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If you are a law student or recent graduate, you’re probably looking for your next career move, and legal internships are a great option. You can intern for a judicial clerkship, at a legal clinic, or as a summer student. Some of the tasks involved in legal internships might be attending meetings, doing research, reviewing legal documents, and general administrative work. To land a good position, you need to put your best foot forward with a well-written legal intern cover letter.
As with any job application, it’s best to provide a strong cover letter for a legal internship. An application letter is a good way to expand on the skills and experience you have in your resume and stand out in your application. Law intern cover letters can be challenging to prepare, but there are a few easy things you can do to improve your law internship application letter and maximize your chances of landing the job.
Sample Cover Letters for a Law Internship
Whether you are writing a law intern cover letter for a judicial clerkship or a large corporation, it helps to have some sample letters to base your writing on. Use the following sample cover letters for a legal internship to improve your own writing and get an interview.
✉️ Sample cover letter for legal internship with no experience
It’s not impossible to get a legal position without experience, since you can use your law intern cover letter to elaborate on your skills or education. To help you in your writing process, review this sample legal internship cover letter with no experience.
February 11, 2021
Merrow & Ellis LLP
223 Broadview Street,
Vancouver, Canada, A7Y 2L8
Dear Ms. Allyn,
I am applying for the legal internship position at Merrow & Ellis LLP. I am currently finishing my first year at New Town Law School and I’m excited by the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills to a position in such a prominent law firm.
The internship posting specifies someone who is organized and can effectively assist the lawyers with their daily secretarial tasks. As a student at New Town Law, I’ve had the opportunity to enhance both my organization and research skills. In my last position as a bookkeeper for a small construction business, I became highly effective at administrative tasks and communicating with clients. These experiences all smoothly transfer to the legal internship position.
In addition to my professional experience, I am an ideal candidate for this position because of my keen interest in working for a firm with a strong presence in my community. I would love the opportunity to discuss my resume further.
Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
✉️ Sample cover letter for a law internship in the legal department of a company
Company legal departments need people who are organized and good communicators, so a cover letter for a law internship is a good way to give examples of your soft skills. Use this sample cover letter for a legal internship as a reference.
February 11, 2021
East Coast Oil, Legal Department
14 Cherry Street, Bangor, Maine, 59600
Dear Mr. Larder,
I am writing to apply for the internship position in the legal department of East Coast Oil. I have a bachelor’s degree in law from Big City Law School and I have relevant experience performing clerical tasks for a local law firm. I’m confident my combination of skills and legal experience makes me an ideal candidate for this internship.
At my previous position as a law clerk for a department store franchise, I was responsible for researching and preparing legal documents and maintaining the company’s existing files. As part of my daily duties, I became highly skilled in communicating with clients and court offices. I believe my skills and education background match your requirements perfectly.
I understand East Coast Oil is increasing their development and will need a strong team of interns to aid in the expansion. I’m confident my experience would be an asset to that team and I’m eager for the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further.
Thank you for considering my application.
✉️ Sample cover letter for a summer associate at a law firm
Summer associates are competitive positions, making your law intern cover letter even more important to your application. For law students, your internship letter should be well-written and underscore your education and any relevant work experience you may have. Use this sample cover letter for a law firm internship as a guide when you are writing.
February 11, 2021
Merrow & Ellis LLP
223 Broadview Street, Vancouver, Canada, A7Y 2L8
Dear Ms. Allyn,
I’m writing to submit my application to the summer associate position at Merrow & Ellis. I am a second-year New Town Law School student with two years of experience as a legal secretary in a busy law firm.
In my previous position, I regularly acted as a go-between for clients and lawyers. My strong interpersonal skills make me an ideal candidate for any position involving direct communication and client services. I became highly skilled at drafting and organizing legal documents for the firm, and I’m confident this experience would be an asset to your organization.
I’m keenly interested in working for Merrow & Ellis as I am inspired by your pro bono work in the community. I know my interpersonal skills and knowledge on law will help Merrow & Ellis achieve its objectives and benefit society as a whole.
I am eager to meet and discuss my resume and experience in more detail. Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions. Thank you for your time.
✉️ Sample cover letter for a judicial internship in a judge’s chambers
A well-written judicial internship cover letter is essential for a position in a judge’s chambers. Highlight experience and skills like document drafting, organization, and communication. The following is a sample cover letter for a legal internship in a judge’s chambers, to use as a reference.
February 11, 2021
The Honorable Cheryl Bradach
New Town County District Court
Dear Judge Bradach,
I would like to submit my application for your judicial internship position. I am a recent graduate from New Town Law School with experience as a clerk for a personal injury law firm. I am highly motivated and hard-working, and I believe I would be an asset to your team.
As stated in my attached resume, I worked as a summer associate for a midsize law firm last year, where my responsibilities included drafting documents, speaking with clients, and doing research. As a student, I worked diligently to develop my writing skills and have won several awards for my contributions to the school newsletter. As a strong writer with client service experience, I’m confident my skills will be a valuable addition to your chambers.
Given your important work with the public, I am eager to join your team and expand my client service experience. I understand the value of effective communication and I believe my combination of skills and experience can make a difference.
You can reach me by phone or email, and I look forward to discussing my qualifications further. Thank you for your consideration.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Law Internship
Since legal internships are competitive and challenging, writing a cover letter for a law internship is understandably stressful. Use these simple tips to help you write a strong and persuasive law intern cover letter.
📝 Tailor your law intern cover letter to the role.
Don’t give out a general cover letter for a legal internship to every position you apply to. Tailor your legal intern cover letter to the role by including specific details about the position or company. A generic cover letter for a legal internship doesn’t convey much interest in the position.
📝 Highlight relevant skills, experience, or courses you’ve taken.
When you are writing a cover letter for a legal internship, consider what the job requires and think of your most relevant skills and experience to include. Any experience in research, drafting documents, or client service could be helpful to highlight in your cover letter for a law firm internship. Soft skills like communication and organization will go a long way, provided you give examples. And if you’ve taken any courses related to law, include them in your law intern cover letter.
📝 Keep it concise.
More information is not necessarily better in a legal intern cover letter. Make sure the details you include are relevant and clearly written. A long and rambling law internship application letter won’t be a compelling or persuasive read, so keep things brief but informative.
📝 Proofread and ask for feedback.
It’s crucial to proofread your legal intern cover letter before submitting it, to look for mistakes in grammar or flow. It’s also best practice to ask someone to read your cover letter for the legal internship and provide feedback. Another set of eyes can pick up on things that you might have missed or provide another perspective.
📝 Research the company or firm.
A little research goes a long way to improving your law intern cover letter. Research the firm or company’s values and mission, so you can incorporate that into your law internship application letter. You can also look into the firm’s current projects so you can highlight how your skills match their needs.
What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Legal Internship
A legal intern cover letter will include the same elements as any standard cover letter, such as proper greetings and basic personal information. These elements are important because they follow an industry standard, and without them your law intern cover letter might be overlooked. Make sure your law internship application letter includes the following components.
✅ Your name and contact details
Make sure to include your name, phone number, and email at the top of your legal intern cover letter. This is important reference information for the hiring manager reviewing your application, so they can contact you easily.
Don’t forget to include the date in your law intern cover letter. Depending on your format, this could be on the upper left- or right-hand side.
✅ The recipient’s name and title
It’s best to include the hiring manager’s name and their official title in your cover letter for a legal internship. You can try and get this information online or by contacting the company if the manager’s name is not immediately clear. Addressing your legal intern cover letter to the right person is more professional and shows you took the time to find them.
✅ The company’s name and address
Include the name and address of the company you are applying for in your law internship application letter.
The greeting of your law intern cover letter should be professional, and never casual. It is recommended to use ‘Dear’ as a greeting in a legal internship application letter.
✅ A short introduction
The first paragraph of your law intern cover letter should be short but compelling. Briefly explain why you are right for this internship by highlighting your most relevant experience and skills. You can use the rest of your legal intern cover letter to elaborate further.
✅ Body paragraphs
Use the body of your law intern cover letter to expand on your relevant accomplishments, experience, and education. Use specific examples to outline your skills and how you acquired them. The body of your cover letter for a legal internship should be concise and relevant, so avoid long paragraphs about your work history.
In the closing paragraph of your legal intern cover letter, you should explain why you are excited by this position and demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s values or projects. You can also use the closing paragraph of your law internship application letter to thank the hiring manager for their time and let them know how they can contact you.
Keep the sign-off of your legal intern cover letter professional and not too familiar. Sincerely, kind regards, or yours truly are all good ways to end a cover letter for a law internship.
🔑 Key Takeaways
Legal internships are highly competitive, and the application can be challenging. A great way to stand out and increase your chances of getting an interview is with a strong law intern cover letter. Make sure the cover letter for your legal internship follows some basic structural guidelines and is brief but informative.
Include relevant experience and try to do some research into the firm you are applying for. With a little bit of effort, you can write a strong and compelling legal intern cover letter and land your dream job.
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--- Originally written by Tiffany Quinn ---