A law school letter of recommendation is an official document that supports a student’s application for law school. It provides substantive insights into the attributes of an applicant and has a significant impact on the decision made by the admissions panel. If your prospective school emphasizes this letter, then your application will be incomplete if you do not include a letter of recommendation law school in the documents you send for consideration.
Note, letters of recommendation for law school hold weight when written by your former professor, instructor, or supervisor. That said, let’s highlight the essential things when it comes to these letters.
How Many Recommendation Letters Must Be Provided?
The letters of recommendation you have to provide will vary from one law school to another. For this reason, it is advisable to check the requirements of your school in LSAC. Nonetheless, most of the time, 2 or 4 letters are necessary. Thus, it means that while most institutions will ask for 2 letters, they’ll still welcome your submission of 4 letters.
Tips for Getting a Recommendation Letter
Acquiring a recommendation letter is not as straightforward as it may seem, but rather, it is a meticulous procedure. You have to do the following to get one:
- Choose who you will ask: Identify your recommender. It should be a person who knows you in an academic or professional context.
- Make an appointment: It is advisable to ask your recommender to write your letter in person. Nonetheless, before going to them, make a point of calling or emailing them in advance. A one-month heads up is often sufficient.
- Plan what to say: While most recommenders are often people you are familiar with professionally or in school, some might be caught off guard when you tell them about your plans to join law school. So, to avoid any awkward moments, be prepped to respond to their queries about you and your plans.
- Prep what you will carry: To ensure that the recommender has a smooth sail, it makes sense to give useful papers such as your resume, transcripts, graded tests, personal statements, and so forth.
- Ensure that you are getting a positive letter: The last thing you want is a letter that paints you in a bad light. So, if you feel that your recommender cannot write a positive letter, it is best to look elsewhere.
- Review: If you are using LOR, always check to see if the professor or supervisor has uploaded your document. This way, you can ensure that your letter is submitted on time.
- Say thank you: Show gratitude to your recommender after they write the letter for you.
What to Say in a Recommendation Letter for Law School
To write a good law school recommendation letter for someone, you should first understand what the admission boards look for in candidates. That is the skills and capabilities that the applicant possesses. However, you probably don’t know everything about the candidate. So, it’s best to focus on the aspects that you can speak of with no trouble. You can disclose what focus areas you will discuss to the applicant so that they can look for other people to cover the other aspects.
If it’s your first time writing such a letter, it would be helpful to have a law school letter of recommendation sample. With a good letter of recommendation for law school sample, you will have a better idea of what structure to follow when writing. Talking of the writing process, here’s how to go about it:
- Start with how you know the applicant: say how you know the person you are recommending and how long you’ve known them. If your acquittance spans over several years, make sure you mention it.
- Choose two or three traits to focus on: in the main part of the letter, describe the standout qualities of the applicant that makes him or her suitable for law school. You can illustrate these attributes by giving examples of instances where he or she showed such qualities in the past. Some examples of traits that law schools look for include analytical and reasoning skills, leadership, communication skills, self-discipline, maturity, etc.
- Use a positive tone throughout: the goal of writing a recommendation letter is to strengthen the applicant’s case. So, show that you believe in them.
- Don’t forget to include your contact information: at the end of the letter by providing contact details (phone number or email or both) in case the admission board needs to contact you for further clarification.
- Submit as per the laid down guidelines: clarify the submission instructions from the applicant. That is, when the letter should be sent, the address to send to, and the format stipulated by the school. Ensure you send it before the due date.
A recommendation letter helps law schools get valuable insights about a potential student’s promise. So, if you are writing a recommendation letter for someone hoping to join law school, try to highlight their strongest qualities. Be specific and honest. Look for two to four people who you think can best recommend you.
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