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Sometimes knowns as a legal secretary, a legal assistant plays an important administrative role in a law practice. Their job is to support the lawyers in a firm by carrying out tasks such as handling appointments, answering phones, preparing legal documents, and managing the filing system.
You’re probably indispensable to your colleagues. But when writing your legal assistant CV, how can you make sure you stand out from the other applicants?
Thankfully, at myPerfectCV, we know what it takes to write an effective CV for a legal assistant. Discover a top-rated legal assistant CV example, professional templates, and our innovative CV builder today.
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Assist your future with our top tips for your legal assistant CV
As a legal assistant, you know how to draw up important documents – and your CV deserves the same attention. Follow our CV writing guide for a legal assistant CV that ticks every box.
Proofread your application
Whether you’re emailing clients on behalf of a staff attorney or fact-checking a document, attention to detail is an important skill for a legal assistant. Give the right impression by making sure your CV is 100% error-free.
Include keywords from the legal assistant job description
To make sure your application is tailored to each role, always include keywords and phrases from the job description. That is particularly important if the listing has ‘essential’ criteria for a candidate. For example, it’s not always necessary to have a degree to become a legal assistant, but some firms may require it – so make sure to include ‘degree-educated’ or ‘graduate’ on your CV.
Show off your legal knowledge
Legal assistants aren’t qualified lawyers, so an impressive legal knowledge could help you stand out from the other applicants. If you have a law degree or relevant diploma, include it in your personal statement as well as in your education section.
Highlight your responsibilities
The legal assistant roles and responsibilities can vary depending on the job. Some companies don’t draw any distinction between legal assistants and paralegals, which means you may be expected to carry out duties such as collecting evidence and preparing for trials. Other companies may limit the legal assistant role to administrative duties. Whatever your experience, make sure to highlight your responsibilities and training on your CV.
Share your personality
As a legal assistant, you’ll be working closely with your colleagues at a law practice. To show your recruiter you have the right personal qualities for the task, don’t forget to include some of your key traits and attributes in your personal statement.
What skills should you include in your CV for legal assistant roles?
Legal assistants need impeccable organization and an eye for detail. Discover the other must-have skills for your legal assistant CV below.
Necessary skills for your legal assistant CV
- Communication (both written and verbal)
- Legal knowledge
- Time management
- Attention to detail
Nice-to-haves that will help you stand out
- Data comprehension
- Computer systems
Draft a persuasive personal statement for your legal assistant CV
When a recruiter reads your CV, your personal statement (also known as a personal summary) is the first section they’ll see. In just 2-3 lines, this paragraph needs to grab their attention and encourage them to read the rest of your legal assistant application.
Your personal statement should include your current job situation, key attributes, and immediate career goals. If you have a legal degree or vocational course, make sure to write this here as well as in your education section (which comes at the end of your CV). Doing so will impress your recruiter from the off and convince them you’re a strong applicant for the role.
FAQs about your CVs for legal assistants
What should be on a legal assistant CV?
On your UK legal assistant CV, you’ll need to include the following sections:
- A personal statement that outlines your current employment (or situation, if you’re a recent law graduate), key skills, and career goals.
- A work experience section that itemises your main duties and achievements in your previous roles.
- A list of your eight most impressive legal assistant skills.
- An education section that includes your academic qualifications in reverse-chronological order. If you have any relevant professional qualifications, such as the Legal Practice Course (LPC), include those here too.
What skills does a legal assistant need?
A legal assistant needs to have a robust combination of administrative skills. These should include research, time management, proofreading, organisation, document drafting, and filing. It’s also important to have the right communication skills, including a professional telephone manner and email style.
What qualifications do you need to be a legal assistant?
Unlike qualified lawyers, a legal assistant doesn’t need to have passed the bar exam. Some jobs may not require any qualifications at all. However, others may ask for a relevant undergraduate degree or diploma. Large legal firms may have more stringent legal assistant job requirements, perhaps asking for a vocational qualification such as the LPC.
What is the difference between a legal assistant and paralegal?
Legal assistants and paralegals are often confused, and many companies use the terms interchangeably. Both roles are responsible for managing the administrative duties in a law firm, such as filing documents, answering phones, and arranging meetings. However, it’s normal for paralegals to carry out additional tasks such as preparing evidence and researching legal cases. The legal assistant duties and responsibilities may include these too, but are often limited to administrative tasks.
How much does a legal assistant make in the UK?
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a legal assistant in the UK is £20,360 a year. Professionals who haven’t got a relevant degree may start on around £13,000 a year, while graduates with more experience could earn nearer £33,000 after a few years.
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Lay down the law with a stand-out legal assistant CV
If you’re searching for your next legal assistant role, you’ll need a CV that stands out from the crowd. Discover our quick and easy CV builder at myPerfectCV today. Complete with tips, tailorable content, and a top-rated legal assistant CV sample, you’ll find everything you need to get started today.