Professional Criminal Lawyer Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Professional Criminal Lawyer Cover...

In crafting your criminal lawyer cover letter, focus on your proficiency in legal defense strategies. Highlight your success rate in previous cases to showcase your efficacy. Your cover letter should also reflect your exceptional communication skills. Demonstrate your ability to negotiate and advocate effectively for clients in various legal scenarios.

Writing a cover letter as a criminal lawyer can be tricky. You've likely started job applications only to hit a stumbling block: crafting a cover letter that stands out. It's not just about repeating your resume. Instead, spotlight a key professional victory and narrate the success story behind it. Striking a balance between formality and originality, while steering clear of clichés, is no small feat. Remember, you've got just one page to prove your case to potential employers.

Read on to find out how to write your criminal lawyer cover letter by:

  • Including all the must-have paragraphs in your structure for an excellent first impression;
  • Learning how to write individual sections from industry-leading cover letter examples;
  • Selecting the best accomplishment to tell an interesting and authority-building professional story;
  • Introducing your profile with personality, while meeting industry standards.

And, if you want to save some time, drag and drop your criminal lawyer resume into Enhancv's AI, which will assess your profile and write your job-winning cover letter for you.

Criminal Lawyer cover letter example


Charlotte, North Carolina


Dear Hiring Manager

I am writing to express my strong interest in contributing to your respected legal team, where your commitment to justice and client advocacy perfectly aligns with my own professional philosophy and expertise in DWI defense.

One of my most significant professional accomplishments to date involves a high-profile DWI case, where I served as lead counsel. My innovative defense strategy not only led to a landmark acquittal but also established a precedent that transformed local approaches to DWI defenses. This particular success stands among various others where I have cultivated a 40% acquittal increase, clearly demonstrating my ability to effectuate justice while skillfully managing an average of 70 complex cases annually.

I am eager to bring my extensive background and proven track record to your firm, where I know my skills and experiences would be valuable. I am keen to further discuss how I can contribute to the success and upholding the high standards of your legal practice.



Criminal Defense Attorney
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Demonstrating relevant professional accomplishments: Highlighting a significant, relevant case success, such as a high-profile DWI defense victory, can showcase the candidate's competency and experience in the specialized field, which is essential for the targeted role.
  • Quantifying success: Using specific numbers, such as a "40% acquittal increase" or managing "an average of 70 complex cases annually," provides tangible evidence of the candidate's effectiveness and work ethic.
  • Aligning personal values with the firm's mission: The cover letter connects the candidate's professional philosophy with the firm's commitment to justice and client advocacy, suggesting a harmonious fit for the organizational culture.
  • Expressing eagerness to contribute: A clear statement of intent to bring one's experience to the firm and a willingness to discuss further contributions conveys enthusiasm and a proactive mindset, which are attractive traits to potential employers.

The must-have sections and format of your criminal lawyer cover letter

When writing your criminal lawyer cover letter, keep in mind that it'll only be read by the recruiters and not the Applicant Tracker System (or software used to assess your profile). That's why you should structure your content with a/an:

  • Header (apart from your contact information, include your name, the role you're applying for, and the date);
  • Personalized salutation;
  • Opening paragraph to win the recruiters over;
  • Middle paragraph with key details;
  • Closing that starts from clichés;
  • Sign off (that's not mandatory).

Industry standards dictate your paragraphs to be single-spaced and to wrap your content in a one-inch margin. Designing your criminal lawyer cover letter, refer to one of our templates, which automatically takes care of the spacing and margins.

Choose the same font for your criminal lawyer cover letter as you did for your resume: the likes of Lato and Bitter would help you to stand out in a sea of cover letters in Arial or Times New Roman.

Export your whole criminal lawyer cover letter from our builder in PDF to keep the same formatting and image quality.

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The top sections on a criminal lawyer cover letter

  • Header: Including contact information and the date, a well-formatted header establishes professionalism and makes it easy for the recruiter to know who you are and how to contact you.

  • Opening Greeting: Addressing the recruiter or hiring manager by name shows that you've done your research and are personally invested in applying to this specific law firm or legal department.

  • Introduction: Your introduction should briefly mention your interest in criminal law and highlight a key achievement or experience that demonstrates your ability to succeed in this role.

  • Body: Discuss your relevant case experiences, understanding of criminal law, courtroom acumen, and skills in client representation to showcase your hands-on experience and knowledge in the field.

  • Closing and Call to Action: This should reaffirm your interest in the role, invite the recruiter to review your resume for detailed information, and include a proactive statement about looking forward to discussing how you can contribute to their legal team.

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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Litigation Experience: Recruiters look for proof of hands-on experience in the courtroom, since criminal law often involves trials.
  • Knowledge of Criminal Law: A deep understanding of state and federal criminal statutes, court procedures, evidentiary laws, and local judicial systems.
  • Negotiation Skills: The ability to negotiate plea deals with prosecutorial entities is critical in criminal law.
  • Client Advocacy: Strong advocacy skills to zealously represent clients, including those in high-pressure situations or facing serious charges.
  • Analytical and Research Abilities: Capacity to analyze legal issues, case precedents, and apply them practically to benefit the client's case.
  • Discretion and Ethics: An impeccable moral compass and the ability to handle sensitive information discreetly, which is crucial in criminal defense work.

How to personalize your criminal lawyer cover letter greeting

Before you start writing your criminal lawyer cover letter, take the time to find out who is recruiting for the role.

Search for the recruiter's name on LinkedIn or the corporate website to address them personally in your criminal lawyer cover letter salutation.

What if you can't find out who's recruiting for the role?

Always aim to avoid the very impersonal "Dear Sir/Madam" - instead, opt out for "Dear HR Team" or "Dear Hiring Manager" to make a better first impression.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Firm Name] Recruitment Team,
  • Dear [Mr./Ms. Last Name],
  • Dear Attorney [Last Name],
  • Dear Judge [Last Name],
  • Esteemed Members of the [Firm Name] Team,

The criminal lawyer cover letter introduction: focusing on your unique value, with a creative twist

You are not the only one wondering how to start your criminal lawyer cover letter. Those first two sentences introduce your profile and should be memorable.

No pressure.

When beginning your criminal lawyer cover letter, immediately point out the unique value of working with you. In other words, what you promise to bring to the role by using your past track record of success.

Start your criminal lawyer cover letter with a creative twist by telling a joke or stating something relatable. Select this type of introduction only if it aligns with the company culture.

Intro Paragraph
With a proven track record of successfully navigating complex criminal cases and a deep respect for the pivotal role that XYZ Firm plays in upholding justice, I am poised to contribute to your team’s renowned legal prowess.

Storytelling in the middle (or body) of your criminal lawyer cover letter

You've got your whole resume sorted, detailing your achievements and skills. What else can you write in your criminal lawyer cover letter?

For starters, take the time to re-assess the job requirements and re-discover the most crucial skills and requirements (or keywords).

After making a list of these important keywords, look back on your experience to select just one of your past accomplishments.

Choose the achievement that is the most noteworthy, relevant to the role, and matches the required skills.

Use the next between three and six paragraphs to narrate how:

  • you've grown your skill set, thanks to your achievement;
  • you'd use the know-how you've gained in your new role;
  • your accomplishment could help your potential employers grow.

Remember that recruiters don't need a retelling of your whole resume, but want to find out what makes you, you.

Body Paragraph
In a high-profile case involving a wrongful conviction, my persistence in obtaining and meticulously analyzing surveillance footage led to the exoneration of a client who spent five years incarcerated. This not only demonstrated my commitment to justice and attention to detail, which resulted in a 100% acquittal rate for similar cases in that year, but also underscored my expertise in leveraging technological evidence to build an unassailable defense.

Finishing off your criminal lawyer cover letter with what matters most

So far, you've done a fantastic job in tailoring your criminal lawyer cover letter for the role and recruiter.

Your final opportunity to make a good impression is your closing paragraph.

And, no, a "Sincerely yours" just won't do, as it sounds too vague and impersonal.

End your criminal lawyer cover letter with the future in mind.

So, if you get this opportunity, what do you plan to achieve? Be as specific, as possible, of what value you'd bring to the organization.

You could also thank recruiters for their interest in your profile and prompt for follow-up actions (and organizing your first interview).

Closing Paragraph
I eagerly await the opportunity to discuss how my expertise aligns with your firm's needs and to schedule an interview at your earliest convenience.

Lacking experience: here's how to write your criminal lawyer cover letter

As a candidate with no experience, it's important to be honest from the get-go of your application.

Use your criminal lawyer cover letter to sell your unique talents. Choose an accomplishment from your academic background or your volunteer work to show the skills that are relevant to the role.

Focus on your career objectives and how you see the job to align with them. Be specific and, at the same time, realistic about where you picture yourself in five years.

Key takeaways

Summarizing the most important aspects in writing your criminal lawyer cover letter, remember to:

  • Create a personalized criminal lawyer cover letter for each role you apply for, that includes the recruiter's name in the salutation;
  • Format your criminal lawyer cover letter with single-spacing, one-inch margins, and a modern, yet ATS-friendly font;
  • Always start off your criminal lawyer cover letter with two sentences that reflect what is most important about your application;
  • Your criminal lawyer cover letter body should feature your biggest accomplishments and the job-relevant skills it has taught you;
  • Instead of opting for the "Sincerely yours" ending, close your criminal lawyer cover letter with a nod to the future with what you aim to achieve in this potential role.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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