How to write a covering letter applying to legal firms

Many law firms ask for a covering letter as part of the application process therefore it’s important that your structure is correct and it should not be longer than a page. So follow this 4 step guide:

Before you begin it’s always useful to call the company and speak with the hiring manager so you can address them directly.  Plus you will be remembered for the right reasons giving you an advantage over your competition.

So what might you say on the call? 

What type of person are you looking for? This question will allow you to assess if have the required skills & personality. 

How would you describe the working culture?  You can assess whether you will fit in.

What is the interview process?  You can assess if you have the stamina to do 3 rounds and a test.

Step 1: Contact Details

Include both yours and the employers address along with the date

If you know the person’s name the letter needs to be signed off “Yours Sincerely”. If not, so you start, Dear Sir/Madam then its “Yours Faithfully”. 

Step 2: Introduction

Opening paragraph addresses where and when you saw the advert and the position you are applying for.

For example:

Dear Sam Jones

I am writing in response to a vacancy advertised on your website on 1st March for a newly qualified employment solicitor. 

Step 3: Sell Yourself

Paragraph 2, 3 & 4 is the opportunity to sell you.  You need to answer why you are suitable for the job? You may need to include information that’s not on your CV or elaborate on relevant achievements.

For example:

I consider myself suitable for this position because I have the qualifications and relevant work experience to add value to your team with immediate effect.  I graduated with a 2:1 degree in law and have continued to achieve high grades with a distinction in my LPC.

My passion for employment law grew significantly whilst working pro bono at the Free Representation Unit, where I had the opportunity to represent clients at tribunals developing my practical understanding and advocacy skills.   During my training contract at Smith & Smith I wrote articles on latest developments within this practice area, which is available on their website.  www.smithandsmith.com/articles.

I’ve been described by my current colleagues as an honest, hardworking individual that grasps complex matters quickly.  With these attributes I know that I can grow and develop with this leading practice that has consistently won best legal employer awards for the last 4 years.   

Step 4: Availability 

Final paragraph addresses when you will be available for interview

For example:

Just so you are aware if you would like to meet me for interview please note that I will be on annual leave for 2 weeks from the 2nd March.  During this time I can be contacted by email or phone.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely

Do’s

Identify 3 – 4 main skills that they are seeking and demonstrate that you have them

Make sure that your grammar and punctuation is 100% accurate

Write the letter yourself

Don’t

List reasons for leaving each job on your CV

List all that you learnt in each job

Don’t make it more than a page long.  Try to be succinct  and straight to the point

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