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Drafting Your Law Firm Cover Letter



Letters

If you are a first year law student, it’s definitely time to start preparing your law firm job search materials. There are other sites that provide comprehensive information regarding the search process. The idea here is to give you a few tips on writing your cover letters.

Be professional

This should go without saying, but you need to present a unified, professional image. Thus, use the same font family for your resume, cover letter, and envelope. Use the same paper. Don’t use clip art.

Make sure your cover letter is in a proper business letter format. Make it free from typos, with proper spelling and grammar.

Make it different

Do you like receiving correspondence that is obviously a mail merge template? Neither do law firms. At the very least, use the firm’s name in the body of the letter a few times. Also, try to highlight something unique about the particular law firm. This means you can’t simply mail merge all your letters, but you can do a couple quick tricks to make it easier

For example, you could easily leave a spot in your letter where you can type a sentence that is unique to each firm. Perhaps this could be, “I noticed your Lawyer College training program during my research; I would love to learn more about this.” The point is to make your letter stand out from the hundreds of others by showing you have researched the firm and took the time to type part of the letter manually.

Tie it to yourself

Another part of this art is to highlight interesting things about yourself that might appeal to the law firm. This works particularly well when you have some experience or course work that relates to a practice area of interest.

When drawing attention to specifics about yourself, try to use details that are not on your resume. Your resume should speak for itself, and the cover letter should provide additional insight into you and your career interests.

Link to the area

Whether you have friends or family around the area in which the firm is located, be sure to mention it in the cover letter. Law firms want to know whether or not you are going to stay in the area. Ensure them that you are not just sending your resume to enjoy a free callback trip to New York or Chicago. Let the firm know that your in-laws live in Chicago, thus your family would love to move there. Don’t appear to be nomadic.

Keep it simple

Law firm recruiters and hiring people are busy. Don’t expect them to read a four page tome about your childhood. Likewise, don’t just write a paragraph begging for a job. In my opinion, try to keep the letter simple, and stick to a page or so. Simple and to the point.

Do you have any ideas for writing law firm cover letters? Feel free to post a comment or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, law firm, cover letter, job search, career[/tags]

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2 Responses to “Drafting Your Law Firm Cover Letter”

  1. [...] If you are a first year law student, the summer job search is just gearing up. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of articles with helpful suggestions all around the web. I wrote an article with cover letter tips a few days ago. Today, Tracks to Success posted a great article providing tips for business letter writing. You should wander over and check it out, since all of the advice applies to cover letters as well (after all, isn’t that just another business letter?). [...]

  2. [...] on Legal Andrew, there’s a post on drafting cover letters for internships in the summer. I need to get cracking on this. My goal is to land a decent paying [...]

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