1L judicial internship cover letter q.

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1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:39 pm

So I know the safe advice is a barebones cover letter. But I have a couple pretty good, relevant resume items, and it just feels weird not to do a brief why-I-am-qualified paragraph to highlight them. Any general advice on this? Or anyone up for looking at my draft to see whether it's working?

Thanks!

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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:14 pm

As someone who has spent the last week or so reading cover letters from people who want to intern in chambers:

Please, please, please think seriously before you do this. Your cover letter should not re-recite your resume in narrative format. I'm already going to read your resume and look for things I think are interesting or relevant. I don't need you to read your resume to me in your cover letter.

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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:28 pm

Okay, you persuaded me. It just feels weird! Having helped out with the other side of hiring (in legal services), we would get these tiny cover letters, and it was totally mystifying--couldn't the applicant be bothered to write an actual letter with some substance? Those applicants generally would not get a second look. But I guess this just demonstrates the importance of knowing your audience.

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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:32 pm

I agree you don't need to recite your resume. Make sure to include any geographic or other connections not obvious on your résumé in your cover letter, though. Honestly, even if obvious I don't think they can hurt if they are explanatory -- "I went to X State University for undergrad and hope to return to X to practice following law school."

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Okay, you persuaded me. It just feels weird! Having helped out with the other side of hiring (in legal services), we would get these tiny cover letters, and it was totally mystifying--couldn't the applicant be bothered to write an actual letter with some substance? Those applicants generally would not get a second look. But I guess this just demonstrates the importance of knowing your audience.

I think it's the audience thing. Legal services is the kind of job where you really want to see someone's dedication to serving the indigent before you interview/hire them. It doesn't really matter what you want to do long-term when applying for a judicial internship (with one caveat). Plus, legal services was presumably hiring for a permanent position and not doing so all the time. A chambers may hire interns as often as 3x a year (fall, spring, summer) and they're just temporary. Short and sweet is fine (but I agree with including things in the cover letter that aren't obvious on your resume, like connection to the area or connection to the judge [e.g. "Your former clerk John Doe recommended I apply to your chambers"]. Also, the one caveat is that if you know a judge worked in a particular kind of practice - government work or legal aid or what - and you have a legitimate interest in that kind of work, it's worth throwing that in there. But again, that wouldn't be on your resume, anyway).

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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As someone who has spent the last week or so reading cover letters from people who want to intern in chambers:

Please, please, please think seriously before you do this. Your cover letter should not re-recite your resume in narrative format. I'm already going to read your resume and look for things I think are interesting or relevant. I don't need you to read your resume to me in your cover letter.


Same anon as quoted above. Just to clarify: I agree with A Nony Mouse and the other Anon response. You can definitely talk about substantive things. Highlight things that aren't on your resume, definitely. ALWAYS highlight if you have some connection to our chambers - either personally or geographically. It's just the re-hashing of your resume that's unnecessary (and kind of annoying).

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Re: 1L judicial internship cover letter q.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:00 am

Thanks, all. I will stick with the generic cover letter except for the judges in my home region.




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