How to build a jaw-dropping legal secretary cover letter
In the legal field, an incredible amount of paperwork is required to keep everything within the boundaries of compliance and properly recorded. Legal secretaries handle the bulk of this paperwork, ensuring legal documents are filed, scanned, copied, and sent to the proper recipients. To earn a job as a legal secretary, you need a well-written cover letter that highlights your key skills and qualifications.
In this guide, we will teach you the 5 necessary steps to follow when writing a cover letter as a legal secretary. Keep reading to learn all about:
- Formatting your legal secretary header & headline
- Tailoring your legal secretary cover letter for specific jobs
- Writing a strong introduction that captivates employers as a legal secretary
- Showcasing your key skills & accomplishments as a legal secretary
- Concluding your legal secretary cover letter effectively
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1. How to effectively format your legal secretary header & headline
To begin writing your legal secretary cover letter, you will first create a header and headline.
These two elements are highly important on any cover letter, as they provide key information that will stand out in an employer’s mind and make your letter more memorable.
Your cover letter header is first, located at the very top of the document. In this header, make sure to include:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the organization you are applying to
- The organization’s physical address
Here is an example of a well-formatted legal secretary header
Marsha Jones, Legal Secretary
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/marsha-jones
To: McMillam Law Firm
1234 Street Address
Chattanooga, TN 37405
After you have successfully completed your header, you will move on to your cover letter headline. This is a concise title statement that gives the employer a preview of the information to come and helps to hook their attention.
In this headline, you should always include:
- A relevant keyword or keyphrase
- A compelling number and/or trigger word
- A powerful adjective and/or verb
- A promise statement that tells the employer this letter is specifically for them
Here is an example of a strong legal secretary headline, followed by a quick explanation of its main components
My 4 Successes as a Legal Secretary & How I Plan to Achieve Them at Your Firm
Trigger Word/Number: 4 Successes
Keyword: Legal Secretary
Adjective/Verb: Plan, Achieve
Promise: Your Firm
2. How to tailor your legal secretary cover letter for specific jobs
A cover letter is only as effective as the amount of effort you put into it.
To make a highly effective legal secretary cover letter, it is essential to tailor the letter by thoroughly researching the employer before applying. In your research, you must look for key details about the employer that you can reference within your letter, such as:
- Any specialized areas of expertise the company focuses on
- What the company’s core goals and values are
- Which staff member at the company is responsible for reviewing job applications
This last detail can be used to make a personalized greeting that addresses the specific staff member by name.
Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings
- Dear Firm Manager John Deere,
- Dear Mr. John Deere,
- Dear Mr. John Deere & the Legal Team,
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3. How to write a strong legal secretary cover letter introduction
Your introduction has a highly important role to play in your cover letter. Not only does it serve as your formal introduction as an applicant but it also serves the vital purpose of captivating the employer’s attention and convincing them to continue reading.
As such, your introduction needs the most concise and valuable information possible, such as:
- A succinct summary of your professional history and specializations
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible)
Pro Tip: Always include a mutual acquaintance when you can. This not only helps to establish trust with an employer but also provides an immediate professional reference that you know the employer views as trustworthy. To gain more mutual acquaintances, build your professional network with LinkedIn.
Here is an example of a captivating introduction from a legal secretary cover letter:
Dear Firm Manager John Deere,
I am a legal secretary with 3+ years of experience providing secretarial services to corporate law offices. In my time at my previous employer, I had the pleasure of meeting your head attorney, Ms. Kate Miller. After reviewing my resume and working alongside me for a 6-week period, Ms.Miller strongly recommended I apply for this position.
4. How to showcase your key skills & accomplishments as a legal secretary
Unlike a resume — where you have very concise sections with limited space for detail — a cover letter provides you with ample opportunity to describe your relevant skills and accomplishments.
As you describe these qualifications, try to include details that are:
- Specific: Always be as specific as possible when describing your professional attributes. For example, instead of simply stating you have good communication skills, describe your exact style of communication.
- Contextual: Providing context around your skills and accomplishments makes it easier for employers to understand why they are included in your cover letter.
- Quantifiable: Quantifiable information like data and statistics help you show an employer the real-life, proven value you have to offer and the potential of what you can achieve.
Here are 6 great legal secretary skills to describe in a cover letter
- Providing administrative support
- Knowledge of legal recordkeeping procedures
- Typing minutes and drafting legal documents
- Performing initial client screenings
- Record management
- Exception internal and external communication
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a legal secretary cover letter
As a legal secretary at [Former Employer], I noticed that a lot of daily office hours were being lost on searching for legal documents. To address this problem, I implemented a new digitized record-keeping system that improved internal document-finding efficiency by 65%. Additionally, this digital system also improved legal research rates by 25%.
5. How to conclude your legal secretary cover letter effectively
Finish off your legal secretary cover letter strong with an effective closing statement. Your conclusion should encourage the employer to get in touch with you by including:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- Information on how to best contact you
- When you plan to follow up
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of an effective closing statement from a legal secretary’s cover letter
I am eager to get to know your legal team and hope to hear back from you within the next week regarding my application. If I have not heard from you by next Monday morning, I plan to follow up via phone call. The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890 on any weekday between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.