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Attorney Cover Letters Samples

Cover Letter Advice

The cover letter is a sample of your written work and should be brief (preferably one page), persuasive, well-reasoned, and grammatically perfect.  

A good cover letter:

  • Tells the employer who you are (e.g., a first-year student at YLS) and what you are seeking (e.g., a summer intern position);
  • Shows that you know about the particular employer and the kind of work the employer does (i.e., civil or criminal work, direct client service, "impact" cases, antitrust litigation); 
  • Demonstrates your writing skills;
  • Demonstrates your commitment to the work of that particular employer and converys that you have something to contribute;
  • Shows that you and that employer are a good "fit;" and
  • Tells the employer how to get in touch with you by email, telephone, and mail.

 Determine to whom you should address the cover letter. If you are applying to law firms, address your letter to the recruiting director. For NALP member firms, use the NALP Directory to obtain contact information. (NALP also provides a useful mail merge feature for generating multiple letters). For other employers, you can refer to their websites, or contact the office to determine to whom your materials should be directed. 

 Although there are many ways to write a cover letter, the following format has worked well for students in the past.

  • In the first paragraph of your cover letter, explain why you are sending your resume to the employer: “I am a first-year student at Yale Law School and am seeking a position with your organization for the summer 20xx.” If you are applying to public interest employers and are eligible for SPIF funding, you can mention that here.
  • Use the second paragraph to explain your interest in the employer, including your interest in the employer’s geographic location, reputation, specialty area, or public service.
  • In the third paragraph, stress why this employer should hire you. Elaborate on the qualifications that you possess that will make you an exceptional summer intern or attorney.
  • The final paragraph should thank the employer for taking the time to review your application and tell them how to reach you. You may wish to state that you will contact the employer in a couple of weeks to follow-up and then actually do so. This is especially true with public interest employers who are often understaffed and will appreciate your extra effort.

Additional CDO Resources

Bonnie Porter

123 Main Street, Stateland, ST, 99999

Cell: (555) 123-9876 – sample.email@livecareer.com

August 18, 2014

RE: Enthusiastic and Hard-Working Federal and Law Enforcement Specialist

Dear Hiring Professional,

I read with interest your posting for Attorneys and Lawyers  on the LiveCareer job board. I believe I possess the necessary skills and experience you are seeking and would make a valuable addition to your organization.

My resume outlines my experience and knowledge in operations management, staff training and development, client relations, federal agency regulations, and conflict management.

Key elements which I possess for the success of the position include the following:

  • Generated over $200K in yearly billing, representing over 1,500 indigent defendants.
  • Improved efficiencies, exercising prosecutorial and law enforcement background for broader perspective when aiding clients with successful resolutions.
  • Executed speedy conflict resolution, mediating domestic related disturbances, and conducting interviews with complainants/victims for information gathering.
  • Streamlined legal work flow, processing crimes scenes, collecting evidence, organizing facts for incident reports/ongoing investigations, and preparing documentation for court submissions.

Please review my attached resume for more details on my expertise with loss prevention, risk mitigation, investigative procedures, policy development, and confidential document control.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your valued time,

Bonnie Porter

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