A cover letter is generally the first opportunity you will have to get a potential employer’s attention, so it stands to reason that it should highlight your achievements, be grammatically perfect, and be persuasive. While that may seem like a lot to accomplish in a single page, it’s important that your cover letter be concise.
Before you begin creating your cover letter, it’s a good idea to understand its goal. A well-written cover letter:
Hiring attorneys use cover letters for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:
Unlike your resume, your cover letter should follow a specific format. It should begin with your address at the top of the page, either aligned with the left margin or centered. Directly under your address, include your phone number and email address. Under the contact information, insert the date.
Next, consider to whom you will be sending your cover letter and resume. If you are applying to a law firm, for example, you might address the cover letter to the firm’s recruiting director or a specific attorney. For other types of employers, you can usually look up contact information on the internet or call the office. Remember, if you are writing to an attorney, be sure to include Esq after the person’s name.
Two lines below the potential employer’s address, include a greeting (Dear [first name] [last name] or Dear Judge. Try to avoid a general greeting like Dear Sir or To Whom It May Concern. Instead, take the time to do your research and find out the appropriate contact information.
Next, include the body of your cover letter. It should be single-spaced and there should be a line between each paragraph. The following format has proven to be successful for attorney candidates in the past.
Since the day I started as a real estate associate at a major Chicago law firm, recruiters would call me on a regular basis. My connection with Bill Sugarman at Astor Professional Search was immediate, and his sincerity and knowledge of the marketplace set him heads and shoulders above all the other recruiters. Bill was able to easily identify my goals and concerns and locate the best opportunities. His many connections run to law firms and companies alike, and ultimately enabled me to make the switch to a unique opportunity on the business side.
It was important for me to take an exhaustive approach in considering a lateral move. Having known Bill Sugarman for several years, I felt very comfortable with his strategic philosophy and in-depth market knowledge. I was thrilled to have Bill in my corner as a trusted advisor, particularly given the magnitude of the process and my ultimate decision. I have been extremely happy with the results, and I continue to recommend Bill and Astor Professional Search to any attorneys contemplating a move.
The lateral hiring process can be onerous, and it was beyond helpful to have Bill Sugarman and his experience in my corner, backing my efforts to advance my career. Bill had the unique ability to recognize my priorities while I was still formulating them, and he was strategic in aligning those priorities with potential firms. He was willing to jump on the phone in short order at any time, including nights and weekends, to talk through any issue along the way, no matter how big or small. Bill is the type of advocate you want on your team when considering a move.
After 14 years of practicing corporate law and building my practice with the same law firm, the notion of moving firms and working with a legal recruiter was daunting. However, my experience with Bill Sugarman was extremely positive from the first phone call. Not only did Bill spend a great deal of time with me, but his in-depth analysis and consultation really helped me put things in perspective. Bill’s responsiveness and comprehensive approach throughout the entire process proved invaluable in the results we achieved. I have the highest regard for Bill and Astor Professional Search, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Bill to anyone.
As former President and CEO of one of the nation’s leading online brokerage firms, I oversaw our search for an associate general counsel. We were extremely selective with exactly who and what we were looking for. Bill Sugarman, of Astor Professional Search, asked the right questions and took the time to find the specific attributes that were critical to us. He presented us with only the strongest candidates to fit our needs. I was particularly impressed with his high level of candor, responsiveness and overall diligence. We were extremely happy with the manner in which he conducted the overall search as well as the outstanding results he delivered.
I was happy in my position at my law firm, but my long-term career goal was to move in-house. Unlike other recruiters who simply passed me law firm opportunities in the hopes of a quick placement, Joel Bronstein of Astor Professional Search took the time to really understand my long-term goals. Thanks to Joel’s persistence and huge network, he ultimately connected me with a unique in-house opportunity that I likely never would have discovered on my own and without his guidance. Joel became a trusted advisor and resource for me throughout the search process, and at every step along the way. I would not hesitate to recommend Joel and Astor to other attorneys who are looking for a professional change, whether at a law firm or elsewhere.
Bill Sugarman is a fantastic legal recruiter who spent a great deal of time getting to know me on both a professional and personal level. His tenacity, market knowledge and vast network of relationships were instrumental in procuring multiple offers for me. Ultimately, I was able to choose the right opportunity after thorough analysis that was made easier through Bill’s detailed consultation and sound judgement throughout the process. I would gladly recommend Bill and Astor Professional Search to any of my friends or business associates.
My family and I were in the process of relocating, and I was considering available career opportunities that would make sense for me. After consulting with Joel Bronstein, of Astor Professional Search, we were able to identify an ideal position that would enable me to achieve my long-term goals. Joel was instrumental in each step of the process, and his high level of market knowledge, strategic insight, and tactical advice were invaluable. I would strongly recommend Joel and Astor to any attorney exploring the market in Chicago or throughout the country, as well as to any attorney simply interested in gaining a better market perspective through Astor’s expertise.
Having a sizable book of business in my intellectual property litigation practice, I knew that I would have good options when I decided to leave my previous law firm. Although I had worked with other legal recruiters previously, it wasn’t until I worked with Bill Sugarman of Astor Professional Search that I realized how much more value he brought to the table as my advocate. His thorough market insight and attention to detail, coupled with his accessibility and superior work ethic are unparalleled. I continue to be very pleased with the results he delivered.
Joel Bronstein, of Astor Professional Search, was an invaluable part of my lateral search when I was looking to relocate. I thought that identifying law firms that aligned with my long-term goals in a different geographic region would be a challenging ordeal, but through Joel’s impressive market intelligence and detailed guidance, the process was much smoother and easier than I anticipated. Joel exceeded my expectations by taking the time to gain an in-depth understanding of my goals and priorities from multiple perspectives. I would strongly recommend Astor Professional Search to any attorney.
As a corporate attorney at an international law firm, I was constantly receiving recruiter phone calls. However, Joel Bronstein at Astor Professional Search immediately stood out from the crowd. My experience with him was particularly refreshing, given his professionalism, market knowledge, and sincere interest in my long-term goals. Joel was diligent and patient as we navigated a variety of quality opportunities. I would happily recommend him and Astor to any attorney interested in gaining a better understanding of the legal market and exploring their career options.
After 15 years at an IP boutique firm, I decided to move to a full-service firm to better serve my clients. I had concerns about the process, finding the right fit, and ensuring a seamless transition for my clients. Bill Sugarman of Astor Professional Search guided me through the entire process, first by discussing my objectives and determining my clients’ needs, and then by continuously asking insightful questions and applying his experience to my objectives. His in-depth knowledge of the legal market and firm-specific culture, as well as his extensive network of relationships, were critical to the process. His experience and coaching resulted in a “perfect-fit” transition for me. Bill is a communicative, sincere, and objective advocate. I strongly recommend Bill and Astor to any attorney either looking to make a move or just exploring the market.
As the hiring partner with a national law firm specializing in real estate law, I need to make sure that the candidates we interview, and ultimately hire, have what it takes to satisfy the heavy demands of our high profile clients. Astor Professional Search has really advanced our recruiting efforts by continuously providing the type of top legal talent that can sometimes be difficult to find in a competitive market. Astor’s ability to target high caliber candidates, and effectively communicate our firm message to them, has proven very successful in delivering outstanding results for us.
I was referred to Astor Professional Search by a former colleague, who was very happy with her overall experience and ultimate results. Bill Sugarman spent a lot of time with me discussing my short, intermediate, and long-term goals. His experience and connections helped him readily identify the opportunities which best positioned me to achieve these goals. Equally important, Bill was interested in finding a place in which I would fit personally as well as professionally, which is critical to my success and the firm’s ultimate success. I continue to recommend Bill to any attorney contemplating a job change.
Bill Sugarman, of Astor Professional Search, really helps you examine your career goals and determine what type of firm will be best for you. He knows the Chicago legal market extremely well. He immediately understood what type of environment I was looking for and he helped me to achieve my goals. Changing law firms can be a difficult and stressful process, but Bill made the transition much easier than I expected.
As an experienced real estate attorney, it was very important to me that my recruiter understood not only the general reputations and qualities of firms, but which specialties each firm excelled at. Through his contacts in the legal community and long-time experience, Bill had a great sense of what smaller departments were like within the context of bigger firms. This expertise enabled me to find a firm and department that fit my specific goals for both work and firm culture. Bill put a tremendous amount of effort into my search and was very involved in helping me get through each step of the process. It was very helpful and useful to have his advice and support through my search. I would definitely recommend Astor Professional Search to anyone.
In an ever-changing legal market, our lateral recruiting efforts continue to be a top priority. Having known Bill Sugarman for over 25 years, we have the utmost confidence in Astor Professional Search to represent our law firm’s attorney recruiting interests in a highly effective manner. Astor treats Much Shelist and its lateral task force with integrity and professionalism, and we are thrilled to have Bill and his company securely in our corner.
The many demands of a growing firm like ours requires the legal recruiters we work with to be very efficient when conducting lateral searches for us. Working with Bill Sugarman at Astor Search is refreshing, because he has a very good understanding of our firm culture and our particular needs, and as a result is consistently able to provide us with highly credentialed candidates whose personalities tend to fit in well with our firm environment.
As we continue to grow our Chicago office and expand our national footprint, the select few legal search firms with whom we work must be at the top of their game. Astor Professional Search, under the leadership of Bill Sugarman, epitomizes this notion. Not only has Astor provided us with the highest caliber of lateral partner talent on a consistent basis, but they have done so in a way which makes the entire process seamless. Their combination of in-depth market knowledge, partner relationships, candid communication and high integrity really sets them apart. We look forward to continued mutual success with Astor in the years to come.
Before submitting your cover letter, take the time to read through it thoroughly. Consider using computer software to check it for grammatical errors. Some attorney candidates ask their colleagues to read over their cover letters as well.
A substantial amount of time, effort, and meticulous care must be taken when creating your cover letter. The attorney recruiters at Astor Professional Search have extensive knowledge of and experience in writing cover letters for partners, associates, and in-house counsel. When you apply for new positions through Astor Professional Search, our team will write your cover letter on your behalf, giving you a leg up on the competition and increasing your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
Discover how the legal recruiters at Astor Professional Search can help you reach your goals. Call 312-781-9000 today.