Law Resume


posted by | on Article, Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Law Resume

(By – Staff Writer)

Welcome back to the Resume Series that I introduced with yesterday’s article. In this series we are looking at 5 different people and the process for writing their new resume. We will also review what that resume might look like.


Our first candidate is: A lawyer with ten years defense counsel experience. She wants to get into New York based Personal Injury Law Firm. Let’s look at the questions she will need to answer before committing to a resume or CV.

Questions to Ask about Resume Format

  • What type of resume will be best suited for this career change?

Chronological: This is the traditional resume that most of us have been familiar with for years. It lists each job held in chronological order with duties and responsibilities. Gaps in employment are obvious. This is a resume for someone with a solid work history.


Functional: This is a skills based resume that never gives a chronological view of one’s career. It is only defined by the skills acquired and used. This type of resume is actually intended to hide any gaps in employment. It is also common among people who are changing careers.


Combination: This is what it sounds like. A combination of the chronological and functional resume focuses on skills but has a list of jobs and dates worked. This resume highlights the skills needed for a job change but gives the employer the history that is traditionally preferred.

In this case we have a strong ten plus year solid work history as a defense attorney. This might lead you to think the chronological resume is right for Jane Doe. However remember she is changing careers and needs to show the skill set. This might lead you to think the functional resume is the correct one. If you think about it though you will see that what is needed here is a combination of chronological and functional. We will choose the Combination Resume.

  • What Information needs to be in lawyer Jane Doe resume? What are the basic skills she possesses that need to transfer to a personal injury law career?


She would have skills in argument techniques, negotiation, interrogation and deposition skills, written and oral communication skills and MS Office products are all skills a personal injury lawyer would need.

  • What accomplishments will best represent her skills and readiness to be a personal injury attorney?

Accomplishments would come from winning difficult defense cases and negotiating pleas.

  • Hobbies or outside activities that lend themselves to her new field of practice?


She volunteers for ACLU. She works pro bono on personal injury cases.


  • Any special training she has taken that will lend itself to Personal Injury Law?

Nothing extra


Given this information this is how her resume might look.

Jane Doe

Email address

Website address

Ten years successful practice as a Criminal Defense Attorney endeavors to bring these skills to a Personal Injury Law Practice.


Strong ability to gather evidence through interrogation and deposition of   witnesses

Complete knowledge of negotiation and argumentation techniques

Ability to negotiate pleas and reduced charges

Outstanding written and oral communication

Familiar with all aspects of MS Office


Won 80% of all criminal defense cases over a ten year period.5/12

Won 75% of all plea offers to reduce charges and/or sentences.

Defense Attorney of the Year 3 times in 10 years.

Revenue for firm in excess of 15 million dollars

Experience: DHR&J Criminal Defense Attorneys

2004 -2014 Served as primary criminal defense attorney

Offered partnership in 2013 and refused based on desire to pursue personal injury law.


Volunteer Pro Bono ACLU

Volunteer Pro Bono with N&H Personal Injury Lawyers


There you have it. Next we will tackle what the resume of an entry level graduate might look like.