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Careers in the legal field are growing at a faster than average speed, especially for paralegals, according to the latest study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Presenting a well-written, customized cover letter is a critical part of the job application process and snagging that interview.
Get started with our paralegal cover letter sample, use our formatting tips and content advice below to complete your cover letter section by section. Tailor your cover letter to highlight your strongest abilities, especially if you’re equally trained in research, computer skills and specific law like retail or environmental law.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
Put your name, telephone number and an email address that looks professional at the top of your cover letter for easy reference.
Address the letter with “Dear ___,” using the person’s name and their proper title. If you’re applying for an in-house role with a larger company, you can normally find the head of the legal department on the company website, directory or via social media. If you’re applying to a smaller firm, you can usually address one of the firm’s partners or find the correct name by calling the office.
A paralegal cover letter should start with why you’re a good fit for the position and how you can meet the firm’s needs. Do this by identifying one of the key responsibilities listed in the job posting and provide a specific example, like how your detailed but concise briefs helped the lead attorney quickly counter arguments in court and swayed the jury in your team’s favor. Keep this part short and sweet so you have room to expound in the body paragraphs.
Education and experience is important as a paralegal, so mention any classes you’ve taken or previous job experience that shows your ability to conduct research on tort law, or gather information from the parties in a divorce case.
End your cover letter with a sentence or two that again shows your interest in the position, thanks the reader for their time and indicates interview availability.
Sign off with a “Sincerely” and your full name. Leave room for an actual signature if you plan on mailing a paper resume.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job demand for paralegals will be increasing by about 15 percent through 2026. While this could mean more open positions , you’ll still have to create a cover letter that sets you apart from other applicants. While customizing a strong paralegal cover letter example is a good start, you should also include action verbs, and keywords and phrases.
To get around an applicant tracking system (ATS) and increase the chances your application is reviewed by a real person, include common action verbs used in paralegal positions such as those listed below. Typical job duties for a paralegal include improving office workflow for optimum efficiency, managing case files and paperwork, coordinating with other firms and colleagues, corresponding with clients via email, phone and letters, and communicating any issues or concerns with the attorney or a supervisor.
Improve: Tell how you helped the lawyers you worked with improve the lives of clients.
Manage: Show how you helped manage the workloads of those at your firm.
Coordinate: Highlight the ways you coordinated with your coworkers, especially when the efforts to do so were led by you.
Correspond: Demonstrate an ability to reliably correspond with anyone in or outside of the office.
Communicate: Make clear your ability to effectively communicate with other legal professionals and clients.
These key phrases can be included in your cover letter in the body paragraphs. For example, if the position is for a paralegal at a personal injury firm, you may include something like:
“I worked as a paralegal for ABC firm and was responsible for coordinating with insurance companies and other law firms, managing interview transcripts and communicating with clients to set up depositions.”
Large firms and companies working with recruiters have largely switched to using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to narrow down the application pool before spending human hours reviewing cover letters. These programs search through resumes and cover letters looking for job-related keywords, and they eliminate around 50 percent of applications that don’t include them.
Don’t panic — hiring managers give you the tools to pass an ATS in the job posting. Reread the ad and look for any responsibilities and requirements that are repeated or emphasized with highlights, bold or italicized fonts. We made it a little easier by adding our list of paralegal key terms like trial preparation, legal precedent research, deposition line summaries, drafting legal documents, litigation experience, analytical skills, communication skills and written communication skills. For example, you could state that you “have over six years of litigation experience helping with trial preparation, precedent research, and drafting deposition summaries and legal documents.”Build a Cover Letter
You want to make sure that you choose a cover letter template that works with and complements your resume. Your resume gives the short, bulleted, to-the-point summary of your job history, experience and skills, but your cover letter should go into more detail, giving specific examples and scenarios that highlight your ability to excel in a paralegal position.