How To Write a Lawyer Cover Letter (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you are applying for a legal position, your cover letter is the first opportunity to make a good impression. Since it highlights your most noteworthy and relevant skills and experiences, your cover letter can determine whether you're invited for an interview. It's best to take some time to make sure you write one effectively. In this article, we explore the important things to include in a lawyer cover letter and provide you with some examples.

What to include in a lawyer cover letter

Your lawyer cover letter can be around one page long at the most. This automatically constrains how much information you can include in it which makes it concise and focused. The best way for you to determine what to prioritise is to refer to the job posting and acquaint yourself with the specific requirements of the position. These are your priority, after which you can include a few of your most noteworthy skills and experiences, as long as they have some relevance to the role.

There are two types of skills that you can consider. The first are skills related to your profession, such as legal expertise. The other type are general, soft skills that are desirable in any position. Naturally, the latter are more critical to the legal profession than elsewhere. Your interpersonal, communication, critical thinking and other such skills are important to highlight in your cover letter.

Related: What You Need To Know About Professional Qualifications

How to write a lawyer cover letter

Now that you have an idea of the types of things to include in a good cover letter, you can make use of the steps below when it comes to writing it. You can adapt these steps as needed and they can serve as a good template for writing an effective lawyer cover letter. The steps are as follows:

1. Research the firm

In addition to acquainting yourself with the specific requirements of the position you're applying for, you can familiarise yourself with the company itself. Your cover letter is ideally specific to the role and company in question, and you can only achieve this by doing some research. Get an idea of their priorities, the company culture and their stated goals and values. You can also find out who is receiving your cover letter, so you can address them by name when you write it.

2. Express your interest in the position

Once you have addressed the recipient of your cover letter directly, you can clarify the position you're interested in within the first two sentences. You can also introduce yourself and tell them about how you came across the position. For example, if someone referred you to the position, mention who they are and why they referred you.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

3. Talk about your qualifications

Your professional qualifications and skills are among the most relevant things to the position and can be mentioned at the beginning of the cover letter. You can mention where you received your law degree and how long ago, and your experience in the legal field. After this, you can start talking about your other skills and experiences, so long as they have relevance to the role you're applying for.

4. Talk about why you're an ideal candidate

Your CV is there to inform potential employers and your cover is written to persuade them. Based on your research on the company and your own qualifications, tell the reader why you're the ideal fit. Mention specific skills and experiences that would add value to the company, highlight where your principles and theirs align and talk about your soft skills. Wherever possible, relate this information through stories and experiences, rather than simply mentioning your skills in a list.

5. Conclude your cover letter

Once you've finished all of the above, thank the reader for their consideration and time. You can also add a final remark about how you're looking forward to discussing your candidacy further. After that, politely close the letter and add your full name, email and phone number. However, if you're applying through an online system that asks you for your contact details, you can leave these out of your cover letter.

Related: How to End a Cover Letter

6. Proofread your cover letter

Ideally, you want to proofread your cover letter before you send it. If possible, proofread it some time after you write it. This can help you to notice any spelling or grammatical errors and fix them. You can also make sure that the paragraphs are not too long, that you haven't written more than one page and that your language is professional. Try to assess how persuasively you have written. Ask a friend or relative with relevant experience to read the cover letter and offer constructive criticism.

To help you with your assessment of your cover letter, we have provided you with a three-part checklist of important things to bear in mind. When you are proofreading your cover letter, make sure it is:

  • Relevant: Many people use a master copy or template and then adjust it for each job application. Ensure your cover letter content is specific to the job and demonstrates that you've done your research into the company.

  • Professional: When writing a lawyer cover letter, ideally you want to use professional language at all times. Remove any abbreviations, ambiguous language or slang. Aim to have clear and concise writing in your cover letter.

  • Persuasive: Focus on persuading the reader that you're the right candidate for the job. Be positive and enthusiastic about your skills and experience, as being too modest can downplay your professional value.

Lawyer cover letter examples

To help you write an effective lawyer cover letter, we have provided you with two examples below. You can use these as a template or for guidance when writing your own cover letters:

Example 1

Dear Ms Brambell,

I'm writing to you to apply for the graduate scheme at ABC Law. I was referred to your graduate recruitment webpage by my university supervisor. I am currently in the final stages of my law degree at the University of Bristol.

During my studies, I have found myself increasingly considering a career as a solicitor. During a placement scheme at another law firm, I learned a lot about property law. Throughout my time attending open court sessions at my local county court, I was able to contrast varying experiences. I concluded that I wish to pursue a career at ABC Law.

I'm particularly interested in international mergers and acquisitions, which I know to be a specialisation for your firm, as I had a conversation with two practitioners from your firm at a recent recruitment event. In addition to the relevance of my studies, my ability to speak both Spanish and Arabic would benefit me when assisting with any internationally oriented work.

My natural capacity for effective communication has also been enhanced by my time working in customer service at a local business. It has helped me develop the ability to quickly build rapport with different individuals and listen attentively to their needs.

Thank you very much for considering my application. I can make time for an interview at any time, and look forward to discussing my candidacy with you further.

Yours sincerely,

William Corbett

wcorbett@email.co.uk
0111 2222 333

Example 2

Dear Mr Foster,

My name is Valerie Sharp, and I'm writing to you with regard to the trainee solicitor position at your law firm. I have recently completed my law degree at the University of Sussex and I am excited about the prospect of starting my legal career.

While studying for my degree, I had the opportunity to work as a legal assistant at a local law firm, which exposed me to the processes behind documentation, preparation of court bundles and general administration. I was also able to shadow solicitors to learn how they conducted themselves in court sessions and meetings. As a result of my experiences, I have gained a good grasp of family law and employment law. These were also areas of interest for me during my studies, and I am eager to specialise in one of them.

I was also a member of the university debate team, which allowed me to develop my persuasion and public speaking skills. This has made me a capable communicator who can develop good working relationships with others. Combined with my good research and organisational skills, I believe this makes me a great candidate for your firm.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Valerie Sharp

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