Career in Law | Blog

Pupillage Application Cover Letter And How To Write It

Updated 3 April 2019

With only around 600 pupillage vacancies being made available each year, needless to say, the competition for these pupillages is fierce. A good way to make your pupillage applications stand out is by producing a flawless application cover letter that will maximise your chances to secure an interview. Here are our pupillage application tips to help you nail your cover letter.

1. Know the basics 
Make sure your letter has the correct address of the chambers and you address it to the person that deals with pupillage applications. If you do not make the effort to find out the name of the recruiter, this is unlikely to give a good first impression and it will demonstrate poor effort.

2. Follow the one-page rule
A good pupillage cover letter will be concise and no longer than one page. This is particularly important for you as an aspiring barrister who by default is expected to be able to articulate information in a concise matter. Avoid including any information which does not add any value to your applications as this will be an unnecessary waste of space.

3. Keep it simple
The fact is that funky text font and size make the cover letter difficult to read and its an instant turn off for recruiters. You should use standard fonts such as Cambria or Calibri and the font size should not be larger than 12, although ideally,  size 11, as it will give you more space to write your letter.

4. Get the structure right
We would recommend that your cover letter has anything between five to six paragraphs and covering the following in this particular order:

  • Paragraph 1- A quick introduction about your current stage of studies and for you are applying for
  • Paragraph 2 - An outline which areas of laws you are interested in (chambers related) and how you came about to be interested in these areas. Also in here, you should set one in one sentence why you have chosen this chambers.  
  • Paragraph 3 - In this paragraph, you should cover your relevant experience, achievements and the knowledge you have learned from these experiences that should ideally be relevant to a career at the bar.
  • Paragraph 4 - Set out your relevant skills and why do you believe you will make a good barrister by backing it up with relevant examples (e.g public speaking) by providing examples when you have used these skills.
  • Paragraph 5 - You should end the letter positively by stating your commitment to the bar, your availability for interviews and if is addressed to someone specifically it should be 'Your Sincerely' otherwise 'Yours Faithfully'. 

5. Other Points to consider
In addition to getting the cover letter right, there are other areas and points you should be aware of, and get it right:

  1. No grammatical errors or typos. 
  2. Your cover letter is tailored to target chambers
  3. Get someone to proofread your letter
  4. Do not submit your application in the last hour before the deadline
  5. Make sure your cover letter is as strong as your CV and no less
  6. Keep your social media presence clean and professional 

6. Top tip to a successful cover letter
Every job seeker has a unique selling point that they would have developed over the course of education or work experience. The key to securing a pupillage and indeed any other job is to identify what makes you unique and articulate it in your application. This alone will make your application stand out, and be memorable to the recruiter. 

We hope you have found this article helpful and useful for your pupillage applications. Feel free to comment and or share it with anyone who you believe may find this article useful.


Joe Simmons

Legal recruiter and blogger @purelegaljobs

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