• Business Posts

How to Write a Legal Cover Letter for Law Firms (that Gets you Noticed)

Sharon Miki

Instantly download this blog article as a PDF

Cover letter for law firms

Dive deeper into content like this at ClioCon 2023

Download this article as a PDF

Whether you’re just starting your legal journey or are an experienced legal professional seeking a new role, there’s no way around it: demand for legal positions is high. As the 2022 Legal Trends Report explains, in the 12 months before April 2022, nearly one in five lawyers left the law firm they were working for, and nine percent planned to leave their firm in the next six months. 

Despite a high demand for legal positions, however, people still need legal expertise—and law firms need capable legal professionals to fill open roles.

Whether you’re a law student, recent graduate, or experienced legal professional, this post will help you with your legal cover letter writing. We’ve started by providing sample cover letters for legal positions below and will then guide you through the essentials of writing a compelling cover letter for law firms. 

Legal cover letter examples

If you’re feeling overwhelmed when drafting a cover letter for law firms, don’t worry. Seeing a legal cover letter example can give you the confidence to write your own. Below, we’ve compiled a few different sample cover letters for legal positions, covering different backgrounds and levels of experience.

Berkeley Law also provides an excellent guide for legal cover letters. 

You can start by using one of these examples as inspiration for how to structure your cover letter and what you may want to highlight. You can also simply take insights from these sample cover letters for lawyers—insights you can apply to your own cover letter when following our tips below.

Cover letter etiquette

Even after reviewing some legal cover letter examples, the dos and don’ts of legal cover letter writing aren’t always easy to spot. You may ask yourself: what should a legal cover letter include for a law firm? While the content of your cover letter will differ between employers, these points of etiquette should not.

Person researching legal cover letters for law firms

Addressing cover letters for lawyers

To whom it may concern: Always take the time to find the correct contact. When writing cover letters for law firms, it’s a common misstep to dedicate so much time and attention to the body of the letter that you overlook the basics—like who and how you’re addressing the letter. 

Here are some best practices for addressing your legal cover letter:

You may like these posts

How to practice law part-time (or with flexible hours), changing legal practice areas here is everything you need to know, finding an alternative career for lawyers, introductory paragraph.

In your cover letter’s opening paragraph, you have two main goals:

In the first paragraph, include details about:

Main cover letter body

The body section of your cover letter is your chance to shine—and to succinctly summarize exactly how you meet the requirements set out in the job description. 

In one or two paragraphs, give a high-level overview of your legal education and experience to show:

Highlighting your qualifications

Above all else, ensure your legal cover letter highlights your skills. Relevant qualifications for a law firm cover letter include: 

For example, in the job posting (shown below) for an Associate Lawyer, the ideal candidate is described as having personal injury litigation experience, as well as someone who is “confident, highly motivated, possesses excellent communication skills, works well independently and as a part of a team. They must work well in a fast-paced office environment and take pride in exceeding expectations.” 

Image of a job description for an Associate Lawyer position

If you were applying for this role, your cover letter’s body paragraphs might detail your past personal injury litigation experience and specific examples of how you’ve successfully communicated within a team and in a fast-paced environment.

Remember: Be specific, but keep in mind that this is not the place to restate your resume —if you can grab the hiring manager’s attention here, they will read your resume for those details. Your cover letter is where you can entice the reader to move on to your resume by providing context and highlighting how your experience lines up with what’s needed for the role.

Concluding paragraph

Finally, your concluding paragraph is where you’ll succinctly wrap the cover letter up, close the loop, and leave a positive impression. In your closing paragraph, be sure to:

Tips for using your legal cover letter to stand out

The legal industry is rapidly evolving, and job hunters need to set themselves apart in order to get hired (unless, of course, you decide to start your own law firm ). 

If you’re applying for a job as a lawyer, whether it’s a traditional position or a legal work-from-home job , here are five tips to make sure your cover letter lands at the top of the pile.

Person writing a legal cover letter for a law firm

1. Make it personal

Perhaps the most important tip for writing cover letters for lawyers is to make it personal. 

Many of your competitors have similar education and professional experience, so being generic is a fast track to being forgotten. 

Use a personalized cover letter to showcase the unique reasons why you’re the best candidate. Show that you know the person that you’re writing to and highlight any connections. If that isn’t possible, you can always write about the firm to show that you’ve done your research. 

2. Prioritize the positive 

When you’re writing a lawyer cover letter, focus on what you have to offer. Regardless of the reasons why you’re looking for a new job, you bring a unique mix of attributes to the table. Highlight these attributes, whether they’re your: 

If you’re a law student or recent graduate, you may not have a long legal career to highlight. However, you can still note strengths like technology skills that make you an asset. 

As the 2022 Legal Trends Report found, for example, technology has significantly changed the way lawyers work over the past two years.  To a hiring law firm, being tech competent and familiar with certain cloud-based tools like Clio could be an advantage that sets you apart from other candidates.

3. Get to the point

Legal cover letters are not the place to be long-winded, and droning on will almost certainly have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Keep cover letters for attorneys short, to the point, and persuasive—the trick is to be memorable and limit yourself to one page.

Because you want to make a lasting impression in a single page, it’s also a good idea to check your cover letter’s sentence structure. Do you start all of your sentences the same way? Are they all the same length? Ensure there’s some variety so your reader stays engaged.

4. Set the right tone

Tone matters. While what you say in a cover letter for lawyers is obviously important, it also matters how you say it. 

No matter what type of legal job you’re applying for, you always want to convey a professional tone. However, depending on the law firm you’re applying to, using a personal tone may work to your advantage. Tailor your tone to match that of the law firm you’re applying to.  

If you’re writing a big law cover letter, for example, you’ll want to err on the side of being more formal. For a smaller local law firm? Check their website and match the tone to demonstrate your familiarity with their firm. 

5. Proofread

There is zero room for typos or grammatical errors in cover letters for lawyers. With the high level of competition for legal jobs, don’t give hiring managers a reason to eliminate you. Take the time to carefully proofread your cover letter. It’s also a good idea to enlist someone else to proofread your cover letters.

In a crowded legal job market, there’s no better way to set yourself apart than an excellent legal cover letter. Ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with your future employer by: 

While finding a new legal job in a competitive market isn’t exactly easy, staying resilient and adaptive will lead you to success. By crafting a great cover letter, you’re more likely to be noticed in this—and any—job market.

How do I write a cover letter for a law job?

Start by introducing yourself. In the first paragraph, include details about your current role (or education, if you’re a student). Be sure to mention any referrals or mutual acquaintances. Next, explain why you’d be a great fit for this particular firm. Include specific reasons.

What do law firms look for in cover letters?

Senior partners and hiring managers will be paying attention to your qualifications. It’s helpful to connect your past legal work, academic specializations, and other life experiences with the job description. Remember, they want to hire someone who can do the job.

How to write a cover letter for legal internship?

Your cover letter for a legal internship should be concise, non-generic, error-free, and employer-focused. Use your opening paragraph to introduce yourself, the main body to summarize your qualifications, and the concluding paragraph to leave a positive impression and outline next steps.

How to address a legal cover letter with no name?

Address your legal cover letter to the person responsible for hiring at the firm, such as a senior partner or hiring manager. If you do not have this information, consult the firm’s website or contact its human resources department.

We published this blog post in June 2020. Last updated: March 17, 2023 .

Categorized in: Business

ClioCon is over 50 percent sold out

You might also like

Related articles on how to run a more efficient, profitable law firm.

Subscribe to the blog

Image of a clock with time for work, life, and exercise

A part time law practice may be the solution if you need to work reduced or flexible hours when working…

Adding a practice area

Thinking of changing legal practice areas or adding a new practice area to your firm? This guide has everything you…

Alternative career for lawyers

If you’re a lawyer or recent law graduate thinking of switching to an alternative career, we’ve created a guide with…

Work wherever and whenever you want

What's Clio?

We're the world's leading provider of cloud-based legal software. With Clio's low-barrier and affordable solutions, lawyers can manage and grow their firms more effectively, more profitably, and with better client experiences. We're redefining how lawyers manage their firms by equipping them with essential tools to run their firms securely from any device, anywhere.


Cover Letters

E. common cover letter mistakes.

Your cover letter is as important as your resume because it is often read first and plays a vital role in your quest for an interview. A cover letter is not a transmittal letter, and you may be surprised at how time-consuming it is to craft a good one. A cover letter has a purpose, which is to let an employer know why they should bother reading your resume and why they should meet you. It also serves as an example of your written work product; thus it should be clear, brief, and written in a business letter style, without any typographical errors.

1. Cover letters for unsolicited applications come in three main types:

2. When you respond to a job listing, you will usually be requested to submit a cover letter as part of your application. In this case, use the job description and requested qualifications as a guide. While not simply imitating the language of the listing, your letter should demonstrate that you have what the employer is looking for.

3. A few employers at OCI request that students bring a cover letter to the initial interview. This is essentially to require students to think about why they want to work for this employer, but it makes for a letter which deviates from the usual “please consider me for an interview” approach. See below for suggestions on OCI cover letters.

Cover letters should follow standard business letter format, as to spacing, salutation, etc. If you are not sure of the fine points, consult a business correspondence reference source. Avoid abbreviations, contractions and shortcuts (such as a slash instead of “or”), although if there is an accepted short form of the name of the organization you are writing to (e.g., ACLU or Coblentz) it is acceptable to use it in the text of your letter. Your telephone number and email address should appear somewhere in the letter, either at the top with your address, or in the closing paragraph, when you ask them to contact you. Note that your resume is “enclosed,” not “attached” (which means clipped or stapled).

If you are not sure to whom you should send your letter, it is always acceptable to write to the executive director of a nonprofit, or the hiring partner or head of recruiting at a firm; they can forward your application to the appropriate person within the organization. If at all possible, write to an individual by name, not to “Director” or “Recruiting Coordinator.” Firm and organization web sites are very useful in finding this information (and for confirming correct spellings and the like); it may be more difficult to find the name of an individual addressee for government job opportunities. If you do not have the name of an individual, the salutation should be “Dear Sir or Madam” (not “To Whom It May Concern”). Of course if you are responding to a job posting, address your letter exactly as instructed.

As for the appropriate salutation, traditionally, it is “Dear [Mr./Ms.] [Last Name].  However, we understand that this prevailing business norm may not be inclusive of individuals who do not use either of those titles (for example, because they identify as gender nonconforming). One alternative, “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]”, avoids presuming how the recipient may identify, but it is not without some risk.  

If you use this approach, a recipient less attuned to thinking about gender inclusivity (and accustomed to seeing only “Dear [Mr./Ms] [Last Name]”) may wrongly conclude that you were unfamiliar with professional etiquette or that you used a mail merge template and did not bother to customize it.  While awareness around these issues is increasing, we believe that, unfortunately, it is still not a small number of recruiting representatives and attorneys who might draw the wrong conclusion.

One way to navigate this tricky situation might be to see if the recipient has an online presence (e.g., on the firm website or LinkedIn) that might give you a strong clue as to how they would like to be addressed.  Otherwise, you will need to make your own judgment as to whether recipients are more likely to recognize your inclusivity or to view the greeting as awkward or erroneous.

In our office, we are also working to help employers become familiar with gender-inclusive approaches like “Dear [First Name] [Last Name],” but like any process of education, this will take time. In the meantime, our primary goal is to make sure that all Berkeley Law students are fully informed as you navigate legal job markets. We are always available to discuss individually what approach would be the best fit for you.

First Paragraph. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing. Introduce yourself as a law student (including the year you are in) or a graduate of Berkeley Law and specify what it is you are seeking: a summer job, an associate position, a clerkship, part-time work during the school year, etc.

The goal of this paragraph is to give the reader a reason to want to finish reading the letter. If you don’t have a personal connection to cite, try to establish a nexus between yourself and the employer, such as knowledge of their practice, an established commitment to or interest in their work, a connection to their city, or something else which conveys that you are not just writing to them as part of a mass mailing for any job in any location. (If that in fact is what you are doing, try not to be too obvious about it. An employer wants to think that you sought him or her out purposely rather than randomly.)

Body Paragraph(s). This is the section in which you “sell” your experience and qualifications to the employer. Your goal here is to answer the question, “Why should the employer meet you?”

Call attention to something which substantiates your interest in this particular employer. It could be coursework in their specialty, the recommendation of a professor in their area of practice, undergraduate residency in their city, or any other indication of your interest. Try also to show how your experiences will translate into skills which will be useful to this particular employer. Highlight relevant qualifications which are not on your resume, such as coursework, research, or a prior connection to the organization or the issues they work on. If you have general legal skills such as negotiation, litigation, client counseling, interviewing, mock trials, etc., you may want to include them. As much as possible, try to convey understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the aims of the organization.

Employers do not expect first-year students to have highly-developed legal skills to offer. Therefore, for first-year students writing to private firms, this section can be a single, short paragraph, unless you have a strong background in a relevant area. However, even inexperienced first-year students writing to public interest/sector organizations should make an effort to describe skills and interests that are relevant to the employer.

It is appropriate and not uncommon for a public interest cover letter to be somewhat more detailed or personal than a private sector cover letter. Of course, it is still very important to be concise, but it is acceptable for the letter to be a full page if your experience dictates. In a public interest cover letter, it is important both to highlight your demonstrated commitment to the mission/work/client base of the organization through your own relevant work or life experience, and to illustrate your relevant skills. Take another look at your resume for items that show your interest, commitment and skills. Even if you do not have experience in the specific area in which an organization works, it is still important to emphasize your demonstrated commitment to the public interest, and to draw connections between that general commitment and the specific work of the organization. As it is important not to merely regurgitate your resume, consider including a story that illustrates you are interested or qualified in the position.

If your application raises questions that are readily answered, such as availability after the Bar exam, judicial clerkship plans, etc., the letter can address those; other issues may be better deferred to the interview stage. Consult a CDO attorney-counselor if you’re not sure whether to include something in your cover letter.

Final Paragraph. In your last paragraph, thank them for their consideration, and say you hope to hear from them soon. For out-of-town employers, indicate when you plan to be in their geographic area and state your availability for an interview. Be sure to include your phone number and email in this paragraph unless you use a letterhead style that includes them at the top of the page. If you state that you will call the employer to follow up on your application, be sure you do so.

If you are bringing a cover letter to an on-campus interview (which you should do only if the employer requests you to), the content will be a bit different. You don’t need to introduce yourself, as you will be there in person, and you won’t request an interview at the closing. But you can thank the employer for interviewing you and say that you welcome the opportunity to learn more about the employer and to discuss the possibility of working for them. The important thing is to show why you are interested in this particular employer, and how you think your background makes you a good match for them.

The mistakes most commonly found in student cover letters are:

Other cover letter mistakes include: being defensive or apologetic; appearing arrogant or entitled, and being too long and wordy. Unsupported statements of your qualities (“I am highly motivated and a quick study”) do not help your case. Generic reasons for your interest in the employer (e.g., its “excellent reputation”) tend to demonstrate your lack of specific knowledge. Of course typos and inaccuracies, such as misspelled names, or (please!) stating an interest in a practice area that the firm doesn’t have, are automatic application-killers.

Our cover letter template  provides suggestions only; please do not feel excessively constrained by its approach. Your letter should, of course, be original work that reflects your unique background and the job you are aiming at.

Return to Contents

Yale Law School

Cover Letter Advice and Samples

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Cover Letter Construction

Address block and salutation.

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Paragraph One

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Paragraph Two

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Paragraph Three

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Paragraph Four

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Sample Cover Letters (PDF)

First Year Student Examples | Second Year Student Examples |  Third Year Student Examples

-Last updated Aug 2022

How To Write A Legal Job Cover Letter (With Examples)

Find a Job You Really Want In

Cover Letter Example

Tips for writing a legal job cover letter.

While your application shows hiring managers that you check their boxes, your cover letter shows them why they should hire you over any other highly qualified candidate. For this reason, it’s important to write a solid cover letter when you’re applying for a legal job. To help you with this, we’ve put together some instructions and tips on how to write an excellent legal job cover letter. We’ve also included an example letter to give you an idea of what yours should look like. Key Takeaways Use your cover letter to show why you’re the best candidate for this particular job at this particular law firm. Your cover letter should highlight and expand upon your most impressive and relevant qualifications — don’t try to fit everything on your resume into your letter. Match your cover letter to the position by focusing on how you meet the qualifications listed in the job description and the firm’s cultural values. How to Write a Legal Job Cover Letter

Use correct legal cover letter format. Like all legal documents, legal cover letters need to be precisely formatted . Your legal job cover letter isn’t the place to show off unique and creative layouts, as it is quite a formal and traditional industry. A cover letter with sloppy formatting isn’t likely to be taken very seriously.

Use a simple, professional font such as Helvetica with 1.15-inch line spacing and one-inch margins on all sides.

Match the header to your resume. For a professional cover letter, you’re going to want to make sure that all the details — both visually and in content — match your resume. Your resume and cover letter should look like two halves of the same whole.

Aside from ensuring that all your information matches that listed on your resume , a legal cover letter has all of the following in this order:

Your full name (You generally want to make this the largest piece of text on your cover letter)

Your current occupation (Optional)

Your address, city, state, and zip code

Your phone number

Any other relevant contact information or social media (Optional)

Today’s date

The full name of the person who will be reading your cover letter. If you don’t know who to address your letter to , try looking online for the hiring manager ’s name at the law firm you’re applying to.

The title of the person reading your cover letter. E.g. “hiring manager” or “ partner ”

The name of the law firm or organization

The address, city, state, and zip code of the law firm or organization

Start with a personal greeting. Addressing your cover letter is pretty straightforward, given you know the name of the person you will be speaking to. Use the format “Dear Ms./Mr./Mx. [full name or last name of partner or hiring manager],” for an always appropriate yet personal greeting.

If you have a prior relationship with this person, you can consider addressing it “Dear [first name],” but tread very carefully with this one. As discussed, the legal profession tends to be more formal, and thus traditional greetings are often more appropriate.

Introduce yourself and specify the position you’re applying for. In the first sentence of the first paragraph, you’ll want to introduce yourself in a basic way and clearly identify the position you’re applying to. You don’t need to re-state your name, but just give a small piece of info about who you are.

It’s important to state clearly and upfront the specific position you’re applying to, as that’s the reason you’re writing this letter and a point you really want to land.

Explain why this position and law firm matter to you. Talk about the job and the company as you understand them. The person reading your cover letter will want to know why you applied to this specific job at this particular organization. So let them know why you would value this job and be a great fit.

Company’s not only want to find someone who is a dedicated, experienced worker, but they want someone who will be a good “ culture fit .” This means that they want someone whose values and goals align with that of the company.

Highlight your best, relevant skills and experience. At the heart of your cover letter is the chance to detail and explain your skills and experience. The way you choose to describe what you’ve done and the knowledge you possess can significantly impact how others view your experience.

Try to re-state the requirements and qualifications listed in the job posting, and explain how you align with these. You’re going to want to use the exact language they used in their posting to ensure that your application doesn’t get passed over by any kind of software they may be using to screen applicants .

Focus on them and how you can serve them. Psychologically, humans tend to be most focused on and interested in themselves and their own lives. With this principle, you can get a hiring manager to read on in your cover letter by simply focusing on the organization, why they’re great, and how you can help them be even better.

A little bit of flattery goes a long way. Try mentioning successes or achievements in the company’s history or the company philosophy. This shows that you are not only aware of what this company does, but you value it.

Include a call to action at the end. A good ending for a cover letter is crucial. You’ve already gotten past the hard part, which is getting them to read the contents of your letter. You know they are at least partially interested in hiring you, so now’s the time to put a little pressure on them.

End with a professional closing. After you’ve written the body of your letter , include an appropriate professional closing to tie it all together. Something like “respectfully,” “kind regards,” or “sincerely.” Anything that you think is appropriately formal.

Proofread for perfect spelling and grammar. Your final step is to proofread, proofread, proofread. Make sure all the spelling, grammar, and details are correct and accurate. It’s imperative to make sure that your cover letter looks polished and professional.

To be sure you’re including everything you need to and doing it all right, review the example below. This cover letter demonstrates proper formatting and makes good use of the above tips.

Begin with this sample, which you’re free to take inspiration from, then use the above steps and other cover letter tips to create a perfect cover letter all your own.

Leah Kim Lewis Clark Law School Student 618 Seneca Drive Portland, OR 97205 503-998-0286 [email protected] 10/29/20 Wilma Corwin Partner The Immigration Law Office of Jacobson, Nicolas, and Corwin 919 Hope Street Portland, OR 97204 Dear Ms. Corwin, I’m a second-year honors student at Lewis Clark Law School, and I’m writing to apply for your 2021 summer internship position. I first learned about the incredible work of Jacobson, Nicolas, and Corwin during Janet Leech’s lecture for the Lewis Clark Law Society last year. After noting my continued interest, Ms. Leech recently informed me that your office has begun accepting admissions for the summer internship program. I’m eager to use my passion for immigration and public interest law, research and writing skills, and case preparation experience to assist your office in smoothly and efficiently serving its clients. Since attending Ms. Leech’s lecture, I have been intensely fascinated with Jacobson, Nicolas, and Corwin’s creative solutions motto. In my work, both on-campus and off, I’ve demonstrated the innovative thinking, leadership drive, and excellent communication skills you require for your interns. During my time as a student, I optimized the LC Law Society legal journal and won three legal writing competitions at the state level. As an intern for Stoltenberg-Gibson, I participated in drafting legal research and helped prepare and assign around 50 cases. I bring not only academic and professional experience but real-life experience as well. As a second-generation immigrant, I am passionate about serving local immigrant communities. In my volunteer work, I’ve utilized my fluent Korean language skills and my written and verbal communication skills to advocate for five immigrant families. I am eager to take on any translation, intake, research, organization, or case preparation work. I am excited to be applying to such a well-known and well-regarded law office. Thank you so much for your consideration of this application. My resume and enclosed references will further demonstrate why I would be a great fit for your summer internship position. I would love to schedule a call or meeting to discuss how my writing and advocacy skills can assist the Immigration Law Office of Jacobson, Nicolas, and Corwin to offer creative strategies to their clients. Respectfully, Leah Kim Lewis Clark Law School Student 503-998-0286 [email protected]

Customize your letter. If your cover letter is too generic, hiring managers will wonder if you actually care about the position you’re applying for or if you just want a paycheck.

Research the law firm you’re applying to to find out what they value in their culture and what they’re looking for in an employee, and then talk about how you’d fulfill those.

Keep it short. Your cover letter should only be one page long, so there is no room to beat around the bush. Be personable but brief in your writing so that you can make the most of the space you have.

Match your tone to the law firm. Every law firm has its own voice and culture, which you’ll probably notice when you read through a few different firms’ websites. Pay attention to the tone the firm you’re applying to uses, and then try to match that in your letter.

Highlight your skills. This may sound obvious, but it’s important to remember. Use your cover letter to talk about what makes you special as a candidate and what you’d add to the organization.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

' src=

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

Recent Job Searches

Related posts

how to write a cover letter for legal job

How To Write An Entry-Level Cover Letter (With Examples)

how to write a cover letter for legal job

How To Start A Cover Letter (With 30 Examples)

how to write a cover letter for legal job

How To Write A Cover Letter Body (With Examples)

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Creative Cover Letters (With Examples)

Topics: Cover Letter , Cover Letter Examples

A Sample Cover Letter for Legal Job Seekers

Follow a format and keep it succinct

Sally A. Kane, JD. is an attorney, editor, and writer who has two decades of experience in the legal services industry and has published hundreds of career-related articles.

A good cover letter or introductory letter for attorneys is an invitation to the reader—the hiring manager or maybe the senior partner of the law firm—to move on and read your resume. It's your opportunity to convince her that she simply has to meet you and learn more about you. But too much creativity can be a drawback.

You'll want to exude professionalism and temper your enthusiasm just a bit, and you'll want to follow a tried-and-true format.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

Include your full name, and be sure to use the one under which you've been admitted to the bar if you're a lawyer. Give your street address, not a P.O. box, including your city, state, and zip code. Include your phone number with a notation as to whether it's a cell phone or a landline. Give your email address—many employers prefer to reach out to interesting candidates by email first.

Enter the date below this information, then the name and address of the law firm. Below that, enter an "ATTN:" line with the name of the individual within the firm who will be reading your letter. Alternatively, you can name the individual on the first line and cite her position directly beneath this, above the company name. Both formats are acceptable.

Of course, you'll start out with "Dear [Insert name of hiring manager or partner]:" Now it's time to get down to business.

Your Opening Paragraph

State the position for which you're applying in your opening paragraph, and explain how you learned of the job opening. This is also a good place to mention the name of anyone who referred you, a mutual acquaintance, or perhaps a tidbit of knowledge you have about the firm—maybe a major case they won or legal argument they made. This demonstrates that you took time to do a little research.

Try to craft your opening in a compelling way that will encourage the reader to read on. It's OK to toot your own horn a little. For example, you might say: “As an award-winning paralegal with 20 years of personal injury experience , I am writing in response to the position of litigation paralegal advertised in the Main Street Legal Journal .”

Explain Your Skills

Use the next paragraph to detail your education and your experience. Keep in mind that this is all mentioned in your resume as well, so you're not going to go into every finer detail here.

Your letter should offer a brief summary of what the reader will learn if he looks at your resume next: what law school you graduated from, where you're admitted to the bar, where you've worked, and what you did for those law firms. Try to confine all this to no more than four sentences if possible.

Next, match your skills to the requirements of the position and highlight any relevant awards you've received, as well as other accomplishments. Support your statements with evidence whenever possible. Don't merely assert that you're a skilled writer. Back it up with some sort of proof. Mention that you won two legal writing competitions and have published over 100 articles.

Don't just say that you contributed to your previous company's bottom line. Note that you implemented new software that saved the legal department over a million dollars.

Make Sure Your Reader Reads On

Use your closing paragraph to thank the firm for considering your application and tell your reader why you would make a good addition to his team. Explain how your background, skills, experience, and past achievements make you the perfect candidate for the job.

Then request a meeting or an interview. Indicate how and when you'll follow up on your cover letter and be sure to mention the best way to reach you. This would be a good place to direct the reader to your P.O. box if your physical address isn't your mailing address but you want to receive notification of a potential interview by snail mail.

The Finishing Touch

Sign off with "Respectfully yours" or something equally formal, place your signature above your name, then add the all-important "Enclosure(s)" line. List and bring attention to everything you're including with the letter, in order.

Proofread...Then Proofread Again

All this effort is for naught if your reader doesn't go on to look at your resume and any other documents you've included. Minor, avoidable errors can cause him to put your letter—and your resume—aside after one glance.

You're looking for a job in the legal profession, and this means you should possess good attention to detail and some superior writing skills. Check for typos—they'll jump out at you more readily if you go back to it cold, perhaps the next day, not right after you wrote it. Check for grammatical mistakes and proper punctuation. Now you're ready to send it off.

Review an Example

Below is an example of a cover letter for a legal position. You can also download our free template.

Cover Letter Sample for a Legal Position (Text Version)

Jennifer Elliot 1890 Grant Street, Cleveland, OH 44109 555-555-5555 (C) email: j.elliot@email.com

March 23, 2019

The Law Firm of Goode, Justiss, and Fine 1234 Simpson Avenue Cleveland, OH 44109 ATTN: Ms. Leslie Fine

Dear Ms. Fine:

It is with much enthusiasm that I am submitting to you my application for the position of Junior Associate Attorney that has recently opened at Goode, Justiss, and Fine. I am currently serving as a Law Clerk for Henry Mason, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. When he heard through the grapevine that this position at your immigration law firm would be opening, Judge Mason alerted me to the opportunity and has offered to serve as a professional reference on my behalf.

During my recent JD studies at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, I discovered a passion for immigration law, focusing my program of studies in this area; I will be graduating with a 3.89 GPA next week, and am scheduled to take the Ohio State bar exam in April. Prior to my legal studies, I was a paralegal for the commercial litigation firm of Hatchett, Garner, and Winn Attorneys for six years, where I managed a caseload of ~70 cases, earned my certification form ACEDS as a Certified E-Discovery Specialist, and trained the firm’s attorneys in the use of the Symantec e-Discovery Platform.

I can thus bring to you “real world” experience in legal research and drafting, e-discovery, client interviewing and trial preparation, and case management. My transition from commercial litigation work to my goal of becoming an immigration law attorney will also be supported by my advanced fluency in written and spoken Spanish; during my time as Judge Mason’s law clerk, my duties have included serving as a court translator when needed.

Thank you for your consideration of this application; I would be grateful for the chance to meet with you to discuss my qualifications for this position in greater detail.

Respectfully yours,

Jennifer Elliot


how to write a cover letter for legal job

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Cookie settings

This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. To learn more visit our Privacy Policy

Legal Cover Letter—Samples & Tips [also for No Experience]

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your cover letter.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan  My previous cover letter was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George

1. Legal Cover Letter Samples

Example #1: legal cover letter sample, example #1: legal cover letter sample—text version, example #2: entry-level legal cover letter , example #2: entry-level legal cover letter—text version, 2. how to write a legal cover letter step by step (template), 1. use the correct cover letter format, 2. make your legal cover letter header match your resume , legal cover letter sample header , 3. identify the position and introduce yourself, legal cover letter sample: introduction, 4. make a case for why they should hire you, legal cover letter sample: middle paragraph, 5. make them feel special, entry-level legal cover letter sample: why it should be them , 6. close with a strong statement: call to action, sample internship legal cover letter: call to action & closing, was it interesting here are similar articles.

Is a Cover Letter Necessary in 2023? Do I Need a Cover Letter?

Is a Cover Letter Necessary in 2023? Do I Need a Cover Letter?

How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job [2023 Guide]

How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job [2023 Guide]

25 Best Cover Letter Templates for Google Docs for 2023

25 Best Cover Letter Templates for Google Docs for 2023

Guide to Writing Cover Letters for Legal Professionals

how to write a cover letter for legal job

Cover letters are often an afterthought in a job search. They are written quickly, mainly to make an introduction. Legal professionals are trained to write and, in some instances, will write lengthy cover letters.

How then, do you get an employer’s attention while also writing a clear, concise cover letter? Use your training as a legal professional to craft the perfect cover letter.

Tips for Writing Cover Letters

1. be clear and to the point.

Keep your letter to one page and say only what you need to say:

Occasionally, an employer will include a length requirement for cover letters. As a best practice, try and keep your cover letter between a half of a page and one full page. Use short paragraphs to emphasize your main points.

2. Research the company

Employers are impressed when candidates take the time to get specific information about their organizations. It sends the message that you’re being selective and are not willing to work for just anyone.

Start with stating why you are applying (someone referred you, you’re responding to an ad, etc.). To prove that you are not recycling the same cover letter for multiple applications, try to make it as personal as possible. After you’ve introduced yourself, use information gathered from your research to support why you are applying and would be a strong candidate.

Explain what sets the company apart as a potential employer. Is it their company culture? Rapid growth? These are all examples of information you can gain from researching the company. Use social media as well as your typical Google search to find out information.

For example: “I have followed the success of your organization and am impressed by your growth rate of 55% last year.”

3. Persuade the Employer

Follow your opening sentences with recognition of the employer’s needs. Then lead to your specific qualifications that match those needs

For example: “My extensive experience in working with corporations and in-house counsel can benefit your bottom line by helping you cut your outside legal costs. Following are additional qualifications that I can bring to your organization:” (Add 3-4 statements such as: “Handled a wide variety of general business matters including drafting commercial contracts, regulatory work, and real estate transactions.”)

4. Write a Strong Conclusion

Summarize the points of your letter and close with an open-ended statement that shows you’re expecting an interview (rather than passively saying, “I’ll wait for your call”). 

For example: “It would seem in our mutual interests to further discuss the knowledge, experience and demonstrated results I can bring to your open attorney position. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to a personal meeting to discuss this opportunity further.”

This method for writing cover letters can set you apart from your competition. It is personal, professional, and shows thought and preparation. 


  1. Cover Letter For Lawyer • Invitation Template Ideas

    how to write a cover letter for legal job

  2. ️ Great cover letters. Cover Letter Examples That Will Get You Noticed. 2019-02-01

    how to write a cover letter for legal job

  3. Write cover letters for job applications by Zoegherman

    how to write a cover letter for legal job

  4. 15 Samples of Cover Letter for Legal Jobs (Word, PDF)

    how to write a cover letter for legal job

  5. 15 Samples of Cover Letter for Legal Jobs (Word, PDF)

    how to write a cover letter for legal job

  6. Amazing Legal Assistant Cover Letter Examples & Templates from Trust Writing Service

    how to write a cover letter for legal job


  1. Hays Jobseeker Tips

  2. How to write cover letter for study abroad in 2023


  4. How to Write an attention grabbing COVER LETTER for a Job Application

  5. Watch Me Breakdown A Winning Legal Cover Letter

  6. How to Write a Cover Letter


  1. How to Write a Cover Letter for Law Firms (with Examples)

    How do I write a cover letter for a law job?

  2. Cover Letters

    Cover Letters · First Paragraph. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing. · Body Paragraph(s). This is the section in which you

  3. Cover Letter Advice & Samples

    Cover Letter Advice and Samples · Keep your cover letter to one page. · Use the font style and point size that match your resume. · Remember that the reader is


    I have enclosed a resume highlighting my education and work experience. I hope to have the opportunity to interview with you about a summer position, and I will

  5. How To Write A Legal Job Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Use correct legal cover letter format. · Match the header to your resume. · Start with a personal greeting. · Introduce yourself and specify the

  6. A Sample Cover Letter for Legal Job Seekers

    Include your full name, and be sure to use the one under which you've been admitted to the bar if you're a lawyer. Give your street address, not

  7. Legal Cover Letter Examples & Expert tips [Free]

    Key takeaways for a legal cover letter · Show off your expertise in your area of law as well as your general knowledge of law operations. · Illustrate your work

  8. Legal Cover Letter—Samples & Tips [also for No Experience]

    1. Use The Correct Cover Letter Format · 2. Make Your Legal Cover Letter Header Match Your Resume · 3. Identify The Position and Introduce Yourself · 4. Make a

  9. Guide to Writing Cover Letters for Legal Professionals

    Keep your letter to one page and say only what you need to say: ... Occasionally, an employer will include a length requirement for cover letters. As a best

  10. How to Write a Cover Letter for Legal Jobs (With Example)

    How to write a cover letter for legal jobs · 1. Incorporate your personal contact information and the recipient's · 2. Incorporate a greeting and