Try to limit the letter to three-quarters of a page in length. Remember, your letter will be read by someone with limited time and needs to be designed for clarity and impact.
Your name, address, and telephone number should be typed on the letter. It is preferable to use standard business form, with your address and telephone number and the date at the top right, and the addressee's name, title, and address at the left, above the salutation. At the close of the letter, your full name should be typed just below your signature. Letters should be addressed using the appropriate title in the salutation. Never use a first name unless you know the addressee personally. Ms. should be used if a woman's preference is not otherwise clear. The cover letter template illustrates the typical business correspondence style to which your letter should conform.
Like the resume, your cover letter should be carefully drafted and typed. Don't just rely on spell check, since some mistakes will not be caught by spell check. Have a friend read over the final draft to make sure that it is typo-free, as your ability to draft a perfect document is of great importance to all legal employers.
How you present yourself and your credentials to potential employers is crucial. Your first impression must be impeccable – this means an accurate, well-executed legal resume, cover letter and whatever other materials the employer requests. At the initial application stage, most employers expect only a resume and cover letter when you are applying directly to them. Other materials that may be requested, however, include: a law school transcript (either unofficial or official), an undergraduate transcript, a writing sample and a list of references. Always be sure to verify the materials required by each employer prior to applying for a summer or post-graduate position. [read more]
Entire Marketing Yourself to Legal Employers Information [view]
Sample Cover Letters
- Cover #1 (1L looking for summer associate position - large firm)
- Cover #2 (1L looking for summer employment - small firm)
- Cover #3 (2L looking for summer associate position)
- Cover #4 (2L looking for summer employment)
- Cover #5 (3L looking for permanent employment)
- Cover #6 (Public Service)
- Cover #7 (Summer Judicial Intern)