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Free Attorney Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

Whether you’re fresh out of law school or you’re an experienced attorney who is looking for a new job, your attorney cover letter is one of the most important assets in your job search. We’ll give you attorney cover letter examples along with the tips you need to write a persuasive cover letter.

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Attorney cover letter: 5 key tips

Look at the compelling cover letter examples on this page for inspiration and wording suggestions and then follow these five expertly written cover letter tips to write your best attorney cover letter:

1

Show you know the employer

Rather than just write one cover letter for every attorney position that you apply for, tailor each cover letter for attorney to match the specific job qualifications for that specific law firm. Do your research and match your skills to what they need. If you’re applying for a family law position, highlight your cover letter to include relevant work experience. If it’s environmental law, mention your hands-on experience or research studies. A well-written cover letter will immediately show the potential employer that you applied to work in their firm because you align with their mission and firm’s culture.

2

Provide a rundown of your credentials

While education is necessary to become an attorney, the legal teams you’ve been a part of the deep legal studies you’ve participated in will show you have the knowledge and skills to succeed. List your credentials as measurable accomplishments that you achieved so the reader of your cover letter is impressed with your hands-on experience and attained skills from each pursuit. For example: “While practicing law at Wright, Jones and Smith Law Associates, I assisted 10 clients in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 filings including all related litigation and the successful negotiation of lender loan agreements on behalf of each client.” If you’re early in your law career and lack credentials, mentioning your legal studies and research will show your passion for the industry and the fact that you're self-motivated to continually learn and succeed.

3

Give specifics on your experiences and interests

To be considered a perfect candidate for an attorney position, you need to dig deep and come up with experiences and interests that make you stand out from the competition. Mention a legal case that was different than most and say how you rose to the challenge by coming up with clever angles to argue the case or create a compromise. If you have special interests in legal matters like estate planning, matrimony, family law, environmental, malpractice, explain the background into why you feel pulled to those areas. Perhaps you witnessed a malpractice accident and followed the case, sparking your interest in law.

4

Don’t forget to show soft skills

While the facts that you're a law school graduate or you passed the bar exam are the technical hard skills that the employer will be looking for in your cover letter, you also want to show your personality, work ethic and interpersonal soft skills. A good attorney will need to communicate in many different work-related situations and writing cover letters is the first way to show you have great written communication skills. Demonstrate how you swayed a case to be successful by listening, persuading and coming up with a clever resolution.

5

Review and proofread your cover letter for attorney

When it comes to writing law documents in the legal industry, attention to detail and finely tuned proofreading skills are a must-have. Mirror those skills when writing your lawyer cover letter. Before you submit your cover letter along with an accompanying resume and job application, review and proofread your letter carefully. You want the reader of your cover letter to see that you are detail oriented and an effective communicator.

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Write an attorney cover letter in 5 steps

You may apply to a variety of jobs in your legal career but you’ll want to tailor each cover letter for every job application. Your cover letter is a chance to show your written communication skills, research skills and attention to detail. Use the attorney cover letter samples on this page and follow these five writing tips to create your perfect cover letter.

1. Cover letter header/contact information

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date so the recruiter can contact you to invite you for a job interview. Be sure to include basic information such as name, address, email and phone number in your cover letter header. You may also feature links to your portfolio or job networking profiles.

Example:

Your Name
Your Address
City, State ZIP Code
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number
Portfolio link or professional profile link

2. Cover letter salutation

Begin your cover letter by addressing it directly to the hiring manager or law firm representative handling the hiring. Avoid using generic terms such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.” Demonstrate your legal research skills to find the person’s name.

Examples:

Dear Ms. Smith, Esq.,
Dear Mr. Smith:

3. Cover letter introduction

The first paragraph, also known as your opening paragraph, is your first chance to make a great impression by introducing yourself. Discuss what makes you perfect for the position by quickly catching the attention of the reader. If you have specific skills or experiences that are relevant, tell about them in a story-like way so your cover letter will make you a memorable candidate. Your introduction should make the reader want to keep reading your attorney cover letter.

Example:

I am very excited to apply for the position of attorney at Family First Law Group. Because of my passion for family law, I’ve been a longtime follower of your firm’s successes in Bradleyville family court. As a child of divorced parents, I’ve always planned to serve in this specialization and I hope to bring my two years of experience, dedication and legal knowledge to your firm.

4. Body paragraph(s)

In your body paragraphs, be bold and tell the law firm why they should hire you. Explain the reasons that you’re excited about this role, your law degree and what you can contribute to the law team. You can include topics like:

  • A referral you have from the legal profession
  • Tasks listed in the job description and how you will fulfill them
  • What inspires you about working with a law firm, e.g. its focus on human rights

Example:

I earned my Juris Doctor degree at Columbia University Law School and immediately joined a family law practice as a junior attorney. The work experience that I’ve accomplished since graduation has helped me refine my knowledge of the legal process, legal documents, terms, protocols and hands on training to work effectively with families facing complex legal matters. With my own background in the middle of a bitter divorce among my parents, I’ve been able to better understand the challenges that each family member faces in a legal setting. At times, I’ve handled twenty cases simultaneously.

5. Closing and sign off

Your closing paragraph should include a call to action where you can request a follow-up further discussion with the hiring manager, recruiter or future employer. A call to action includes:

  • Thanking the recruiter for their time and consideration
  • A reminder of why you are a good fit for the job and will make a valuable addition
  • An invitation to discuss the position further at another time

Your sign off will be professionally sounding, like “Sincerely yours” or “Best regards” so you are taken seriously as a law firm candidate.

Example:

I am excited to discuss this attorney position opportunity further so I can tell you more about how my  law firm experience and skills can contribute to the successes at your Family First Law Group. I would truly value and appreciate the legal expertise learned from your team. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best Regards,
Frederick James White, Esq.

Key skills for an attorney cover letter

As an attorney, you’ll be expected to possess both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the lawyer skills you learn while attaining your degree and hands on experience working as an attorney. Soft skills are those lawyer skills that you demonstrate while you work including your personality traits and work ethic. Here are some key skills to include on your legal cover letters:

Attorney hard skills:

  • Board certifications
  • Analytical skills
  • Deep research skills
  • Legal document preparation
  • Technical terminology
  • Laws and protocols
  • Financial skills
  • Tax laws
  • Billing clients
  • Business development

Attorney soft skills:

  • Persuasiveness
  • Negotiation skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Teamwork
  • Proofreading

Attorney cover letter example: text example

This cover letter sample for a clerkship, paralegal, law clerk or attorney position will show you everything you need to include to make the best impression on the hiring manager at a law firm.

[Today’s Date]

[XYZ Company Address]
[Phone Number]
[HiringManagerEmail@xyzcompany.com]

Dear (Mr./Mrs./Ms. [Name]),

I’m applying for the paralegal position listed on the XYZ website. I am an advocate for human rights and helping others, which led to my time at XYZ law firm in the summer associate position. I was referred to the position at XYZ Company by my former colleague, Ms. [Name].

During my experience at XYZ law firm in New York, I gained firsthand knowledge of the legal profession. I worked with the legal team to file claims on behalf of the family of 9/11 victims. My education and experience will make me a great fit for the role.

Some of my responsibilities during my time at XYZ law firm were:

  • Legal research and due diligence
  • Attending trial preparation meetings
  • Following up with existing claims
  • Screening new claimants for eligibility

I am a hardworking individual who takes pride in my attention to detail and passion for advocacy. I would be honored to be a part of the legal services at XYZ law firm. I believe that I would greatly contribute to XYZ Company in the paralegal position and am eager to practice areas of law that I have proven experience in.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I’m looking forward to discussing the position further.

Sincerely,
[Your Full Name]

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Create your attorney cover letter (and resume) with our help

ResumeHelp is looked upon by job seekers for providing an outstanding lineup of tools like our cover letter and resume builders, templates and examples to help create a powerful cover letter and matching resume in minutes. Here are some pages you want to take a look at during your next job search:

Cover Letter Builder: Our builder tool helps you create an impactful cover letter for attorney in minutes. Simply fill in your information with step by step instructions and our convenient wording suggestions.

Cover Letter Templates: Rather than start writing your cover letter for attorney from scratch, we provide templates to use as your base letter. Just add your information.

Cover Letter Examples: Get extra inspiration from our library of examples for different jobs and industries so you can “wow” hiring managers with a professional cover letter.

How to Format a Cover Letter: Make your attorney cover letter stand out by following our expert formatting tips.

Best Attorney Resume Examples: Look at any attorney cover letter sample to see what experts suggest you say in your cover letter to stand out from the competition.

Best Legal Resume Examples: Before you write your cover letter, read an attorney cover letter sample from this page for direction on how to word your experience.

Best Law Firm Cover Letter Example: If you need to know what to say to show a hiring manager that you’re a qualified attorney, refer to these law firm and attorney cover letter examples for guidance.

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FAQ: Attorney cover letter example

Have questions? We’re here to help.

In order for a law firm to recognize a good job candidate, the hiring manager, recruiter or lead attorney, will look for work experience and skills that match the job description. And since most job applicants will already meet the relevant qualifications, the law firm will then look for that extra something said in the letter that will make you stand out from the competition. Perhaps you were part of an attorney team that won a big intellectual property law case or you handled multiple legal proceedings simultaneously? More than your experience, that special work achievement may just win you a job interview and make you a leading contender for the position.

If you’re applying for an associate attorney position, you may be a first-year associate or recent law school graduate that passed the bar exam in your state. To write a cover letter for an associate attorney position, you want to not only match the qualifications as listed in the job description, but you also want to be sure that you demonstrate in the body paragraphs of your cover letter just how you’ve already gone over and above in your training and studies to get to the point of practicing law. Also, show your passion and reasons for wanting to work at the specific law firm. Look at the attorney cover letter examples on this page for inspiration.

Yes, a lawyer performing a job search should definitely include a cover letter. A cover letter shows the law firm hiring manager that you’re enthusiastic about the position and that you have impressive experience, accomplishments and skills. You will also have the edge over job candidates that do not include a cover letter because it shows you made the effort to give the law firm a glimpse into your personality and work ethic. For anyone in the legal profession, writing skills are important and your cover letter is the first impression you will make. A great cover letter can make the difference between whether or not the hiring manager will read your resume at all. If you’ve recently changed careers to law or returning to work from an absence, the cover letter also gives you a chance to explain any gaps in your resume or work history.

Including a referral in your cover letter for an attorney position can get the attention of the hiring manager. A referral gives a positive impression of you and can be influential when it comes to the hiring process. If you have a former teacher, boss or colleague who has a connection to the job you want, it can put you ahead of the competition. A referral is a good idea whether applying for a junior or senior associate attorney job.

Yes, you can use this cover letter example as a student to apply for an entry-level job or internship. If you don’t have many years of experience, use your academic, volunteer or internship experiences. Follow the example above to show the hiring manager why you are qualified. Find skills and keywords in the job posting you may already have knowledge of, such as legal writing, legal research and communication skills.

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WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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