Some firms ask for a cover letter as part of the application form. This can have a word count limited, but even if not, it is still important to keep the letter short, clear and concise. Much of the information they are looking for in a law cover letter could be included in other forms as an open-ended question. Most law firms are looking for evidence that you have previously researched them before the interview.
Be sure to include the following information in your law firm cover letter:
- Why you have chosen to work in this type of law.
- The reasonings why you want to work with this firm.
- How your skills make you a good candidate.
- Your other interests and skills, and how they improve your application.
Freshfields application form asks for an 800 word personal statement. Their guide, ‘The Perfect Application’ tells you what to include or not include. For example, anything that can be found somewhere else on the form (even your name) should not appear in the personal statement.
In addition, Freshfields advises that you write simply and directly. Avoid clichés. Structure your statement, make it clear and easy to read. Pay attention to detail, including spelling and grammar. Keep your sentences short.
The law firm cover letter should include:
- Why you wanted to be a lawyer.
- Why you are applying to Freshfields.
- Examples of how past experience (positions of responsibility, challenges, past work experience) has given you the core skills they are looking for.
- Any interests you have (outside law). Example: sports/other achievements.
Baker & McKenzie advises that before you start writing your cover letter, research the firm, adding a list of key points in the cover letter. Remember to tailor your letter to the firm, and include why you have chosen to apply to them.
Table of Contents
- Training Contract and Vacation Scheme Application Tips
- Before You Start Your Law Firm Vacation Scheme or Training Contract Application Form
- Common Law Questions on Your Law Firm Application Form
- How to Answer Questions About Yourself
- Answering Competency Questions
- Commercial Law Questions and Answers
- Filling in Your Work Experience
- Word Count Limits
- How to Write a Law Cover Letter
- At the End of Your Law Firm Application Form
- Download the Complete Guide to Vacation Schemes & Training Contracts Applications