Legal Cover Letter Do's And Don'ts


© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"


Writing A Top Legal Cover Letter: The Verdict Is In...

For those hoping to land a job in the legal field, a well written legal cover letter may be the one piece of evidence that they need to "prove their case" that they should get the job that they want.

Like most cover letters, a legal cover letter should be sent to the actual person who makes the hiring decisions. "To Whom It May Concern" or "Attention Human Resources" show that the writer is lazy and/or does not know how to pick up the phone and ask who applications should be sent to. Needless to say, laziness and ignorance of modern telecommunication devices are not high on the list of attributes that law firms look for in job candidates.

Building Your Case, One Legal Cover Letter at a Time

Just as in any other cover letter, once the legal cover letter has gotten off to a running start with the well-directed salutation, it must grab the attention of the reader with an opening line that compels them to learn more. It goes without saying that a legal cover letter should also be free of grammatical and spelling errors.

From there, however, the requirements of a legal cover letter are a bit more stringent than most other occupations and job openings.

That is because the field of law depends almost entirely on how well an individual communicates through the written word. Whether it is in brief, a summary or a letter to a client or another officer of the court, the attorney must make their point clearly and directly. Since clear writing and argumentation is so important for the job, the first place that hirers are going to look for is in the legal cover letter itself.

What this means for legal job seekers is that in a legal cover letter, the clarity of reasoning must be especially strong. The point that the writer is trying to prove is that his or her experience makes him or her uniquely and compellingly perfect for the opening at the legal firm. To this end, the writer must convey his or her facts clearly and convincingly point out why they are relevant to the job he or she is applying for.

Are You a Gleeful Legal Eagle? Show It In Your Cover Letter! :-)

Another element that must be present in your cover letter is enthusiasm. A legal career can be very demanding. Attorneys and their staff often work very long hours and devote months and years of their life pursuing individual cases. To succeed, people pursuing a legal career can't consider it just another way to earn a living. Successful legal careers are built on a love for the law, and an excitement about the process by which legal decisions are reached.

Because a passion and enthusiasm for the job are so important, a legal cover letter must include a section that explains that you are not only capable of performing the duties of the job, but actually enjoy doing it.

Legal Cover Letters: Final Arguments For Landing The All-Important Job Interview

Lastly, the legal cover letter should ask directly for the interview. Attorneys and legal professionals spell out courses of action that others must take all the time in their job. In the last section of the legal cover letter, the writer should describe how the hiring party can contact the job applicant and make it clear that the candidate is eagerly waiting for those directions to be followed. Legal cover letters that are effective, clearly make a case for landing the job interview. Ask and you shall receive!

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