How to Write a Litigation Paralegal Resume (With a Template)
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A litigation paralegal assists a lawyer before, during and after court proceedings. A paralegal can't provide legal advice, but they can assist lawyers by researching legal documents, organising documents and drafting legal correspondence. By reviewing an example resume for a litigation paralegal position, you can identify relevant content to discuss on your own resume. In this article, we define a litigation paralegal resume, discuss how to write one, share a resume template and provide a resume example.
What's a litigation paralegal resume?
A litigation paralegal resume is a document you submit to hiring companies. Litigation refers to resolving disputes through court proceedings and a paralegal refers to an assistant to a legal team. As a litigation paralegal, your job is to assist legal teams before, during and after court sessions. While you're typically in an assistant and administrative role, there's usually still an expectation for you to possess extensive knowledge and skills. This means there may be several sections on your resume detailing various credentials, such as interpersonal qualities, technical skills, experience and qualifications.
It can be important to understand that there technically aren't any formal requirements for becoming a litigation paralegal. Unlike solicitors and barristers, you don't require legal registration to perform your duties, but you also can't provide legal advice to clients. While there aren't any formal requirements, you can expect hiring managers to favour candidates who have experience in the legal industry. A formal qualification isn't always necessary, but it can substantially improve your employability. The sections on your resume for a paralegal role can include your soft skills, technical skills, certifications, work experience and qualifications.
How to write a litigation paralegal resume
Below, you can explore a helpful guide on how to write a resume for a litigation paralegal:
1. Identify employment requirements
Before writing your resume, it can be an excellent idea to review the job listing for the vacant role you're considering. This is because a job listing usually details the employment requirements and candidate expectations. For example, a hiring company might state an employment requirement is a diploma or bachelor level qualification. They may also expect candidates to possess time management and communication skills. If you identify these employment elements, you can address them on your resume, which can substantially improve your employability for the vacant role.
2. Write an impressive professional summary
Writing an impressive professional summary can be important because it can influence the hiring manager's perception of you as a candidate before they finish reviewing your resume. Your professional summary is typically the first section a hiring manager might read, so ensuring it impresses them can be an excellent idea. You can write an impressive summary by listing your primary credentials and addressing most of the employment requirements listed on the job listing. You can evaluate your employability and determine your most notable attributes, such as your skills or experience.
3. Highlight your certificates
Certificates are rarely an employment requirement, but they can be beneficial for proving your technical abilities in specific legal protocols. Because certificates aren't employment requirements, they can show your commitment to developing expertise and your dedication to becoming a paralegal. You can usually list certificates specific to legal areas, such as family law, litigation and corporate law. Any certificate relevant to these legal areas can show you've gained knowledge in legal processes and procedures, which can be great for highlighting your employability.
4. Include your technical skills
Your technical skills might not be as extensive as a solicitor or barrister, but you can still include them to highlight your expertise. Technical skills as a litigation paralegal typically refer to analytical and research capabilities. They can be important for your resume because they show you're competent in specific paralegal duties. If you're listing paralegal technical skills, it can be important to include proof of your attainment of these skills. For example, if you reference work experience on your resume, it can suggest to hiring managers you've developed your technical skills through prior employment.
5. List your soft skills
Your soft skills can be an excellent addition to your resume. Unlike your technical skills section, you don't require proof of these skills. Your soft skills typically refer to core skills, such as time management and attention to detail. They may also refer to interpersonal qualities that help you operate in team environments, which can be notably important as a paralegal because you usually support legal teams. Relevant soft skills you might include on your resume might be communication, time management, teamwork, empathy, organisation and attention to detail. These skills can be excellent for highlighting your personality and friendly disposition.
6. Reference your work experience
Work experience can be ideal for highlighting your practical knowledge and proving your technical skills. Depending on the hiring law firm, they might prefer you as a candidate with legal work experience compared to a legal qualification. This is because it can show hiring managers you're familiar with legal protocols, processes and procedures. Work experience as a paralegal can be ideal, but there may be other roles in the legal industry that might be worth referencing. For example, a legal assistant or legal administrator position might be easier to gain employment in, but still share transferable skills and knowledge.
7. Detail your qualifications
Qualifications are rarely an employment requirement as a litigation paralegal, but they can improve your employability substantially, depending on the hiring law firm. There are several qualifications relevant to the role of a litigation paralegal. Any university degree related to legal procedures can be an excellent addition to your resume, as they can involve three to five years of study. This can show hiring managers you've committed several years to gaining expertise in a legal role.
Resume template for a litigation paralegal position
It can be important to understand that some templates might benefit you more than others, depending on your expertise and skills. For example, if you're changing careers to a paralegal job position, you might have no qualifications or experience in the legal industry. You might benefit more from a functional resume template compared to a traditional resume template, as a functional resume focuses on skills rather than technical credentials. Below, you can explore a detailed resume template for a litigation paralegal position appropriate for a candidate with varying credentials:
[Email address] | [Phone number] | [City, State]
[You can include your professional summary here, using three to five sentences. This section doesn't require extensive descriptions of your employability, as you typically list most of your credentials in other sections on your resume.]
[Here, you can mention your legal certificates. You may list them using a bullet-point format.]
Technical Skills: [You can write your technical skills here on a single line, using a pipe character to separate each skill.]
Soft Skills: [You can list your soft skills here, with a pipe character separating each skill.]
[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Institute name], [Graduation date]
Resume example for a litigation paralegal job role
Here, you can explore a detailed resume example for a litigation paralegal candidate with varying credentials:
Jim Lemming Lemming@email.com.au | 045 937 0386 | Perth, WA
An experienced and qualified individual applying for the role of a litigation paralegal with Law Central. Has extensive experience in researching legal precedent, identifying relevant legislation, communicating with clients and supporting legal teams in court proceedings. Hoping to develop advanced expertise with this prestigious firm and contribute solid work ethics and morals to the team at Law Central.
Paralegal Duties: The Essentials
Civil Litigation Proceedings 101
Litigation Procedures Online Course
Family Law 101
Researching Law: The Fundamentals
Technical Skills: Using spreadsheet software | Researching legal precedent | Filing and managing legal documents | Conducting legal research | Expertise in trial preparation | Providing legal and administrative support to lawyers | Competency in word processing software | Scheduling appointments | Submitting documents through electronic platforms | Knowledge of cybersecurity fundamentals
Soft Skills: Organisation | Communication | Logic | Empathy | Attention to detail | Teamwork | Collaboration | Time management | Analysis | Problem solving | Critical thinking | Strategic thinking
Litigation Paralegal | December 2020–June 2022
DBF Legal Services
researched legal documents
assisted legal teams in court proceedings
created legal documents for analysis by lawyers
identified relevant clauses for cases
communicated with clients and handled confidential information
Legal Assistant | January 2017–December 2020
Danton Legalities Group
filed legal documents
communicated with clients through VoIP
scheduled client appointments
Diploma in Legal Services
Metworth Institute, 2020
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