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Whether you have just graduated from law school or are looking to change law firms after years of working at the same one, it can be difficult to know what skills and accomplishments to put on your resume. This is especially true for applicants without a lot of experience.
Here are five traits a stellar lawyer resume will demonstrate so it really stands out so you get the job.
1. Excellent Communications Skills
If there is one trait a good lawyer needs it is the ability to communicate well. It helps build relationships with clients, gain useful information, and just generally carry out their daily tasks. Plus, there may be legalese you need to explain to your clients in a way they can understand.
You will also need to have excellent written communication skills since you will be writing memos, legal documents, and letters. So, really focus on how you word your lawyer resume to highlight how good your communication skills are.
2. Attention to Detail
A single word can change the entire legal meaning of a document. So, attention to detail is paramount to being a successful lawyer. On top of that, spelling mistakes and grammar errors just look sloppy and unprofessional and can damage the law firm you are working for.
So, make sure you go over your resume several times before sending it, which is just solid advice anyway. Also, use undergrad work, especially if you got your degree in English or one of the social sciences, to display how capable you are when it comes to proofing your work so it is grammatically correct and concise.
3. Research Skills
Lawyers need to be able to research and understand a variety of complex ideas and legal issues. So, being able to demonstrate how capable you are at being able to find the information they need, sometimes after exhaustive hours in libraries or online, is a great way to make sure you stand out.
This is another time your undergrad work will come in useful. Highlight papers and projects that required you to do in-depth research on a topic.
While it true for any profession, lawyers especially need to be concerned about their brand and creating as many positive associations with their firm as possible. This is why the way young lawyers need to be aware of not only how they look, but also the way you come across can have a huge impact on which firms hire you.
Now, it is important to realize not every law firm is going to be looking for the same sort of presentation. So, when researching where to apply, be sure you do your research on which firms most closely resemble your beliefs and presentation style.
5. Time Management
Deadlines, sometimes incredibly tight deadlines, are a part of practicing law. So, having excellent time management skills are essential to the job. This means the more senior partners won’t have to worry about you not being able to get the tasks they assign you done.
You can demonstrate these skills by highlighting how you managed to balance your studies with any extracurricular activities you had during your education.
Writing a Good Lawyer Resume
Just like with any resume, writing a good lawyer resume takes time, practice and sometimes a second set of eyes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or have a friend look it over for any editing mistakes you may have missed.
For more legal tips and help, check out the rest of our legal blog topics.