Legal Cover Letter Advice 2015

8 Cover Letter Tips and a Sample Cover Letter For Your Law Firm Internship

The cover letter is a small email you write while applying to a law firm. It is really your pitch which says “Take me as an intern” Draft it carefully and do note the following points.

1. The body of the email should itself contain the cover letter. Don’t attach a 300 word cover letter because it won’t be opened in ten cases out of nine. Ten out of nine? It might seem an exaggeration or a misprint but it is none.

Instead of sending your cover letter as an attachment, write it in the body of the email itself.

2. Subject of the email which is the subject of your cover letter should be detailed and educated, a bit like this: Internship Application: 1st May- 30th June: Mumbai Office.

These are the three things (subject + duration + location) should make the subject of your internship cover letter; nothing more and nothing less.

3. Focus and customise. Don’t send an email to dozens of law firms at one go. Identify 5-6 law firms which interest you and send applications tailor-made for them.

For example if you are applying to an IP boutique law firm, include a section in your CV (right at the top, mind you) which reads ‘Achievements in the field of IP’. Also in your cover letter mention these achievements precisely.

4. Art of the start. Start with naming the person you want this to read; the recruitment head, the managing partner or the internship coordinator. Do your research.

Assuming the name of the person is Ram Kumar and the email id for internships is internship@firm.com and you start with “Respected Mr. Ram Kumar” you catch his attention.

If you begin with Respected Sir/Madam you don’t get anyone’s attention.

5. Write English. Please don’t show of your legal writing skills here. Write simple, plain, correct, readable English. Reserve legalese for later, when you actually get the internship.

Do a spelling and grammar check on Word on your cover letter.

6. Attach your CV. If you are not careful with this little thing (of attaching files), the law firm will be unwilling to hand you bigger things like internship.

7. Ask. Ask if you should be sending your writing samples or if the firm will want to take a telephonic interview. Leave your contact number in the footer.

8. A little quote. Emails can have a quote at the end. If it relates to law, is a smart one and is something you identify with, you can include it in every email you send including the internship application. This might be a little controversial but it can tell the recruiter a lot about you.

It adds a human touch and might bring a smile on the recruiters face. A smiling man/woman is a person more likely to give you the internship. So choose the quote carefully.

Here is a sample cover letter for a law firm internship:

Dear Mr. Ram Kumar

This section is: Art of start:Who you are, what you do and where are you going.

I am Rahul Sharma, a 4th year law student from Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar and am very keen to intern at ABC Law Offices (Delhi) from 1st May- 30th June.

This is called: Why Me. The Best Things I Have Done. Why Your Firm Alone is the Perfect Professional Habitat For Me.

I have previously interned at XYZ’s Delhi office where I was a part of the Capital Markets team. During my internship under Mr. Mukul Romani, senior counsel, Supreme Court of India I learnt the basics of legal drafting under his tutelage. I have also completed the Mergers and Acquisitions course offered by the Bombay Stock Exchange. Moreover, I was a part of the ANLU team (oralist) which won the NUKS corporate law moot competition in 2010.

Why you?

I am sure interning at a prestigious law firm like SRGR Law Offices will help me further improve upon my skills. Given my prior experience and interest in corporate law I am sure that Ill be able to contribute immensely towards your practice. I have learnt from LegallyIndia.com about your firm’s growth plans and it will be exciting to be a part of a young and growing team of lawyers.

The Section: I am humble, eager and good.

I am attaching my CV for your kind perusal and will be grateful if I am given an opportunity to intern at your firm. Please let me know if you require anything else as a part of the internship application. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Rahul Sharma

4th year student, BA.LLB (Hons) course

GNLU, Gandhinagar.

Contact: 999999999 (M)

P.S. Just a bonus for you: I have found a nice resource with cover letter info – academichelp.net with a useful “how to write” guide and a lot of free samples [Sponsored].

The Admin

I am the Admin of Lawctopus. I am for law students, of law students and by law students. I am Torts and Contracts and moots and internships. I am your boyfriend! And your girlfriend too! Mentor. Friend. Junior. Senior. I am the footnote in your research paper. Foreword in your life. The jugaad for your internship. The side gig which earns you bucks. I am Maggi. Pocket money too.

It’s a good time to be a job seeker: U.S. job growth is strong, unemployment is on a steady decline, and openings are at an all-time high.

That doesn’t make the search any less daunting. Differentiating yourself from every other job seeker on the market is no small feat, and the monotony of filling out online applications can make the task downright exhausting. That’s where a killer cover letter comes in.

Done right, a great cover letter is like a secret weapon for catching a hiring manager’s attention. Next to your resume, it’s one of the most important, underutilized tools at your disposal.

Here are some cover letter writing tips, and a free, downloadable template, to make yours stand out.

1. Personalize

Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the job you’re applying for — just like your resume. Study the job posting carefully, and make a quick list of any essential qualifications.

“Job seekers really struggle with what to say on a cover letter,” says Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, President and CEO of Great Resumes Fast. “Taking a second to think about why you’re applying, and why you’re a good fit for the company, makes the process a lot easier.”

If you’re adding a cover letter to an online application, use a business letter format with a header and contact information. If you’re sending an email, it’s OK to leave out the header, but be sure to provide a phone number (and an attached resume, of course). Make sure you’re clear about the position you’re applying for.

Avoid nameless salutations — it might take a little Google research, and some LinkedIn outreach, but finding the actual name of the position’s hiring manager will score you major brownie points. “Do not start a cover letter with, ‘to whom it may concern,’” Holbrook Hernandez says. “It concerns no one.”

2. Tell a Story

To grab a recruiter’s attention, a good narrative—with a killer opening line—is everything.

“The cover letter is a story,” says Satjot Sawhney, a resume and career strategist with Loft Resumes. “What is the most interesting thing you’re doing that’s relevant to this job?” Use that to guide your letter.

Ideally, the story that drives your resume will focus on a need at the company you’re applying for. If you’re a PR professional, maybe you have a list of clients in an industry the team wants to break into. If you’re in marketing, a successful promotional campaign might be the ticket in. “A hiring manager wants to see results-driven accomplishments with a past employer,” says Holbrook Hernandez. “If you’ve done it before, you can deliver it again.”

If you have a career gap or are switching industries, address it upfront. “If there’s anything unique in your career history, call that out in the beginning,” says professional resume writer Brooke Shipbaugh.

(Here’s a downloadable sample.)

3. Use Bullet Points to Show Impact

Hiring managers are usually slammed with applications, so short, quick cover letters are preferable to bloated ones, says Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of human resources at job site Indeed.

“Make your cover letter a brief, bright reference tool,” he says. The easier you can make it on the recruiter the better.”

Bullet points are a good tool for pulling out numbers-driven results. Job seekers in creative fields like art and design can use bullets to break down their most successful project. Those in more traditional roles (like the one in the template), can hammer off two or three of their most impressive accomplishments.

4. Highlight Culture Fit

It’s often overlooked, but a major function of the cover letter is to show a company how well you’d mesh with the culture.

As you research a potential employer, look for culture cues on the company website, social media, and review sites like Glassdoor. Oftentimes, employers will nod to culture in a job posting. If the ad mentions a “team environment,” it might be good to play up a recent, successful collaboration. If the company wants a “self-starter,” consider including an achievement that proves you don’t need to be micromanaged.

The tone of your letter can also play to culture. “The cover letter is a great place to show [an employer] how you fit into their world,” Shipbaugh says. “Show some personality.”

5. End with an Ask

The goal of a cover letter is to convince the person reading it to make the next move in the hiring process — with a phone call, interview, or otherwise. Ending on a question opens that door without groveling for it.

“You have to approach this with a non-beggar mentality,” Sawhney says. “Having an ‘ask’ levels the playing field.”

Related: What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2018

 

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