Looking for cover letter tips and advice to really stand out? Want cover letter mistakes to avoid and other dos and don'ts? You've come to the right place.
I’m about to show you how to write a paralegal cover letter that will end your job search.
But do you really need a cover letter?
Many law firms don’t read them.
But just as many won’t read paralegal resumes without them.
But here’s the good news—
Most applicants phone in their cover letters. Write yours well, and you’ll stand out like Harvey Specter.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two sample paralegal cover letters: for experienced and entry-level paralegals.
- Steps for how to write a cover letter for paralegal jobs that makes your case.
- A template for paralegal covering letters you can copy and tweak in less than 15 minutes.
Let’s start with two paralegal cover letter examples:
1. Paralegal Cover Letter Examples
She’s an experienced paralegal. She’s got battle scars from coddling the superegos in the crisp, dark suits.
The job Holly’s after calls for candidates experienced in legal IT programs, case research, and report writing. Holly has expert skills in all three.
The partners at her next job don’t know that yet. In a way, she’s on trial.
See how Holly writes the best paralegal cover letter in the stack, highlighting her relevant skill set:
Example #1: Experienced Paralegal Candidate
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Litman & Takacz
2340 Franklee Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19108
Dear Ms. Toth,
Tully Haberman encouraged me to apply to the paralegal opening at Litman & Takacz. As a certified paralegal who cut contract-drafting time by 35% at Hudson and Wolff, I'm excited by this opportunity. Tully has explained about your long-standing commitment to staff retention through employee empowerment. He also said L&T is one of the best firms he's worked for.
Mr. Haberman also says you need a paralegal versed in IT, with deep skills in legal research and report writing. I think my past achievements set me up to help your firm materially, including:
- IT: Facilitated the development of a new legal database that cut time to draft contracts by 35%.
- Research: Researched and investigated 40+ cases and trained 5 paralegals in research best practices.
- Report writing: Wrote over 7 legal reports each month with 95% satisfaction from all partners.
I'd be glad to discuss your IT, research, and report-writing needs and how I can contribute to continued success.
Holly Ulberg, Paralegal
PS—I'm also happy to share how my ongoing mentorship of 20+ paralegals sets me up as a temporary staffing resource during busy times.
But—what if you’re writing a paralegal cover letter with no experience?
Use the same approach.
“Are you kidding me? You just said it, I have no experience. How can I pull off a cover letter like that?”
Relax. Meet an entry-level candidate who’ll show you exactly.
Here’s Lance, Holly’s younger cousin.
He wants a paralegal job while he prepares for law school. He hasn’t been a paralegal yet, but he’s had other jobs that built his skills.
Look at his sample entry-level paralegal cover letter:
Example #2: Paralegal Internship Cover Letter Sample
Litman & Takacz
2340 Franklee Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19108
Dear Ms. Toth,
Cutting administrative costs by 20% as an office assistant at Hudson & Wolff was a nice feather in my cap. It's partially because of this that I'm so interested in the position of entry-level paralegal at Litman & Takacz. Another is your firm's standing as one of Pennsylvania's top 20 companies to work for.
Your job ad mentions that you're interested in a cost-focused paralegal who excels at research. You also need someone skilled in scheduling and trademark searches. I think my past accomplishments put me in a unique position to help your firm, including:
- Cost-focused. Researched and sourced better IT vendors to deliver a 20% administrative cost savings.
- Scheduling. Scheduled 300+ appointments for clients and associates.
- Trademark searches. Performed 10+ trademark searches for a school project that was written up in Law Technology Today.
Could we grab a few moments to go over Litman & Takacz's needs, and how my past achievements could help you meet your future goals?
Lance Ulberg, Junior Paralegal
You’ve seen two paralegal cover letter samples that could get you hired at Mintz or Littler.
Let’s make yours next.
We’ll make it easy with examples you can copy, paste, and change to make your own.
But first, do you have a paralegal resume? Your job search won’t work without a solid resume that proves your skills. See this guide: Paralegal Resume Sample & Guide
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Paralegal Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to write a cover letter for paralegal positions:
1. Use the Best Paralegal Cover Letter Format
You wouldn’t walk into court in a SpongeBob T-shirt.
Using the wrong cover letter format is just as bad.
Here’s how to format a paralegal cover letter template:
- Left-align your cover letter parts.
- Use single line-spacing and one-inch margins for the top, bottom, and sides.
- Pick a professional cover letter font that matches your paralegal resume.
- Keep your cover letter for paralegal jobs short—less than a full page.
Expert Hint: One study from the Research Academy of Social Sciences shows superiors rate paralegals higher when they’ve had got on-the-job training. If you’re new, an internship or legal volunteer work in your paralegal cover letter can make you more attractive.
2. Add the Right Contact Information to Your Cover Letter Heading
Do law firms need your street address?
Will they hire you if you live too far away?
Your paralegal cover letter is a business letter, and you should format it that way. Begin with your contact info and the date. Then add the addressee’s information.
Follow this template:
Paralegal Cover Letter Example Template
[Hiring Manager Name]
[City, State, Zip]
Write the same header on your resume so both documents will match.
3. Introduce Yourself, Then Cite the Position You Want
You wouldn’t start a brief without the case name and facts.
Your paralegal cover letter is the same. Address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager, say who you are and state the job title you’re targeting.
Here’s an example:
Paralegal Cover Letter Sample: Intro Statement
Dear [Manager’s Name]:
[Name of Your Contact at the Law Firm] encouraged me to apply to the paralegal opening at [Law Firm Name]. As a certified paralegal who [Your Biggest Paralegal Accomplishment], I'm excited by this opportunity. [Name of Your Contact] has explained about your long-standing commitment to [Something You Like About the Law Firm]. He also said [Law Firm Name] is one of the best firms he's ever worked for.
Don’t have a name to drop like that paralegal cover letter example? Don’t worry. You can start with any eye-catching fact, like:
- Your biggest paralegal achievement
- An impressive accomplishment from college
- A fact you love about the law firm
- Why you want to be a paralegal.
Expert Hint: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegal jobs are growing 12% per decade. That’s much faster than the average. But those jobs pay $24,000 to $68,000. Your cover letter for paralegal positions has to prove you’re worthy of the higher-end, or you won’t get it.
4. Tease a Few Relevant Paralegal Achievements & Skills
Being a paralegal is like treasure hunting.
You get paid to research fun things, then write about them.
Your paralegal cover letter is the same way.
It’s like a treasure room that shows off your best moments.
In the second paragraph—
Return to the job description to brush up on the job requirements. Then list your top few achievements that fit them like an ironclad contract.
Example Cover Letter for Paralegal: Middle Paragraph
[Name of Your Contact at Law Firm] also says you need a paralegal versed in [3 Skills the Firm Needs]. I think my past achievements set me up to help your firm materially, including:
- [Paralegal Skill #1]. [Accomplishment #1]
- [Paralegal Skill #2]. [Accomplishment #2]
- [Paralegal Skill #3]. [Accomplishment #3]
Expert Hint: Legal research, document preparation, and trial prep are three key skills paralegals need. But don’t just talk about those in your paralegal cover letter. Find out what the firm wants most. If it isn’t in the job ad, reach out on LinkedIn to chat with people working there.
5. Ask for the Interview
Let’s close this case.
Before you apply—
End your cover letter by asking for the interview.
Here’s a sample paralegal cover letter closing:
Sample Cover Letter for Paralegal Jobs: Call to Action & Closing
I'd be glad to discuss [Law Firm Name]’s needs for [3 Skills They Need] and how I can contribute to continued success.
Follow these steps when writing a cover letter for paralegal jobs:
- Format paralegal cover letters like business letters.
- Address the hiring manager by name.
- Cite the paralegal position you’re writing about. Then segue to your skills.
- Use the middle paragraph to make your case. List achievements to show you fit the paralegal job description.
- End by asking for the interview.
Do you have questions about writing paralegal cover letters? Need more cover letter samples for paralegal jobs? Let’s chat in the comments section. And thanks for reading!