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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

Law School cover letter example

Winning a place at an ABA-approved law school is challenging. As part of your application package, you will need to craft the perfect law school cover letter. Read our guide on how to write your personal statement from scratch now.
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Law School cover letter example
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“What, like it’s hard?” Despite Elle Woods’ infamous and hilarious line in Legally Blonde, getting into law school is hard. For the 2024 enrollment year, more than 27,000 graduates applied to ABA-approved law schools across the country. If you want to get accepted, you will need to write a compelling law school cover letter, sometimes called a personal statement. 

So, how can you craft a law school cover letter that turns heads? Read our complete guide now.

Law school full text-only cover letter example

Adaptable full job title cover letter example

Dear Mr. Green,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the law school position at Harvard Law School. As a highly motivated and passionate individual with a deep commitment to legal education, I am confident that my skills, experience, and dedication make me an excellent candidate for this role.

Throughout my academic and professional journey, I have consistently demonstrated a keen interest in legal studies and a desire to contribute to the development of aspiring legal professionals. My educational background, which includes a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, has provided me with a solid foundation in legal theory, research, and practice.

In my current role as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, I have gained valuable experience in developing and delivering engaging lectures, mentoring students, and conducting legal research. I have successfully implemented innovative teaching methods and led a research project on constitutional law, showcasing my ability to inspire and guide students while contributing to the academic discourse. 

I am particularly drawn to Harvard Law School's commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and preparing leaders who will make a positive impact on society. I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to your mission of educating and empowering future lawyers who will shape the legal landscape and strive for justice and equality. I am eager to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to foster an inclusive and intellectually stimulating learning environment.

In addition to my professional qualifications, I possess strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. I am adept at building rapport with students, collaborating with colleagues, and managing multiple responsibilities effectively. I am also a proactive problem-solver and thrive in dynamic, fast-paced environments.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further how my skills, experience, and passion for legal education can contribute to the success of Harvard Law School. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of joining your esteemed institution and contributing to the growth and development of future legal professionals.

Sincerely,

Sandra Knight

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Sections of a law school cover letter

Also known as a personal statement, your law school cover letter should include some core elements. Don’t make the mistake of simply writing a freeform letter here. Instead, you should make sure that your document includes the following sections: 

  1. Cover letter header. First, you need to list your contact details at the top or side of the page, depending on the cover letter template that you use.
  2. Greeting. Next up, you should greet the reader. Since this is a formal statement, you should use a professional tone.
  3. Introduction. Once you have greeted the reader, you need to hook their attention. That means giving them something that will pique their interest.
  4. Body. The body of your personal statement needs to weave an engaging narrative. Depending on the college you’re applying to, you might have a prompt to follow.
  5. Conclusion. Finish up by reiterating why you are the ideal candidate for the law school. Be clear about the message you want to leave the reader with.
  6. Signature. Needless to say, the signature you use should be formal. Make sure that you get the tone right when it comes to signing off.

Each section of your cover letter plays a vital role in whether you are able to win over the reader. Your aim should be to detail the most interesting parts of your journey so far. 

Expert tip

Always read the guidance

Read any guidance surrounding the law school to which you are applying. While some colleges don’t give any specific advice, others will give you a prompt for your letter. 

For example, Yale Law School states the following requirements: 

“Applicants must submit a personal statement that helps us learn about the personal, professional, and/or academic qualities they would bring to the Law School community and the legal profession. Personal statements should be approximately two double-spaced pages.”

When you are writing your law school cover letter, make sure that you follow the rules closely. You are up against the finest minds in the country. Following simple directions is a must.

Personal statements differ slightly from your average cover letter. However, you can get more general information about writing each section in our article on how to write a cover letter.

Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our related cover letter examples including: 

Introduction of a law school cover letter

When you start a cover letter to your chosen law school, you have to go in strong.The admissions officer is looking for a reason to give you the time of day. With that in mind, it’s important to identify a ‘hook’ that will grab their attention from the first line. 

Consider what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is. That is what attribute you have that puts you firmly ahead of the competition. Leaning on one message is a savvy move. Of course, you can talk this issue over with your pre-law advisor before you get started. 

Do

Dear Professor Smith, 

As a first-generation American and the first in my family to even attend college, it is my solemn aim to make my mark. My passion is not only personal but also professional. While completing my studies, I volunteered at Smithsons Wathe, an immigration law firm, where I witnessed firsthand the immense demand for greater education and support. 

Don't

Dear Professor Smith, 

I am a recent graduate looking to further my career by attending law school. I hope that you will consider my application and find that I am a stellar candidate.

Avoid writing generic statements. These will only serve to bore the admissions officer. To get around this problem, you may choose to tell a story, instead. Consider what it is that has driven you to pursue this competitive career. What is the narrative behind your passion for law?

If you can pinpoint that, writing the start of your personal statement should come naturally. Relay the information to the reader in a palatable and concise way. Be creative here.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mr. Green,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the law school position at Harvard Law School. As a highly motivated and passionate individual with a deep commitment to legal education, I am confident that my skills, experience, and dedication make me an excellent candidate for this role.

Copied!

Law school cover letter body

The body of your law school cover letter should follow a clear structure: 

  • Your existing knowledge and expertise in law
  • How your prior education has set you up for this challenge
  • Why you are the perfect fit for the chosen law school
  • Solid conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more
  • Finish up with a call to action that has a positive undertone

First body paragraph: your suitability for the program (skills & experience)

The first paragraph of your law school cover letter holds a lot of weight. Make sure that you weave a strong narrative by including the following elements: 

  1. Your driving force. As we have already mentioned, you may want to cover why you have chosen to pursue the legal field and what it means to you.
  2. Highlight your prior education. You will cover your education and LSAT score elsewhere. However, you may choose to touch upon your education in this letter.
  3. Your potential impact. What impact do you plan to have on the legal world and beyond? What type of lawyer will you be? And, why does it all matter?
  4. Voluntary or placement work. What work experience do you have? Have you previously volunteered at a firm? If so, what skills did you pick up there?
  5. Vision of the future. If you have big dreams, now is the time to detail them. Don’t be afraid to share your unique vision of the future—i.e. when you have graduated.

Second body paragraph(s): alignment with the organization

Moving on to the second section of your law school cover letter, you need to align yourself with the college in question. You can do this by reading and researching the law school that you have chosen. The more homework you do, the better your chances.

Expert tip

Avoid This Common Error!

Don’t waste precious cover letter real estate on the ‘why’ section. Yes, you may want to explain why you have chosen this particular law school. However, this is unnecessary. 

As a post from the Harvard Law School Admissions site reveals, you don’t need to submit a separate ‘Why Harvard’ essay when applying for law school. The guide also says that you should not discuss Harvard as part of your personal statement either. 

While you do want to align yourself with the values of the institute, you don’t need to regale the reader with a complete history of the college. Leave it out.

While you don’t need to specifically address the law school, you should keep it in mind. You must tailor each of your personal statements to the institute you’re applying to.

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

Throughout my academic and professional journey, I have consistently demonstrated a keen interest in legal studies and a desire to contribute to the development of aspiring legal professionals. My educational background, which includes a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, has provided me with a solid foundation in legal theory, research, and practice.

In my current role as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, I have gained valuable experience in developing and delivering engaging lectures, mentoring students, and conducting legal research. I have successfully implemented innovative teaching methods and led a research project on constitutional law, showcasing my ability to inspire and guide students while contributing to the academic discourse. 

I am particularly drawn to Harvard Law School's commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and preparing leaders who will make a positive impact on society. I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to your mission of educating and empowering future lawyers who will shape the legal landscape and strive for justice and equality. I am eager to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to foster an inclusive and intellectually stimulating learning environment.

In addition to my professional qualifications, I possess strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. I am adept at building rapport with students, collaborating with colleagues, and managing multiple responsibilities effectively. I am also a proactive problem-solver and thrive in dynamic, fast-paced environments.

Copied!

Call to action & conclusion: finish off strong

The end of your cover letter should be optimistic. You may want to include a call to action (CTA) encouraging the admissions officer to contact you. 

Additionally, you should express gratitude in this part of your letter. Let the reader know that you value their time and consideration. After all, good manners cost you nothing. 

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further how my skills, experience, and passion for legal education can contribute to the success of Harvard Law School. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of joining your esteemed institution and contributing to the growth and development of future legal professionals.

Sincerely,

Sandra Knight

Copied!

You need to sign off with your name at the end of the letter unless otherwise stated in the guidance. 

Key takeaways

Writing a winning law school cover letter is an art form. Make sure you convey your passion for the legal field and share your story in a compelling way. You should also showcase your unique strengths, detail any experience you have, and share your vision of the future. 

If you want to get started, use our cover letter builder to create a professional document now.

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