Tips for Writing the Best Legal Resume (by an Attorney Resume Writer)

Legal Resume Writing - Attorney Resume Writer Wendi Weiner

Legal Resume Writing - Attorney Resume Writer Wendi Weiner

Writing a legal resume is tough and writing the best legal resume is even tougher. The job search market for corporate counsels is even more competitive and tough to break into than traditional law firm environments.  In a resume today, there needs to be a careful delineation between real world application of law and the nuances of the different skills in law firm roles vs. corporate counsel roles, including transactional work vs. litigation.

When it comes to considering whether to hire a branding expert or coach for help with your resume and next legal career opportunity, it’s best to partner with someone who understands and has experienced the competitive nature of the profession from a first-hand perspective so they can advise you professionally on the best route for making a career transition out of law or making the leap from one practice area to the next.

A practicing attorney who is a trained resume writer (aka attorney resume writer) will understand just how the profession works as well as how to leverage the legal skills, the JD, relevant honors, and key engagements. I highly recommend if you are an attorney, your resume should be written by a former practicing attorney.

Attorney Skills Highlighted in Attorney Resumes

Attorneys offer an incredible trajectory of skills not easily found in other professions: deep analysis and logical reasoning, ability to discern fact from opinion, understanding how to apply evidence to facts, applying logic to complex situations to make circumstantial arguments, and thinking fast on your feet. In addition, attorneys have a multi-faceted skill set that can compete with business executives, thereby allowing a lot of attorneys to fall into the scope of hybrid roles that pivot between business and law. Lawyers are deemed to be better leaders because of their ability to use reason with logic as well as distill large volumes of information, see the big picture, but focus in on the important angle.

An informative article I have written on this topic can be found in the HuffPost: The 3 Reasons Why My Law Degree Has Made Me a Better Entrepreneur 

In this article, I discuss how my law degree and the real world application of being a practicing attorney for more than a decade helped me to excel at being a better writer, and leveraging an actionable personal brand for myself and my own clients.

Making the Move from Law Firm Lawyer to Corporate Counsel

Thinking about going from law firm to in-house? It’s  important to recognize that most corporate counsels maintain executive leadership in companies. In fact, quite often, 75% of their work is devoted to business leadership, strategy, and operations while only 25% is concentrated on legal advisory. Therefore, it’s important to understand how business truly intersects with law.

For example, I served as an Assistant General Counsel for an smaller-held insurance company and an in-house counsel to a Fortune 200 insurance company. As a result, I understand how the two roles can offer similar skill facets, but offer different focuses on business risk and leadership value. The corporate governance side of in-house work depends on whether or not you are partnering with BODs and stakeholders or you are acting as staff counsel and just maintaining a high-volume caseload. This type of information can be drawn out in an branding strategy session with an attorney resume writer.

Here’s a helpful blog post written I’ve written from the perspective of being an attorney regarding how to write a legal resume and build your brand to give you the best legal resume possible:  How to Write a Legal Resume and Build Your Brand.

In this blog post, I go in-depth about the difference between law firm attorneys and corporate counsels, why consulting with an attorney resume writer can benefit you in understanding your brand, how to broaden your network of legal contacts, and why you should not rely on job search boards. There is so much value out there today to be made in personalized relationships.

Check out these these published articles I have also written in the HuffPost about the practice of law and making a career transition in and outside of law:

Relaunching Your Legal Career at the Intersection of Business and Entrepreneurship 

How I Used My Law Degree to Get Out of Law

If you’re in Big Law and looking to make an exit, or you feel incredibly stuck in your career, I highly recommend reaching out to my colleague Elena Deutsch who offers personalized coaching services for lawyers to looking to get out of law. She offers a lot of workshops as well.
Whether you are looking to leave law, or make a leap into a new practice area or environment in the field, there are a great deal of resources and informative articles to help you make that next best legal career move.