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Home / JDs Rising / Talkin’ cover letter blues
The author asks: Does anybody got any good ideas for a cover letter?

Talkin’ cover letter blues

The author asks: Does anybody got any good ideas for a cover letter?

About Ron Walters

Ron Walters is a 2010 graduate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he served as Notes and Comments Editor of the school's Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of one published article, Goodbye to Good Bird: Considering the Use of Contact Agreements to Settle Contested Adoptions Arising Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, 6 U. St. Thomas L.J. 270 (2008). His hobbies include running, bicycling, soccer, tennis and cooking. Ron is an avid podcast listener and doesn't miss an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, This American Life, or Radiolab.


  1. I recently vetted several hundred application packets for a position with my organization. Given the volume, I did not even look at the cover letters to do my first round of sorting. In the second round of sorting, I skimmed the cover letters to see if the individuals were weird. My thought has always been that cover letters can only hurt you. Keep them short and sweet. And, unless you are applying for a job in advertising, do not get creative.

  2. I agree with Law Lackey – creativity in cover letters is NOT the way to go!

    Career services’ advice is spot on: explain why you were interested in the organization you were applying to, and explain why they should be interested in you. If the only reason you’re applying for a particular job is “I want this job because I’m broke and desperate,” therein lies the problem. I truly believe that papering the town with resumes and applying for every single opening is not the way to find a job, especially in this climate where there are a ton of un- and under-employed attorneys.

    If you find the right job for you, you will be able to write that cover letter. Your resume will stand out and you’ll get that call, not because your cover letter looks like a comic book, but because your qualifications and interests align with the position. You have to bring something more to the table than just your JD.

  3. Cover letter must be written in a prescribed format, and it should be written to the point by keeping in mind job requirement.

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