When applying to work as a legal assistant, you will be required to submit your resume. Remember that the resume may not be enough to compel the hiring manager. You can increase your chances of getting the position by writing a legal assistant cover letter. It allows you to explain why you are a perfect fit for the job. However, it is crucial to understand critical aspects like its purpose and how it should be written. This information will help you ensure that your cover letter conveys your professionalism and legal prowess. The information provided in this article will enable you to write an effective cover letter.
The main aim of the legal assistant cover letter is to expound on the details provided in your resume. It enables you to elaborate on how your skill and qualifications make you a perfect fit for the position you are applying for. It also enables you to establish a personal connection with the hiring manager by conveying your details in a friendly but professional manner. Unlike a resume, your legal assistant cover letter can be used to provide a brief background explaining why you decided to apply for the role. You can also convey your personality and passion for the job using the cover letter.
Which qualities are required for a legal assistant job?
A legal assistant should have relevant education, namely a paralegal associate’s degree. You must also have subject matter expertise relevant to the industry you are applying to. You will need to show skills like; legal knowledge of the system and its procedures, organizational skills, interpersonal communication skills, detail-oriented writing skills, multitasking, teamwork, adaptability, critical thinking, knowledge of legal terminology and documentation, etc. Highlighting these skills will help make the cover letter more effective.
How to Format a Legal Assistant Cover Letter
To write an effective legal assistant cover letter, you must ensure that it is appropriately formatted. Formatting will help you showcase your writing abilities to the hiring manager.
The following should be considered when formatting a cover letter:
- The font type should be Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Georgia.
- You should use a font size of between 10-12 points.
- It would be best to use the line spacing of 1.5 for each paragraph
- One inch of margin should be used on all sides of the letter
- Your letter should be one page long
- You should ensure that the letter is left aligned
- You should avoid applying justification or indent in the cover letter
- If the legal assistant cover letter is sent via email, it should be saved as a PDF to preserve formatting. However, it can be saved as a Word file if the employer or online application services makes it a requirement.
You should first ensure that your legal assistant cover letter contains a professional header indicated at the top of the page. In addition, it should contain your name, title, address, phone number, and email. This can be followed by the date and the recipient’s details (name, title, firm, address).
You should then indicate the purpose of the letter in the subject line. The subject line should be brief and not exceed one line. It should also be straightforward to ensure that the hiring manager understands the letter’s subject.
Next, you should indicate a formal salutation that addresses the recipient by their name. It should read ‘Dear Mr. or Ms. [ Last Name].’ Indicating the name of the hiring manager/ employer demonstrates your professionalism. The employer’s name can be obtained through research. A generic salutation should only be used if the hiring manager prefers to remain anonymous or if company policy prevents you from finding the name. in such instances, you can use ‘Dear Law Firm’s name, Hiring Team.’ The greeting helps you create a personal connection with the employer.
The introduction of the legal assistant cover letter should capture the recipient’s attention. It should contain adequate information about who you are and the position you are applying for. Lively language should help encourage the recipient to keep reading the rest of the cover letter.
The body should be two or three paragraphs. It should discuss crucial details about skills and qualifications. Also, provide information on prior work experience and relatable accomplishments with examples of challenges faced and how you overcame them. Facts and figures should be used to authenticate information.
The conclusion of the legal assistant cover letter should briefly summarize the qualifications you have outlined. Again, it will help you emphasize these critical details. Finally, your last statement should be a call to action encouraging the employer to contact you for an interview.
Cover letter sign off
Sign off using words or phrases such as ‘sincerely,’ ‘kind regards,’ all the best,’ or ‘cordially.’ You should indicate your signature if you send a hard copy letter or scan your signature if you would like it to be included in your email.
Writing a Legal Assistant Cover Letter
A well-written legal assistant cover letter should spark an interest in your qualifications. Therefore, it is essential to consider the elements incorporated in your cover letter.
They include the following:
The introduction of the legal assistant cover letter enables you to make an excellent first impression on the hiring manager. The following information should be outlined in your introduction:
Introduce yourself and the job position you are applying for
It would be best to introduce yourself to help the hiring manager understand who you are. The position you are applying for should also be mentioned to establish what the letter is about. These details will familiarise you with the hiring manager.
Write about where you found the job posting
You should indicate where you found the job posting. Mentioning that an employee of the firm referred you can help increase your chances of getting the position. You may also mention the firm’s website or a printed ad.
The body of the legal assistant cover letter should provide the hiring manager with details about your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments. The hiring manager will use these details to determine whether you are a good fit.
This section should include the following:
Briefly write about your qualification and experience
It would be best to begin by indicating qualifications related to the legal assistant position. You should also provide relevant experiences. This experience will demonstrate your ability to carry out the role.
Explain why they should hire you
You should provide the hiring manager with why you would be perfect for the position. Use information from the job posting and identify top requirements that the firm is looking for in an applicant. Then, incorporate them into your explanation to help show that you are what they are looking for.
Tell them why you want this job
It would be best to elaborate on why you want the position. You can highlight its impact on your career or your long-term desire to work for a law firm. Such an explanation helps show the hiring manager that you have ambition.
Elaborate how you would be a great asset by mentioning your skills
The body of the legal assistant cover letter should highlight your skills. You should explain how the skills will be used as an asset for the law firm. You should ensure that the skills mentioned relate you to a legal assistant position.
The conclusion of the cover letter will help you leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. Therefore, you must consider the details that should be included in your final lines.
They include the following:
Call to action
Indicate a statement that demonstrates your willingness to discuss your application with the hiring manager. You should also reiterate your value to emphasize on key details you have mentioned.
Thank the recipient
Finally, show gratitude to the hiring manager for the time taken to read the cover letter. Your show of gratitude will increase the chances that you will receive the response from that person.
Template & Sample
Given below are the template and sample that you can use to write a perfect Legal Assistant Cover Letter:
[City, State, Zip code]
[Name of the Law Firm]
[City, State, Zip code]
Dear Mr. /Ms. [Employer’s Last Name],
I’m sending this letter to apply for [position name]. I am a highly-skilled legal assistant currently working at[name of your current or former law place of employment]. I learned about the opportunity from[indicated how you found the job posting]. I believe that my work experience and qualifications align with what you are looking for in the specific role of legal assistant.
I have a paralegal associate’s degree, which provides a solid educational foundation and the knowledge required to occupy the role successfully. I also have more than [period]of experience as a legal assistant at [name of former or current place of employment]. During this time, I have been responsible for[ indicate roles that relate to the position of a legal assistant]. As a result, I have acquired skills in [indicate skills you have learned from your experiences].
Based on the capabilities mentioned above, I believe I am a suitable candidate for the position. Therefore, I am eager to work at a law firm that focuses on [industry you are applying to]. Given a chance, I can be a valuable asset to your organization as I am very dedicated to my work and focused on delivering results. I would be happy to talk about my application further in person. Thank you for your time and consideration.
123 Main Street
New City land, CA 56729
March 5th, 20xx
Brian & Jefferson LLP
/Los Angeles, CA63738
Dear Mr. Smith,
I want to apply for the legal assistant at Brian & Jefferson LLP. I’m a highly-skilled Legal assistant currently working at Decker LLP. I learned about the opportunity from Matt Well, a lawyer at your law firm. I believe that my work experience and qualifications align with what you are looking for in the specific role of Legal assistant.
I have a paralegal associate’s degree, which provides a solid educational foundation and the knowledge required to occupy the role successfully. I also have ten(10) years of experience as a legal assistant at Decker LLP. I have been responsible for conducting legal research, managing information, drafting legal documents, and case management. As a result, I have acquired critical thinking skills, good communication, and interpersonal skills.
An opportunity to work for a renowned firm like Brian & Jefferson LLP would be a massive step in my career. I believe I’m an excellent fit for the role as I am capable of negotiating, investigating, and conducting background checks, which can be valuable to a firm that focuses on criminal law. I would be happy to further discuss my application in person. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Here’s a collection of free templates that you can easily download and use to write your own letter:
Do’s & Don’t
Certain practices can either be helpful or harmful to your legal assistant cover letter. To write an effective letter, you must clearly understand these practices.
They include the following:
Consider your tone carefully
A cover letter can either be written in a formal or casual tone. You should ensure the legal assistant cover letter incorporates the same tone used to address the public in the firm’s job posting. You can also identify the tone by conducting a simple google search.
Reread the letter from the reader’s lens
Reread the cover letter from the hiring manager’s perspective to help you determine if it would compel you to want to meet its writer. In addition, it will help you identify where you can improve on the letter.
Be confident, not overconfident
Your legal assistant cover letter should exhibit certainty and confidence. When discussing capabilities, use words like “I can” or “I’m able” and not “I may be able.” The reader should be assured that you can do what you claim you can. Lack of confidence may instill doubt in the hiring manager. However, you should avoid being overconfident as it may be perceived as arrogant.
The hiring manager is probably busy and may ignore a cover letter that is too long. Keeping it brief will help make your letter is quick and easy to read.
The cover letter should convey your eagerness to get the job. In addition, it helps show you are appreciative of the opportunity.
They include the following:
The presence of typos in your legal assistant cover letter conveys your unprofessionalism. There is also a clear sign of your inability to pay attention to detail. You can mitigate the impact of such mistakes by proofreading the cover letter and correcting them.
Copy pasting your legal assistant cover letter leads to a lack of authenticity in your messaging. Writing a letter on your own will help you customize it to the specific employer and convey a genuine message.
Using fluff language
You should avoid using fluff or fancy language in your cover letter. Instead, write using the simple original language. It will help you get the message across without confusing the hiring manager.
Adding irrelevant information
You should also avoid providing irrelevant information, making the letter unnecessarily long. It may cause the hiring manager to lose interest in you by seeing your poor communication skills. Stick to relevant information to help keep the letter brief and the hiring manager interested.
Mentioning capabilities, you lack
A legal assistant cover letter aims to highlight your skills and qualifications. Therefore, do not waste time mentioning capabilities you lack. It is an indication that you are not a confident applicant.
Legal assistant cover letter v/s legal secretary cover letter
A legal assistant cover letter must highlight your knowledge of legal principles, ability to conduct research, case management, administrative management, and experience with clients and legal organizations. In contrast, a legal secretary cover letter must highlight your ability to assist the lawyer with administrative work, document organization, and file organization. Therefore, the legal secretary cover letter focuses more on your ability to perform clerical duties. In addition, a legal assistant cover letter must highlight that you have completed a paralegal program. In contrast, a legal secretary’s cover letter doesn’t require formal education to apply for the position.
Frequently Asked Question
You can prove it by explaining how your past work experiences and skills meet the job requirements by reviewing the job posting before writing the letter.
You should customize the cover letter to the firm you are applying to. Addressing the letter to the employer by name can also enable you to personalize the cover letter. It helps create a personal connection with the employer while maintaining professionalism.
It would be best to keep in mind that your cover letter should be focused and brief. It should aim to show how you stand out from other candidates. It also expresses your enthusiasm about the opportunity to work at the firm. Finally, you should provide relevant information to help show how you would fit into the organization.