How to Write a Law Cover Letter (With Example)

Learn how to write an effective law cover letter with our comprehensive guide. This resource offers straightforward steps and a practical example to help you create a professional document that highlights your qualifications and experiences, ensuring you present yourself confidently to potential employers.

A law cover letter is a key part of your job application when looking for legal work. It's the first thing potential employers see, so it needs to make a good impression. This letter gives you a chance to show why you're the right person for the job, beyond what's in your resume.

Writing a good law cover letter can be tricky. You need to talk about your skills and experience in a way that gets the employer's attention. It's not just about listing what you've done – it's about showing how you can help the law firm or company.

In this article, we'll walk you through how to write a strong law cover letter. We'll cover what to include, how to structure it, and give you tips to make your letter stand out. We'll also show you an example of a good law cover letter to help you get started.

Remember, a well-written cover letter can open doors to interviews and job offers. It's worth taking the time to get it right. By the end of this article, you'll have the tools and knowledge to write a cover letter that helps you get noticed in the legal field.

Law Cover Letter Example

Sonia Robinson
(657) 537-6687
Tyrone Gomez
Hiring Manager
Baker McKenzie

Dear Mr. Tyrone Gomez,

I am writing to express my strong interest in joining Baker McKenzie as a Law professional. With my passion for the legal field and commitment to excellence, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your esteemed firm.

Throughout my career, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of various areas of law, including but not limited to corporate law, intellectual property, and international business transactions. My analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to navigate complex legal matters have been honed through both academic pursuits and practical experience.

What sets me apart is my dedication to staying abreast of the latest legal developments and my ability to apply this knowledge to real-world scenarios. I am particularly drawn to Baker McKenzie's global presence and reputation for handling sophisticated, cross-border legal matters. Your firm's commitment to innovation in legal service delivery aligns perfectly with my forward-thinking approach to the practice of law.

I am excited about the prospect of contributing to Baker McKenzie's continued success and growth. My strong research skills, coupled with my ability to craft persuasive legal arguments, would enable me to hit the ground running and make immediate contributions to your team.

Moreover, I am deeply committed to pro bono work and community service, values that I know Baker McKenzie holds in high regard. I believe this alignment in values would make me an excellent cultural fit for your organization.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences can contribute to Baker McKenzie's ongoing success. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the possibility of speaking with you further about this exciting opportunity.


Sonia Robinson

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your law cover letter sets the tone for your application and provides essential contact information. A well-structured header ensures that the hiring manager can easily identify and reach you. It's the first thing they'll see, so it's crucial to make a strong impression right from the start.

What to Include in Your Header

Your header should contain your full name, address, phone number, and email address. If applicable, you may also include your LinkedIn profile or professional website. Ensure that all information is current and accurately formatted.

Formatting the Header

Place your header at the top of the page, either left-aligned or centered. Use a professional font that matches the rest of your letter, typically in a slightly larger size or in bold to make it stand out. Leave a space between your header and the date.

Recipient's Information

Below your header, include the date followed by the recipient's information. This should include the hiring manager's name, their title, the law firm or organization name, and their address. If you don't know the specific person to address, research the firm or call to find out.

Professional Appearance

Maintain a clean, professional look by using consistent spacing and alignment throughout your header. This attention to detail reflects your organizational skills and commitment to professionalism, qualities highly valued in the legal field.

Sonia Robinson
(657) 537-6687
Tyrone Gomez
Hiring Manager
Baker McKenzie

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your law cover letter is the greeting. This seemingly small detail can significantly impact the reader's first impression. A well-chosen salutation sets the tone for your letter and demonstrates your attention to detail, a vital skill in the legal profession.

Research the Recipient

Whenever possible, address your letter to a specific person. Take the time to research the firm or organization to identify the appropriate recipient, such as the hiring manager or recruiting coordinator.

Use a Professional Salutation

Begin with "Dear" followed by the recipient's title and last name. For example:

  • "Dear Mr. Smith,"
  • "Dear Ms. Johnson,"
  • "Dear Attorney Roberts,"

When the Recipient is Unknown

If you cannot find a specific name, use a general but professional greeting:

  • "Dear Hiring Manager,"
  • "Dear Recruiting Committee,"
  • "Dear [Law Firm Name] Recruitment Team,"

Avoid Outdated or Overly Casual Greetings

Steer clear of outdated salutations like "To Whom It May Concern" or overly casual greetings like "Hello" or "Hi there." These may come across as impersonal or unprofessional in a legal context.

By paying attention to your greeting, you demonstrate professionalism and set a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter, increasing your chances of making a strong first impression.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your law cover letter sets the tone for your entire application. It's your first opportunity to grab the hiring manager's attention and make a compelling case for why you're the ideal candidate for the position.

Opening Statement

Begin with a strong opening statement that clearly states the position you're applying for and how you learned about it. If you were referred by someone within the firm or have a connection to the organization, mention it here.

Highlight Your Qualifications

Briefly mention your most relevant qualifications, such as your law degree, bar admission, or specific legal experience that aligns with the firm's practice areas. This demonstrates your suitability for the role right from the start.

Express Your Interest

Convey your genuine interest in the position and the firm. Research the organization beforehand and mention specific aspects that appeal to you, such as their reputation in a particular area of law or recent notable cases they've handled.

Showcase Your Value

In one or two sentences, explain what you can bring to the firm. Focus on how your skills and experience can contribute to their success, rather than what you hope to gain from the position.

Transition to the Body

End your introduction with a smooth transition to the body of your cover letter, where you'll provide more detailed examples of your qualifications and achievements.

Remember, the introduction should be concise yet impactful, typically no more than 3-4 sentences. It should entice the reader to continue to the main content of your letter, where you'll elaborate on your qualifications and experiences.

Strong Example

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a recent graduate from Harvard Law School with a passion for environmental law and a track record of academic excellence, I am excited to apply for the Junior Associate position at Green & Associates. My internship experience at the Environmental Protection Agency, coupled with my published article on climate change legislation in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, has prepared me to contribute meaningfully to your firm's renowned environmental practice.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the applicant's credentials and relevant educational background. Mentioning Harvard Law School adds prestige and indicates a high level of academic achievement. Second, it clearly states the specific position being applied for, showing attention to detail. Third, it demonstrates a focused interest in environmental law, which aligns with the firm's specialty. The mention of relevant experience (EPA internship) and a published article showcases the applicant's practical knowledge and scholarly contributions in the field. Lastly, it expresses enthusiasm and directly connects the applicant's background to the firm's practice area, showing how they can add value. This introduction is concise yet informative, making a compelling case for why the applicant is a strong fit for the position.

Weak Example

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for the position of junior associate at your law firm. I graduated from law school last year and I am looking for my first job in the legal field. I believe I would be a good fit for your company 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 uses a generic salutation instead of addressing a specific person, which shows a lack of research and effort. Secondly, it fails to grab the reader's attention or showcase any unique qualities or experiences. The introduction is vague and could apply to any recent law graduate. It doesn't demonstrate knowledge of the firm or explain why the applicant is specifically interested in this position. The statement about being a 'good fit' is not supported by any concrete examples or achievements. Overall, this introduction fails to make a compelling case for why the employer should consider this candidate, and it doesn't stand out from other applications.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your law cover letter is where you can truly showcase your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. This section should be concise yet impactful, highlighting your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you an ideal candidate for the legal role.

Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences

Focus on your most pertinent legal skills and experiences that align with the job requirements. Use specific examples to demonstrate how you've applied these skills in previous roles or during your legal education.

Showcase Your Legal Knowledge

Demonstrate your understanding of the firm's practice areas or the company's legal needs. Mention any specialized knowledge or certifications that set you apart from other candidates.

Emphasize Your Achievements

Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. Whether it's the number of cases you've worked on, successful outcomes, or improvements you've made in previous roles, concrete figures can make a strong impression.

Express Your Interest in the Firm

Research the firm or organization thoroughly and mention specific aspects that attract you to the position. This shows genuine interest and helps you stand out from generic applications.

Connect Your Background to the Role

Explain how your unique background and experiences make you a perfect fit for the position. This could include relevant internships, pro bono work, or academic projects that have prepared you for the role.

Demonstrate Your Soft Skills

Legal work often requires strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities. Provide examples that showcase these soft skills in action.

Keep it Concise and Relevant

While it's important to provide detail, remember to keep your cover letter body concise and focused. Each paragraph should serve a purpose in convincing the employer of your suitability for the role.

Strong Example

As a recent graduate from Harvard Law School with a strong academic record and practical experience in intellectual property law, I am excited to apply for the Associate Attorney position at Smith & Johnson LLP. During my internship at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, I honed my skills in patent prosecution and trademark registration, which align perfectly with your firm's renowned IP practice. Additionally, my experience as a legal clinic volunteer, where I provided pro bono services to local startups, has given me valuable insight into the challenges faced by emerging companies in protecting their innovations. I am particularly drawn to Smith & Johnson's commitment to fostering innovation and its impressive track record in representing clients in high-stakes patent litigation. My passion for technology and its legal implications, combined with my strong research and writing skills, make me well-equipped to contribute effectively to your team from day one.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter body for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the candidate's relevant qualifications, mentioning both their educational background and practical experience in the specific area of law (intellectual property) that matches the firm's focus. The candidate demonstrates knowledge of the firm by referencing its renowned IP practice and commitment to innovation. They also highlight specific experiences (internship at USPTO, pro bono work) that directly relate to the job requirements and showcase their skills. The language is confident and enthusiastic, showing genuine interest in the position. Finally, the paragraph concludes by directly linking the candidate's skills and experiences to the needs of the firm, making a clear case for why they would be a valuable addition to the team. This focused, tailored approach is likely to catch the attention of hiring managers in a competitive legal field.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the position of Junior Associate at your law firm. I graduated from law school last year and I think I would be a good fit for your company. I have always been interested in law and I believe I can contribute to your firm. I am a hard worker and I am willing to learn new things. Please consider me for this position.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example of a cover letter body for several reasons. First, it lacks specificity and fails to demonstrate knowledge about the firm or the position. The content is generic and could apply to any law firm, showing no research or genuine interest. Second, it doesn't highlight any specific skills, experiences, or achievements that make the candidate stand out. The phrases 'I think I would be a good fit' and 'I am willing to learn' suggest a lack of confidence and experience. Third, the writing is basic and doesn't showcase the strong communication skills expected in the legal field. A strong cover letter should be more detailed, tailored to the specific firm and role, and confidently present the candidate's qualifications and enthusiasm for the position.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

As you conclude your law cover letter, the closing section provides a final opportunity to leave a strong impression and prompt action from the reader. This part should reinforce your enthusiasm for the position, express gratitude for the reader's time and consideration, and clearly state your intention to follow up.

Reiterate Your Interest

Briefly restate your interest in the position and the firm. This reinforces your enthusiasm and reminds the reader why you're an excellent fit.

Express Gratitude

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

Call to Action

Indicate your desire for further communication. Mention that you look forward to discussing the opportunity in more detail.

Provide Contact Information

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

Formal Closing

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

Follow-Up Statement

If appropriate, mention that you'll follow up in a specific timeframe, showing proactivity and genuine interest.

By crafting a strong closing, you leave the reader with a positive final impression and clear next steps, increasing your chances of securing an interview or further consideration for the position.

Strong Example

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Smith & Associates' commitment to excellence in corporate law. I look forward to discussing how my skills and experiences align with your firm's needs. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong closing for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude, which is professional and courteous. Second, it demonstrates enthusiasm for the specific firm, mentioning them by name and their area of expertise (corporate law), showing that the applicant has done their research. Third, it confidently expresses a desire for an interview, displaying initiative. Finally, it provides a clear call-to-action, inviting the employer to initiate further contact. The tone is professional yet eager, striking a good balance for a law firm application. It's concise but comprehensive, leaving a positive final impression.

Weak Example

I hope you will consider me for this position. Please let me know if you need any additional information. 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 enthusiasm, using passive language like 'I hope you will consider me' instead of assertively expressing interest. Second, it fails to reiterate the candidate's value or qualifications for the specific law position. Third, it doesn't include a clear call to action or next steps, merely offering to provide additional information if needed. Finally, it's generic and could be used for any job application, missing an opportunity to tailor the closing to the legal field or the specific firm. A strong law cover letter closing should confidently reaffirm the candidate's interest, summarize their key qualifications, and include a more proactive statement about following up or next steps in the application process.

Cover Letter FAQs for Law


What is the ideal format and length for a law cover letter?


A law 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 readable (e.g., Times New Roman or Arial) and the font size between 10-12 points. Use 1-inch margins and left-align the text for a clean, professional appearance.


What key elements should I include in my law cover letter?


Your law cover letter should include: 1) An attention-grabbing 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 strong closing paragraph reiterating your interest and providing your contact information for follow-up.


How can I make my law cover letter stand out from other applicants?


To make your law cover letter stand out, tailor it specifically to each employer by researching the firm/organization and mentioning specific cases, practice areas, or values that align with your interests. Use concrete examples of your achievements and skills rather than generic statements. Demonstrate your writing skills through clear, concise language and flawless grammar. Finally, show enthusiasm for the position and explain why you're uniquely qualified for it.


Should I address any potential weaknesses in my application in my law cover letter?


Generally, it's best to focus on your strengths in a cover letter. However, if there's a significant issue in your application (like a gap in employment or a low GPA), you may briefly address it if you can frame it positively. For example, you could mention how you've grown from the experience or improved your skills. Keep this explanation brief and redirect focus to your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position.