Your Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations rank among the most important elements of your admissions file. It's important to start the process early‚ identifying good recommenders‚ lining them up‚ and then making sure they follow through.

Choosing a Recommender

If you're still in college or a recent grad‚ your professors will likely make the best references. In fact, unless you've been out of school for several years, most law schools will require at least one letter of recommendation from someone at your undergraduate institution.

Choose people who like you personally and think highly of you. It's important to select good writers—people who can express their opinions clearly and enthusiastically. If you sense ambivalence‚ keep looking. A few questions to consider:

  • Have you worked closely with this person?
  • Does this person know you in more than one context (work‚ school‚ etc)
  • Does this person know you plan on attending law school?
  • Is s⁄he a good writer?
  • Is s⁄he capable of completing your letter by the deadline?

Strategies for a Great Recommendation

  • The more personal and specific‚ the better. Make your recommender's job as easy as possible. Set up an interview to discuss your interest in law school‚ your accomplishments‚ etc. Provide copies of any relevant awards or papers. This extra work will help your recommender provide the detail that the admissions committees look for.
  • Do the logistical groundwork for him⁄her . Provide your recommender with all the necessary forms‚ envelopes‚ and information s⁄he needs to complete the assignment.
  • Keep the person on schedule. Provide your recommender with all deadlines and mark your calendar for appropriate times to send gentle reminders.