Associate Attorney Resume | Examples, Tips & Templates

Completing law school is a great achievement, but what do you do next? You'll probably be looking for an opportunity to work at a law firm and apply the knowledge you gained in school in the real world. Working as an associate attorney is a great way to get your foot in the door in this field.

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But there are probably hundreds, if not thousands looking for an opportunity to get started in this career. If you want to stand out, your attorney associate resume must be exceptional. Highlight the experience and skills you’ve gained to show the hiring manager why you’re the best person for the associate attorney position.

If you don’t know where to start, this step-by-step resume guide will help you create your resume. Some of the topics we’ll cover include:

  • The best format and layout for your resume.
  • The right way to add your professional experience.
  • The skills that every associate attorney should have on their resume.
  • Tips and tricks to boost your resume.

Associate Attorney Resume Example

Lila Roman
Associate Attorney

263-093-047
lilaroman@gmail.com
South Boston, VA
linkedin.com/in/lilaroman

Professional Summary
Passionate associate attorney with six years of experience in office administration and civil litigation. Comprehensive legal knowledge with dedication to delivering expert representation and legal counsel. Proven ability to negotiate settlements and prepare legal briefs for court hearings. Excellent research and communication skills.

Work experience
MMS Advocates
Senior Attorney
June 2017-May 2019

  • Researched five successful suits of malpractice cases and advised clients in the medical malpractice field.
  • Prepared discovery responses and published established legal precedents for adjudicated cases and settlement negotiations.
  • Consulted with legislators and provided information and insights to enable them to draft legal documents and procedures for enforcement.

Miller and Company Advocates
Associate Attorney
March 2015-December 2016

  • Conducted legal research to assist judicial staff representing clients in civil litigation matters with information before court appearances.
  • Responsible for researching and analyzing statutes, legal rights, law concepts, and codes for lawyers to construct their briefs and arguments before civil litigation cases.
  • Assisted three legal assistants by producing and filing pleadings, motion hearings, and other legal documents needed by the court.

Education
Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies
University of Wisconsin
2017

Skills

  • Jurisdictional familiarity
  • Time management
  • Decision making
  • Account Management
  • Extensive Legal Research
  • Client communications
  • Problem-solving
  • Legal writing

Additional Information
Certifications
Certified Legal Secretary Specialist: Intellectual Property(CLS)

Job Prospects and Salaries For Associate Attorneys

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031.

The industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation include:

  • Legal Services
  • Local government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
  • State government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
  • Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises

The average salary for an associate attorney is $88,000. The typical range is between $75,000 and $102,000, depending on experience, skills, and education.

How to Make an Associate Attorney Resume

An associate attorney must showcase their knowledge of legal procedures to get a job at their dream law firm. Every job is different, so it’s essential to review the job description and tailor each resume to match the hiring manager’s requirements.

The right keywords and action verbs are also essential as they help your resume get past the applicant tracking system. Hiring managers only have a few seconds to get through each resume, so ensure that all your qualifications are summarized in one page. Anything longer than that may discourage the recruiter from looking at your resume.

The format, layout, and structure must be done right. Here are more details on this.

Resume Format

There are three formats you can choose from, and they include:

  • Reverse-chronological order – This format is perfect for associate attorneys with years of experience in the field. It focuses on professional experience and prioritizes it on your resume.
  • Functional resume format – This is also known as a skills-based resume. It’s perfect for recent graduates and career changers who don’t have relevant experience as it focuses on the skills they’ve gained from school or other professions.
  • Hybrid/combination resume – This format combines features of the two other formats. If you have the required experience and skills, this is the perfect format for you.

The layout of your resume should be simple. Easy-to-read fonts like Cambria, Verdana, Times New Roman, Calibri, Aria, and Georgia are the best, and a font size of 10-12pt.

The structure of your associate attorney resume should have the following sections:

  • The header section
  • Professional summary/objective
  • Work experience
  • Education section
  • Skills section
  • An additional section (Computer skills and certifications, languages, and interests)

The Header Section Of Your Resume

The header contains your personal and contact details that the recruiter will use to reach out to you. They must be accurate, so check your resume before sending it out to ensure that all the information is correct. These details include the following:

  • Your full name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Location
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile.

Correct example

CORRECT
Paul Miller
Associate Attorney

281-443-086
paulmiller@gmail.com
Burton, OH
linkedin.com/in/paulmiller

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
Paul Miller
Associate Attorney

281-443-086
paulmiller@gmail.com
3156 Flynn Street
House number 21
Burton, OH
Date of birth 02/02/1977
linkedin.com/in/paulmiller

📌The header section should only have the relevant contact details. Any other personal information the recruiter doesn’t need should be left out of your resume.

Prove Your Experience As an Associate Attorney

 The experience section is crucial for all job seekers . Hiring managers are always looking for candidates with experience in law and will go straight to this section of your resume to see what you can do.

List your experience starting with your most recent job. The details you should have include the company’s name, your job title, and the period you worked at each place. Once you’ve added this information, add three to five job responsibilities that show some of the tasks you can work on. The best way to stand out is by adding figures and facts that show the results you achieved at each workplace as you add the job responsibilities. Use our resume examples if you need help figuring out what to add to this section.

If you’re starting your career and don’t have experience working as an associate attorney, don’t leave this section out of your resume. Add volunteer and internship experiences and highlight relevant transferable skills that will be useful in the new associate attorney job.

Example for an Entry-Level Associate Attorney

Coulson Harney Advocates
Associate Attorney
May 2017-June 2020
  • Received instructions from law enforcement and senior attorneys to process summons, subpoenas, appeals, and pre-trial motions.
  • Used Google Calendar to schedule appointments for two lawyers to attend confirmation hearings and meet with potential clients.
  • Performed legal research to write new proposals, agreements, and contracts as per the state and federal court.

Example for Experienced Associate Attorneys

Dentons Hamilton Advocates
Associate Attorney
January 2013-May 2017
  • Conducted an internal compliance audit by reviewing financial documents, civil litigation issues, the company’s policies, and reports of noncompliance events.
  • Assessed the legality of business plans and operations and provided expert advice to the firm’s clients to comply with laws.
  • Negotiated settlements for legal issues relating to civil litigation to either minimize damages attributed to clients or maximize payments awarded to them.

Reinforce Your Resume with Your Education

Associate attorneys can take a bachelor’s degree in different fields, including political science, English, business, or economics. Upon completion, they must sit for LSAT exams to get into a Juris Doctor(JD) Degree program, a requirement for most associate attorney jobs.

Detail your education qualifications in this section, starting with your most recent one. Add the name of the degree/diploma, the name of the school, and the year of graduation.

 If you have a Master’s in a specific area of law, start with it and leave out the high school diploma . Highlight a few courses relevant to the position you’re applying for, especially if you don’t have much experience.

Correct example

Juris Doctor (JD) Degree
California Western School of Law
2016

Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science
University of Southern California
2013

Skills for an Associate Attorney on the Resume

The unique abilities that help you perform your duties diligently will go to this section of your resume. Having the required skills on your resume gives you a chance to land an interview and hopefully get the job.

Your resume should have a list of hard and soft skills in separate sections. Use bullet points to list them to make it easy to spot them. Hard skills are the ones you learn at law school or on the job at internships or apprenticeships. Soft skills are character traits that help you interact well with people in the workplace.

If you’re a recent graduate or career changer, you’ll list your transferable skills in this section. Check out our resume templates to get started on your resume and learn how to incorporate this section in your resume.

Here is a list of skills you should add to your associate attorney resume.

Hard skills

  • Legal procedures
  • Legal research
  • Client counseling
  • Trial preparation
  • Project management
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Corporate law
  • Mediation 

Soft skills

  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization skills

Professional Summary For Your Associate Attorney Resume

Introduce your resume with a professional summary highlighting your top accomplishments, experience, and skills. This section of your resume is crucial as it determines whether the recruiter reads it. Keep it short but let it be engaging to keep the hiring manager interested.

Correct example

CORRECT
Dedicated associate attorney with six years of experience in intellectual property law. Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Competent in offering legal support by preparing legal briefs, interviewing clients before hearings, and reviewing settlement agreements. Successfully litigated more than 10 cases, increasing customer referrals by 20%.
💡This example highlights the candidate’s top skills, experience, and an accomplishment that sets them apart from the other candidates.

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
Proficient associate attorney with proven ability to provide expert assistance to legal assistants and administrative staff. Dedicated to upholding the ethical standards of a professional legal office.
💡The example above fails to give details that make the candidate unique and show the value they bring to the company.

Professional objective

If you recently graduated or are changing careers, you’ll introduce your resume with a professional objective. It highlights your educational qualifications and professional goals and expresses your interest in the position. It should also be catchy to get the recruiter to read the rest of your resume.

Correct example

CORRECT
Graduate from California Western School of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree and education in corporate law, as well as one year of industry experience. Proficient in personal injury law, legal research, and legal citation. Seeking an opportunity at OLM LLP to share my skills and advance my career.
💡The example above highlights the candidate’s educational qualifications, experience, and skills showing the recruiter why they’re the best person for the job.

Additional Sections for Your Resume

If you have additional skills and qualifications you don’t want the recruiter to miss, you’ll add them here. This is a great way to stand out, especially if the other candidates don’t have these skills. Here are some examples of skills to consider for this section.

Computer Skills and Certifications

Associate attorneys use computers to perform most of their duties, including report writing, drafting briefs, and conducting legal research. All these require basic computer skills, which will work to your advantage if the hiring manager spots them on your resume. If you can use specific software, add it to this section.

If you have additional training in specific areas of law, you’ll add the certifications in this section. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to see them as they quickly review your resume. Certifications that will help your associate attorney resume stand out include:

  • Certification in Legal Services
  • Certified International Trade Law Specialist
  • Foundations of Social Advocacy Certification

Languages

Language skills are crucial for associate attorneys as they work with people from different cultures. If you’re a bilingual candidate, you don’t want the recruiter to miss this qualification so add it here. When you’re listing the languages, you’ll use the official language reference as follows:

  • DELF for French
  • SIELE for Spanish
  • Goethe Zertifikat for German

Interests

Some law firms value co-curricular activities more than others. Therefore, before you add your interests, do a quick research to find out if this is something that your potential employer will want to know. If other staff members have added their interests in their bios, you can consider adding yours to the resume to give the recruiter more details about who you are outside of work.

Tips for Improving Your Resume

  • Never use one generic resume to apply for multiple job applications. Instead, tailor each resume to match the requirements highlighted by the recruiter.
  • The right keywords and action verbs are essential. Check the job description and add them to your resume.
  • Constantly tailor the job title and optimize it with keywords where possible.
  • Prioritize the relevant experience you’ve gained while working as an associate attorney.
  • Highlight your top accomplishments in the resume summary.
  • Proofread your resume to ensure there are no errors that could cost you the opportunity.

Checklist: Main Takeaways

  • The details in the header must be accurate.
  • A strong resume summary/objective interests the recruiter in reading more of your resume.
  • Always quantify your accomplishments with figures to show the hiring manager what you can achieve.
  • Your resume should not be longer than one page.
  • The skills section should have a list of hard and soft skills.
  • Use the job description to determine what the recruiter is looking for and tailor your resume accordingly.

Write a Cover letter to Complement Your Resume

 If you write an outstanding resume and fail to accompany it with a cover letter, you might miss out on some amazing opportunities . Some hiring managers may not ask you for one; if this is the case, you can leave it out of your application. If that’s not the case, complement your resume with a cover letter. This document gives more details about your qualifications in a way that’s meant to create a personal connection with the recruiter by showcasing your personality and writing skills. Check out our cover letter examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the most in-demand areas of law?

  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Corporate Litigation
  • Family law
  • Immigration and naturalization law

Which top companies are hiring associate attorneys?

  • Robert Half
  • US Army
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Social Security Administration
  • IBM
  • US Department of Justice
  • GEICO
  • Thomson Reuters

Associate Lawyer Resume Examples

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