1. State your year in school or post-school (clerkship, etc). "I am a second year student at XYZ Law School"
2. State what office of the firm you are interested in (if multiple offices are interviewing). This may be combined nicely with your connection to the city "As a native New Yorker, I am interested in returning home to practice law, and am applying for a position in your New York City office."
3. Please DO NOT tell us a whole personal saga "Although I bombed my first year, it was because my dog died and I have my act together now." TMI = too much information for HPs. We do not want whining. We just want the very quick facts.
4. Do point out anything unusual that demonstrates leadership or entrepreneurial skills, time management, working under pressure, etc. (e.g, military service, "worked 30 hours a week during college to defray tuition costs," "started business in college..." ) . This can be especially helpful if your grades do not reach the cut off.
5. Do point out a connection between your background/experience and the practice area or firm (e.g., IP practice and you have an engineering background; employment law interest and you interned at state anti-discrimination office).
6. Keep it short and sweet. We skim.
7. Proof it. If we skim and it has errors, we (or at least I) pass.
8. No funky fonts or paper. Basic is fine.
9. Please do not stalk us by calling/emailing, etc while we are screening. Don't stalk the recruiting coordinator either.
10. Include good contact information -- hopefully not mom and dad's house - they love you but don't always relay messages correctly. Cell phones and email addresses that you check often are good. Sometimes we might have a question before we screen -- and might want to reach you. Rare, but it happens.