As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

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Anonymous User
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As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:18 pm

I graduated from a second tier law school in 2010, clerked for a top district court, went to biglaw, and now I'm applying to some other jobs and COA clerkships. As a third year (going on fourth year) it seems like my law school isn't that relevant and it's probably the most harmful thing on my resume. When I write my cover letter, I used to include in the first sentence "I'm a grad of XXXX law school." I was thinking, should I waste valuable space with that sentence? It's already in my resume which I also send. It seems like there's no reason to say it twice, since it certainly doesn't help me.

I was thinking about starting with: I'm a current associate at [BIGLAW FIRM] and former clerk for [JUDGE] on [DISTRICT].

lolwat
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby lolwat » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:27 pm

Sounds fine to me. I don't think school is going to be irrelevant, but you certainly don't have to highlight it in your cover letter.

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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:37 pm

lolwat wrote:Sounds fine to me. I don't think school is going to be irrelevant, but you certainly don't have to highlight it in your cover letter.


Agreed re relevance. I used the wrong term. What I meant was, I have 3 years of experience, so there's a much larger body of work to look at besides my law school US news rank. But school is still relevant.

I just don't want to look like I'm hiding the ball or being deceitful.

run26.2
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lolwat wrote:Sounds fine to me. I don't think school is going to be irrelevant, but you certainly don't have to highlight it in your cover letter.


Agreed re relevance. I used the wrong term. What I meant was, I have 3 years of experience, so there's a much larger body of work to look at besides my law school US news rank. But school is still relevant.

I just don't want to look like I'm hiding the ball or being deceitful.

I'm not sure why you would think it is either of these things, since it is available on your resume.

It might sound a bit weird if you talked about all your achievements in law school in your cover letter (e.g., "I graduated from law school summa cum laude and was editor-in-chief of the law review") without naming the school. Otherwise, leave it out and play up the strengths of your application. Your cover letter should be selling yourself, so point out the best aspects of your application. I would put it back in, though, if I knew the recipient of the letter graduated from my school.

Anonymous User
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:36 pm

run26.2 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lolwat wrote:Sounds fine to me. I don't think school is going to be irrelevant, but you certainly don't have to highlight it in your cover letter.


Agreed re relevance. I used the wrong term. What I meant was, I have 3 years of experience, so there's a much larger body of work to look at besides my law school US news rank. But school is still relevant.

I just don't want to look like I'm hiding the ball or being deceitful.

I'm not sure why you would think it is either of these things, since it is available on your resume.

It might sound a bit weird if you talked about all your achievements in law school in your cover letter (e.g., "I graduated from law school summa cum laude and was editor-in-chief of the law review") without naming the school. Otherwise, leave it out and play up the strengths of your application. Your cover letter should be selling yourself, so point out the best aspects of your application. I would put it back in, though, if I knew the recipient of the letter graduated from my school.


Ok. Thanks for the info. I know that I'm a little annoyed when someone is clearly trying to hide something on their resume. E.g., when a law firm bio doesn't have the law school the guy attended. I think that kind of thing turns people off. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't that guy.

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bk1
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok. Thanks for the info. I know that I'm a little annoyed when someone is clearly trying to hide something on their resume. E.g., when a law firm bio doesn't have the law school the guy attended. I think that kind of thing turns people off. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't that guy.

I think this is different since the info is available in the resume that you're attaching to the application. You're not hiding it, you're just declining to highlight. The point of a cover letter is to highlight your best/most relevant attributes so it's not weird to gloss over or omit things.

lolwat
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby lolwat » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:56 pm

Yep, agreed with everyone else. I do want to point out where run26.2 said:

I would put it back in, though, if I knew the recipient of the letter graduated from my school.


I think there are two situations where you would want to put the name of your school back in the cover letter: either the judge graduated from your school or your judge hires from your school (these typically go together, but not always).

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MarkRenton
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Re: As an alumni applicant, do I put my school in cover letter?

Postby MarkRenton » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:17 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ok. Thanks for the info. I know that I'm a little annoyed when someone is clearly trying to hide something on their resume. E.g., when a law firm bio doesn't have the law school the guy attended. I think that kind of thing turns people off. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't that guy.

I think this is different since the info is available in the resume that you're attaching to the application. You're not hiding it, you're just declining to highlight. The point of a cover letter is to highlight your best/most relevant attributes so it's not weird to gloss over or omit things.


Couldn't agree more.




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