University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Legal Career Toolkit – Sample Cover Letters

Suggested format for an externship request letter:

220 Longbourne Terrace
New London, NH 03229

Date

Ms. Field Supervisor
Lawyer's R' Us
1122 Greenacre Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 98876

Dear Ms. Supervisor:

    I am a third year student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, NH, and am interested in pursuing a career in __________.  I would like to set up a part-time/full-time externship with __________ for the coming fall/spring semester.  The externship would be worth ____ credits; this translates into ____ hours of work per week.  Therefore, I would be available to you for ___ days per week for the entire 14 week semester.  While I would be gaining experience in _______, your organization would be gaining extra help and the enthusiasm of a law student at no cost.

    (Paragraph discussing why you are interested in that particular field.)

    (Paragraph discussing related experience.)

    (Short paragraph on the goals for the externship – what you hope to learn.)


    Please let me know if you would be interested in establishing this part-time/full-time externship for the fall/spring semester.  For your information, I have enclosed a description of the externship program which outlines the requirements and logistics.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
Elizabeth B. Darcy
Elizabeth B. Darcy


Enclosure

 


Suggested format for an externship request letter:

220 Ryder Blvd.
Bristol, NH 03001

Date

Michael Formica, Esq.
The Sierra Club
12 El Paso Blvd.
Sante Fe, NM 87639

Dear Mr. Formica:

    I am a third year law student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and am interested in pursuing a career in environmental law.  The University of New Hampshire School of Law allows students to work outside school for academic credit as “externs” under the direct supervision of an attorney.  These externships allow students to gain practical, hands-on legal experience.

    I would like to set up a full time externship with The Sierra Club for the coming spring semester.  The externship would be worth 12 credits; this means I would work 40 hours per week for the entire 14 week semester.  While I would be gaining experience in environmental law from a not-for-profit point of view, your organization would be gaining extra help and the enthusiasm of a law student.  Under ABA regulations, students who are receiving credit for field experience cannot be compensated.

    I have experience in environmental law from several different perspectives.  Last semester I interned at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.  There, I participated in the state rule-making process.  I researched environmental issues from asbestos to solid waste, reviewed and edited administrative rules for submission to the legislature and wrote enforcement memoranda.  I also had the opportunity to draft rules on the regulation of junkyards, which New Hampshire does not currently regulate.

    This summer I was a law clerk with the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division.  I was assigned to the Environmental Enforcement Section and participated in several major cases involving federal statues such as RCRA, CERCLA, and the Clean Air Act.  I wrote legal memoranda on aspects of those statutes, drafted pre-trial motions and pleadings and participated in strategy sessions.

    I am eager to expand my experience to the private sector, specifically not-for-profit organizations.  I would like to learn more about the legal issues The Sierra Club faces in its effort to protect and conserve our environment and natural resources.  Legislative initiatives and the organization’s role as advocate are also areas of interest.

    Please let me know if you would be interested in establishing this full-time externship for the spring semester.  For your information, I have enclosed a description of the externship program which outlines the requirements and logistics.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
Julia Marchmain
Julia Marchmain


Enclosure

 


Sample 1L cover letter:

45 Market Street
Concord, NH 03301

November 12, 20––

Michael R. Pelletier, Esq.
Pelletier & Siegal
85 Currant Street
Manchester, NH 03302

Dear Mr. Pelletier:

I would like to be considered for a summer law clerk position you recently posted at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. I will complete my first year of law school in May and I am very interested in working for Pelletier & Siegal this summer because of your firm's focus on family law. I plan to practice in New Hampshire upon graduation and am committed to learning as much as possible about New Hampshire family law.

As a family law paralegal, I greatly enjoyed working on these matters. Working with clients and assisting with difficult child abuse cases inspired me to get further involved and become a Guardian Ad Litem. I found GAL work extremely rewarding. This work and my experience as a paralegal confirmed my desire to attend law school and become a family law practitioner.

In my law school classes, I have developed practical legal skills. I have drafted contracts, written briefs and memoranda, and prepared pleadings. In addition, I am currently researching and writing a moot court brief on surrogate parenting. I would now like to apply my experience and skills in working in family law this summer.

Thank you for your consideration. I am enclosing a resume for your review and will be calling you within the next two weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.


Sincerely,

Paul Garcia
Paul Garcia


Enclosure

 


Sample 1L cover letter:

67A N. Spring Street
Concord, NH 03301

November 26, 20––

Ms. Frances Sheridan
Sheridan, Mossi, Greenleaf and Rubin
156 Maryland Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Ms. Sheridan:

I would like to be considered for the summer law clerk position you recently listed with the University of New Hampshire School of Law. I will complete my second year of law school in May and am looking forward to gaining practical experience. Having spent sometime in Annapolis while enrolled in the University of Maryland, I would very much like to return there this summer and upon graduation.

I would like to gain experience in real estate, zoning and municipal law as I plan to practice in these areas. I was interested in these areas before I came to law school and have been spending the last few months learning more about them. From speaking with attorneys, faculty members, and students, I have learned how important it is to understand how federal, state and local regulations impact real estate development, to be scrupulous about every detail of a real estate transaction, and to work well with individual landowners, corporate developers, city officials and area businesses. I am eager to learn more about your practice in these areas and to apply the skills I have gained this year.

As you may know, UNH School of Law stresses practical learning. Already I have drafted a complaint for breach of contract, written a memo analyzing recreational use statutes, and observed state legislative hearings. This spring I will be drafting a brief for a moot court appellate case, and have requested one on the topic of eminent domain proceedings. I appreciate having these experiences in my first year and would like to build on them this summer.

Thank you for your consideration. I am enclosing a resume for your review and will be calling you within the next two weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.

Sincerely,
Raisa Jamback
Raisa Jamback

 


Sample 2L cover letter:

572 Hillcrest Road
Bow, NH 03304

December 3, 20––

Jules C. Fiske, Esq.
George, Yakos and Weiss
699 Parkside Boulevard
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865

Dear Attorney Fiske:

Monica Willender at the Coalition for Affordable Housing in Newark recently spoke to me about your work and suggested I contact you. I am a second year student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, NH, and am very interested in working with you this summer because of your work in social security, civil litigation and civil rights cases.

I am particularly interested in working for you because of what I have learned about your firm structure and approach to legal issues. From talking to Monica Willender, I understand that you focus on a proactive, team approach to solving problems and reducing legal costs. I also understand that you seek to maximize the use of technology to communicate effectively with clients and co–workers. I have been really impressed by what I have learned about how you combine private practice and taking civil rights cases pro bono and would love to learn more about your practice by working for you this summer.

I am eager to hone the practical skills I have gained in law school. I thoroughly enjoyed advocating for Social Security claimants through UNH School of Law's Consumer and Commercial Law Clinic and want to build my knowledge and skills further in this area. I am currently writing a law journal article on state civil rights claims, and would welcome the opportunity to work on your civil rights cases. I am very excited about combining my law school training with the hands–on opportunity your firm would offer and I am ready to work hard to make this a rewarding experience for both of us.

Thank you for your consideration. I am enclosing a resume for your review. I plan to be in New Jersey in February, and would like to meet with you then, if convenient. I will be calling you within the next two weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.

Sincerely,
Ciaran Thompson
Ciaran Thompson


Enclosure

 


Sample 2L cover letter:

4190 Rumford Street
Concord, NH 03301

September 5, 20––

Ralph P. Truini, Esq.
Smith, Truini and Vasquez
1010 West Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Dear Mr. Truini:

I am a second year law student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, New Hampshire and am interested in working with your firm this summer because of your firm's focus on software patents, trademarks and licensing. Because my family is from San Bernardino, I would like to work in southern California this summer and upon graduation. I plan to be in San Diego in October and would like, if possible, to meet with you then.

Working for a patent attorney and participating in UNH School of Law's Intellectual Property Summer Institute this past summer confirmed my commitment to practice in this area of the law. I enjoyed learning about how the Patent and Trademark Office processes applications, gaining some insights in how to draft patent applications and respond to office actions. Taking courses this summer provided me with a foundation in intellectual property research, trademarks, and patent procedure. I am now building on this background and am eager to use my computer science background and experience in working for your firm.

Before coming to law school, I worked for three years in the computer industry. During this time, I worked with a variety of colleagues, including technicians, sales representatives, marketing directors and business owners. I learned how to effectively communicate with these different colleagues, supervisors and clients, and appreciate the time and energy that goes into doing so. In law school, I have worked on sharpening my communication, research, writing and analytical skills. I now look forward to applying these skills to your firm's practice.

Thank you for your consideration. I am enclosing a resume for your review and will be calling you within the next few weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.

Very truly yours,
Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton


Enclosure

 


Sample 2L cover letter:

26 S. Main Street, #191
Concord, NH 03301

August 6, 20––

Mitzy Cole, Esq.
Director of Human Resources
Sheffer, Schendel and Harris, LLP
1673 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Dear Attorney Cole,

I am a second year student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and would like to work for Sheffer, Schendel and Harris next summer. I plan to practice in New York City upon graduation and am committed to learning as much as possible about international intellectual property law.

Before coming to law school, I worked for seven years in finance and technology positions. Most recently, I was the financial controller for a software development company. In this position I was responsible for all financial reporting, corporate structuring, contract management, and employment compensation and immigration issues. I greatly enjoyed working on these issues and other legal matters.

In my law school classes, I have learned how to efficiently and effectively research legal topics, analyze potential strategies, and communicate my findings both orally and in proper legal writing format. Additionally, by the time I would join your firm this summer, I will have completed specific coursework in intellectual property law.

Thank you for your consideration. I am enclosing a resume for your review and will be calling you within the next two weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.

Sincerely,

George O. Donatello
George O. Donatello


Enclosure


Sample 3L cover letter:

25 Union Street
Concord, NH 03301

September 12, 20––

Terry C. Sergi, Esq.
Trask, Sergi & Chu
1821 Smith Street
New York, NY 22012

Dear Ms. Sergi:

My sister, Sherry Lamenter, a former client of yours, suggested that I write to you to express my interest in working as an associate with your firm. I am a third year law student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, New Hampshire and intend to return to New York to practice after graduation. Sherry has spoken with me on several occasions about Trask, Sergi & Chu. My conversations with her made me interested in your business law practice, particularly your firm's emphasis on litigation and representation of smaller businesses in the New York area.

I am eager to build upon the practical experience I have had in business law. As a summer law clerk at the Small Business Administration, I really enjoyed working and negotiating with attorneys on issues facing small businesses, including securing loans, obtaining relief from automatic stays and assessing business development potential. During my externship at Gore, Inc., I learned about the legal demands facing a large corporation. Researching such issues as the Whistleblower Act and hazardous material disposal, made me even more interested in business law. I now look forward to working in this area.

Thank you for your consideration. I plan to be in New York City in November, and would like, if possible, to meet with you then. I am enclosing my resume for your review and will be calling you within the next few weeks to see if you would be interested in arranging a meeting.

Sincerely,
Dana Mattila
Dana Mattila


Enclosure

 


Sample 3L cover letter:

21 Green Street
Concord, N.H. 03301

March 12, 20––

Mr. Joe Smith
Hiring Partner
Miller, Smith, & Anderson, L.L.P.
1450 Main Street
Boston, MA 04938

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to express my interest in an Associate Attorney position with Miller, Smith, & Anderson, L.L.P. I am currently completing my third year as a Juris Doctor/ Master of Intellectual Property (J.D./M.I.P.) student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord, N.H. I have past work experience in pharmaceutical patent litigation, as well as a strong academic and research background in all areas of intellectual property law, including U.S. and foreign trademark and copyright law, trademark registration, licensing, asset management and e–commerce law.

My qualifications include the academic ability and organization skills necessary to produce quality work within time limits as well as operate efficiently under pressured conditions. My skills in legal writing and research earned me a Teaching Assistant position for the Legal Writing program at the Law Center as well as a Research Assistant position for one of our professors. I am also currently working on an article about the FDA's involvement in the registration of pharmaceutical trademarks. I excelled in my Intellectual Property coursework, focusing on patent, trademark and copyright licensing, asset management, valuation and registration. In Legal Skills, I mastered both electronic and print research and completed a trademark appellate brief that I argued before a panel of judges. Last spring, I wrote the e–commerce and copyright sections of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Intellectual Property On–line Tutorial project that will be launched this season. This past fall, my article, entitled “The Parent Trap: Relocation and the Custodial Parent," was published in the New Hampshire Bar Journal.

My activities to date also meet a commendable standard. I serve as the elected President of the only student chapter of the Licensing Executives Society (L.E.S.), responsible for recruiting members, organizing symposiums and submitting articles to L.E.S. journals. I am also the Business Editor of IDEA, The Journal of Law and Technology produced by the University of New Hampshire School of Law. My responsibilities include submissions review, journal layout, addressing correspondence, selecting future editors and increasing subscriptions. This dedication to my coursework and activities enhanced my research and organizational skills, initiative, and communication ability in a manner that ensures my work with your company will be commendable.

My resume is enclosed for your review. I look forward to meeting you.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mary Public
Mary Public


Enclosures

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