Whether you recently graduated from law school or have been working as lawyer for years, you have a wealth of valuable job skills to offer. Use these abilities to your benefit by listing them explicitly within your resume. In order to show potential employers that you are a top candidate who possesses the skills to make their company, firm or organization more profitable, consider writing a resume skills section when creating your legal resume.
Should You Include a Skills Section in Your Lawyer Resume?
Always include a skills section in your resume when applying for jobs in the legal field. You may only have a few seconds to make an impression with your resume, so you want to include impressive skills in the first third of your resume to help you land an interview. Let the resume skills section inform your potential employers that you have the required abilities to operate as a top lawyer within their company. Your education is a given because all lawyers must attend professional school; you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Use this section as that opportunity.
What to Include in a Lawyer Resume Skills Section
1. Research Skills
Demonstrate that you are able and willing to conduct hours of research when necessary to find those salient points that can mean the difference between winning or losing a legal brief. Emphasize areas of specific research interests, such as contracts, civil procedure or personal injury, to make your resume more unique. List and discuss briefly your research topics from law school seminars if you've recently graduated.
2. Speaking Skills
Be proactive and assume that your prospective law firm management wants someone prepared to work as a litigator while writing a resume skills section. Mention particularly successful moot court cases if you're just entering the workforce.
3. Writing Skills
Let your skills section be one of the first successful written communications you produce for the firm. Inform them that you can write legal briefs that influence the courts and intimidate the opposition. Mention any published or forthcoming law review articles. Allow your resume to showcase your ability to write at an acceptable level for any venue, from municipal court to the federal bench.
4. Critical Thinking Skills
Always emphasize your ability to think outside the box when writing a resume skills section. Accept that law has precedent as its basis, yet understand that successful lawyers recognize when to shift course. Your critical thinking skills may be required to salvage a unique case.
Let your skills section demonstrate your ability to evaluate facts and arrive at conclusions that might allude others. Mention any public victories in which you challenged presumed wisdom and achieved a positive result.
Example of a Great Lawyer Resume Skills Section
Consider the following examples when writing a resume skills section of your own. Remember to begin each sentence with strong action words.
Investigated the effects of the media on personal injury cases for Professor Adams at University Law School.
Mediated numerous successful and equitable agreements between divorcing parties in local court.
Published three award-winning articles in the University Law Review.
Critical Thinking Skills
Formulated a new way to more accurately assess billable hours to the satisfaction of my colleagues and clients.
When writing a resume skills section in the hopes of landing a coveted legal position, you can visit LiveCareer for more helpful tips and tricks.