Defense Attorney Resume Example & Writing Guide

Defense Attorney Resume Example
Looking for inspiration on writing a defense attorney resume? Our example and guide will help you create a standout resume to land your dream job in the legal field.
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Defense Attorney Resume Sample

Experienced Defense Attorney with over 10 years in criminal litigation seeking a position in a reputable law firm.

Professional Experience

  • Law Offices of Smith and Associates
    Defense Attorney, 2015-present
    • Represent clients in criminal defense cases in state and federal courts
    • Successfully defended clients in cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies
    • Negotiated plea deals resulting in reduced charges and sentences for clients
    • Conducted legal research, drafted pleadings, and appeared in court for hearings, motions, and trials
  • Public Defender's Office
    Assistant Public Defender, 2010-2015
    • Represented indigent clients in criminal defense cases
    • Managed a caseload of over 100 clients
    • Conducted client interviews, investigations, and negotiations with prosecutors
    • Appeared in court for hearings, motions, and trials


  • J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 2010
  • B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley, 2006

Expert Tip

Use a Good Resume Format

Choosing the right resume format is critical. Whether it's chronological, functional, or a combination, make sure it best showcases your experience and skills.

Defense Attorney Resume Writing Guide

Writing a defense attorney resume can be a daunting task, but it is crucial to present yourself in the best light possible. Here are some tips to create a winning resume that highlights your skills and experience.

1. Start with a strong summary

Your summary should capture the attention of potential employers by highlighting your key skills and accomplishments. Be sure to include your level of experience, the types of cases you have handled, and your success rate in trials.

Example: Results-driven defense attorney with 8 years of experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Skilled in negotiating plea bargains and winning cases at trial, with a 90% success rate in protecting clients' rights.

2. Emphasize your expertise

Your resume should demonstrate your expertise in different areas of criminal defense. Consider including a section that lists your areas of specialization, such as DUI defense, drug crimes, or juvenile offenses. You may also want to mention any certifications or training you have received in these areas.
  • Specialties: DUI defense, drug crimes, juvenile offenses
  • Certified in Field Sobriety Testing

3. Highlight your accomplishments

Your resume should showcase your accomplishments as a defense attorney. You may want to include statistics on the number of cases you have won, the amount of damages you have recovered for clients, or the length of time you have been practicing law.
  • Won 75% of cases taken to trial
  • Recovered over $1 million for clients in personal injury cases
  • 8 years of experience practicing criminal defense law

4. Include relevant work experience

When listing your work experience, be sure to include relevant details such as the types of cases you worked on and the outcomes you achieved. Use strong action verbs, such as "represented," "negotiated," and "litigated," to describe your experience.
  • Represented clients in both state and federal court on a variety of criminal charges
  • Successfully negotiated plea bargains for clients in drug crime cases
  • Litigated complex white-collar crime cases for a prominent law firm

5. List your education and credentials

Your resume should include your educational background, including the law school you attended and any credentials you have earned. Consider using bullet points to make this information easier to read.
  • J.D. from XYZ Law School
  • Member of the State Bar Association
  • Certified Criminal Law Specialist
With these tips, you can create a winning defense attorney resume that highlights your skills and experience, and helps you stand out from the competition.

Common Resume Writing Mistake

Using the Same Bullets

Repeating the same bullet points for different jobs can give an impression of redundancy. Tailor each point to reflect the unique aspects of each role.

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