Preparing for a trial and winning a case require the expertise of a professional lawyer. Not to mention, digging for the truth costs so much time, a lot of preparation, attention to detail, and hard work. Clearly, this profession isn’t a one-man show. A lawyer needs the help of a legal assistant before the hearing takes place to have a positive result. Gathering information about the case, organizing legal documents, and assisting during the legal proceedings are just some of the tasks of a legal assistant.
Those tasks are very important to winning a case. If you want to work hand in hand with justice, this profession is calling you. Learn more about the duties of a legal assistant, tips to land this job, and how to write a compelling legal assistant resume example.
What is a Legal Assistant?
As mentioned earlier, a legal assistant helps lawyers from the preparation for the lawsuit down to the verdict. This job entails a lot of documentation with keen attention to detail and utmost confidentiality.
Moreover, legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to help and support lawyers. They work in different organizations, such as law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, and more. This post is usually a full-time job with a median salary of $52,920 in May 2020, as recorded by the BLS. In addition, this profession is projected to grow by 12% from 2020 to 2030. That’s around 43,000 job openings per year; this is faster than other jobs.
Being a legal assistant can be a good stepping stone for newly graduated individuals. It opens a lot of opportunities in different fields. Having that said; if you want to enter this workforce, you need to make sure that you have an impactful legal assistant resume to help you rise above other job candidates.
Guess what? We have it right here on this page. But first: Let’s learn more about the duties of a legal assistant, the qualifications needed to become one, and some practical tips to ace your job search.
What are the Duties of a Legal Assistant?
The first thing to do to be an efficient legal assistant is to be familiar with the duties involved therein. Also, knowing the responsibilities of the job lets you effectively highlight necessary skills and qualifications in your legal assistant resume. Not only will it help you write a job-winning resume; it will also prepare you for the tasks you’ll be doing when you get hired.
Here’s a quick rundown of the common duties of a legal assistant.
- Gather information, evidence, and other documents needed by the lawyer
- Keep legal documents
- Perform administrative and customer care tasks
- Draft contracts, letters, and other legal documents
- Schedule appointments, meetings, and interviews with the clients
- Organize case folders, office records, and other files
- Conduct interviews with clients and witnesses
- Handle accounting and billing responsibilities
A legal assistant’s duties may differ depending on the firm you belong to. Thus, it’s essential to have relevant soft and hard skills to take on the job; and make sure that they are evident on your legal assistant resume.
How Do You Become a Legal Assistant?
Even though legal assistants don’t need to have a degree related to law, they still need to have what it takes to take on the job. Hence, in order to secure a legal assistant position and thrive as one, you need to have the relevant skills and qualifications. Check out this short list of prerequisites for the legal assistant profession.
- At least two-year associate’s degree, but a paralegal study certification is a plus
- Attended relevant training programs gives you a head start
- Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) license is an asset
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Organization and time management skills
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
- Emotional intelligence and skills in customer care
If you have the qualifications mentioned earlier, it’s best to highlight them on your legal assistant resume, especially if they’re outlined in the job posting.
What to Include on Your Legal Assistant Resume
Now that you have an idea of the common responsibilities of a legal assistant and the qualifications for the job, it’s time to take it up a notch. You need to revamp your job search tools and align them with your target post. Make sure that your legal assistant resume highlights why you’re a perfect fit for the job. That being said, read on to know some of the details you need to include in your job search document.
Start with the most important information—your name and contact details. Write your full name, complete mailing address, contact number, and email address. You can also include your LinkedIn profile, if you have one. In addition, add your certifications beside your name; this attracts recruiters’ interest.
Make sure to double check your information before sending your legal assistant resume to your target companies. That’s the only way they can contact you in case they consider your application.
Specific Target Job
This section is also referred to as the “career tag.” This is where you state your target job. Doing so allows hiring managers know the position you’re applying for. This also avoids your application from getting mixed up with other resumes.
Qualifications Profile / Summary of Qualifications
Highlighting what you’re best at immediately gives hiring managers the idea of whether you’re worth giving a shot. You can do this by writing an impactful resume summary. Remember, recruiters only spend an average of six seconds reviewing an applicant’s resume.
When writing your summary, steer clear from the resume objective-type statement. Instead, use striking titles and headlines to attract the hiring manager’s attention.
Legal Assistant Skills
This position requires skills, dedication, and time. If you’re in this role, you need to equip yourself with the skills relevant to the job. Some examples include law office support, legal research, client relations, records management, word processing, data entry, database management, calendaring and scheduling, and accounts payable and receivable. These skills are vital, so make sure that you include your skills on your resume.
Aside from your skills, your career highlights should be present in your legal assistant resume. Begin with your most recent job and work your way down to your first. You can use a resume format that best emphasizes your capabilities in case you don’t have work experience yet.
As stated previously, a legal assistant position doesn’t require you to have a degree in law. For some employers, a two-year degree is fine. Nonetheless, state your degree and course title, the school name and its location, and the date of your graduation. This information can boost your chances of getting an interview invite.
Training, Certifications, and Licenses
Another way to get the interest of recruiters is to include training, certifications, and licenses. If you don’t have any, you can start equipping yourself by attending free online courses.
Other Possible Information to Include on Your Legal Assistant Resume
Lastly, you can spice up your legal assistant resume by showcasing other info, such as hobbies, affiliations, activities, technical skills, language skills, and projects handled.
How to Write Your Legal Assistant Resume
To increase your chance of securing a job, here are some practical tips for writing your legal assistant resume.
1. Use a simple yet attractive design and layout.
Your legal assistant resume is like your business card. You use it to market yourself and showcase what you can bring to the company you’re applying to. Thus, make sure it’s professional-looking, simple, and readable.
Use appropriate fonts.
2. Choose the best format.
Use the best resume format that’s aligned with your career status, qualifications, and line of work. If you already have relevant work experience, a chronological resume should be your top choice.
3. Highlight your legal assistant skills.
Having the competencies needed to be effective in this job is crucial. Be sure not to forget relevant skills in your job search document.
4. Include resume keywords.
Another way to effectively write a legal assistant resume is by using resume keywords. This is the key to beating the applicant tracking system (ATS), a software that screens job applicants.
5. Use concrete data and examples.
Quantifying your achievements paints a clearer picture of what makes you qualified for the job. These details help you stand out among other qualified candidates.
Resume keywords are job-related or industry-specific words and phrases outlined in job postings. Hence, make sure that your job search tool matches the job ad.
6. Proofread, proofread, and proofread.
Before you send your legal assistant resume, be sure to check all the information to ensure the details are correct. Also, read it over and over again to be sure that there are no grammar errors, misspelled words, or inappropriate use of punctuation.
After proofreading your document, you can use a free online resume review to check if your resume has what it takes to impress hiring managers.
Legal Assistant Resume Example
To land your target job, you need a job-winning resume. Here’s one of the best legal assistant resume examples to help you write one.
Note: You can also check out more of our best resume examples for different industries.
Have an Expert Write Your Legal Assistant Resume that will Get You the Job
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