A Legal Counsel's Guide to Writing a Winning Resume (With Samples)

flat art illustration of a Legal Counsel

As a legal counselor, crafting a winning resume can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have prior experience in writing resumes. However, with the right guidance, you can create a standout resume that highlights your skills, experience, and accomplishments.

1. Start with a clear and concise summary statement

Your summary statement is the first thing that hiring managers will see on your resume, so it's essential to make it count. Your summary statement should highlight your skills, experience, and achievements in just a few sentences. Make sure it's clear, concise, and tailored to the specific job you're applying for.

2. Focus on your accomplishments rather than responsibilities

When listing your work experience, focus on the accomplishments rather than just listing your job responsibilities. This will allow hiring managers to see how you added value to your previous positions. Use bullet points to describe your achievements and make sure to quantify them with specific numbers and metrics.

3. Highlight your legal skills and experience

One of the essential parts of your resume as a legal counselor is highlighting your legal skills and experience. Make sure to mention the specific areas of law you're proficient in and any licenses or certifications you hold. This will help demonstrate to potential employers that you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job.

4. Showcase your soft skills

While technical skills are essential in the legal field, hiring managers also value soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Make sure to highlight your soft skills throughout your resume, especially in your summary statement and when describing your achievements.

5. Customize your resume for each job application

Finally, customizing your resume for each job application will increase your chances of landing an interview. Take the time to tailor your resume to match the job description and the specific needs of each potential employer.

  1. Read the job description carefully
  2. Identify the key skills and qualifications needed for the job
  3. Highlight those skills and qualifications in your resume
  4. Make sure to use keywords from the job description throughout your resume

By following these tips, you can craft a standout resume that will grab the attention of hiring managers in the legal field. Tailoring your resume to each job application and highlighting your achievements and qualifications will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Example Resumes

Example #1

John Doe

123 Legal Lane, New York, NY 10001

(123) 456-7890 | john.doe@email.com


Summary:

  • Over 8 years of experience as a legal counsel with expertise in corporate law, contracts, and litigation.
  • Skilled in drafting and negotiating complex agreements, legal research, and providing sound legal advice to clients.
  • Have demonstrated success in reducing legal risk for clients while achieving business objectives.

Professional Experience:

Legal Counsel, ABC Corporation

June 2015 - Present

  • Provide legal advice to senior management on day-to-day operations, including contract negotiations, intellectual property protection, and corporate compliance.
  • Drafted and negotiated over 50 contracts per year with vendors, suppliers, and customers, resulting in cost savings of over $2 million annually.
  • Successfully litigated a trademark infringement case, resulting in a $1 million settlement for the company.
  • Developed and implemented company-wide policies and procedures to comply with regulatory requirements for data privacy and security.
Associate Attorney, XYZ Law Firm

January 2010 - May 2015

  • Represented clients in commercial litigation cases, including breach of contract and business disputes.
  • Drafted and negotiated settlement agreements resulting in a 75% success rate in avoiding costly trials.
  • Assisted senior attorneys in managing large-scale document review and production in complex litigation cases.

Education:

Juris Doctor (J.D.), New York Law School

September 2006 - May 2009

  • Cum Laude
  • Member, Law Review
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science, Columbia University

September 2002 - May 2006

  • Cum Laude

Professional Skills:

  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Litigation strategy and management
  • Legal research and writing
  • Data privacy and security compliance
  • Intellectual property protection

Example #2

John Smith

Legal Counsel

Email: johnsmith@email.com | Phone: (555) 123-4567

Summary

Experienced legal counsel with a demonstrated history of success in contract negotiation, regulatory compliance, and litigation management. Skilled in drafting and negotiating complex commercial contracts and handling high-stakes disputes. Proven ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders to achieve business objectives.

Experience

  • XYZ Inc. - Senior Legal Counsel

    2015 - Present

    • Successfully negotiated and closed a $10 million acquisition deal.
    • Implemented new compliance program resulting in a 30% reduction in regulatory violations.
    • Managed a portfolio of over 50 litigation cases, achieving a 80% win-rate.
  • ABC Corp. - Legal Counsel

    2010 - 2015

    • Drafted and negotiated various commercial contracts with customers and vendors.
    • Developed and implemented new dispute resolution process, resulting in a 25% reduction in litigation expenses.

Education

  • University of Law - JD

    2007 - 2010

  • University of California - BA in Political Science

    2003 - 2007

Skills

  • Contract negotiation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Litigation management
  • Dispute resolution
  • Strong communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership skills

Example #3

John Doe

Legal Counsel

Chicago, IL

(123) 456-7890 | johndoe@email.com

Summary

Experienced Legal Counsel with a proven track record of providing legal advice and representation for corporate clients. Skilled in contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and risk management. Strong communication and analytical skills.

Professional Experience

  • XYZ Corporation - Chicago, IL
  • Legal Counsel | 2015-present
  • Provide legal advice and representation to senior management and various departments. Negotiate contracts and resolve disputes. Collaborate with outside counsel on litigation matters.
  • Successfully negotiated a contract with a major client resulting in a 20% increase in revenue for the company.
  • Managed and resolved multiple legal disputes resulting in a combined savings of $500,000 for the company.
  • ABC Corporation - New York, NY
  • Associate Legal Counsel | 2013-2015
  • Assisted senior counsel with legal research and drafting of contracts. Managed intellectual property portfolio. Conducted due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
  • Successfully represented the company in intellectual property litigation resulting in a settlement of $1,000,000.

Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law - Chicago, IL
  • J.D., 2013
  • Law Review
  • University of Chicago - Chicago, IL
  • B.A., Political Science, 2010
  • Dean’s List

Conclusion

Writing a winning resume as a legal counsel can be a tricky task, but by following these steps, you can create a document that stands out among the crowd. Don't forget to tailor your resume to specific job postings and showcase your accomplishments as much as possible. Additionally, writing a great cover letter is a crucial next step in the job search process. Write a great cover letter that complements your resume and highlights your personality and qualities. If you're looking for a remote legal job, be sure to check out our remote Legal job board for the latest opportunities. Lastly, prepare for interviews to ensure you make the best impression possible.

Looking to ace your interviews? Our team has put together a collection of detailed interview questions and answers for different legal counsel specializations, including Corporate Law, Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Environmental Law, and International Law.

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