Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

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Anonymous User
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Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:52 pm

I see a few firms are asking for cover letters for the 20 min screening interview. My school uses the lottery system.... what kind of cover letter should I send? Just something stating my interested in the firm? How should I close it off, since I'm not really asking for an interview (unless I can ask for the callback)?

alumniguy
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby alumniguy » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:34 am

Your cover letter needs to convey (i) that you've researched the firm and understand their practice and (ii) are actually interested in their practice and (iii) that you can contribute something to the firm if you are hired - i.e., why should they hire you.

You don't need a formal close on this type of cover letter. It should be a relatively short and succinct piece that the firm will likely use to (i) evaluate your writing skills and (ii) distinguish between serious and non-serious candidates.

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Cupidity
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby Cupidity » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:43 am

I gererally follow the folling format:

Dear Mr. _____

1. My name is _____, I go to X, and I'm interested in an SA position at Firm Y's office Z.

2. I'm interested in your A practice, in particular practice groups B and C. I'm also interested in your firm because of the reputation your firm has for N, demonstrated by award O. I'm also interested in firm Y's commitment to mentoring its SA's and young associates via, (described their mentoring process from their website).

3. About you.

3.5 Generalized pro-bono commitment. For example, if you've ever done community service involving disabled persons say, "As someone who has been involved with Q, I appreaciate your firms pro bono commitment to organization R and would be interested in volunteering my services to them while an associate."

4. I appreciate your consideration, I have also submitted a resume and grade sheet, I look foward to discussing the possibility of employment.

5. Sincerely.


A cover letter is a great opportunity to show you are actually interested, and to narrow the discussion at interviews. It gives them topics to ask you about. It also gives you a chance to show you bothered to google them.

Eco
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby Eco » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:52 am

Sounds a lot better than my cover letters. Mine generally go in this format-

"Hi, I'm a 2L, I like your firm because of X, I am interested in X practices.
*Next 3 paragraphs all detail my work experience*
Appreciate your consideration, blah blah...
Sincerely"

Meh.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:54 am

Cupidity wrote:I gererally follow the folling format:

Dear Mr. _____

1. My name is _____, I go to X, and I'm interested in an SA position at Firm Y's office Z.

2. I'm interested in your A practice, in particular practice groups B and C. I'm also interested in your firm because of the reputation your firm has for N, demonstrated by award O. I'm also interested in firm Y's commitment to mentoring its SA's and young associates via, (described their mentoring process from their website).

3. About you.

3.5 Generalized pro-bono commitment. For example, if you've ever done community service involving disabled persons say, "As someone who has been involved with Q, I appreaciate your firms pro bono commitment to organization R and would be interested in volunteering my services to them while an associate."

4. I appreciate your consideration, I have also submitted a resume and grade sheet, I look foward to discussing the possibility of employment.

5. Sincerely.


A cover letter is a great opportunity to show you are actually interested, and to narrow the discussion at interviews. It gives them topics to ask you about. It also gives you a chance to show you bothered to google them.

Huge +1 to all of this. I'd just add that it's okay to leave off the pro bono thing if you don't have anything to show or if the firm has no pro bono commitment at all. (The latter is kind of rare, but just saying.) You're probably better off if you have pro bono experience to show off, but it's not a 100% necessity to do it that way. Hopefully you have some other kind of experience to show off in its place though.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

along the same lines: if a cover letter was required for bidding should you bring a copy of it to the screener? I plan to bring my resume on some fancy paper but I don't see any value added by brining the cover letter.

alumniguy
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Re: Bring Cover Letter to OCI interview??

Postby alumniguy » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:11 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:along the same lines: if a cover letter was required for bidding should you bring a copy of it to the screener? I plan to bring my resume on some fancy paper but I don't see any value added by brining the cover letter.


You are correct that you probably won't ever need it, but it certainly doesn't do any harm to bring an extra copy along with you. Keep it in your portfolio along with your resume and don't offer it unless specifically requested.




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