In this article, Anmol Singla of RGNUL discusses how to design a cover letter which helps you grabbing the best internships.

Internships are an essential part of a law student’s life. Their importance has been explained by Shrey Lodha in this article.

A Cover Letter is a basic requirement at the time of applying for an internship. Cover letters are one page documents that you send with your resume or CV when applying for a job or an internship. It is an important document which is used for the purposes listed below.

  1. Introduce yourself to the hiring manager
  2. Describe your skill set in context of the position you are applying for
  3. Fill in places your resume cannot describe
  4. Further explain other aspects of your resume

By hitting those 4 aspects, your letter can be a convincing and powerful companion to a well written resume or CV. It is looked at and examined carefully. A well written cover letter could be the difference between being able to grab an opportunity or allowing it to slip right past you.

How to write a cover letter

  1. Contact Information: The header of every professional cover letter for a job application should include the following:
  • Your name
  • Your telephone number
  • Your email address
  • The date
  • The name of the hiring manager and their professional title
  • The name and address of the company to which you’re applying for

Optionally, you can add:

  • Your professional title
  • Your home address
  • Links to your professional websites
  • Your social media accounts (only LinkedIn and Twitter)
  • Your city of residence
  1. Introduction: The first paragraph holds the key. This is your chance to grab the recruiters attention and stand out from the crowd. It should not consist of usual phrases like Dear Sir/Madam or to whom it may concern. It should focus on conveying the position or role you are looking for and how you came to know about this opportunity. It should also comprise of some basic information about yourself like the course you are pursuing, areas of expertise and interest, career goals and how they align with the vision of the place you are applying for.
  2. Advertise your skills: the second paragraph should correspond directly to how you are a perfect fit for the company. It has to be based upon the requirements of the place you are applying for. It is important to know about the company and its objectives. Words and phrases from the requirements of the place can be included in cover letters. You have to convince the hiring manager about how you fit into the company and make your contribution to help the company achieve its objectives. It has to focus upon the specific skill-set possessed by you that helps the company.
  1. Conclusion: This is referred to as the Call to Action paragraph. It focuses upon asking for a follow-up. You have to pose questions like:
  1. Can we discuss how I can help?
  2. I have attached my resume along. When can I expect a call for an interview?

You should end the cover letter by using a proper sign off. Sample cover letter sign-offs:

  • Thank you,
  • Best regards,
  • Kind regards,
  • Sincerely,
  • With best regards.

Some of the major places that law students intern at, during their university studies and what to keep in mind while drafting a cover letter for them is discussed below.

  • Law Firm

    • Explain what stage are you at in your career.
    • Include the location you want to intern at and how you came to know about the firm.
    • Why do you want to work at the law firm? This should convey your interest about working in the specific field practised by the organization. You must include any activities (like workshops, courses, etc.) that serve as a proof of your interest.
    • What makes you suitable for the law firm? Include your skills like communication, drafting, knowledge of law, etc. that will be useful to the organization. Back the skills by stating your achievements.
    • End the letter by referring the recruiter to your CV and stating your availability for any interview or assessment that may follow.
  • Litigation

    • Why you want to intern with the lawyer or judge? Explain how you came to know about them and why do you want to do it.
    • Do some background research on the person and cite any incident which you could relate to.
    • Emphasise the skills you possess that would aid the lawyer.
    • Show your eagerness to learn and acquire knowledge
    • End the letter by referring the recruiter to your CV and stating your availability for any interview or assessment that may follow.
  • Legal Research Intern

    • Demonstrate sensitivity towards the issues they focus upon and tell about any related event you have attended
    • Cite your specific skills. Give references to any research you have already done.
    • Demonstrate writing skills. Tell about any competitions like Essays, Moot memos, Judgement Writings, etc.
    • End the letter by referring the recruiter to your CV and stating your availability for any interview or assessment that may follow.
  • NGO

    • Address the selection criteria. Look up the requirements of the organization and address them.
    • Highlight any community and volunteer work.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the work
    • Show awareness about the challenges
    • End the letter by referring the recruiter to your CV and stating your availability for any interview or assessment that may follow.
  • Public Sector Units

    • Show awareness about the work they do.
    • Explain why you want this opportunity and how did you come to know about it.
    • Be aware of the role of a legal intern and demonstrate the skill-set you possess
    • End the letter by referring the recruiter to your CV and stating your availability for any interview or assessment that may follow.

Some common cover letter mistakes are stated below

  • Giving too much emphasis on your personal skills such as Music, Book Reading etc.
  • Sharing irrelevant details.
  • Highlighting your insecurities instead of talents
  • Explaining just your resume
  • Not backing up claims by examples
  • Writing a lengthy letter
  • TYPOS and GRAMMATICAL ERRORS (CARDINAL SINS)

Keeping the above format in mind and the specific instructions for every place draft a cover letter comprising of all the required details and make it presentable. Make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes listed above. Follow this, be confident, and secure your dream internship.

How to ace your internships

To be successful in securing and excelling in a corporate internship, you need to plan and prepare well ahead. We observed the process and journey of securing a corporate law internship and converting one into a job offer for hundreds of law students and then identified the elements that worked and that didn’t work. This program is developed to enable you to acquire those skills before you even walk into a corporate internship. You will be able to build yourself into a person whom a law firm seeks out.

This course is designed to enable law students to tackle two major challenges: secure corporate internships (at corporate law firms or companies) and perform extraordinarily well so that you can get a job offer. Typical ways are securing a PPO (pre-placement offer), a job interview or a call back for a subsequent internship (with a sense that it may convert into a job offer).

 

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