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Creating a Strong Paralegal Cover Letter

published March 06, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 209 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
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The middle paragraph of the cover letter is the Skills/Value paragraph. This is your personal sales pitch. The core of your bio (oral presentation) in the interview lies in the structure of this paragraph. As you assemble your qualifications in the construction of this paragraph, you are also preparing the outline of your interview.
Creating a Strong Paralegal Cover Letter

Remember, in these sentences you are trying to tie together your virtues in a logical and readable style. I gained paralegal experience as an intern where I assisted attorneys with trial preparation, deposition summarizing, and document organization. I also used well-developed computer skills in drafting motions and preparing indexes. Since I have three years of office experience in a busy medical clinic, I combine a strong knowledge of medical terminology with a real sensitivity to client contact issues.

The elements covered in this sample second paragraph are:
  1. Reiterated elements from first paragraph with an expansion of specific skills and experiences gained. As it was previously mentioned, if you have a four-year degree be sure to introduce that fact in your first paragraph. Never neglect to include all of your paralegal training in this paragraph.
  2. Technical/computer skills need to be in almost all cover letters. Elaborate on the systems you know. Mention the technical skills you have developed! Your competition does.
  3. Introduce pertinent skills and experience from your past background such as work habits, or similarity of situation, that could be particularly meaningful to a practice area. Transferability of skills is the goal of each "Transitional Person." Since this profession is filled with "Transitional," this is a goal you should strive for. The Skill Assessment Exercise in Chapter 5 is the forge from which your material will emerge. Don't fail to extract transferable skills from your background in a meaningful and credible way.


Stay calm under pressure. Enjoy handling big projects . Handle high inter- eruptive environment. Know how to stay on top of a large case load. Be able to put out a great deal of work


Researched, drafted, and prepared reports or motions or pleadings, Drafted correspondence, Prepared lists, reports, tables, and statistics. Know how to research.


Word-processing skills and be able to type, and willing to do your own support work.

Scheduling/Detail Skills:

Detail orientation which is accounted systems analysis, numbers, calculations and handling the small stuff while still keeping the big picture.


Willing to roll up sleeves and do the grunt work, but able to handle clients, stay late to get job out the door.

Interpersonal Skills:

Skilled at dealing with people under stress, warm personality, able to keep poise and confidence and yet am a team player, not egotistical, not temperamental. One, who can subordinate personal to the larger good, can adapt to various personalities and knows how to deal with demanding people

Problem-Solving Skills:

Resourceful to handle investigation. Follow projects through to completion. Can deal with theory and principle yet still armed with lots of practical skills that make work invaluable. Know where to get answers, have professional skills to apply to problem-solving situations, believe in being able to get things done, and if I cannot, I ask the right questions and do the homework.

Paralegal "Buzz" Words designates and describes the kind of work paralegals do and the prevailing atmosphere in many firms. It is a stream of descriptive statements that should assist you in emphasizing the skills and experience that are meaningful to the person making hiring decisions. The main point is to emphasize skills more than titles. Do not use all of these phrases in a cover letter (for example, some would be more fitting in an interview), but reading these buzz words helps you define those past skills and experiences which would transfer most readily to the legal/paralegal market. Focusing on these skills will help you separate those experiences that were important to your last job from the skills that are meaningful and impressive to the person who might hire you for your next job.

Two ditches to avoid

The cover letter is in many cases your first contact with a potential employer. It is crucial that you avoid typical pitfalls, and walk the correct and middle path in the job search process. This path speaks confidently about your virtues and skills, but does not boast, stretch credibility, sound excessive, or go to extremes. The "Superior Ditch" is the ditch into which many fall. Some think bravado will disguise itself as confidence, and that enthusiasm will "out-shout" a lack of qualifications. Overconfidence, boastfulness, and a "know-it-all" attitude get applicants rejected more than any other negative qualities.

The "Inferior Ditch" also causes rejection, because law firms are not in the business of acquiring muted, self-effacing, meek, and monosyllabic professional assistance. People who transmit the message that "they are not worthy" and that they are dwarfed by their surroundings get rejected at nearly the same rate as those who act too superior. Law firms and other legal settings need support personnel who can honestly present their skills and talents in a positive and declarative manner. Hiring managers want strong people who can handle the stress of professional life, not people who appear to wither under the pressure of stress and tense interpersonal dynamics.

While this problem is most visible in the interview, it actually begins in the written presentation phase of the job search process. The Skills/Value paragraph of your cover letter is the first tangible experience you have with the delicate balance of inferiority vs. superiority. In the cover letter you are challenged to present yourself in a credible and positive manner, not only as a believable "fit" but also a "perfect fit." As you craft your second paragraph, attempt to keep this dynamic in balance.

In order to get a perfect cover letter professional paralegal should draft each and every word carefully and with great precision. The middle paragraph is most important for getting you through the qualification procedure. It is needed that every professional should be cautious while drafting the cover letter.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

published March 06, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 209 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.