How to write a legal cover letter

Written by kara page
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How to write a legal cover letter
A legal cover letter must be clearly worded and professional. (bilancia image by Satan from Fotolia.com)

Like all pieces of writing in the legal field, a cover letter stating your intent to enter the legal profession must be clear and straight to the point. While your resume#xE9; will highlight all of your experience and education, your cover letter should focus on your qualifications that are most pertinent to the legal field with a succinct and professional tone.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open a new document and, if possible, choose a cover letter template. Create a header at the top of the page that includes your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Your name can be a slightly larger and bolder font than the rest. Double spaced beneath this, type the recipient's name and title, as well as the address of the legal office.

  2. 2

    Write a formal opening that directly addresses the recipient of the letter. Do the research necessary to find out who will be considering your cover letter, rather than writing a generic opening such as "To Whom It May Concern."

  3. 3

    Write the first paragraph, between two to three sentences, stating who you are, which position you are seeking and how you heard that this law office has an opening. If another lawyer or someone in the legal profession has referred you to this job, mention it immediately in this paragraph.

  4. 4

    Write the middle paragraph, which should be between five to seven sentences. Focus on your most impressive qualities from your resume#xE9;, whether it's your bar exam score, your internship experience with a well-known law firm or a big case you won in the past. Consider the specific company you are applying to and make sure the qualities you point out are the ones that company would most appreciate. For example, a firm that focuses on environmental law might be more interested in the case study you published on an oil spill than a burglary case you won.

  5. 5

    Write the final paragraph, between two to four sentences. Indicate that your resume#xE9; and any other required materials are enclosed and that you would appreciate an interview to discuss further opportunities. Most importantly, thank the recipient for his time and consideration in reading your cover letter.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use funny or dramatic language, but remain clear and concise. You want your cover letter to stand out because of your qualifications and professionalism.

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