1. Paralegal CV Example & How to Write One (+ Tips)

Paralegal CV Example & How to Write One (+ Tips)

LiveCareer Editorial Team
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It can seem like there are a fair few paralegal jobs on offer out there at any given moment. At least, until you start digging deeper and looking for a paralegal job. It then turns out that what a paralegal does differs from company to company.

Some require a law degree, others don’t require legal qualifications at all. Some are heavy on administrative and secretarial duties whereas others have you very nearly doing the work of a solicitor. Once you filter out the unsuitable jobs, there’s not much left. And you’ll need an exceptional paralegal CV if you’re to get interviews at your chosen firms.

This guide will show you a paralegal CV example plus detailed instructions on how to write one for yourself. You'll also get tips and tricks to make your paralegal CV illegally good. Ready?

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Paralegal CV example 

Laura Banks

070 2222 2222

laura.banks@lcmail.co.uk

linkedin.com/in/laurabanks

Personal Statement

Thorough and engaged paralegal with 5+ years’ experience working in general law firms, performing both administrative and paralegal tasks. Assisted Nash Bridges Solicitors with the preparation of a variety of bespoke and industry-standard commercial agreements including 20+ NDAs, 30+ service agreements and 50+ statements of work. Looking for opportunity to help Krake and Raken continue to run a tight ship as they explore new areas of practice.

Work Experience

Paralegal

Nash Bridges Solicitors, Oxford

April 2018–present

  • Assisted with the corporate governance and management of all 3 Nash Bridges legal entities.
  • Prepared over 200 agreements based on standard templates.
  • Managed up to 40 inbound and outbound calls a day to ensure the best outcome for our customers.
  • Organised and prepared materials for 2 annual general meetings.

Paralegal

Funnelweb & Associates, Oxford

November 2015–April 2018

  • Recorded almost 100 customers’ information accurately to our case-management system.
  • Completed at least 450 assigned tasks within the case-management system.
  • Took personal responsibility for compliance with 100% of all relevant regulatory requirements.

Education

Level 2 Diploma in Legal Studies

Keating College, Oxford, 2014 – 2015

Skills

  • Administration: familiarity with the office environment and tools such as Google Docs and MS Office software including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Commercial awareness: monitored corporate transactions such as acquisitions and disposals
  • Attention to detail: successfully performed trade mark clearance searches and monitored for IP infringements, preparing take downs.
  • Appreciation for deadlines: provided administrative support for the team including filing, preparing documents for signature, and organising team social and training events, all to a strict schedule.
  • Teamwork: team player who is able to adapt to different working styles.
  • Organisation: able to prioritise various workstreams in line with the needs of the business.
  • Written and oral communication: comfortable approaching different people around the business (including senior directors).

Certifications

LibreOffice Certified Professional Trainer, The Document Foundation, 2018 

Languages

Swiss German – C1

German – B2

French – B2

Now you know what a model CV looks like. Here’s how to write your own paralegal CV:

1. Start your paralegal CV with a compelling personal statement

The pop-culture image of legal work involves a lot of impassioned, persuasive arguments delivered to stirring orchestral scores. The reality is, of course, somewhat lacking in musical score, to say the least. The thing is, you need your CV personal statement (personal profile) to grab recruiters’ attention and hold it.

The good news is that the David E. Kelley approach isn’t even the most effective one here. Your personal statement needs to do just three things. It has to introduce you as a paralegal, show what exactly it is that you can offer your new employer, and make a case for your goals being in line with the firm’s/company’s.

To introduce yourself, start with how many years’ experience you have working as a paralegal (or in a related position). State where you gained that experience (i.e. what industries and legal specialisations). To give an indication of what you can bring to this employer, describe what you’ve brought to previous employers.

Do this by pointing to a particular achievement. An achievement, in this context, is the description of an action you took at work and the benefits that fell to your employer as a result of this action. Start with a dynamic verb and be sure to quantify as much as you can, the benefit to your employer if nothing else.

All that’s left to do is explain how your goals line up with the firm’s or company’s goals. There’s an extremely effective shortcut to doing this well: simply state what it is that you hope to be able to achieve for the employer in your new role, should you get it. This will automatically show an alignment of goals.

There’s a lot happening in a personal statement, but it can’t get too wordy or no one will want to read it and the whole exercise becomes counterproductive. Limit yourself to 3–4 sentences and 50–150 words. The fewer words, the better: so aim for 50 words rather than trying to barely duck under 150 words.

Your paralegal CV is likely to be parsed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before it even comes to the attention of a recruiter. Sidestep ATS gatekeeper algorithms by mentioning the name of the company/firm and the job title (for which you’re applying) exactly how it’s given in the job advert.

Your personal statement may well come first in your paralegal CV, but it’ll be much better if you write it last (and that’s why it’s often called a CV summary). You’ll have far more resources at your disposal after you’ve written your work experience and skills sections. So keep it at the back of your mind for now and come back to it later.

Paralegal CV example: personal statement

Thorough and engaged paralegal with 5+ years’ experience working in general law firms, performing both administrative and paralegal tasks. Assisted Nash Bridges Solicitors with the preparation of a variety of bespoke and industry-standard commercial agreements including 20+ NDAs, 30+ service agreements and 50+ statements of work. Looking for opportunity to help Krake and Raken continue to run a tight ship as they explore new areas of practice.

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

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2. Showcase your work history in your paralegal CV

The idea of a career in law is one thing. Amassed theoretical knowledge is one thing. Working in a solicitors’ office or corporate environment as a paralegal is something else entirely. Education and transferable skills are important, but experience is a surer indicator of success in many employers’ eyes.

Make sure your CV work experience section wows recruiters and smashes through ATS hurdles. Go with a chronological CV format. It’s what recruiters expect to see and what ATSs are set up to parse most easily. List your paralegal job descriptions in reverse-chronological order.

Generate a subheading for each of your previous paralegal and related roles using this paralegal CV template:

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

Populate each job description thus created with up to six bullet points. Each bullet point will be an achievement from the given job, just like the one you wrote in your personal statement. Remember to quantify the benefits and anything else possible. Estimate where needed, but keep it realistic.

If you’re writing a paralegal CV with no experience, then focus on any internships, placement work, and volunteer work you’ve done—these all count here. Otherwise, consider writing a student CV or graduate CV instead. It’ll be better suited to your needs and will give you a better chance at landing an interview.

Paralegal CV example: job descriptions

Paralegal

Nash Bridges Solicitors, Oxford

April 2018–present

  • Assisted with the corporate governance and management of all 3 Nash Bridges legal entities.
  • Prepared over 200 agreements based on standard templates.
  • Managed up to 40 inbound and outbound calls a day to ensure the best outcome for our customers.
  • Organised and prepared materials for 2 annual general meetings.

Paralegal

Funnelweb & Associates, Oxford

November 2015–April 2018

  • Recorded almost 100 customers’ information accurately to our case-management system.
  • Completed at least 450 assigned tasks within the case-management system.
  • Took personal responsibility for compliance with 100% of all relevant regulatory requirements.

3. Equip your paralegal CV with a complete education section

It’s a common misconception that you need a law degree to be a paralegal. That’s just one of several ways to get into this line of work. Whatever path you’ve taken and wherever you’re headed, make sure your education section is up to snuff without any of the padding that just wastes precious space.

Follow these guidelines and don’t add anything that doesn’t appear in the paralegal CV templates below. Short and sweet is the name of the game here. List your qualifications in reverse-chronological order. Use the following template for both university degrees and other tertiary qualifications:

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

Include an expected graduation date if you’re still finishing up a qualification. There’s no need to include your high-school education once you have a tertiary qualification and a few years of experience behind you. Use the following templates to detail your high-school education:

A-levels: [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

[number of GCSEs completed] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

Don’t mention any grades or subjects (other than A-levels) by name. You can include bullet points here to highlight your achievements, extracurricular activities or areas of excellence while studying if you lack work experience. You can also place this section above your work experience section in such cases.

Paralegal CV example: education

Level 2 Diploma in Legal Studies

Keating College, Oxford, 2014 – 2015

4. Pack your paralegal CV with proven skills

It’s totally uncontroversial to state that lists of skills will never have the same effect as actually seeing those skills in action. Most CVs are filled with impressive-sounding skills and with no checks and balances, anyone can claim virtually anything they want. Recruiters know this, of course, and tune out a little.

You’re going to do something different. Every skill you list will carry with it ‘proof’ that you actually possess it. Given that you’ll need to write a new skills section every time you prepare a new job application, it’s going to be far more efficient if you first prepare a master file from which you can then simply copy.

Open a new document file and list all the paralegal CV skills you can think of (hard and soft skills). Once you’ve run out of steam, go back to the beginning and add a sentence to each skill in which you outline how you’ve demonstrated that skill at work. Any skill for which you can’t do this doesn’t make the cut.

Save your new paralegal skills master list. Go back to the job advert to which you’re responding and highlight the skills they’re after. Simply copy and paste 5–10 skills from your master list into your CV. Be sure to at least cover the required skills and aim for a mix of hard, soft, and IT skills.

Paralegal CV example: skills

  • Administration: familiarity with the office environment and tools such as Google Docs and MS Office software including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Commercial awareness: monitored corporate transactions such as acquisitions and disposals
  • Attention to detail: successfully performed trade mark clearance searches and monitored for IP infringements, preparing take downs.
  • Appreciation for deadlines: provided administrative support for the team including filing, preparing documents for signature, and organising team social and training events, all to a strict schedule.
  • Teamwork: team player who is able to adapt to different working styles.
  • Organisation: able to prioritise various workstreams in line with the needs of the business.
  • Written and oral communication: comfortable approaching different people around the business (including senior directors).

5. Harness the power of extra sections in your paralegal CV

People from all kinds of backgrounds who are on all kinds of trajectories become paralegals. A lot of that diversity is lost when looking only at recent work experience, education, and skills, though. Stand out from the crowd and paint a more detailed portrait of yourself as a paralegal by adding extra sections to your CV

Augment your CV with sections that list your non-academic qualifications, awards you’ve won, accolades you’ve received, even your hobbies and personal interests are fair game. There’s just one constraint here: everything you add has to be directly and demonstrably relevant to the job to which you’re applying. 

There’s one apparent exception to this rule, though: the ability to speak a foreign language is always relevant, even if you don’t anticipate having the opportunity to use it in your day-to-day work. The benefits of speaking languages other than English go beyond this kind of immediate utility.

Paralegal CV example: additional sections

Certifications

LibreOffice Certified Professional Trainer, The Document Foundation, 2018 

Languages

Swiss German – C1

German – B2

French – B2

6. Always* include a cover letter with your paralegal CV

*Unless specifically asked not to, of course. Your job application is by default composed of two main parts: your paralegal CV and a cover letter. You know how incomplete paperwork is treated in the legal profession (the words ‘null and void’ are often invoked), it’s the same in the job-hunting game.

Like many standard legal documents, there’s a template for this and it’s called the standard UK business cover letter format. You’re probably all too familiar with it; it’ll govern how you start and end your paralegal cover letter. The body paragraphs of your cover letter are where the magic will happen, though.

Start your cover letter with attention-grabbing opening paragraph in which you introduce yourself and straight away show what you have to offer the company. Then it's time for a quick-fire showcase of your prior achievements and a concise cover letter wrap-up followed by a confident call to action. That is how your cover letter gets your CV in the right pile. 

7. Finesse your paralegal CV before clicking ‘send’

There’s a reason you check and triple check legal documents for careless mistakes. The consequences of sloppy writing in your CV might not be objectively as high, but they could certainly be devastating on a personal level. Demonstrate your attention to detail by taking care of the little things.

Proofread your CV and cover letter and run spellcheck on it and/or pass it through a trusted app or web app to catch all remaining spelling and grammar mistakes. Get someone to read over your work, they’ll almost always pick up on issues that you missed—we all have blind spots and a second pair of eyes is priceless.

Attend to the overall look and readability of your paralegal CV. Leave your contact details near the top of your CV. Choose a professional-looking CV font like Noto, Garamond, Liberation or Calibri. Lock the font size in at 11–12 points. Use white space and subheadings to clearly break your CV structure down into sections.

Keep the length of your CV down to a single A4 page. Extend this out to two A4 pages only if you have more than two decades of experience. Save or export your CV and cover letter in PDF, going with a less stable format only if explicitly asked to do so. Finally, follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week!

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

Create your CV nowcv builder

I hope this article has helped you draft a paralegal CV of which you can be proud and, more importantly, that gets you an interview for your dream job. Do you have any questions or comments? Any job-hunting stories to share? Please drop us a line in the comments section below.

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

Since 2013, the LiveCareer UK team has shared the best advice to help you advance your career. Experts from our UK editorial team have written more than one hundred guides on how to write the perfect CV or cover letter.

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