Legal / Law Cover Letter: Examples & How to Write (+25 Tips)

It doesn’t matter whether you carried a sense of injustice you needed to correct since early adolescence, or you just really liked Harvey Specter in Suits. Getting the legal jobs you want is about demonstrating that you can do what you’re routinely going to be doing. Building an argument.

 

A legal cover letter needs to show your powers of reasoning and persuasion to build a strong case for your suitability to the role at hand. You will need to show empirical as well as theoretical basis for why you are guilty of being the best candidate for the position.

 

This guide is focused on legal professionals after their LPC that hope to train to be a solicitor or barrister. However, you can use these tips whether you’re applying as a paralegal, legal assistant, or else. The same rules apply. Time to go to trial.

 

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

 

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Legal cover letter example

 

Jim Patterson

291 Royal College Street

London

NW1 4RW

07586123198

jim@patterson.com

 

John Smith

Recruitment Manager

Duncan Lewis

1 Chancery Lane

London

EC2Y 8HQ

 

June 12, 2021



Dear Mr. Smith,

 

Having graduated with a Distinction in my LPC from City University, and a 1st Class LLB from Durham University, I am ready to start a challenging and rewarding career as a Trainee Solicitor with Duncan Lewis. I am passionate about immigration, asylum and human rights law, and want to start a career where I make a difference every day.

 

I have built my commercial awareness during my 3-week internship with DLA Piper, where I assisted the Financial Services team on a compliance project that helped prevent £4m in potential liability to changing regulations. However, it is still my first experience of law that remains my most formative, when in Sixth Form, I assisted my best friend’s father with his immigration dispute. I helped him navigate the initial stages of the process, and explained the feedback received from authorities, and when it was needed, found a pro-bono lawyer in Mr Al-Mudaris of the Good Advice Foundation, who commended me on my summary of the case to him, and validated the advice I had given so far. With Mr. Al-Mudaris’ counsel, my friend’s family remained intact in Britain, and the difference I saw that lawyer make was something that I wanted to be able to do all along, unfortunately being too young and unqualified to do so at the time.

 

The times are different now. I am qualified to make the difference, and with your guidance I hope to make a foothold in doing so. The type of work you do is the type of legal work I find most rewarding and inspiring, and I am confident in being a productive addition to Duncan Lewis.

 

When would be a good time to set a meeting or a call for me to tell you about how my mini-pupillages at 39 Essex Chambers further validated my choice in focusing on helping individuals?

 

Best Regards,

Jim Patterson

 

That’s how to nail a legal cover letter bang to rights. Let’s craft your own, step by step. Here's what to include in a cover letter:

 

1. Start with a professional header and salutation

 

Start writing your cover letter by formatting the header like any other business letter: 

  • Right-align your contact details (incl. email and phone)
  • Left-align your hiring manager’s details
  • Put down the date
  • State the subject (i.e. the position) of your legal cover letter

 

If possible, try to address the cover letter directly to the person dealing with it. In this profession, surname may be better than first name, initially. Reference against this legal cover letter sample:

 

Legal cover letter example—header

 

Jim Patterson
291 Royal College Street

London

NW1 4RW

07586123198

jim@patterson.com

 

John Smith

Recruitment Manager

Duncan Lewis

1 Chancery Lane

London

EC2Y 8HQ

 

June 12, 2021

 

RE: Trainee Solicitor Position

 

Dear Mr. Smith,

 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

 

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

 

Create your cover letter now

 

2. Open your legal cover letter with strong evidence

 

Your legal cover letter should not be an investigation. It should be a presentation of evidence. Unlike in the courtroom, don’t save the best until last. Offload it as soon as possible to give them a reason to keep reading. These applications come by the dozen.

 

Since you are most likely at the beginning of your legal career, you should state your ambition and how it aligns with the profile of the firm you are applying to. This section should be somewhere between 40 and 80 words.

 

Legal cover letter example—opening paragraph

 

Having graduated with a Distinction in my LPC from City University, and a 1st Class LLB from Durham University, I am ready to start a challenging and rewarding career as a Trainee Solicitor with Duncan Lewis. I am passionate about immigration, asylum and human rights law, and want to start a career where I make a difference every day.

 

3. Make a good case in the body of your law cover letter

 

This is the trial. The main body of your letter will be where you present the majority of your arguments and evidence. Relate it to the needs of your prospective employer and explain how those experiences make you prepared and eager to work in this position.

 

If you have experience in more commercial areas of law, you will find it easier to provide perspective for your experience, in terms of numerical figures. 

 

Even in the more personal areas of law, you could try to estimate how many cases you assisted on during internship or pupillages, and what was the significance of it. It is also a good place to explain your passion for this particular area of law.

 

If you are applying to a training contract with rotating seats, you could discuss why you prefer this way over another company’s way of doing it, showing you have done the research. This section could be between 120 and 200 words. It's better to be concise as hiring managers prefer short cover letters.

 

Example legal cover letter—main paragraph

 

I have built my commercial awareness during my 3 week internship with DLA Piper, where I assisted the Financial Services team on a compliance project that helped prevent £4m in potential liability to changing regulations. However, it is still my first experience of law that remains my most formative, when in Sixth Form, I assisted my best friend’s father with his immigration dispute. I helped him navigate the initial stages of the process, and explained the feedback received from authorities, and when it was needed, found a pro-bono lawyer in Mr Al-Mudaris of the Good Advice Foundation, who commended me on my summary of the case to him, and validated the advice I had given so far. With Mr. Al-Mudaris’ counsel, my friend’s family remained intact in Britain, and the difference I saw that lawyer make was something that I wanted to be able to do all along, unfortunately being too young and unqualified to do so at the time.

 

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter maker will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

 

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4. Provide a closing argument with a call to action

 

The third paragraph is for summing up exactly what you hope to do for your employer, and for yourself. Spend 60-80 words on your closing argument tying up loose ends. Below, add a call to action.

 

Ask for a call or a meeting to discuss a particular case, achievement, or nuance of working at that firm. Make it interesting and don’t be passive and half-baked. Show conviction and determination in striving for your desired trajectory.

 

Always close your cover letter formally with ‘Best Regards’ or a suitable alternative. 

 

Example law cover letter—closing paragraph

 

The times are different now. I am qualified to make the difference, and with your guidance I hope to make a foothold in doing so. The type of work you do is the type of legal work I find most rewarding and inspiring, and I am confident in being a productive addition to Duncan Lewis.

 

When would be a good time to set a meeting or a call for me to tell you about how my mini-pupillages at 39 Essex Chambers further validated my choice in focusing on helping individuals?

 

Best Regards,

Jim Patterson

 

5. Apply a proper legal cover letter format

 

Princeton students have found that we make an impression on someone’s trustworthiness within 100ms. With legal cover letters, it could be similar. In whatever position you’re applying for, you’re going to be drafting a lot of documents.

 

This one is the first they will see, and maybe the last. Don’t let any mishaps sneak through. Brevity is the soul of wit. Here are some cover letter tips:

 

Legal cover letter length

 

Here's how long your cover letter should be:

  • 1st paragraph—40-80 words
  • 2nd paragraph—120-200 words
  • Closing paragraph—60-80 words
  • Call to Action
  • Formal Closing
  • Total 200 — 350 words 
  • No more than 1 page of A4

 

Use the CV format

 

Your legal CV and cover letter must have the same style. They are two segments of the same document, and they will look odd if they mismatch. A detail like this will be held against you in a job this challenging. For enhanced readability, use a simple cover letter template without any graphics or icons.

 

Use an elegant font

 

Choose a font size between 10 and 12. Choose a readable, but elegant font that matches your CV font—think Arial, Calibri, Noto, Garamond.

 

Use even margins and white space

 

When laying your cover letter out, use white space between sections and paragraphs to guide the reader’s eyes. Center your legal cover letter on all sides using even, 1-inch margins. If you are running out of space, consider some bullet points for key points.

 

Target each legal cover letter

 

Many firms do similar things, but each firm is different. And above all, each firm believes they’re special. Research each place you’re applying to thoroughly, so that you can adequately focus on their priorities when discussing your strengths and skills.

 

 

Save as PDF, unless...

 

Large firms almost all use Applicant Tracking Systems to manage their applications. Check each job posting carefully for what format they would like to receive documents in, as some are not compatible with certain ATS software.

 

Otherwise, save as PDF to protect the formatting of your cover letter.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and quickly fill in every CV section using ready-made content and expert advice.

 

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Does this answer how to write a cover letter for legal jobs? Got any more questions on what to include? Did you find the law cover letter example helpful? Let us know in a comment!

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
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Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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