal professionals need. Keep reading to learn what to include and how to structure your next resume.

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Legal Assistant Resume Sample

Legal assistants are an important part of the legal industry, helping attorneys stay on top of their daily activities and schedule. When legal firms set out to hire a new legal assistant, they want to find someone who has the skills and independence to handle the demands of the industry.

The art of writing a legal assistant resume lies in explaining how you have those attributes. You need to present your hard and soft skills, highlight any relevant certifications, and put your previous experience into context. There’s a delicate balance between explaining your background and letting your resume speak for itself.

For example, this resume includes an excellent combination of experience and soft skills, highlighting the assistant’s past achievements.

JERRY RODRIGUEZ

Pittsburgh, PA • (555) 123-4567 • jrodriguez@anymail.com • linkedin.com/in/jerry-rodriguez

LEGAL ASSISTANT

Versatile professional with 20+ years’ broad-ranging experience across complex legal matters, high-volume administrative functions, and unique translator roles. Proven ability to manage office functions, provide executive-level support, and facilitate smooth legal operations in a variety of industries. Cultivates solid business relationships and effectively communicates with people from diverse backgrounds.

Skills

Legal, Corporate, & Regulatory Compliance | Contract Management | Complex Scheduling | Calendar Management Cultural, Business, & Legal Acumen | Bilingual Communication | Interpersonal Relationship Building Data-Driven | Meticulous | Organized & Detail-Oriented | Tech-Savvy | Reliable | English / Spanish Bilingual | Full Fluency | Writing, Reading, & Speaking

Experience
Law Firm, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA • Legal Assistant
(05/2019 - Present)

Leveraged an initial 2-week assignment into a 9-month contract working with General Counsel to ensure compliance with all legal, regulatory, corporate, and financial requirements, including the review, update and verification of standard contracts, project records, master service agreements and non-disclosure agreements.

  • Appointed to manage the transition from a massively under-organized physical filing process to a paperless contract maintenance system; created migration lists needed to launch the new system
  • Compiled information for internal and external audit requests as requested by the Contracts Administrator
  • Analyzed and reported potential risks or compliance issues involved with specific contract terms
THE Law, Washington DC • Legal Assistant
(06/2015 - 05/2019)

Managed all administrative duties of the legal office, including managing a significant number of client and case files, compiling critical resources for trial and attorney presentations, and preparing legal documents.

  • E-filed court documents, maintained busy calendar, and assembled court papers, and correspondence
  • Organized, updated, and maintained client physical and electronic case files; transcribed attorney dictation and notes and entered attorney hours into time and billing program
Utah County Government, Salt Lake City, UT • Administrative Assistant, Tribunal Dept.
(08/2013 - 05/2015)

Managed administrative duties for the Tribunal Assessor including review, process, and adjudication of petitions. Entrusted with highly confidential case records including organization of archived records.

  • Led Project Management for a team of 2 and 15 volunteers in transferring a 1,000-file filing system to a new location; also created an electronic organizational file for maximum efficiency of records requests
  • Produced English/Spanish Canon Law translations, assisted with consecutive interpretations, and transcriptions, and handled international telecommunications to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America
Education and Certifications
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT • Paralegal Certificate Program
2013

 

Resume written by Lezlie Garr

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Legal Assistant Resume Skills and Keywords

Many legal assistants are hired by busy lawyers who don’t have time to read each resume individually. Hiring firms will often use tools that filter submitted resumes for them. These tools scan your resume for resume skills their company needs, like “bookkeeping” or “training.” The more resume keywords you include in your resume, the more likely it will be read by a hiring manager.

Top Legal Assistant Resume Skills

  • Independence
  • ‌Written and verbal communication
  • ‌Attention to detail
  • ‌Microsoft Word
  • ‌Microsoft Excel
  • ‌Microsoft Outlook
  • ‌Google Suite
  • ‌Adaptability
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌Time management
  • ‌Work ethic
  • ‌Creativity
  • ‌Teamwork
  • ‌Phone etiquette
  • ‌Formality
  • ‌Digital file organization
  • ‌Report and document preparation
  • ‌Records management
  • ‌Data entry
  • ‌Bookkeeping
  • ‌Interpersonal skills
  • ‌Customer service
  • ‌Prioritization
  • ‌Invoicing
  • ‌Calendaring
  • ‌Transcription
  • ‌Resilience
  • ‌Research
  • ‌Social media
  • ‌Paralegal skills

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5 Resume Writing Tips for Legal Assistant

After identifying the keywords and skills you can offer to hiring companies, you can use these five tips to put together a top-notch resume.

1. Begin with a strong summary

Your resume summary is the first and most important paragraph of your application. If a potential employer is going to skim a resume, this may be the only thing they read. Use it wisely to summarize your skills and experience.

An excellent legal assistant resume will begin with a summary that explains how the applicant will solve the hiring party’s problem. Mention the length of your industry experience, your primary duties, and any relevant skills or certifications. After reading your summary, the hiring party should understand the skills you offer and why you’re the perfect choice for the position.

For example, “Experienced legal assistant looking to leverage secretarial and research skills at Brown LLP. 7+ years of secretarial experience includes supporting an office of four attorneys, implementing a paperless file storage system, and cutting costs by 17%.”

Keep your resume summary short and to the point. Two or three sentences are more than enough to explain your experience and include relevant legal assistant resume keywords.

2. List common skills for legal assistants

Attorneys look for specific legal assistant skills, experience, and other qualifications when sorting through applications. A legal assistant has to balance research and high-quality document creation with typical secretarial duties like greeting visitors and managing the phones.

Listing your relevant knowledge and skills in a single place makes it easy for hiring managers to scan your resume and find what they’re looking for. You should customize your list of skills for each job you apply to.

For example, an older attorney may need you to understand how to fax papers and follow a decades-old filing system. Meanwhile, younger attorneys may need you to understand modern scheduling programs and file creation systems. Focus on the skills that the hiring team lists in the job posting and you’ll help your resume get through the filters and into the hands of the hiring team.

3. Use action words

Specificity is vital in resumes. When you have just a page to explain why you’re worth hiring, every word counts. Focus on active voice and action words when you can, and avoid generic or boring wording.

Instead of saying you “took part” in a project, explain what you did. Some legal assistant resume examples of phrasing include saying you “organize” files, “support” attorneys, and “develop” procedures. Using these specific verbs instead of generic words gives hiring managers a better idea of your actual role and responsibilities with past employers.

Avoid generic terms like:

  • ‌Take part
  • ‌Arrive
  • ‌Appear
  • ‌Guide
  • ‌Make
  • ‌Talk
  • ‌Responsible for

Instead, use action verbs that are relevant to secretarial work, like:

  • ‌Support
  • ‌Manage
  • ‌Develop
  • ‌Implement
  • ‌Train
  • ‌Build
  • ‌Research
  • ‌Reduce

4. Highlight relevant training

Legal assistants don’t need a specific degree to do their jobs. However, having experience in the legal world or having specific certifications can set you apart from other applications. Paralegal training, transcription training, or an associate’s degree in Legal Studies are all valuable additions to a legal assistant resume.

The simplest way to spotlight your certificates and training is to place them in their own section. A dedicated heading about your relevant training shows your dedication to your career. It also lets you highlight important legal assistant resume keywords.

5. Clarify your professional experience

Experience is one of the most valuable traits a legal assistant can have. Use precise language and quantifiable data in your resume to explain your past experience to potential employers. List your position titles, the firms for which you worked, and the dates you worked there. Then, list your responsibilities and achievements according to their relevance to your job application.

If you aren’t sure what’s worth including, put yourself in the hiring attorneys’ shoes. They’re trying to solve the problem of maintaining an organized office. What have you done to solve that problem in the past? Put the spotlight on these accomplishments and include quantifiable data when you can.

A legal assistant who’s saved a previous employer hundreds of non-billable hours is an exciting prospect. When you can provide examples in your resume that explain how you’ve made improvements at past jobs, you make a strong argument that you’re worth hiring.

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