The strongest letters of recommendation come from the individuals who monitored your academic progression over a period of time. Choose professors and/or employers who know you well and would vouch for your work ethic, analytical skills, communication skills, and teachability. Most law schools require a minimum of two letters of recommendation:
- An academic reference
- An academic reference or a professional/community volunteer reference
Generally, personal references — i.e. from a relative or close friend — are not strong references unless the person has a significant connection to the school.
Begin getting to know your professors early, go ahead and get started your first year. The better they know you, the better your letters of recommendation will be.
How do you get to your faculty? Consider these strategies:
- Sit up front and speak up in class.
- Attend office hours. Communicate in person, not just by email.
- Familiarize yourself with your professor’s research or other responsibilities around Grounds. How do they spend their professional time other than teaching your class?
- Utilize the College Council “Take Your Professor Out to Lunch” Program.
- Look for opportunities to enroll in a second course with the same professor.
- Become a teaching assistant, peer mentor, or research assistant for a professor you have taken a class with.
- Get an idea of the type of letters you will need for your individual schools of interest and plan accordingly.
Ask Your Recommender
Make an appointment with your potential recommenders to discuss your intended goals.
Request if your professors is willing to provide a positive letter of recommendation.
Provide your recommender with enough context to write a good letter.
Prepare copies of the following documents for them:
- Current resume
- Personal statement draft
- Project or copy of work completed for the recommender’s class
Send a thank you note. Keep your recommender updated about your acceptances!
Submit Letters of Recommendation
LSAC offers a Letters of Recommendation Service which allows you to choose which letters go to which schools based on their individual requirements. Alternatively, the letters can be sent directly to each school according to their policy.
The LOR service will send an email to each of the recommenders you indicate requesting him or her to complete and upload a letter for you. You may also print the recommender forms to give to your recommender if her or she would prefer to submit a paper LOR.