I was speaking with an attorney the other day about a case we have been collaborating on and I was amusing myself by counting the number of legal clichés that he used in our meeting. As I appeared to be feverishly taking notes, I was actually writing down these overused platitudes. I decided that for today’s blog post I would attempt to write a cover letter using as many legal clichés as possible.
First, I had to find a job posting to respond to and I found one for a highly prestigious and well respected personal injury firm in Denver – one that I would be proud to work for. Their firm’s mission matches perfectly my own personal moral compass. This is a personal injury firm with integrity, whose philanthropic activities do not stop with the clients they serve, but benefit the entire community. I love the fact that they make a donation to Craig Hospital every time Colorado hits a home run! TBI’s are such life changing and devastating injuries. TBI awareness has been a passion of mine throughout my long PI paralegal career. Kudos to Burg Simpson for helping spread TBI awareness.
So, if you’re looking for a job with a great firm, have passion for helping injured clients receive not only justice for their injuries, but also helping them find services, and you have a desire to treat them with compassion, the following is a real job posting I pulled from Monster today.
Personal Injury Litigation Paralegal
About the Job
Seeking an experienced litigation paralegal (5+ years) for plaintiff-oriented Personal Injury Litigation Department. Candidate must have strong communication, organizational and editing skills, attention to detail, problem-solving, the ability to work both independently and as a team, and to prioritize workloads effectively. Successful candidates will work on all aspects of cases including calendaring and docket management, e-filing, scheduling, document drafting (demand letters, complaints, discovery, etc), document review and production, witness interviews, trial preparation, etc. The position requires excellent knowledge of federal and state rules of civil procedure. Trial experience is required. Interested candidates should e-mail resumes detailing applicable skills, abilities, and experience, along with salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org
So here is my cliché cover letter. I look forward to reading your comments!
Dear Mr. Burg and Mr. Simpson:
While perusing the job boards for personal injury paralegal positions in the Denver Metro area on the information highway I came to a screeching halt when I happened upon your alleged position. As you can see from the attached resume, I have a prodigious amount of experience within the purview of personal injury litigation and I am eminently qualified.
The lion’s share of my experience is part and parcel with what’s outlined in my position at the Law Office of Bartley A. Costello. While I could attempt to pull out of whole cloth the sum and substance of that experience in this cover letter, I’m afraid you would not be able to see the forest through the trees, because the devil is in the details. I believe it is incumbent upon you to review my resume. It is axiomatic that my skills are a perfect fit for your firm, each one inextricably intertwined with the next to fit squarely on all fours the position you have advertised. Dilatory tactics in this regard could find you fraught with peril. That is a slippery slope you may not want to go down if you want the perfect litigation paralegal for your firm.
Let me cut to the chase here. I can find the Achilles’ heel in your firm and fix it before you open Pandora’s Box. If your prelitigation department is unorganized, tasks fall through the cracks creating a tempest in a teapot while your staff goes on unproductive fishing expeditions, my organizational skills can fix that. This is not prestidigitation or presenting a red herring. I have the skills you are seeking. After reviewing my attached resume it begs the question, why would you not call me for an interview?
I could continue ad nauseum, however I won’t take up any more of your time. Call me soon, you may not get a second bite at the apple, as my services are sought after by other firms.
If you are sending a cover letter to a firm for employment, don’t do that. If you want to learn how to write a winning cover letter that will get you an interview, buy the book!