Ultra Vires


What your cover letter would look like if you weren’t a big filthy liar

Dear Ms.* Jesse Alex Taylor,

I am a decidedly average student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and I am very interested in a position at your or virtually any other firm.

As a person of flexible principles, I will be very amenable to whatever kind of work it is you do, no matter how sordid or amoral. While I indicated on my law school application that I have a passion for social justice advocacy along with many other bleeding heart causes, my interests have undergone considerable evolution since then. At present, I am inexplicably committed to the important work of assisting your clients to avoid tax liabilities, outmuscling deserving civil litigants, and making a mockery of environmental and consumer safety regulations.

My law school record illustrates my ability to work independently and with minimal guidance. To everyone’s surprise, including my own, I remain within spitting distance of the mean while attending a bare minimum of classes and doing precious few readings. On the rare occasion that I did show up to class, I divided my time between shopping for shoes and captioning cat photos, which demonstrates my unmatched multitasking skills. My grades, while perfectly respectable, speak more to the generosity of my classmates and the quality of their Maps. During law school, I volunteered with the esteemed Journal of Out-Laws and In-Laws, after being recommended to do so by a friend with whom I am no longer on speaking terms. In my capacity as One Editor Among Many, I read many scholarly law papers, and claimed to have read many more.

I have dreamt of being a lawyer ever since a pragmatic school advisor informed me that I lacked the necessary prerequisite courses for dental school. While I have little-to-no genuine passion for the work you do, still I am sincerely prepared to devote the remainder of my years to it. I will compensate for my palpable disinterest by working absurdly long hours and tolerating any quantity of verbal and emotional abuse. In return I expect no more than a remote chance of taking over your job when you are forced into retirement, which from my perspective cannot happen soon enough.

In conclusion, it was a disposition towards shiftless nihilism that led me to take a double major in International Development Studies and Economics, and then to apply to law school, yet I found success in all those areas. That same nihilism has led me to you, and there is no reason to think I will not manage to fake my way through this too.

I do not even know what “thank you for your consideration” means.


The Only Honest Law Student

*I scoured the Internet in search of your picture, in order to avoid any embarrassment resulting from your hopelessly androgynous name. Please accept my apologies if I misinterpreted said picture.

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