Dear Sir or Madam,
I'm applying to the Associate Attorney position listed on your website. Though I don't actually want to be a lawyer anymore, I've found that twenty years of education has left me with a rather limited skill-set which has, in turn, has severely limited my career options. As a result, I find myself applying for this position.
I'm sure you're wondering why you should hire me, rather than the hundreds of other people applying for the same position. I find myself wondering the same thing sometimes. The honest answer is that my current job of filling in blanks, standing in line, stuffing envelopes and waiting for my day to end has left me so desperate for fulfillment that I will eagerly attack any project requiring the least bit of intelligence with a fervor you can't possibly imagine. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I think you see where I'm going - I will fucking kick ass at this job.
You, like other employers, are probably also wondering about my qualifications. You're probably saying to yourself, sure, he's eager work, but will he know what he's doing when he gets here? The answer: of course not. You went to law school too, do you honestly think I have any idea how to actually practice law? That was a dumb question, now wasn't it? The good news is, no matter what you ask me to do, I'm pretty sure I can figure it out. Let's face it, the practice of law isn't rocket science. Give me a couple of days, the appropriate books, and Google, and I can figure out how to do just about any task you throw at me.
There you have it - an honest assessment of my skills and my rationale for applying to this position. To sum up, I probably won't like the job, I may actually hate it, there's even a chance I'll have to drink myself to sleep every night to forget about it, but I can guaran-god-damned-tee that I'll be good at it. Call me if you're interested. If not, don't feel bad, you're not the only one.
A less profanity-ridden version of this will actually be sent out with my next applications after I tweak it a bit. Wish me luck.