The resume objective has gone out of style, so writing a resume summary statement is the ideal way to begin your lawyer resume with focus. Legal careers require a great deal of education and expertise in one or more areas of practice, so a summary statement gives you the chance to condense all your experiences into one concise introduction.
What to Include in a Lawyer Resume Summary Statement
Lawyers have complex jobs and specialties ranging from divorce law to personal injury, which makes it especially important to emphasize your particular experience and skill sets. If your strong point is helping people through the process of earning disability benefits, mention this in your resume summary statement. Make sure you place this statement prominently at the beginning of your resume. Use your summary statement to lead into the work history or experience section below it. Keep in mind that summary statements should be between four to six lines in length. They should lead with a detailed but short summary of your past experiences as a lawyer. At the end of your resume summary statement, include several sentence fragments detailing other skills related to law.
How to Format a Lawyer Resume Summary Statement
There are two main formatting types to choose from when writing a resume summary statement, and which is better is relative to the specific elements of your legal career that you would like to showcase. If you have an extensive work history in a variety of legal areas, from environmental law to torts, use a bulleted list format to allow discussion of each distinct but relevant experience. If you have significant experience in one area of practice or you have recently graduated law school, choose the standard paragraph format and utilize an organized chart to list your skills and other attributes you want the reader to be aware of.
Tips for Writing a Lawyer Resume Summary Statement
Writing a resume summary statement for a lawyer requires an even more targeted approach than most jobs. Law firms are seeking candidates who demonstrate expertise in at least one area of the law, so you should begin your summary statement with the experience that is most relevant to your chosen field of practice. If you do not have experience in that area of law, you can always spin related educational experiences or use your summary statement to discuss how skills you gained in another area of practice are similar to those you will be expected to demonstrate on the job.
Examples of a Lawyer Resume Summary Statement
When writing a resume summary statement, it helps to look at examples of summary statements made for legal professionals in a variety of specialties. Consider the way both of these summary statements communicate expertise in a specific area of practice even though the candidates differ significantly in experience level.
Family law attorney with 15 years of experience in child custody, divorce and asset division practice. Expert witness and consultant. Driven and skilled at conflict resolution.
Harvard Law graduate with editorial experience on the Harvard Law Review and an emphasis in environmental law. Internship experience with a major environmental policy firm. Fluent in Spanish and German.
Formatting a resume summary statement with a focus on your unique legal skills and personality attributes is the best way to encourage employers to continue reading your resume.
If you require more assistance when writing a resume summary statement that demonstrates your abilities in legal practice, the LiveCareer community may provide the support you are looking for.