Law Clerk Job Cover Letter Tips
If you are seeking a law clerk job, an impressive cover letter will go a long way towards securing the position. Here are some guidelines for writing a cover letter that will favorably impress any judge looking to hire a law clerk. We'll start with some general tips and then look at more specific aspects of the cover letter.
- Proofread your cover letter for complete accuracy in spelling and punctuation. The legal profession depends on clear and exact language. Take extra time to weed out any mistakes. You have one chance to make a good impression.
- Make sure all available contact information is prominently displayed in the heading. This would include your cell phone number and email address in addition to home phone and physical address. The judge should be able to reach you using multiple methods.
- Be concise. Your cover letter should not be longer than one page.
- Omit personal stories and humor. These might be appropriate in a face-to-face interview but have no place in a cover letter. The letter should focus like a laser on your achievements and abilities.
Now we will look more specifically at what the law clerk cover letter should include. After your own contact information and the date, a block containing the judge's name and work address should be added. The judge should be addressed following this model: "The Honorable John J. Smith." And his judicial district should be included. The actual address of the courthouse should then follow.
The first paragraph of the cover letter should be a brief introduction stating why you are interested in this particular position. If, for example, Judge Smith is involved in corporate law, mention that you have a background and strong interest in this kind of law.
The second paragraph is where you begin to expand on your experiences and qualifications. This is where you sell yourself. Mention specific academic achievements that would relate to the law clerk position you are seeking. It is not enough to say something general like "I made the honor roll every semester." Try something more like this: " I achieved a perfect grade in Corporate Law and placed in the top ten percent of all law students at my university."
Academic achievements are great, but the judge is also likely looking for some practical experience. Many prospective law clerks have already done some legal research at a law firm. Be sure to mention concrete examples in your second or third paragraph. This might be something such as "While at the firm of Black and Greene, I conducted valuable research relating to the case of Shaw v. Hotchkiss, Inc." Another example is "I was responsible for drafting a motion that led to my firm's victory in Jones v. Wilson."
Your next-to-last paragraph is the place to mention notable achievements outside of the law, such as any charity or community service work. This will help create a more favorable impression of you as a person. The last paragraph should thank the judge for his consideration and mention you are willing to provide any additional information.
These tips will help you write a great cover letter!