Training Contract Cover Letter: Example & How to Write

There’s no doubt that the whole process of getting a training contract is in many cases yet another high-pressure, do-or-die step on the stress-paved road to becoming a solicitor or barrister. Clearly, an awful lot hangs in the balance according to how your cover (or covering) letter is received.

 

Writing a winning training contract cover letter needn’t be such a painful experience, though. The training contract cover letter example below is easily better than four out of five out there. This article will show you, step-by-step, how to write a cover letter for a training contract that’s at least as effective.

 

Read on to find plenty of tried and tested advice, UK-specific examples, and a data-driven approach to communicating your skills and suitability that takes the need for brilliant creative-writing skills off the table entirely.

 

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Training contract cover letter example

 

Eva Hope

77 Kenmore Place

Liverpool

L3 5UX

070 5555 5555

eva.hope@lcmail.co.uk

 

17th October 2021

 

Megan Hussain

Associate Partner

Donnell, Young, Dole, and Frutt

91 Overton Circle

Liverpool

L3 2UX

 

Dear Megan,

 

I have wanted to work for Donnell, Young, Dole, and Frutt for as long as I have pursued a career in law. Mr Donnell’s candid remarks in the media have long been a source of fascination for me. I have used my pro bono work to hone a similar ability, explaining contracts and other legal documents to clients in such a way that 9 out of 10 were satisfied with their understanding of the documents at first read-through.

 

During my recent vacation scheme with Trilly Risso I prepared various draft trademark opposition and cancellation forms, almost 97% of which were accepted by the solicitors without the need for revision. Working pro bono for Austin Solicitors I reviewed existing subcontractor relationships and identified changes required to ensure that they are fit for purpose going forward, with the projected end result being a subcontractor pool that is 100% fit for purpose and requiring 20% less resource input. I used the experience I gained with Trilly Risso to analyse the implications of relevant case law, legislation, and regulatory matters when working pro bono with four charities to help them adopt revised ways of working to ensure ongoing compliance, collectively avoiding over 15 potential infringements.

 

As you can see, I have been actively shaping my experience and commercial awareness in directions that I think are eminently compatible with the Donnel, Young, Dole, and Frutt way of doing things.

 

Thank you for your consideration. I very much look forward to stating my case in person during the course of an interview.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Eva Hope

 

Here’s what to include in a cover letter for a training contract:

 

1. Add a proper header to your training contract cover letter

 

Forget for the moment that the slightest error in your cover letter could see your dream training contract go to someone else. Even at the best of times, sloppy writing speaks volumes about a legal practitioner’s work ethic. Write your header so that’s in line with the standard UK business letter format:

  • Align to the right: your full name, postal address, email, and phone number
  • Leave a line and add the date of writing (in the format nth Month Year)
  • Leave another line and now align to the left: the recruiting partner’s / HR manager’s full name, their job title, the name of the firm, and the firm’s postal address.

 

Training contract cover letter sample header

 

Eva Hope

77 Kenmore Place

Liverpool

L3 5UX

070 5555 5555

eva.hope@lcmail.co.uk

 

17th October 2021

 

Megan Hussain

Associate Partner

Donnell, Young, Dole, and Frutt

91 Overton Circle

Liverpool

L3 2UX

 

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.

 

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2. Choose a winning salutation for your training contract cover letter

 

Start your cover letter for a training contract with the salutation ‘Dear’ + the first name of the person responsible for the recruitment process. Should you feel uncomfortable addressing someone significantly more senior than you in this way, use ‘Dear’ + their title and surname instead.

 

Use ‘Ms’ for women unless you know for a fact that they prefer ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’. If you don’t know or aren’t sure of somebody’s gender but don’t feel comfortable addressing them by their first name, then use ‘Dear’ + their full name, for example: ‘Dear Leigh White’. But you really ought to know their gender.

 

To leave something so basic unresearched when preparing your training contract cover letter would not reflect well on your legal skills, to say the least. If you’re in any doubt as to whom to address your cover letter, be sure to exhaust any and all online and offline avenues of discovery open to you to find out.

 

In the extremely unlikely event that you can’t put a name to the recruiter’s role, address your training contract cover letter to them according to their role. For example, if the firm or company has an HR department, then go with something like ‘Dear Hiring Manager’. Be more specific than that if you can.

 

Training contract cover letter sample salutation

 

Dear Megan,

 

3. Open strong in your training contract cover letter

 

The pressure is really on for you to make a good impression throughout your training contract candidature, and the opening paragraph of your training contract cover letter is where you’ll be making your first impression. Focusing on the importance of this one paragraph is a great way to get writer’s block, though. 

 

Instead, break the task down into manageable pieces and the end result will take care of itself. Your opening paragraph has to make recruiters sit up and pay attention while also whetting their appetites for more. Forget gimmicky openings and surface-level novelty. Focus on hitting these three points:

  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the firm or company and the branch of law it predominantly practises.
  • Be sure to mention the relevant training contract scheme by name and include the firm’s or company’s name.
  • Make it clear what it is that you can bring to the firm/company and show how you’re a good fit in terms of corporate culture and values.

 

If you already have some relevant legal or commercial experience, then start with an achievement. Frame it such that it clearly lines up with the firm’s or company’s stated goals and values. If the connection isn’t obvious, then explain how you can apply those skills to the firm’s / company’s situation.

 

If you don’t have any legal experience and can’t make any of your commercial experience relevant, then lead with your passion for the job. Include an achievement from your studies or elsewhere and include a belief statement, in which you show that you’re a match for the firm’s stated values and mission.

 

Being referred to the company can also be an advantage. Don’t shy away from mentioning that someone from within the organisation referred you to the position. This shows that you’ve had some contact with the firm’s culture and that at least one person within the organisation believes you’re a good fit.

 

Aim to write no more than 40–80 words in total for this part.

 

Training contract cover letter opening paragraph

 

I have wanted to work for Donnell, Young, Dole, and Frutt for as long as I have pursued a career in law. Mr Donnell’s candid remarks in the media have long been a source of fascination for me. I have used my pro bono work to hone a similar ability, explaining contracts and other legal documents to clients in such a way that 9 out of 10 were satisfied with their understanding of the documents at first read-through.

 

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. Show what you have to offer in your training contract cover letter

 

This part of your cover letter is where you’ll showcase your legal (and, potentially, commercial) achievements in rapid-fire succession, wowing your readers with a compelling list of measurable accomplishments. Quantifying each and every achievement is the key to making this happen. Nothing compels like strong evidence.

 

An achievement in this context is a description of actions you took (often in response to a problem, challenge or project) and the benefits that flowed from those actions to your employer. Use something like accomplishment statements to help structure your achievements. Quantify everything you can.

 

The main body paragraph of your training contract cover letter will be composed of two or three such achievements strung together to form a coherent narrative and make a strong case. Focus on quantifying the benefits you brought to your employer first and foremost, even if you have to estimate.

 

Limit yourself to 120–200 words. You can break this section down into two paragraphs to aid readability. Similarly, consider using bullet points to break otherwise monolithic blocks of text down into more manageable parts. The idea is to let the numbers speak for themselves as much as possible.

 

Training contract cover letter sample main paragraph

 

During my recent vacation scheme with Trilly Risso I prepared various draft trademark opposition and cancellation forms, almost 97% of which were accepted by the solicitors without the need for revision. Working pro bono for Austin Solicitors I reviewed existing subcontractor relationships and identified changes required to ensure they are fit for purpose going forward, with the projected end result being a subcontractor pool that is 100% fit for purpose and requiring 20% less resource input. I used the experience I gained with Trilly Risso to analyse the implications of relevant case law, legislation, and regulatory matters when working pro bono with four charities to help them adopt revised ways of working to ensure ongoing compliance, collectively avoiding over 15 potential infringements.

 

5. Summarise your arguments and leave a bold CTA in your training contract cover letter

 

Summarising arguments and expertly tying up loose ends are qualities that both solicitors and barristers will need to demonstrate on a daily basis. Wrap up your training contract cover letter by doing just that. Tie everything back to the benefits that you’ll be able to bring to your new employer.

 

Take the few words it takes to thank the recruiter for the time they’ve already taken to weigh your application—this kind of acknowledgement can go a long way. Finally, end on a confident, proactive note and include a call to action (CTA) in the form of your expressed eagerness to participate in an interview.

 

This cover letter wrap-up, excluding the CTA, ought to run around 40–60 words. Keep it concise and don’t introduce any new facts at this stage.

 

Training contract cover letter closing (and CTA)

 

As you can see, I have been actively shaping my experience and commercial awareness in directions that I think are eminently compatible with the Donnel, Young, Dole, and Frutt way of doing things.

 

Thank you for your consideration. I very much look forward to stating my case in person during the course of an interview.

 

6. Sign off properly in your training contract cover letter

 

This part is as easy to get right as it is glaringly obvious when you get wrong. There are only two options here:

  • Use ‘Yours sincerely’ if you addressed the cover letter to a named person.
  • Use ‘Yours faithfully’ if you didn’t, e.g. ‘Dear Firm ABC Senior Partner’. 

 

Leave an additional line or two between this sign-off and your full name. Traditionally, when submitting a hard copy, this is where your signature would go. Do sign it by hand if you’re going to be printing it out. Otherwise, you can paste in a scan of your signature, but it’s certainly not necessary.

 

Training contract cover letter sign-off

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Eva Hope

 

7. Some things to keep in mind before finally sending your training contract cover letter

 

Once you have all the content of your cover letter in place, it’s time to quickly run down a list of final considerations before taking a deep breath and clicking ‘send’. Given the fierce competition for many training contracts, getting any of the following things wrong could be ample grounds for rejection. Here are the best cover letter tips:

 

Length

 

Many firms will set you a word limit for cover letters, in those cases you should of course stick to what they’ve set. In the absence of any such instructions, you should aim for a short cover letter that’s between half an A4 page and one A4 page long—about 250–400 words in total. The body of your letter will be broken down like this:

  • Opening paragraph—between 60 and 80 words
  • Main body—between 120 and 200 words
  • Closing paragraph—between 40 and 60 words.

 

Stylistic homogeneity

 

Your training contract cover letter, CV and any other documents you submit constitute a single application—their appearance should signal this fact. Especially when it comes to the CV and cover letter, make sure your choice of font, colour (if any) and general layout is consistent.

 

Choose an appropriate font

 

Font is very important, but don’t overthink it. This is not where you’ll show your individuality or flare. Stay with a simple, professional and understated font like Noto, Garamond or even Arial. If in doubt, just leave the default Liberation or Calibri in place and set the size to 11 or 12 points.

 

Make your layout clear and easy to follow

 

Legal practitioners have a higher tolerance for huge, uninterrupted blocks of ‘fine print’, but that’s no excuse. Use plenty of white space, subheadings and bullet points (the latter two where appropriate) to break things down into sections and generally make your work easier to read.

 

Take the individual approach

 

It’s obvious to law firms when you’ve copied and pasted the same paragraph (let alone letter) and sent it out to multiple firms. There’s no way to do this and demonstrate an understanding of the nuances of a particular firm/company. So write a new cover letter from scratch for every training contract application.

 

Always choose PDF

 

Unless, that is, you’ve been explicitly asked for something else. File types like *.docx have ruined more than a few carefully formatted cover letters.

 

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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Getting a training contract is a big deal but it’s not the be-all and end-all of launching a career in law. I hope this article has helped you craft a training contract application cover letter sample of which you can be proud. Please leave any questions, comments, feedback or suggestions below.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

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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