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Your law firm cover letter has to work like a case brief of your application. Why? Because your legal resume won’t speak for itself. To get interviewed, summarize your skills and qualifications in a quick four-paragraph letter. But there’s a plan to follow if you want to get the partners and HR director on your side.
This guide will show you a law firm cover letter example and the best tips on how to write a cover letter for law firm jobs step-by-step.
Law Firm Cover Letter Sample
Harvard Law School Student
887 Cherry Ridge Drive
Cambridge, MA 02141
Boyer, White & Boyer
46 Stadium Drive
Boston, MA 02138
Dear Ms. Boyer,
I’m a second-year student attending Harvard Law School, writing to apply for your summer internship position. I learned about the position through Harvard’s public service database, but I’ve also heard good things from three older students I met as Junior Vice President of Harvard Law’s ACLU Club. Interning at Boyer, White & Boyer would allow me to strengthen my research and writing skills, and I’m confident that my work ethic and trial preparation experience will help your partners and associates improve their client service and efficiency.
Your job posting on LinkedIn says you need an intern with litigation knowledge, research skills, and writing skills. As a member of the Moot Court Honors Board, I presented 5 legal arguments and was on the team that won State Finals. I also researched 22 cases during my first-year internship with Locklin & Dubord, with multiple commendations from the partners for efficiency and accuracy. I wrote a weekly column on trial law in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Finally, I’ve written 50+ memoranda and correspondences for partners and associates.
In the past two semesters, I got involved with Harvard’s Alliance for Reproductive Justice, where I worked directly with professors Alice Wharton and David Mathieu to facilitate discussions and perform research. I also volunteer for the Animal Law Society, and my work as a Junior Editor and Researcher for the Journal on Legislation has helped broaden my knowledge of the current regulation environment. I believe an internship at Boyer, White & Boyer would increase my hands-on knowledge in these areas.
My resume and enclosed references will show the other ways I fit your internship requirements. I would value the opportunity to speak with you in person about how I can help extend your firm’s efficiency and accuracy. I’ll check back with your office in a couple weeks to see if we can arrange a time to meet.
Harvard Law School Student
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That’s a Jones-Day-level law firm cover letter example.
Your cover letter for law firms needs an equally strong resume. See our guide: Legal Resume Sample
Hunting a specific law firm job? See these guides:
- Legal Cover Letter Sample
- Legal Assistant Cover Letter Sample
- Paralegal Cover Letter Sample
- Judicial Clerkship Cover Letter Sample
- Formal Cover Letter Sample
- Federal Cover Letter Sample
- Best Cover Letter Samples for All Careers
Law Firm Cover Letter Template
Here’s how to write a cover letter for law firm jobs:
1. Use the proper law firm cover letter formatting and layout
- Cover letter font: Select a professional font (Cambria, Arial, Helvetica, Verdana).
- Margins: one inch on both sides and the top and bottom.
- Cover letter line spacing: 1.15.
- Cover letter outline: 4 paragraphs.
Read more: Cover Letter Format
2. Create a professional law firm cover letter heading
- Make your cover letter header match your resume header.
- Start your cover letter with your name, job title, and contact info: email, phone, and LinkedIn (87% of recruiters use Linkedin to investigate applicants.)
- Add the date a double-space below your contact info.
- Leave another double-space, then add the partner’s name and info.
3. Use a personal greeting with a targeted first paragraph
- Start with “Dear [Partner Name],” (never use “To Whom It May Concern” cover letters).
- Introduce yourself with your name, title, and the job you’re applying for.
- Make it clear why this job and law firm matter to you.
- Link your interest in the firm to your legal skills and accomplishments to date.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
4. Prove you’re the perfect candidate in your middle paragraphs
- Restate the legal job requirements from the firm’s job posting.
- Show how your achievements make you a match.
- Don’t restate your entire resume.
- Do highlight the best features in your resume that fit the role.
- Unlike most jobs, law firm cover letters can be 4 or 5 paragraphs.
Should you mention salary in a cover letter? See our guide: How to Include Salary Requirements in a Cover Letter
5. Explain why you want to join the firm
- Say what you like about the law firm.
- Convince them why this job matters to you.
- Ideally, spend a sentence or two on this in each paragraph.
- Doing this proves you’ll value the position if you get it.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows jobs for legal assistants and other law firm support staff rising much faster than average. Your cover letter helps you get the best of these.
6. Offer something to end your law firm cover letter
- Point the partners to your other application documents.
- Ask to set up a meeting.
- Suggest more skills and benefits you’ll bring to the table.
- Set expectations for the future.
Read more: The Best Cover Letter Closings
7. Add a professional sign-off at the end
- Write, “Best regards” or “Kind regards” and then a double-space.
- Repeat your name, title, number, and email address.
- Add a digital signature for a professional touch.
- Include a list of cover letter enclosures.
Don’t wait too long. Follow up more than once with a brief phone call or email. Learn more: Job Application Follow-Up Email Templates
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Questions? Concerns? We’re here for you. If you’ve still got questions about how to write a Sullivan & Cromwell-level cover letter for law firm jobs, drop me a line in the comments.