How To Write An Attorney Cover Letter In 7 Steps (With Tips)
Updated 22 July 2023
Lawyers, also known as attorneys or advocates, are legal professionals who help individuals, businesses and government agencies defend their interests and remain compliant with local regulations. If you are applying to work as an advocate, an exemplary cover letter can communicate your qualifications and highlight your writing skills. Understanding how to structure your letter can help prepare you to create one of your own and increase your chances of getting invited for a job interview.
In this article, we discuss how to write an attorney cover letter in seven steps, offer some tips that might help you draft an effective letter and provide a template and sample cover letter for a legal job application.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
How To Write An Attorney Cover Letter?
You may wonder how to write an attorney cover letter. Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow when drafting your own:
1. Include your contact information
Placing your contact information at the top of your letter in a professional, legible font can help hiring managers discover how to contact you if they want to schedule an interview. Include your name, location, phone number and email address. Because advocates typically maintain a standard of professionalism, it may help to use a business email address rather than a personal one.
2. Address the hiring manager
Next, you can add the date and choose a greeting to open your letter and establish a connection with the reader. If possible, learn the first and last name of the hiring manager and address them by name. Lawyers often search databases and documents to find important information, so finding and using the hiring manager's name might gain attention to your research skills. If you are unable to learn who is hiring for the position, you can opt for a neutral greeting like Dear hiring manager.
3. Introduce yourself
In the opening paragraph of your letter, introduce yourself and state the basic facts of your candidacy. Discuss the job to which you are applying and explain why you think you are an excellent candidate using specific details from your career history. If somebody referred you to the job or if you have a personal connection with the law firm, it may be beneficial to include this information in your introduction to increase your credibility.
4. Express your interest in the organisation
In your first body paragraph, you can discuss why you find this law firm, business or organisation to be a suitable employer for you. For example, if they advocate for a cause you are passionate about, you might mention the work you have done to advance this mission in the past. It can also be beneficial to discuss your long-term career goals so the employer can understand your expectations and visualise your future. Remember to be highly specific in your letter rather than using general information that can apply to any employer.
5. Discuss your qualifications
You can use the rest of your letter to explain what unique strengths you can bring to the position. Write about your hard and soft skills, and include anecdotal examples from previous jobs that exemplify these capabilities. It may be beneficial to review the job description from the advertisement to understand which skills the employer values in a candidate. Discuss your professional experiences in the legal sector to increase your credibility and highlight your ability to thrive in this environment. If you are a recent graduate, you can mention internships or relevant coursework.
Advocates can have a variety of specialities, and the types of skills you highlight in your cover letter may depend on the area of law in which you are applying to work. For example, litigation advocates who appear in court may emphasise their oral argumentation skills, while corporate practitioners might focus on documentation and attention to detail. Here are skills you can highlight:
Writing case reports
Knowledge of local and national laws
6. Prepare a closing paragraph
In your final paragraph, you can summarise your most prestigious credentials and relevant skills to leave the hiring manager with a positive impression of you. Restate your enthusiasm for the position and the organisation. You can also add a call to action requesting an opportunity to talk with the hiring manager about the position. Beneath it, you can select a professional sign-off such as Regards or Sincerely and add your name.
Tips For Writing An Attorney Cover Letter
Here are some tips that may help you write a cover letter for a law firm:
Law firms can be fast-paced environments, and the hiring manager may briefly review your cover letter, looking for the most important credentials. Prioritise your most impressive qualifications, use simple, professional language and only discuss experiences and capabilities that are highly relevant to the job. Aim to write a letter that is less than a page long. Submitting a concise, well-written letter can demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and highlight the most important parts of an argument, which is a beneficial skill for advocates.
Research the employer
It can be beneficial to learn more about the organisation to which you are applying. This can help you discover relevant details to include in your cover letter, such as specific cases and clients the law firm represents. Understanding what an employer values can inform your writing style and help you explain why you may fit in at the organisation.
Template Of A Cover Letter For An Advocate
Here is a template you might use if you are writing a cover letter for a job as an advocate:
[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification]
[Phone number] | [Email] | [Location]
Dear [hiring manager or hiring manager's first and last name],
[Define the job you are applying for and how you learned about it.] [Mention any personal references that may strengthen your application.] [Highlight your strongest qualifications to gain the hiring manager's interest.]
[Explain why you have interest in the organisation.] [Discuss how you can add value to their team.] [Mention your long-term career goals and how this job might help you achieve them.]
[Highlight your most relevant hard and soft skills.] [Mention core competencies discussed in the employer's job advertisement.] [Include concrete examples from your previous work experiences that highlight your skill set.]
[Thank the hiring manager for considering your application.] [Reiterate your interest and key qualifications.] [Include a call to action.].
[First and last name]
Attorney Cover Letter Sample
A sample letter can serve as inspiration when drafting a cover letter for a job at a law firm. Here is an example of an attorney cover letter:
Shruthi Varma, LL.M 98834452227 | email@example.com | Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001
27 May 2022
Anand & Team Legal Associates
Dear Mr. Anand,
I am pleased to introduce myself as a candidate for the Advocate position with your firm. My former colleague Raj Laghari, with whom I worked with at Straightway Financial Group, recommended I apply for the position. With five years of experience in corporate law overseeing mergers and transactions and expert negotiation skills, I am confident I can serve your clients effectively.
I am drawn to your firm because my years of experience working as counsel for large financial organisations have taught me how to handle the unique challenges corporations face. I am experienced in research, litigation, contracts, transactions and financial law. I recently negotiated an acquisition for a client, helping them reduce the price of the transaction by 15%. I want to take on more responsibility and help a roster of clients meet their goals and remain compliant with local law, and I am confident that joining your team of experts can enable me to do so.
I am familiar with legal management programmes and have experience drafting important notices and contracts such as employment agreements, privacy policies and term loan agreements. Working with the in-house legal team for organisations for five years has shown me how to develop lasting relationships and meet a business's needs. For example, at Straightway Financial Group, I worked closely with two executives, one of whom had a legal background, while the other had not. I learned to adjust my communication style to help both executives understand my ideas. I hope to bring this same personalised, client-centric approach to your firm if I join the team.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter and consider my qualifications. I am confident Anand & Team Legal Associates and I would enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship, as I could bring my advanced understanding of corporate law and contract negotiation to your rapidly expanding team. Please call me at the number above if you would like to arrange a time to discuss the position.
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