But just to be clear, that cover letter is not primarily geared at law firm associates who are looking to jump in-house. It’s really for a seasoned corporate counsel that is looking to transition into another company.
So, for that reason, I have prepared another form of cover letter and posted it for you over at our Dollar Barrister shop. This form is specifically tailored for law firm associates (ideally between the third and sixth year of practice) who are looking to make the jump into an in-house corporate counsel role.
There are some important differences between these two cover letter templates, which you should note even if you aren’t going to use either of them as the basis for your in-house counsel cover letter.
First, the law firm associate version of the template emphasizes any industry experience you may have – either prior to law school or during the course of your tenure as a law firm associate.
Second, because you don’t have any in-house experience yet, this version more prominently underscores the soft skills you acquired in the law firm – like time management, being organized, and managing competing deadlines for demanding superiors, clients, and the court.
Finally, it includes a paragraph that will specifically describe what you’ve been doing in your firm that relates to the job you’re applying for (in addition to working cross-functionally across practice groups and handling diverse types of matters).
At the end of the day, writing a cover letter is more art than science. As long as you hit on the right high notes and write clearly and concisely you will be giving yourself a fighting chance at getting yourself in-house. And, right now, with the job market as hot as it is, I think it’s a great time to test the waters and see what your skills and expertise are worth out there on the open market.
If you’re not convinced that in-house corporate law practice is for you, take a look at a couple of other Dollar Barrister articles that debunk some of the myths, and explain why so many of us are much happier working closer to the business than when we were acting as outside counsel.
No matter what you choose, keep an eye on your personal finances to give yourself options down the line.
Let us know if you have any feedback on this or any of our other products in the comments below. And, as always, good luck!