How to Write a Attorney Cover Letter (With Example)

Learn how to write an effective attorney cover letter with our comprehensive guide. Get step-by-step instructions, practical tips, and an example to help you create a strong cover letter that showcases your skills and experiences.

When applying for a lawyer job, a cover letter is a key part of your application. It's a short letter that goes with your resume and tells the employer why you're a good fit for the job. Writing a good cover letter can help you stand out from other people who want the same job.

A lawyer cover letter is different from other types of cover letters because it needs to show your legal skills and knowledge. It's a chance to talk about your experience in law and why you're interested in working for that specific law firm or company. The cover letter should make the employer want to look at your resume and maybe call you for an interview.

In this article, we'll talk about how to write a strong cover letter for a lawyer job. We'll explain what to include in your letter and give you tips to make it better. We'll also show you an example of a good lawyer cover letter to help you understand what it should look like. By the end of this article, you'll have a better idea of how to write a cover letter that can help you get the lawyer job you want.

Attorney Cover Letter Example

Luis Wilson
(260) 764-5394
Same Arnold
Hiring Manager
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Dear Same Arnold,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Attorney position at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. As a dedicated legal professional with a passion for excellence and a commitment to client advocacy, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your esteemed firm's legacy of legal innovation and success.

Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in various areas of law, developing a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, strategic thinking, and unwavering ethical standards. My experience includes successfully handling complex litigation cases, drafting comprehensive legal documents, and providing sound counsel to clients across diverse industries. These experiences have equipped me with the versatility and adaptability crucial for thriving in a dynamic legal environment such as Skadden's.

What sets me apart is my ability to combine analytical prowess with creative problem-solving. I pride myself on finding innovative solutions to challenging legal issues while maintaining strict adherence to legal principles and professional ethics. My commitment to staying abreast of the latest legal developments and industry trends ensures that I can provide cutting-edge advice and representation to clients.

I am particularly drawn to Skadden's reputation for handling high-stakes, sophisticated legal matters on a global scale. Your firm's commitment to excellence and its collaborative culture align perfectly with my professional values and aspirations. I am eager to contribute my skills and dedication to your team, helping to further solidify Skadden's position as a leader in the legal industry.

My strong communication skills, both written and verbal, enable me to effectively articulate complex legal concepts to clients and colleagues alike. I thrive in team environments and am known for my ability to build strong relationships with clients, co-counsel, and opposing parties, facilitating smoother negotiations and more favorable outcomes.

I am excited about the prospect of bringing my passion for law, strategic mindset, and commitment to client service to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my background, skills, and enthusiasm can contribute to your firm's continued success.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the possibility of speaking with you further about this exciting opportunity.


Luis Wilson

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your attorney cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager will see, making it crucial to create a strong first impression. A well-crafted header sets a professional tone and provides essential contact information, ensuring the recipient can easily reach out to you.

Key Elements of a Cover Letter Header

Your header should include:

  1. Your full name
  2. Professional title (e.g., "Attorney at Law")
  3. Phone number
  4. Email address
  5. LinkedIn profile (optional)
  6. Physical address (optional)

Formatting Tips

Align your header to the left or center of the page, using a clean, professional font. Ensure your name stands out by making it slightly larger or using bold formatting. Use a consistent style and layout across all your application documents for a cohesive, polished look.

Date and Recipient's Information

Below your header, include the current date followed by the recipient's details:

  1. Hiring manager's name and title
  2. Law firm or company name
  3. Company address

If you don't know the hiring manager's name, use a generic salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager" or research the firm to find the appropriate contact person.

By crafting a clear, professional header, you demonstrate attention to detail and make it easy for potential employers to contact you, setting the stage for a compelling cover letter that showcases your qualifications as an attorney.

Luis Wilson
(260) 764-5394
Same Arnold
Hiring Manager
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your attorney cover letter is the greeting. This section sets the tone for your letter and demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

Addressing the Recipient

Whenever possible, address your letter to a specific person. Research the firm or organization to find the name of the hiring manager or recruiting partner. If you can't find a specific name, use a general but professional greeting.

Examples of Appropriate Greetings

  • "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],"
  • "Dear [Full Name],"
  • "Dear Hiring Manager,"
  • "Dear Recruiting Partner,"
  • "Dear Legal Recruitment Team,"

Avoid Outdated or Overly Casual Greetings

Steer clear of outdated salutations like "To Whom It May Concern" or overly casual greetings like "Hey" or "Hi there." These can make your letter appear generic or unprofessional.

Gender Considerations

If you're unsure about the recipient's gender or preferred title, it's best to use their full name or opt for a gender-neutral greeting.

Remember, the greeting sets the stage for the rest of your letter. A thoughtful, well-researched salutation shows that you've taken the time to personalize your application and are serious about the position.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your attorney cover letter sets the tone for your entire application. This crucial opening paragraph should immediately grab the reader's attention and compel them to continue reading. Here's how to craft a strong introduction that makes a lasting impression:

Start with a compelling hook

Begin your letter with a powerful statement or anecdote that showcases your passion for law and your unique qualifications. This could be a brief mention of a relevant accomplishment or a concise explanation of why you're drawn to the specific law firm or position.

Clearly state your purpose

Directly state the position you're applying for and how you learned about the opportunity. This demonstrates your attention to detail and ensures your application is directed to the right department.

Highlight your most relevant qualifications

Briefly mention one or two key qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for the position. These should align closely with the job requirements and set the stage for the more detailed information you'll provide in the body of your letter.

Express enthusiasm

Convey your genuine interest in the position and the law firm. Employers want to hire candidates who are not only qualified but also excited about the opportunity to contribute to their organization.

Keep it concise

Remember, the introduction is just a taste of what's to come. Aim to keep this section to 3-4 sentences, leaving the reader eager to learn more about your qualifications in the following paragraphs.

Strong Example

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a seasoned litigation attorney with over 8 years of experience in complex commercial disputes and a proven track record of successful case outcomes, I am excited to apply for the Senior Litigation Associate position at Johnson & Smith LLP. My passion for the law, coupled with my strategic approach to problem-solving and strong advocacy skills, aligns perfectly with your firm's reputation for excellence in high-stakes litigation.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately highlights the candidate's relevant experience and expertise, specifying the number of years and area of specialization. This grabs the reader's attention and establishes credibility. Second, it mentions a specific position, showing that the application is tailored rather than generic. Third, it demonstrates knowledge of the firm by referencing its reputation, indicating research and genuine interest. Finally, it connects the candidate's skills and passion to the firm's needs, showing how they would be a good fit. The tone is confident and professional, setting a positive impression from the start.

Weak Example

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for the position of Attorney at your law firm. I graduated from law school last year and I'm looking for my first job. I saw your job posting online and thought it looked interesting. I think I would be a good fit for this role because I am hardworking and eager to learn.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak cover letter introduction for several reasons. Firstly, it's generic and doesn't address a specific person or firm, which shows a lack of research and personalization. The opening line is vague and doesn't grab attention. The applicant mentions their recent graduation but doesn't highlight any specific skills or experiences that make them suitable for the role. The statement about seeing the job posting online is unnecessary and doesn't add value. Lastly, the claim of being a good fit is based on generic traits like being hardworking and eager to learn, rather than specific legal skills or knowledge relevant to the position. A strong introduction should demonstrate knowledge of the firm, showcase relevant skills and experiences, and explain why the applicant is uniquely qualified for the role.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your attorney cover letter is where you can showcase your qualifications, experience, and passion for the legal field. This section allows you to expand on your most relevant achievements and demonstrate why you're an ideal candidate for the position.

Highlight Your Legal Experience

Begin by discussing your most relevant legal experience, including internships, clerkships, or previous attorney positions. Focus on accomplishments that align with the firm's practice areas and requirements.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Emphasize key skills that make you a strong candidate, such as research abilities, analytical thinking, and oral and written communication. Provide specific examples of how you've applied these skills in your legal work.

Show Your Knowledge of the Firm

Demonstrate your interest in the specific firm by mentioning recent cases, notable attorneys, or the firm's reputation in certain practice areas. This shows you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position.

Express Your Passion for Law

Convey your enthusiasm for the legal profession and your commitment to serving clients. Explain what drives you as an attorney and how this aligns with the firm's values and goals.

Quantify Your Achievements

Where possible, use numbers and specific outcomes to illustrate your accomplishments. This could include successful case outcomes, client satisfaction rates, or efficiency improvements you've implemented.

Remember to tailor each paragraph to the specific job requirements and firm culture. Keep your language professional yet engaging, and ensure each point reinforces why you're the best candidate for the position.

Strong Example

As a dedicated attorney with five years of experience in corporate law, I am excited to apply for the Senior Associate position at Johnson & Partners LLP. My track record of successfully handling complex mergers and acquisitions, coupled with my expertise in regulatory compliance, aligns perfectly with your firm's reputation for excellence in corporate transactions.

During my tenure at Smith & Jones Legal, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to manage high-stakes cases and deliver favorable outcomes for our clients. For instance, I recently led a team that successfully negotiated a $500 million cross-border acquisition, ensuring full compliance with international regulations while maximizing value for our client. This experience has honed my skills in strategic thinking, attention to detail, and effective communication – all of which I'm eager to bring to your esteemed firm.

I am particularly drawn to Johnson & Partners' commitment to innovation in legal practice. Your firm's recent implementation of AI-driven contract analysis aligns with my passion for leveraging technology to enhance legal services. I believe my experience in developing streamlined due diligence processes using cutting-edge legal tech tools would contribute significantly to your firm's continued success in this area.

I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Johnson & Partners' legacy of legal excellence and to grow professionally within your collaborative and forward-thinking environment.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter body for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the applicant's relevant experience and qualifications, linking them directly to the position and firm. The specific mention of corporate law experience and the firm's reputation shows the applicant has done their research and understands the role.

Secondly, it provides concrete examples of the applicant's achievements, such as leading a $500 million acquisition, which demonstrates their capability to handle significant responsibilities. This use of specific, quantifiable accomplishments is much more impactful than general statements about skills.

The letter also shows enthusiasm for the firm's innovative approaches, particularly mentioning their use of AI in legal practice. This demonstrates that the applicant is forward-thinking and stays current with industry trends.

Finally, the closing paragraph reiterates the applicant's interest in the firm and positions them as a valuable potential asset, focusing on what they can contribute rather than what they hope to gain. The tone throughout is professional yet engaging, striking a good balance for a legal position.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the Attorney position at your firm. I graduated from law school last year and I really need a job. I don't have much experience, but I'm a fast learner and I promise I'll work hard. I've always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid watching Law & Order. I think I'd be great at it. Please give me a chance to prove myself. I'm available for an interview anytime.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example for several reasons. First, it lacks professionalism and comes across as desperate and immature. The writer focuses on their own needs rather than what they can offer the firm. There's no mention of specific skills, relevant experience, or knowledge of the firm. The reference to TV shows as inspiration is inappropriate for a professional setting. The content is vague and doesn't demonstrate any research into the firm or the role. Additionally, the tone is too casual and doesn't reflect the level of formality expected in legal correspondence. A strong cover letter should highlight relevant skills, experiences, and knowledge of the firm, while maintaining a professional tone throughout.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

The closing of your attorney cover letter is your final opportunity to leave a strong impression and prompt action from the reader. A well-crafted closing should reinforce your interest in the position, express gratitude for the reader's time, and indicate your eagerness for further communication.

To create an effective closing:

Reiterate Your Interest

Briefly restate your enthusiasm for the position and the firm. This reminds the reader of your motivation and dedication.

Express Appreciation

Thank the reader for their time and consideration. This demonstrates professionalism and courtesy.

Call to Action

Politely express your hope for an interview or further discussion. This shows initiative and confidence in your candidacy.

Formal Sign-Off

Use a professional closing salutation, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.

Contact Information

Include your phone number and email address for easy follow-up.

Remember to keep your closing concise and impactful. A strong finish can help your cover letter stand out and increase your chances of securing an interview.

Strong Example

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my legal expertise and passion for justice to your esteemed firm. I look forward to discussing how my skills and experience align with your team's needs and how I can help drive success for your clients. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview. I am eager to further elaborate on how I can be an asset to [Law Firm Name].

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong closing for an Attorney cover letter for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude for the reader's time, which is professional and courteous. It then reiterates enthusiasm for the position, demonstrating genuine interest. The closing also highlights the candidate's value proposition by mentioning their legal expertise and passion for justice. It proactively suggests next steps by mentioning an interview, showing initiative. Finally, it reaffirms the candidate's desire to contribute to the firm's success, which aligns with what employers seek. The tone is confident yet respectful, striking a good balance for a legal professional.

Weak Example

I hope you will consider me for this position. I am available for an interview at your convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Why is this a weak example?

This closing is weak for several reasons. First, it lacks confidence and assertiveness, which are crucial qualities for an attorney. The phrase 'I hope you will consider me' comes across as passive and uncertain. Second, it fails to reiterate the candidate's enthusiasm for the position or the firm. There's no mention of how the candidate's skills align with the role or how they could contribute to the firm's success. Additionally, the closing doesn't include any specific follow-up action or timeline, which can make the candidate seem less proactive. Finally, it's generic and could be used for any job application, showing a lack of personalization or genuine interest in this particular legal position. A strong attorney cover letter closing should demonstrate confidence, reaffirm interest in the specific role, and indicate a clear next step in the application process.

Cover Letter FAQs for Attorney


What is the ideal format and length for an attorney cover letter?


An attorney cover letter should typically be one page long, consisting of 3-4 concise paragraphs. Use a professional business letter format with your contact information at the top, followed by the date and the employer's details. Keep the font professional (e.g., Times New Roman or Arial) and the font size between 10-12 points. Maintain 1-inch margins on all sides for a clean, readable appearance.


What key elements should be included in an attorney cover letter?


An effective attorney cover letter should include: 1) A strong opening paragraph stating the position you're applying for and how you learned about it. 2) A body paragraph highlighting your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. 3) A paragraph demonstrating your knowledge of the firm/organization and why you're interested in working there. 4) A closing paragraph reiterating your interest and providing your contact information for follow-up.


How can I make my attorney cover letter stand out?


To make your cover letter stand out, tailor it specifically to the job and firm you're applying to. Showcase your unique value proposition by highlighting specific achievements and how they relate to the position. Use strong, action-oriented language and provide concrete examples of your legal skills and experience. Additionally, demonstrate your knowledge of the firm's recent cases or specialties to show genuine interest and research.


Should I mention my bar admission status in my attorney cover letter?


Yes, it's important to mention your bar admission status in your cover letter. If you're already admitted to the bar, state this clearly along with the jurisdiction. If you're awaiting bar results or planning to take the bar exam soon, mention this as well. This information is crucial for potential employers to know your current eligibility to practice law.


How should I address salary expectations in an attorney cover letter?


Generally, it's best to avoid mentioning salary expectations in your cover letter unless specifically requested by the employer. If the job posting asks for salary requirements, you can briefly address it in the final paragraph. Instead of giving a specific number, provide a salary range based on your research of industry standards for similar positions in that location. Always express flexibility and emphasize that you're more interested in the opportunity than the salary.