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Immigration Lawyer Resume Example & Writing Guide

You are an expert in helping people through the difficult process of moving to the United States and you’re about to embark on your own new challenge. Let us help you create a great immigration lawyer resume with our resources plus this resume example and writing guide.
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Immigration Lawyer Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Immigration law is a highly specialized field and you are prepared. Your education and experience have prepared you for your next challenge, so congratulations.

Immigration issues can be emotional ones for individuals and their families. You must be sensitive to your clients’ state of mind as well as knowledgeable in the changing rules and regulations governing this field. As such, your resume must reflect both your interpersonal abilities, also known as soft skills, and your professional qualifications, or hard skills. Your resume should differ from those of other types of attorneys because your skills differ.

Take advantage of our resume guides and resume examples for 3000+ professions, as well as our easy-to-use resume builder to create a stronger and more impressive immigration lawyer resume.

In under ten minutes, you will learn how to:

  • Catch the attention of hiring managers
  • Focus on the skills law firms seek
  • Create the most effective description for each of your jobs
  • Choose the best layout to show off your professionalism.

What does an immigration lawyer do?

Immigration lawyers specialize in helping people obtain visas, resident status or citizenship. The process of moving to a new country involves paperwork and interviews that can be confusing, especially for language learners. Immigration lawyers are experts in the legal aspects and requirements to complete the process.

In addition, immigration lawyers also represent clients who face legal issues or deportation because of their immigration status.

How to write a immigration lawyer resume

Resumes all follow a similar structure and an immigration lawyer resume is no exception. Your CV should contain the following elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section
Expert tip

Leap the ATS hurdle

If you apply online to a law firm, chances are you are doing so through an ATS. This software scans your resume into the HR system, but it also ranks your application partly based on keywords and phrases. That’s why it’s important for you to thoroughly review the job listing and strategically place words and phrases from it into your resume. There are no guaranteed ways to beat the ATS, but this method will greatly increase your chances.

Choosing the best resume format for an immigration lawyer

We suggest using the reverse chronological format for your CV. This format mostly affects your work history section, where you will list your jobs from most recent to earliest. There are two key reasons to use this resume format:

  1. Recruiters are partial to this format because it easily allows them to see what you have done most recently and scan for other key information.
  2. ATS software is set up to scan the text from your resume from your latest job to your earliest.

One of the chronological alternatives or hybrid formats we suggest may be appropriate if you have just passed the bar exam, are a new immigration lawyer or are returning after a gap in employment. For most job hunters, reverse chronological order is the way to go.

Resume summary example

Use the summary of your immigration lawyer resume to inject some creativity into your document. All your other sections will be composed of bullet items, but here you have a short paragraph to showcase your law career and professional personality. 

Your summary, also known as a profile, should serve as an influential summary conveying the value you bring as an immigration lawyer. Lawyers must have excellent written communication skills, so use those to express who you are and to show law firms what makes you an outstanding candidate.

Ask yourself the following questions before you begin this section:

  • What is my greatest career achievement?
  • What three adjectives would I use to describe my professional personality?
  • Why did I choose to be an immigration lawyer?

Incorporate your answers into three or four sentences using strong action and descriptive words. If you have a great record in immigration court, highlight that here! Be sure to include any information you do not want a law firm recruiter to miss. Don’t make the mistake of relying on your cover letter to add information. 

For more samples of inspiring summaries, see our related legal resume examples . They include a general lawyer resume example or attorney resume sample .

Adaptable resume summary example

Dedicated and experienced Immigration Lawyer with over ten years of experience providing legal counsel and services to persons seeking citizenship or trying to avoid deportation. Adept in successfully representing clients before immigration courts and working tirelessly to ensure the smoothest experience possible. 

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Employment History Section

View the employment history section of your immigration lawyer resume as the story of your career progress. Starting with your current job, work your way in reverse chronological order to your first job or internship, showing your increased knowledge and successes along the way. 

If you had a career before attending law school, especially if you worked in a law-related field like paralegal or legal assistant , think about the skills you used that apply to your career as an immigration lawyer.

It is important to use legal terminology and other language that clearly exhibits your understanding and efficiency in handling legal immigration processes. Your attorney resume should also showcase your ability to conduct legal research, properly analyze legal issues, and advise clients regarding their legal rights. Call attention to your ability to effectively argue and negotiate on behalf of your clients whether you are applying for their employment-based visas, appealing denials for citizenship, or defending them in deportation hearings. 

Expert tip

You can show these skills using the CAR method: challenge, action, results. Each item listed should tell the story of a challenge you faced, the action you took, and the results of your actions. This can be a single case that presented unique issues, a process you improved, or a statement of your winning record in immigration cases overall. Use data when appropriate to strengthen your candidacy.

Be sure to mention any experience and expertise you have in communicating effectively with the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the courts in your immigration attorney resume. Remember to use powerful action verbs that showcase your skills and abilities. 

Adaptable resume employment history example

Immigration Lawyer at Franck and Tweed Associates, New York
May 2011 - September 2021

  • Helped clients to navigate the complex immigration processes.
  • Assisted clients in completing all necessary paperwork required by the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
  • Conducted extensive legal research and drafted pleadings, motions, and appeals for deportation.
  • Prepared and filed immigrant visa applications.
  • Helped to reunite families separated due to immigration issues.
  • Appeared with clients at deportation and naturalization hearings.

 

Immigration Attorney at Miller, Jones, and Goodman, New York
June 2008 - April 2011

  • Assisted businesses in dealing with complex immigration matters.
  • Successfully advised corporate clients on compliance with Department of Labor and U.S.C.I.S. regulations.
  • Prepared immigration packets and delivered to USCIS.
  • Prepared immigrant and non-immigrant visas and naturalization applications.
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Resume education example

The education section of your immigration lawyer resume is a listing of your academic achievements. As an attorney, you must have a Juris Doctor (JD) law degree and have passed the bar exam in the state in which you practice. 

In addition, immigration attorneys need specialized classes that include the topics of citizenship, advising, interviewing, and statutory analysis. Be sure to list your specialization in your Education Section along with any other degrees you have, including your bachelor’s degree. 

If you have just graduated from law school, congratulations! Consider moving this section up as these credentials are more important before you gain valuable experience in the workforce. Where you graduated law school may make a difference in where you get hired. You are more likely to get a job in the region in which you attended school unless you went to a top ten law school.

If you were on law review, or have any other honors or distinctions, note them here as well. Consider adding your GPA if you are a new graduate or have an outstanding record. 

You can list certifications here, or create a separate section highlighting them. 

Adaptable resume education example
  • 2009-2012 Fordham Law School, Juris Doctor NY, NY
  • 2005-2009 Molloy College, Bachelor of Economics Queens, NY
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Immigration lawyer CV skills example

Don’t underplay the importance of the skills section of your immigration lawyer CV. This is your chance to highlight your highest level skills and abilities; it is also an easy way to personalize your resume for each position. 

Make a list of all the skills and attributes you use as an immigration lawyer. Then, analyze the job listing you are targeting and choose five to ten of the ones that appear in that listing. Try to use the exact language from the listing to rank higher with the Applicant Tracking Software.

This section should showcase your ability to communicate and work with clients in a relatable and productive way. In other words, it should show your soft skills. Add a mix of specific technical knowledge such as expertise in immigration policies and state and federal laws. If you are multilingual, add the language or languages you speak here including your level of fluency.

Adaptable resume skills example section
  • Advanced Knowledge of Immigration Law
  • Knowledge of Substantive Law and Legal Procedure
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Written and Oral Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Time Management
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Resume layout and design

While your experience and education are the driving force behind your resume, you must also pay attention to the design and formatting . The layout you choose gives recruiters their first visual impression of you. Errors in formatting, typographical mistakes, or a too-fussy design are all reasons to eliminate your resume from the stack.

Resume.io’s field-tested resume templates will ensure you avoid those costly problems, but more than that, they will help you create an eye-catching, easy-to-read resume. Check out our resume samples and choose from among our Professional templates to elevate your resume.

Key takeaways for an immigration lawyer resume

  1. Immigration law can be an emotional field, so you need to exude calm and professionalism in your resume as well as your work.
  2. Applying online requires attention to the Applicant Tracking Systems that will be ranking your resume.
  3. Your summary offers an opportunity to display your professional personality.
  4. Use the online resume builder to avoid the details of formatting and speed the creation of your application document.
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