Paralegal Resume Examples, Skills, and Keywords

Whether you’re taking the first step toward building your career as a paralegal, moving on to a new firm or corporate legal department, or applying for an internal position in your current company, you need a resume that stands out. Highlighting your experience through keywords and skills helps separate your resume from the others, increasing your chances of landing an interview. ‌

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Paralegal Resume Sample

To thrive in a paralegal role, you need research skills and a general knowledge of the law, which should be reflected on your resume. Your objective statement should be well-written, demonstrating your writing and communication skills.

Other skills that are valuable for this profession include organization and multitasking. When writing your resume, focus on duties and accomplishments that showcase these abilities. Tailor your resume to the job description, highlighting experience that speaks to your ability to prioritize and manage large workloads. As a paralegal, you’ll be asked to juggle many concurrent priorities, and your resume should demonstrate how you have done so.

‌The following sample serves as a guideline for how to effectively create a paralegal resume that gets noticed. It’s written using actionable language that shows the ability to perform each job. It includes a focus on the candidate’s relevant qualifications with the most important listed at the top. Focus on your most relevant skills and job experience when writing your resume.

JAMES ANDERSON, CCME

Cincinnati, OH • (555) 123-4567 • jamesanderson@anymail.com • linkedin.com/in/james-anderson

SENIOR PARALEGAL | CONTRACT NEGOTIATION & LITIGATION SPECIALIST

Quality-focused Senior Contracts Leader with more than 18 years’ of experience in commercial and government contracting, procurement, policies, procedures, and compliance. Superior ability to collaborate with corporate executives, legal counsel, and cross-functional teams while using and tailoring automated contracting tools.

Skills

Strategic Business Planning | Contract Governance | Risk Identification & Mitigation | Comprehensive Legal Research | Contract Policy Development | Executive Presentations | Regulatory Compliance | Vendor Management | Cross-Functional Collaboration

Experience
PPL Maryland, Baltimore, MD • Senior Paralegal and Head of Contract Negotiations
(1/2018 - Present)

Manage corporate contract management, execution, and entity management software system in collaboration with the CFO and General Counsel. Work with the Chief Operations Officer and procurement team to negotiate and finalize all food, beverage, and service supply agreements.

  • Instrumental with growing corporate revenue to $333 million in 2019 from $228 million in 2018 through judicious buy side and sell side contract administration.
  • Reduced overhead costs by outsourcing legal services and selecting new service providers.
  • Completed extensive legal research to design Affordable Care Act (ACA) nutrition information compliance plan for menu labeling alongside culinary team.
Sanderson & Rogers, LLC, Columbia, MD • Contract Administrator
(02/2009 - 12/2017)

Negotiated goods and services contracts with commercial firms, state, and local government health and human services agencies. Planned and executed risk mitigation strategies for contracts and proposals. Evaluated risk factors and briefed executive panels on RFP review of new business opportunities.

  • Administered and closed thousands of contracts with a collective value of over $375 million.
  • Collaborated with the executive team in conducting extensive due diligence leading to the $48 million acquisition and integration of a competing firm.
  • Significantly increased teamwork and efficiency while reducing response time from weeks to days by designing and implementing contract team initiatives that surpassed executive risk management objectives.
JDW Legal Recruiters, Baltimore, MD • Legal Talent Recruiting Specialist
(01/2007 - 01/2009)

Managed regional and national candidate searches at this executive recruiter for top legal professionals. Supervised a team of six staff research assistants.

  • Generated $750,000 revenue within the first nine months of operations by leading a profitable law firm partner placement project.
  • Directed the completion and administration of multiple projects, working with 25+ candidates simultaneously.
Corporate Law Specialists, PLC, Towson, MD • Senior Paralegal
(08/2003 - 12/2006)

Conducted extensive legal research into intellectual property (IP), export compliance, and international, local, state, and federal ITAR, FAR, and DFARS laws and regulations.

  • Presented and designed an electronic library of corporate certifications and supporting documentation.
  • Integral member of the Legal Department Design and Development team, which produced an innovative, streamlined review process for contract terms and conditions, signature limits of authority, teaming agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.
Grant & Johnson, LLC, Baltimore, MD • Litigation Paralegal
(08/2001 - 07/2003)

Managed medical record subpoenas during discovery and trial phases of products liability and toxic torts litigation. Designed and created graphic representations of medical records, prepared medical record summaries, and worked directly with medical experts to collect documents used in hearings, trials, and claims.

  • Produced animated medical graphics for counsel in dozens of national products liability class action suits.
  • Established HIPAA compliant medical record subpoenas and template library, working with hundreds of hospitals and medical providers on a day-to-day basis.
Education and Certifications
Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD • Bachelor of Science, Paralegal Studies
2001
  • CCME Certification – Contract and Commercial Management Expert Member, International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)
  • Executive Certification in Negotiation, University of Michigan
  • Notary Public, Maryland

Resume written by Erin Kennedy, CPRW

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Paralegal Resume Skills and Keywords

‌The following resume skills let hiring managers know that you can complete the job. They also help to keep your resume from being filtered out by applicant tracking systems.

Top Paralegal Resume Skills

  • Legal research
  • Legal documents
  • Depositions
  • Outlook
  • Database
  • Client interviews
  • Office and court procedures
  • Court calendaring
  • Legal filing
  • Discovery
  • Investigation
  • Trial preparation
  • Fact-checking
  • Drafting
  • Legal assistance
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Accountability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Professionalism
  • Attention to detail
  • Client relationship management
  • Technology
  • Ability to work independently

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5 Paralegal Resume Writing Tips

1. Highlight Your Transferable Skills

‌Hiring managers want a candidate who can quickly learn the job. If you have transferable skills, focus on them. Tailor your previous job descriptions to focus on skills that will contribute to your success as a paralegal. Read the job description and make a list of your transferable skills.

2. Focus on Your Objective

As a paralegal, you’ll need excellent written communication skills, and your resume is the perfect place to showcase them. Write an objective statement that includes resume keywords and clearly communicates why you are the best fit for the job.

Research the law firm to which you’re applying. Look through its website to see what types of cases it takes. Look through the social media and employee reviews to get a feel for what the organization values. This way, you can customize your objective to the specific company and the cases you’re likely to be assigned.

Your objective statement will be different for a firm that practices family law than for a firm specializing in environmental law. Craft your objective statement based on the firm’s specialty and how you can contribute successfully to its specific cases.

3. Tout Your Accomplishments

Your firm will be interested in what you can do for it. Rather than writing a boilerplate job description for each of your past positions, focus on what you accomplished. If you have previous experience as a paralegal, tout cases in which your research and contributions positively impacted a case.

‌For example: “Researched documents and previous cases to establish precedent and contributed to the successful outcome of a case.”

‌‌This demonstrates knowledge of legal procedure as well as your experience supporting the positive outcome of cases.

‌‌If you’re new to the field, highlight accomplishments in your previous job:

“Implemented a new client relationship management database to better track previous clients and follow up with delivery, resulting in a 15% increase in repeat customers.”

This shows initiative and a commitment to fostering client relationships, which is a key skill for a paralegal.

4. Include Your Certifications

You’re not required to be certified to be a paralegal, but a paralegal certificate shows commitment to your profession, and it might be desired by your prospective firm. If you have a certificate, you should not only include it in your resume’s education and certifications section, but you should also mention in your objective statement that you’re a certified paralegal.

If you have certifications in software or any other relevant areas, include these in the education and certifications section of your resume. It shows that you’re proficient with the software and won’t need a lot of training.

‌5. Choose the Best Format

‌If you have a lot of experience, a chronological resume will likely showcase that experience. If you’re changing careers or just starting out as a paralegal, consider the functional resume or a hybrid.

‌A functional resume focuses less on previous job titles and more on transferable skills. When writing this type of resume, list each keyword or skill as a headline and include a bulleted list underneath to highlight job duties and accomplishments that used these skills.

Functional resumes aren’t common, but they are useful if you don’t have a lot of experience as a paralegal. If you’re changing careers, using a hybrid shows that you can contribute to a company and that you have the skills necessary to do the job.

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