Cover Letters

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself as a candidate to the employer, and to show the employer how the relevant skills you gained from prior work experiences will enable you to contribute to and perform well at the firm.  Your cover letter is not a rehashing of the information in your resume.  In addition to “selling” yourself as a viable and competitive candidate, the cover letter is a chance to show the employer your writing skills, so do your best to create the most well-written product you can.          

To create your cover letter, follow these five steps:

1)      Review Cover Letter Outline and Tips for Crafting Your Cover Letter to learn the general structure and format of a legal cover letter.

2)      Review Sample Cover Letters to familiarize yourself with the tone and content of legal cover letters.  For cover letters for judicial externships, please review the Sample Judicial Externship Cover Letters in the Judicial Externship Handbook.

3)      Review Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts for more specific advice.

4)      Draft your 1-page cover letter and email a Word version of it to your career counselor for review and revisions.

5)      If sending your cover letter to an employer via email, send it as a PDF (not as a Word or Pages document). 

For information regarding how to prepare your List of References, Writing Sample, and Transcript, please see Other Application Materials.