Even in today’s society of online applications, it is still important to have a well-written cover letter. Many companies provide a place on their websites for candidates to upload their resumes and cover letters, and some companies even require the document before they will accept your application. Reading through our lawyer cover letter example and incorporating the included tips can help make sure your cover letter gets noticed.
- Do be genuine. Instead of using textbook phrases or over-selling yourself, being honest about your skills and using more personal language can convince your reader of your sincerity.
- Don’t overuse adverbs. Saying things like, completely ecstatic for this awesome opportunity,” can seem overeager and unprofessional.
- Do make sure you edit your work. When you are applying to law school or a law firm, it is especially important that everything is spelled correctly and is concise.
- Don’t be too generic in your greeting. If you are unsure who the hiring manager is, you can address your letter to the department head or use a title like Senior Analyst Hiring Manager” instead of just using To Whom it May Concern.”
The cover letter examples below will help you create an effective law cover letter. From experienced courtroom advocates to recent law school graduates, we’ve got you covered. Use these examples as a guide when crafting your own cover letters.
Cover Letter Tips for Lawyer
Those seeking jobs as a Lawyer should begin their search with the right actions. Be sure to take the following tips and suggestions into consideration when on a job search.
1. Know what to expect for your chosen field. Every industry is different in terms of expectations, qualifications, and hiring practices. By implementing this information in your applications, you will have an advantage.
2. Be persistent. You may not hear back from a company you apply to immediately. Never assume that you did not get the job until you are given a definitive answer. Remember that it is expected for you to follow up with a phone call.
3. Prepare yourself for a long job hunt. It is important that you do not become discouraged, as employers are looking for people with good attitudes. Additionally, you should think about how you are going to provide for yourself while searching for work.
4. Research other options. Do not get sucked into a specific job and forget that you have more opportunities. You should know what other jobs will still be beneficial for your long-term career goals.
5. Remember to build and utilize your network. Knowing someone in your chosen industry makes it significantly easier to break into. If you can get your cover letter into the hands of a hiring manager, you will have much better success.
Lawyer Job Seeking Tips
It is vital that you take the time to develop your cover letter if you are looking for jobs as a Lawyer. This is one of the most important parts of finding work, and strengthening your cover letter will lead to better success. Take a look at the following suggestions.
1. Know what employers are looking for. There is a very specific standard for cover letters that is expected you follow. If you deviate from this standard, some employers may not even bother reading your cover letter.
2. Focus on the actions you have taken while working in the past. Employers want to know what you were doing, not just your job description or information about your skills. The experience section is the best place to include this content.
3. Remember that organization is important. It is easy to focus only on the information you include and forget that it must also be organized and easy to read. Avoid clumping information into large blocks or creating gaps in content.
4. Keep an eye on the length of your cover letter. It is usually expected for a cover letter to be just one page long. If you go longer than this when your work history does not justify it, it may make it difficult for some to read your entire cover letter.
5. Always take the time to proofread your cover letter. There is no excuse for typographical errors making it into the final version.
Your CV and cover letter can make or break any law firm application. Try following these tips to make the best impression…
Legal cover letter
Writing a passionate cover letter is essential for any law career, as it helps to persuade the employer that you'd be a fantastic recruit. It should be one page long, and:
- demonstrate your knowledge of the law firm and wider legal sector
- elaborate on your key skills, experiences and characteristics, without simply repeating your CV
- explain why you aspire to work for the organisation.
To achieve these objectives, your legal cover letter should follow this general structure:
- Opening paragraph - Briefly mention the position you're applying for and how you found out about it.
- Second paragraph - Tell the recruiter who you are and the stage of career you're at. Explain how your key qualities can benefit the firm with practical evidence from your work experience, academic history or extra-curricular activities. Use powerful and positive language throughout without resorting to hyperbole.
- Third paragraph - Tell the organisation why you’re specifically attracted to them and their work citing, if possible, any current or recent cases of interest.
- Closing paragraph - Mention that you've enclosed your CV and look forward to hearing from the firm. Explain when you'd be available for interview and cover any practical issues you've been asked to address, such as salary expectations.
What to include in your legal CV
Your legal CV should be around two or three pages in length, and follow this general structure:
- Personal details - At the top of the page, include important details such as your name, address, email and telephone number.
- Education and qualifications - Detail any professional memberships (e.g. the Law Society) or qualifications you possess, such as the Legal Practice Course (LPC). List your degree, A-levels and GCSEs; when discussing the former of these, mention the areas of law that you studied while at university and state your dissertation title.
- Work experience - Chronologically profile your work history, including the organisation you worked for and its location, plus your job title and, if applicable, your practice areas. Describe your key tasks and responsibilities, paying close attention to the significant results of your actions. You could separate your work experience into different categories, such as legal, commercial and voluntary; use your law work experience to demonstrate your passion for a career in the field, and your part-time work to exhibit your transferable skills such as commercial awareness.
- IT and language skills - Outline your level of proficiency with relevant software packages such as Microsoft Word and Excel, and mention any additional languages that you speak.
- Activities and interests - Avoid listing irrelevant hobbies such as reading or listening to music. Instead, discuss your involvement in sporting teams and other organisations, highlighting any positions of responsibility you've held or awards you've gained. Quirky experiences - such as starting a new club or society at university - can help you stand out.
- Referees - You don’t necessarily need to give references at this stage; stating 'references available on request' will usually suffice.
For more advice on what abilities recruiters in the legal sector are looking for, see 7 skills for a successful law career.
Tips for writing a legal CV
As well as following the above advice, you should also ensure that your CV is:
- clear, concise and easy to read
- presented using sub-headings and bullet points
- printed on good-quality paper
- read by a friend, family member or careers adviser before submission
- submitted well before the deadline
- typed in size-11 Arial, or a similarly clear and professional-looking font.
How to target your application to a law firm
It's much wiser to submit between five and ten highly targeted applications than dozens of generic, copy-and-paste ones. Every application should be treated as an individual project.
Thoroughly research the prospective organisation - the more you know about the firm, the more tailored your application will be. Regularly checking the news sections of firms' websites will allow you to reference current cases and projects in your application and understand which skills would come in useful. What's more, possessing such knowledge will allow you to address your application to the most relevant individual.
All of this also helps you to determine whether your skills and career preferences would be suited to the specialist work that the firm undertakes and vice versa.
This is as invaluable when choosing a law firm as it is when attending law fairs, open days and vacation schemes.
What to leave out of your CV
When writing your CV, you shouldn't:
- leave any unexplained gaps in your career history
- lie or joke
- use overly outlandish formatting
- use pictures or tables
- write bland profile or objective sections
- write 'CV' or 'curriculum vitae' at the top.
Written by Dominic Claeys-Jackson, Editor
Prospects · June 2017
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