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How to Write a Legal Cover Letter for Law Firms (that Gets you Noticed)

Sharon Miki

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Cover letter for law firms

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Whether you’re just starting your legal journey or are an experienced legal professional seeking a new role, there’s no way around it: demand for legal positions is high. As the 2022 Legal Trends Report explains, in the 12 months before April 2022, nearly one in five lawyers left the law firm they were working for, and nine percent planned to leave their firm in the next six months. 

Despite a high demand for legal positions, however, people still need legal expertise—and law firms need capable legal professionals to fill open roles.

Whether you’re a law student, recent graduate, or experienced legal professional, this post will help you with your legal cover letter writing. We’ve started by providing sample cover letters for legal positions below and will then guide you through the essentials of writing a compelling cover letter for law firms. 

Legal cover letter examples

If you’re feeling overwhelmed when drafting a cover letter for law firms, don’t worry. Seeing a legal cover letter example can give you the confidence to write your own. Below, we’ve compiled a few different sample cover letters for legal positions, covering different backgrounds and levels of experience.

Berkeley Law also provides an excellent guide for legal cover letters. 

You can start by using one of these examples as inspiration for how to structure your cover letter and what you may want to highlight. You can also simply take insights from these sample cover letters for lawyers—insights you can apply to your own cover letter when following our tips below.

Cover letter etiquette

Even after reviewing some legal cover letter examples, the dos and don’ts of legal cover letter writing aren’t always easy to spot. You may ask yourself: what should a legal cover letter include for a law firm? While the content of your cover letter will differ between employers, these points of etiquette should not.

Person researching legal cover letters for law firms

Addressing cover letters for lawyers

To whom it may concern: Always take the time to find the correct contact. When writing cover letters for law firms, it’s a common misstep to dedicate so much time and attention to the body of the letter that you overlook the basics—like who and how you’re addressing the letter. 

Here are some best practices for addressing your legal cover letter:

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In your cover letter’s opening paragraph, you have two main goals:

In the first paragraph, include details about:

Main cover letter body

The body section of your cover letter is your chance to shine—and to succinctly summarize exactly how you meet the requirements set out in the job description. 

In one or two paragraphs, give a high-level overview of your legal education and experience to show:

Highlighting your qualifications

Above all else, ensure your legal cover letter highlights your skills. Relevant qualifications for a law firm cover letter include: 

For example, in the job posting (shown below) for an Associate Lawyer, the ideal candidate is described as having personal injury litigation experience, as well as someone who is “confident, highly motivated, possesses excellent communication skills, works well independently and as a part of a team. They must work well in a fast-paced office environment and take pride in exceeding expectations.” 

Image of a job description for an Associate Lawyer position

If you were applying for this role, your cover letter’s body paragraphs might detail your past personal injury litigation experience and specific examples of how you’ve successfully communicated within a team and in a fast-paced environment.

Remember: Be specific, but keep in mind that this is not the place to restate your resume —if you can grab the hiring manager’s attention here, they will read your resume for those details. Your cover letter is where you can entice the reader to move on to your resume by providing context and highlighting how your experience lines up with what’s needed for the role.

Concluding paragraph

Finally, your concluding paragraph is where you’ll succinctly wrap the cover letter up, close the loop, and leave a positive impression. In your closing paragraph, be sure to:

Tips for using your legal cover letter to stand out

The legal industry is rapidly evolving, and job hunters need to set themselves apart in order to get hired (unless, of course, you decide to start your own law firm ). 

If you’re applying for a job as a lawyer, whether it’s a traditional position or a legal work-from-home job , here are five tips to make sure your cover letter lands at the top of the pile.

Person writing a legal cover letter for a law firm

1. Make it personal

Perhaps the most important tip for writing cover letters for lawyers is to make it personal. 

Many of your competitors have similar education and professional experience, so being generic is a fast track to being forgotten. 

Use a personalized cover letter to showcase the unique reasons why you’re the best candidate. Show that you know the person that you’re writing to and highlight any connections. If that isn’t possible, you can always write about the firm to show that you’ve done your research. 

2. Prioritize the positive 

When you’re writing a lawyer cover letter, focus on what you have to offer. Regardless of the reasons why you’re looking for a new job, you bring a unique mix of attributes to the table. Highlight these attributes, whether they’re your: 

If you’re a law student or recent graduate, you may not have a long legal career to highlight. However, you can still note strengths like technology skills that make you an asset. 

As the 2022 Legal Trends Report found, for example, technology has significantly changed the way lawyers work over the past two years.  To a hiring law firm, being tech competent and familiar with certain cloud-based tools like Clio could be an advantage that sets you apart from other candidates.

3. Get to the point

Legal cover letters are not the place to be long-winded, and droning on will almost certainly have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Keep cover letters for attorneys short, to the point, and persuasive—the trick is to be memorable and limit yourself to one page.

Because you want to make a lasting impression in a single page, it’s also a good idea to check your cover letter’s sentence structure. Do you start all of your sentences the same way? Are they all the same length? Ensure there’s some variety so your reader stays engaged.

4. Set the right tone

Tone matters. While what you say in a cover letter for lawyers is obviously important, it also matters how you say it. 

No matter what type of legal job you’re applying for, you always want to convey a professional tone. However, depending on the law firm you’re applying to, using a personal tone may work to your advantage. Tailor your tone to match that of the law firm you’re applying to.  

If you’re writing a big law cover letter, for example, you’ll want to err on the side of being more formal. For a smaller local law firm? Check their website and match the tone to demonstrate your familiarity with their firm. 

5. Proofread

There is zero room for typos or grammatical errors in cover letters for lawyers. With the high level of competition for legal jobs, don’t give hiring managers a reason to eliminate you. Take the time to carefully proofread your cover letter. It’s also a good idea to enlist someone else to proofread your cover letters.

In a crowded legal job market, there’s no better way to set yourself apart than an excellent legal cover letter. Ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with your future employer by: 

While finding a new legal job in a competitive market isn’t exactly easy, staying resilient and adaptive will lead you to success. By crafting a great cover letter, you’re more likely to be noticed in this—and any—job market.

How do I write a cover letter for a law job?

Start by introducing yourself. In the first paragraph, include details about your current role (or education, if you’re a student). Be sure to mention any referrals or mutual acquaintances. Next, explain why you’d be a great fit for this particular firm. Include specific reasons.

What do law firms look for in cover letters?

Senior partners and hiring managers will be paying attention to your qualifications. It’s helpful to connect your past legal work, academic specializations, and other life experiences with the job description. Remember, they want to hire someone who can do the job.

How to write a cover letter for legal internship?

Your cover letter for a legal internship should be concise, non-generic, error-free, and employer-focused. Use your opening paragraph to introduce yourself, the main body to summarize your qualifications, and the concluding paragraph to leave a positive impression and outline next steps.

How to address a legal cover letter with no name?

Address your legal cover letter to the person responsible for hiring at the firm, such as a senior partner or hiring manager. If you do not have this information, consult the firm’s website or contact its human resources department.

We published this blog post in June 2020. Last updated: February 3, 2023 .

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Lawyer Cover Letter Examples

Lawyers provide legal advice and represent their clients in court. Lawyer responsibilities depend on client needs and on the area of law they are specialized in. Not all lawyers visit the inside of a court room frequently. Typical duties of a Lawyer include: preparing for court hearings, performing research, interviewing clients and witnesses, writing legal documents, negotiating in order to prevent cases from ending up in court, analyzing legal documents, and settling disputes.

Not exactly what you are looking for? Check our complete library of over 1000 cover letter examples .

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For help with your resume, check out our extensive Lawyer Resumes .

Let employers know that you mean business, with a professional cover letter. Learn how to write a cover letter in our detailed guide.

Include These Lawyer Skills

Below is provided a cover letter highlighting similar Lawyer abilities.

Dear Mr. Kelber:

As an accomplished and skilled lawyer with comprehensive experience in providing legal negotiation and representation to a diverse client base, I am well prepared to surpass your expectations. With this in mind, I invite your firm to consider the enclosed resume as you look to fulfill your opening for a lawyer.

With more than 17 years of experience providing extensive general legal services and advice’specializing in a variety of areas including corporate law, real estate, tax law, estate planning, and bankruptcy claims—I am sure to make an immediate and positive contribution to your legal team. My demonstrated success in advising both individual and corporate clients on optimal legal planning and strategies positions me to make a significant impact on your firm.

My qualifications include the following:

Drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and litigating broad range of legal cases for multiple client types while effectively interpreting laws, rules, and regulations and analyzing probable outcomes.

Representing clients in court and demonstrating proficiency in all civil and contract trial proceedings.

Writing and revising a wide variety of motions, affidavits, interrogatories, and contracts, negotiating with other parties and signing settlement agreements as appropriate.

Demonstrating persistence, persuasion, leadership, and superior communication skills to interact effectively with clients and provide an excellent level of service.

With my background in providing overarching legal advisory services to a wide variety of clients—combined with my inherent understanding of legal contracts, negotiations, and proceedings—I am ready to provide outstanding service within your firm. I look forward to discussing the position with you in further detail.

Sara W. Rounds

A professional cover letter is the first step toward your new job!


Cover Letters

E. common cover letter mistakes.

Your cover letter is as important as your resume because it is often read first and plays a vital role in your quest for an interview. A cover letter is not a transmittal letter, and you may be surprised at how time-consuming it is to craft a good one. A cover letter has a purpose, which is to let an employer know why they should bother reading your resume and why they should meet you. It also serves as an example of your written work product; thus it should be clear, brief, and written in a business letter style, without any typographical errors.

1. Cover letters for unsolicited applications come in three main types:

2. When you respond to a job listing, you will usually be requested to submit a cover letter as part of your application. In this case, use the job description and requested qualifications as a guide. While not simply imitating the language of the listing, your letter should demonstrate that you have what the employer is looking for.

3. A few employers at OCI request that students bring a cover letter to the initial interview. This is essentially to require students to think about why they want to work for this employer, but it makes for a letter which deviates from the usual “please consider me for an interview” approach. See below for suggestions on OCI cover letters.

Cover letters should follow standard business letter format, as to spacing, salutation, etc. If you are not sure of the fine points, consult a business correspondence reference source. Avoid abbreviations, contractions and shortcuts (such as a slash instead of “or”), although if there is an accepted short form of the name of the organization you are writing to (e.g., ACLU or Coblentz) it is acceptable to use it in the text of your letter. Your telephone number and email address should appear somewhere in the letter, either at the top with your address, or in the closing paragraph, when you ask them to contact you. Note that your resume is “enclosed,” not “attached” (which means clipped or stapled).

If you are not sure to whom you should send your letter, it is always acceptable to write to the executive director of a nonprofit, or the hiring partner or head of recruiting at a firm; they can forward your application to the appropriate person within the organization. If at all possible, write to an individual by name, not to “Director” or “Recruiting Coordinator.” Firm and organization web sites are very useful in finding this information (and for confirming correct spellings and the like); it may be more difficult to find the name of an individual addressee for government job opportunities. If you do not have the name of an individual, the salutation should be “Dear Sir or Madam” (not “To Whom It May Concern”). Of course if you are responding to a job posting, address your letter exactly as instructed.

As for the appropriate salutation, traditionally, it is “Dear [Mr./Ms.] [Last Name].  However, we understand that this prevailing business norm may not be inclusive of individuals who do not use either of those titles (for example, because they identify as gender nonconforming). One alternative, “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]”, avoids presuming how the recipient may identify, but it is not without some risk.  

If you use this approach, a recipient less attuned to thinking about gender inclusivity (and accustomed to seeing only “Dear [Mr./Ms] [Last Name]”) may wrongly conclude that you were unfamiliar with professional etiquette or that you used a mail merge template and did not bother to customize it.  While awareness around these issues is increasing, we believe that, unfortunately, it is still not a small number of recruiting representatives and attorneys who might draw the wrong conclusion.

One way to navigate this tricky situation might be to see if the recipient has an online presence (e.g., on the firm website or LinkedIn) that might give you a strong clue as to how they would like to be addressed.  Otherwise, you will need to make your own judgment as to whether recipients are more likely to recognize your inclusivity or to view the greeting as awkward or erroneous.

In our office, we are also working to help employers become familiar with gender-inclusive approaches like “Dear [First Name] [Last Name],” but like any process of education, this will take time. In the meantime, our primary goal is to make sure that all Berkeley Law students are fully informed as you navigate legal job markets. We are always available to discuss individually what approach would be the best fit for you.

First Paragraph. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing. Introduce yourself as a law student (including the year you are in) or a graduate of Berkeley Law and specify what it is you are seeking: a summer job, an associate position, a clerkship, part-time work during the school year, etc.

The goal of this paragraph is to give the reader a reason to want to finish reading the letter. If you don’t have a personal connection to cite, try to establish a nexus between yourself and the employer, such as knowledge of their practice, an established commitment to or interest in their work, a connection to their city, or something else which conveys that you are not just writing to them as part of a mass mailing for any job in any location. (If that in fact is what you are doing, try not to be too obvious about it. An employer wants to think that you sought him or her out purposely rather than randomly.)

Body Paragraph(s). This is the section in which you “sell” your experience and qualifications to the employer. Your goal here is to answer the question, “Why should the employer meet you?”

Call attention to something which substantiates your interest in this particular employer. It could be coursework in their specialty, the recommendation of a professor in their area of practice, undergraduate residency in their city, or any other indication of your interest. Try also to show how your experiences will translate into skills which will be useful to this particular employer. Highlight relevant qualifications which are not on your resume, such as coursework, research, or a prior connection to the organization or the issues they work on. If you have general legal skills such as negotiation, litigation, client counseling, interviewing, mock trials, etc., you may want to include them. As much as possible, try to convey understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the aims of the organization.

Employers do not expect first-year students to have highly-developed legal skills to offer. Therefore, for first-year students writing to private firms, this section can be a single, short paragraph, unless you have a strong background in a relevant area. However, even inexperienced first-year students writing to public interest/sector organizations should make an effort to describe skills and interests that are relevant to the employer.

It is appropriate and not uncommon for a public interest cover letter to be somewhat more detailed or personal than a private sector cover letter. Of course, it is still very important to be concise, but it is acceptable for the letter to be a full page if your experience dictates. In a public interest cover letter, it is important both to highlight your demonstrated commitment to the mission/work/client base of the organization through your own relevant work or life experience, and to illustrate your relevant skills. Take another look at your resume for items that show your interest, commitment and skills. Even if you do not have experience in the specific area in which an organization works, it is still important to emphasize your demonstrated commitment to the public interest, and to draw connections between that general commitment and the specific work of the organization. As it is important not to merely regurgitate your resume, consider including a story that illustrates you are interested or qualified in the position.

If your application raises questions that are readily answered, such as availability after the Bar exam, judicial clerkship plans, etc., the letter can address those; other issues may be better deferred to the interview stage. Consult a CDO attorney-counselor if you’re not sure whether to include something in your cover letter.

Final Paragraph. In your last paragraph, thank them for their consideration, and say you hope to hear from them soon. For out-of-town employers, indicate when you plan to be in their geographic area and state your availability for an interview. Be sure to include your phone number and email in this paragraph unless you use a letterhead style that includes them at the top of the page. If you state that you will call the employer to follow up on your application, be sure you do so.

If you are bringing a cover letter to an on-campus interview (which you should do only if the employer requests you to), the content will be a bit different. You don’t need to introduce yourself, as you will be there in person, and you won’t request an interview at the closing. But you can thank the employer for interviewing you and say that you welcome the opportunity to learn more about the employer and to discuss the possibility of working for them. The important thing is to show why you are interested in this particular employer, and how you think your background makes you a good match for them.

The mistakes most commonly found in student cover letters are:

Other cover letter mistakes include: being defensive or apologetic; appearing arrogant or entitled, and being too long and wordy. Unsupported statements of your qualities (“I am highly motivated and a quick study”) do not help your case. Generic reasons for your interest in the employer (e.g., its “excellent reputation”) tend to demonstrate your lack of specific knowledge. Of course typos and inaccuracies, such as misspelled names, or (please!) stating an interest in a practice area that the firm doesn’t have, are automatic application-killers.

Our cover letter template  provides suggestions only; please do not feel excessively constrained by its approach. Your letter should, of course, be original work that reflects your unique background and the job you are aiming at.

Return to Contents

3 Attorney Cover Letter Samples & Writing Guide in 2023

Stephen Greet

Your writing skills are second to none, you can solve any host of legal problems, and you know the law inside and out—you’re an exemplary attorney. You know you can win justice for future clients, fight legal battles shrewdly, help folks stay on the right side of the law, and bolster the reputation of any firm, but first, you have to convince them you’re the right choice.

Getting the job starts with a cover letter and resume. It’d be great if all employers cared about was your track record of winning cases, but both your  attorney resume  and cover letter must present strong evidence of your qualifications and  on-the-job skills  to create a rock-solid case for the role.

Easier said than done. You already spend your days scouring through research and legalese, and now you have to spend more time writing. It can feel like the odds are stacked against you, but we can help you draft, complete, and polish your cover letter with our three attorney cover letter examples and practical writing guide. 

Before you know it, you’ll have a cover letter that gets you noticed and sets the precedent for those to come.

Attorney   Cover Letter Example


Microsoft Word

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Block Format

Attorney cover letter example

Why this cover letter works

Senior Attorney Cover Letter Example

Senior attorney cover letter example

Trademark Attorney Cover Letter Example

Trademark attorney cover letter example

Need a Matching Resume for Your Attorney Cover Letter?

You can start editing this template immediately, you can choose a template that matches the first two attorney cover letter samples, or you can choose a completely different  resume template . They’re all free, and they’re all there to make your life a little easier as you work on securing your next attorney position.

Attorney Resume

Need a resume to pair with your attorney cover letter?

or download as PDF

Attorney resume sample

Beat the Competition with Your Best Attorney Cover Letter

Two colleagues collaborating to create attorney cover letter

As an attorney, you know how you can best help your client, but do you know how to advocate for yourself? Your cover letter must present a favorable argument for your qualifications, exhibit knowledge of the company, and relate your skills to the job description’s requirements—all with a professional yet ardent tone.

It’s a lot, but if anyone can effectively present their accomplishments to a tough crowd, it’s you. Write a hard-hitting attorney cover letter with these simple tips.

cover letter for a lawyer job

Tip 1: Due diligence is a must

There’s  no point in submitting a generic cover letter . If your cover letter looks like it’s been submitted to multiple organizations, employers will assume you’re not all that interested in the job. 

Moreover, if your cover letter doesn’t speak to their job description, they’ll assume you aren’t a good fit. Instead, hit the books (figuratively) and research the company. Then address their specific needs based on what you find online and in their job description.

If you reveal a strong link between your qualifications and their requirements, employers will be hard-pressed not to consider you.

cover letter for a lawyer job

Tip 2: Detail a couple of major accomplishments

No one likes a broken record, so your attorney cover letter can’t simply repeat your resume. A cover letter’s purpose is to relate your experiences and skills to the company in a way your resume can’t. 

A cover letter also gives you the space to examine specific accomplishments in detail. You may argue that you’ve covered everything in your resume, but we know that’s not the case. Go beyond the basics to explore the motivations behind your achievements and how they reveal your value on the job. Are you exceptionally thorough? Find a task that highlights your attention to detail. Are you a whiz at research? Integrate that detail into a metric about your cases.

Here’s one example that gives you a glimpse into the candidate’s methods and motivations.

As a senior associate with Pincus & Associates, PC, I mentored summer and junior associates throughout their onboarding process. After the initial training period, I realized many mentees were struggling with repeat issues, such as voir dire and preparing witnesses. To combat this, I created video lectures and PowerPoint slides to explain procedures and laws surrounding the issues and gave examples, both good and bad. After two months of video training, the new hires completed double the number of tasks, and their client satisfaction scores rose by 18 percent.

These examples show the candidate’s passion for the job and their relevant experience. Moreover, the candidate demonstrates the value they’ll bring to their next role. 

cover letter for a lawyer job

Tip 3: Nail down a winning tone & persuasive message

You’ve successfully incorporated your research, accomplishments, and personal style into your cover letter, but a cover letter is more than that. Here comes the tricky part: adjusting your message and tone.

The correct message and tone can mean the difference between getting dismissed or getting noticed. Remember, although we’ve compared a cover letter to a trial, your letter shouldn’t sound like a cross-examination. It also shouldn’t come across as flattering, casual, or confusing.

Think of your cover letter as the pre-interview. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and encourage further communication. Nailing the right message and tone isn’t easy, but there is good news: unlike a trial, you can start over. 

Revision plays a huge part in writing cover letters. No one has a perfect first draft, and oftentimes, even the second or third drafts aren’t ideal (ask us how many times we’ve revised our cover letter examples). Luckily, you can keep revising and editing until you have an error-free draft that accurately sums up your experience and fervor for the job. 

If you think your judgment isn’t perfectly sound, you can appeal to a coworker and ask them to suggest edits. Their new perspective is more likely to catch content errors and grammatical faux-pas. 

Think of your cover letter as the pre-interview. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and encourage further communication.

All that’s left is one last round of revision before you save it and send in your application to the attorney job you’ve been eyeing.

Build Your Attorney Cover Letter with Our Handy Outline

Giant screen with hands putting together an attorney cover letter outline

Building arguments are your strong suit, which will help you immensely when writing your cover letter. But even the most experienced of writers can find themselves paralyzed by the blank page. Use our outline to build a case employers can’t refuse.

cover letter for a lawyer job

How to start an attorney cover letter

Your contact info:  Don’t leave your future employer wondering how to contact you. Include your email, number, and address (city and state) at the top of your cover letter. Many employers also like to see your LinkedIn profile.

Date:  Adding a date to your cover letter is a professional touch, and it can help both you and the employer keep track of your documents. Just change the date to reflect the actual day you submit your application.

Inside address:  Although a virtual cover letter doesn’t need to be sent by post, you should still include the employer’s address, also known as the inside address. Include the hiring manager’s name, their official title, and the company’s physical location.

Some companies are a bit tricky to track down, especially if they have multiple locations. Scouring Facebook, LinkedIn, and the company’s website usually yields favorable results. Also, check the job description—sometimes they specify where or to whom your documents should be sent. If there are multiple locations, use the address of the location in which you’ll work. 

Heather Adams, Firm Administrator Reed McClure 1215 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1700 Seattle, WA 98161

Greeting:  Every word of your cover letter matters, including your greeting (also called the salutation). A poor greeting indicates a lack of etiquette (dangerous in the highly competitive legal field). The good news? A good greeting is pretty easy to get right. Use “dear” and the name of the hiring manager.

Dear Ms. Adams:

cover letter for a lawyer job

How to write your attorney cover letter

Body:  Just as a case has clearly defined sections, a cover letter has a structure. 

Opening paragraph:  Applying to job after job might get monotonous, but your opener has to sound genuinely excited. Don’t underestimate the power of sincere enthusiasm for the organization and knowledge of its operations. It can also help to include personal details to empathize with the employer. Although, we would urge you not to include intimate details like this:

Your law firm values hard work and dedication, which sums up my career. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a lawyer. I even acted out cases with my stuffed animals! As I grew older, I made sure I received top marks in every class so I could attend Harvard, the law school of my dreams. My commitment was so intense that I never had a relationship that lasted more than 3 months, but it was so worth it.

Although this opener definitely keeps the hiring manager reading, it’s probably because they find your cover letter funny (also known as you don’t stand a chance) instead of compelling. It’s far too personal and has no real relevance to the job. Instead, include details that relate to the company and what you can offer:

The Conservation Law Center’s mission to provide legal assistance to conservation organizations exemplifies my goals as a senior attorney. Throughout my career, I have offered at least 60 hours a year of pro bono work surrounding environmental law. The senior staff attorney position at your law center is a way to combine my passion for conservation, my love of mentorship, and my years of experience to provide assistance where needed most.

Here, Valente explains his background in environmental law and why he wants to work for the company. He leaves no doubt that he wants to work for them specifically, which will make any hiring manager take notice.

Paragraphs 2-3:  Each paragraph should substantiate your claims in the opening paragraph. Your space is limited, so focus on the highlights. Ideally, keep each paragraph focused on one accomplishment like this: 

Later, as a trademark attorney for Classics United Entertainment, I had the opportunity to work with a cross-functional team of designers, actors, producers, directors, and artists to create trademarks for all six departments within the Spears & Things division. For each trademark, I conducted a rigorous trademark clearance search to ensure trademark law compliance and eligibility. Once completing the trademark clearance process, my team and I successfully gave our efforts to developing clearance search procedures for future legal staff, creating a cohesive system across the three CUE divisions.

Although this paragraph isn’t focused on one task, it is focused on one process, and one aspect of that process in particular. Stella explains the overall trademark clearance process but keeps the focus on teamwork with phrases like “work[ing] with a cross-functional team” and “[giving] our efforts.” She effectively shows her legal abilities  and her team-building strategy, both of which bode well for future employers.

Closing paragraph:  Good endings are hard to achieve because they have to leave the recruiters both curious yet satisfied. Scale back and reiterate the big-picture view of your values and qualifications and how they align with what the company/organization needs. End with a call to action that encourages the employer to reach out. Just don’t fall into arrogance like this:

This job requires someone who has years of experience and who values justice. In that case, I am your perfect candidate. In my 10 years of work, I have never lost a case, and I love to argue until everyone knows I’m right. I know I can win the most cases for your company; reach out to me if you want to hire a winner.

Not only is this arrogant, but it’s also unprofessional. Instead, write something that humbly indicates your enthusiasm:

My goal has always been to provide clients with trustworthy, honest service that makes clients feel safe and valued. Reed McClure shares my vision of providing litigation services to improve the lives of both clients and the community. At your convenience, I welcome the chance to further demonstrate how our goals are aligned and how I can personally contribute to Seattle’s civil case resolution.

This close reminds the employer of the candidate’s persona, values, and aligned goals. It’s also clear that a follow-up is desired and anticipated.

cover letter for a lawyer job

How to end an attorney cover letter

Signature:  Mind your manners and say “thank you” if you haven’t already said it in the closing paragraph. Then, sign off with a professional closer along with your name.


Valente Ferreira

Enclosure(s):  This is an important piece to include although many cover letters miss it. This section delineates any other documents you’re attaching, which shows employers you’ve done your research regarding their requests and requirements. In addition to your resume, you may need to include documents like your law school transcript, a writing sample, and/or the job application.

Enclosures: Resume J.D. transcript Writing sample USPTO Law School Clinic Certificate

Your Dream Attorney Role Awaits…Almost

Yellow envelope carrying acceptance letter for attorney position on its way to deliver message

Your cover letter is finished! Case closed, right? Objection—you still have to perfect your  attorney resume . Both resume and cover letter work in tandem to affirm and defend your qualifications, so both must be polished and complete.

But don’t stress—we have you covered. We offer free  modern resume templates  for you to use, or you can try one of our  Word resume templates  (there’s one created especially for a lawyer). You can craft a winning resume in no time; in fact, if you like this attorney resume example, you can begin editing it now. 

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Lawyer Cover Letter Examples

Even in today’s society of online applications, it is still important to have a well-written cover letter. Many companies provide a place on their websites for candidates to upload their resumes and cover letters, and some companies even require the document before they will accept your application. Reading through our lawyer cover letter example and incorporating the included tips can help make sure your cover letter gets noticed.

Lawyer Advice

The cover letter examples below will help you create an effective law cover letter. From experienced courtroom advocates to recent law school graduates, we’ve got you covered. Use these examples as a guide when crafting your own cover letters.

Cover Letter Tips for Lawyer

Those seeking jobs as a Lawyer should begin their search with the right actions. Be sure to take the following tips and suggestions into consideration when on a job search.

1. Know what to expect for your chosen field. Every industry is different in terms of expectations, qualifications, and hiring practices. By implementing this information in your applications, you will have an advantage.

2. Be persistent. You may not hear back from a company you apply to immediately. Never assume that you did not get the job until you are given a definitive answer. Remember that it is expected for you to follow up with a phone call.

3. Prepare yourself for a long job hunt. It is important that you do not become discouraged, as employers are looking for people with good attitudes. Additionally, you should think about how you are going to provide for yourself while searching for work.

4. Research other options. Do not get sucked into a specific job and forget that you have more opportunities. You should know what other jobs will still be beneficial for your long-term career goals.

5. Remember to build and utilize your network. Knowing someone in your chosen industry makes it significantly easier to break into. If you can get your cover letter into the hands of a hiring manager, you will have much better success.

Lawyer Job Seeking Tips

It is vital that you take the time to develop your cover letter if you are looking for jobs as a Lawyer. This is one of the most important parts of finding work, and strengthening your cover letter will lead to better success. Take a look at the following suggestions.

1. Know what employers are looking for. There is a very specific standard for cover letters that is expected you follow. If you deviate from this standard, some employers may not even bother reading your cover letter.

2. Focus on the actions you have taken while working in the past. Employers want to know what you were doing, not just your job description or information about your skills. The experience section is the best place to include this content.

3. Remember that organization is important. It is easy to focus only on the information you include and forget that it must also be organized and easy to read. Avoid clumping information into large blocks or creating gaps in content.

4. Keep an eye on the length of your cover letter. It is usually expected for a cover letter to be just one page long. If you go longer than this when your work history does not justify it, it may make it difficult for some to read your entire cover letter.

5. Always take the time to proofread your cover letter. There is no excuse for typographical errors making it into the final version.

*As seen in :

cover letter for a lawyer job

Lawyer Cover Letter Example

Lawyer Cover Letter Example

Jobs for lawyers are growing and are likely to keep growing, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to get. To rise above the intense competition for desirable positions, you’ll need an outstanding lawyer cover letter, in addition to your resume, showcasing your job experience, skills and other qualifications.

At resume.io, we specialize in providing a wide range of job search advice and tools. Our resources include more than 180 occupation-specific cover letter example s, along with guidance on how to prepare them properly.

The guide you’re reading now, backed by a lawyer cover letter example, will address the special considerations of writing a winning cover letter to send with your resume.

What this guide will address:

How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2023]

Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.

The job outlook for lawyers

In the United States, there were 1.35 million active lawyers as of 2019, according to the American Bar Association . Lawyers earned a median salary of $126,930 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . And job growth of 9% is expected from 2020 through 2030 in the U.S., which leads the world by far in the number of lawyers.

Yet despite this bounty of jobs, the BLS says the job market for lawyers remains highly competitive because every year there are more new law school graduates than lawyer jobs. 

Looking for more cover letter ideas and samples? Check out our related legal cover letter examples:

Why a lawyer needs a cover letter

Although your resume should cover your job experience, education and other qualifications for the job, a cover letter is important because it establishes a personal connection to a hiring manager. Your resume may end up in a stack of others, but the cover letter is your way of introducing yourself and making a positive first impression on a person who has the power to offer you a job.

And while a resume can be a bit cold and impersonal, a cover letter allows you to showcase your personality, passion and likability. Surveys have shown that the failure to include a cover letter is one of the top reasons resumes are rejected. Always include a cover letter unless you’re specifically asked not to.

Best format for a lawyer cover letter

In most cases, a cover letter should be one page, a maximum of 400 words, structured as follows:

Below is a lawyer cover letter example that you can customize for the position and hiring organization.

Dear Mrs. Jackson, 

May I present Exhibit A: an IP lawyer, bilingual in Japanese and English, whose five years of intellectual property experience have been spent protecting the international trademarks and patents of companies such as Bask-Tonns and Crisp Craine, as well as 40+ other mid-sized consumer brands. Collaborations with in-country legal teams have led to multiple nine-figure settlements in IP infringement and patent disputes. 

Your requirement for an IP lawyer at Oakman & Harley LLP caught my eye because I know that you are increasingly representing the legal interests of consumer brands in the Far East. Intellectual property is a minefield in the region — you need a mix of local and sector-specific knowledge to cut through the complexity. 

After graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School and passing the bar, I retained an interest in legal writing. I have published 70+ articles on international copyright law and trademark protection on top legal websites, and have authored six amicus curiae briefs about varying subjects. My academic research has made me one of the leading experts in the field and contributed to the following legal successes: 

Whether I am defeating a product liability class action suit or fighting a trademark infringement, I live to defend the rights of people who have given everything to bring their brand to life. Their existence should not be threatened by the illegal heists of opportunistic thieves. I enjoy stopping that from taking place. 

I would like nothing more than to discuss some of my high-profile cases and am excited by the opportunity to find out more about working with the Oakman & Harley team. 


Herman Walton 

Cover letter header

The header contains your name, occupation, address, phone number and email. The header also serves as an eye-pleasing design element on the page, allowing for an appropriate use of white space and perhaps a splash of color. To see some examples of good headers, go to resume.io and review the free cover letter template designs.

Align document styles

A resume and cover letter are a matching set, so it’s important to use the same fonts, font sizes and formatting styles in both. The header on the two should also match, so that a recruiter can see at a glance that these two documents came from the same person.

A jumble of different fonts and styles creates an unattractive, disorganized appearance. Demonstrate your attention to detail by developing a cohesive style.

Goal of the cover letter header : Readily identify the cover letter as belonging to you in a visually impressive manner that reflects your regard for detail and professionalism.

Cover letter greeting

“Dear Mr. (or Ms.) (Last Name):” is the traditional, time-honored greeting in any business letter, and you can’t go wrong with this proven formula. Avoid using a hiring manager’s first name unless you already know this person.

Law is one of the most formal of professions, so beware of being too familiar here or anywhere in your letter. You do want your letter to be written with a personal touch, but you don’t want it to be too casual or laid-back.

Always endeavor to address your letter to a specific person, whoever is responsible for hiring at the firm you are targeting. If a job listing doesn’t provide the name of a contact, consider calling the company to find out. It shows good initiative on your part if you’ve done your homework and found out who you need to be talking to.

Goal of the cover letter greeting : Start the cover letter off on a professional note by making an immediate, direct connection with the law firm recruiter.

Here’s the greeting from our lawyer cover letter sample.

Dear Mrs. Jackson,

Cover letter introduction

In energetic, provocative language, your opening paragraph should both identify the job you’re seeking and provide a preview of your qualifications. It should get readers’ attention and make them want to read on.

You need to find the right tone of voice, one that is professional yet lively, never bland or boring. Steer clear of hackneyed phrases, HR-speak and fluff. Think of the introduction like the opening statement in a trial — you want the jury to be riveted.

Goal of the cover letter introduction : instantly stand out from the crowd of other job candidates by owning your opening message and language.

Here’s an introduction idea from our lawyer cover letter sample.

Cover letter middle part (body)

The body of your letter is where you must make the case that you are eminently qualified for this job. If you have years of experience in law, that would be the first thing to mention. 

Your resume should already mention your past jobs, with bullet points highlighting your achievements at those jobs. But your cover letter allows you to expand on this, for example by relating an anecdote about a major job challenge you once faced and how you surmounted it. Be specific about your job-related accomplishments, and use facts and figures wherever possible.

If you’re just finishing law school and your work experience is thin, mention any internships or legal volunteer work you’ve done. Emphasize your academic experience, your involvement in mock trials or anything else that portrays you as a strong job candidate. The body of your letter can also be used to discuss your specialized skills, talents, passions and professional aspirations.

Goal of the cover letter body : argue your case for being the strongest job contender with supporting evidence.

Our lawyer cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

• Obtained favorable settlements in 92% of cases (top centile for the practice area). 

• Won a record $165 million settlement that changed the course of the ice-cream industry. 

• Focused work with four or five clients a week, with a 96% career client satisfaction rate. 

How to close a lawyer cover letter

These are your closing arguments. The last paragraph of your letter should be a brief, energetic recap as well as an optimistic call to action. You may ask if you could call in a week or two to see about arranging an interview. 

At the very least, leave the reader with the impression that you are eager to hear back. Plant the thought that your reader should do something as a result of this letter and not just set it aside.

Goal of the cover letter conclusion : wrap up your submission while confidently asserting that the next move is up to the recruiter.

Below is the closing section of our lawyer cover letter example.

Cover letter signature 

Close with a “Sincerely” or the equivalent, followed by your typed name.

Layout and design of your cover letter

How your letter looks is almost as important as what it says. Law offices send a lot of letters, and they tend to have a professional, formal yet attractive appearance. 

Use a modern, easy-to-read font in a font size of 10 to 12 points. If you’re finding it hard to fit your text on one page, trim your text before trying to reduce font size. 

Leave a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right. Leave a space between paragraphs, and don’t make the paragraphs too long. Use text that’s aligned left, not justified from margin to margin. 

Following these guidelines will give your letter the right amount of white space — the parts of the page that contain nothing at all. Designers will tell you that a judicious use of white space is crucial to good design. 

Finally, in most cases you want to save your cover letter as a PDF, a file type that will preserve all your formatting so that it looks the same on anyone’s computer. A few employers prefer Word files or some other format, and of course you should follow their wishes. But otherwise the PDF should be your go-to file type. 

Note that a professionally designed cover letter template from resume.io will take care of all these design and formatting issues for you. All you have to do is write the letter.

Psychology, tactics and tips

Some common mistakes

Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid when writing your cover letter:

Key takeaways for a lawyer cover letter

Once you've chosen a cover letter template style you like, and use our builder tool to make this letter your own.  You’ll be building on a proven formula.

Free professionally designed templates


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