Creating a Cover Letter

Law students must avail themselves of every possible opportunity to distinguish their credentials, attributes, and experience. In today's highly competitive job market, a creative, thoughtfully composed, well-written cover letter can make a significant impact on hiring manager to move your resume from the tottering stack of many to the well-balanced stack of a few. The cover letter is, in fact, your first writing sample read by a potential employer.

Therefore, as with any other writing sample, your cover letter should be all of the following:

  • concise
  • well-structured
  • persuasive
  • well-reasoned, and
  • grammatically perfect

The desired effects of your cover letter are two-fold: first, to provide the reader with information regarding your career-related intentions; and second, to identify and attract attention to something about you which is unique, interesting, and desirable in the context of potential employment as an attorney.

Read more about cover letters in the Duke Law Career Planning Manual

View sample cover letters in the Duke Law Career Planning Manual