Law School Admissions: Picking Letter Writers

law school admissions

applying to law schoolYour recommendations are crucial because they are the only component of your application that is contributed by a second-party. When choosing recommenders, consider the following:

Does this person really know my work?

It is important to have recommenders who can evaluate you as a student, who can speak to your academic prowess. Unless you have been out of school for many years, make sure you have at least one, and ideally two, professors. Law school is largely a prestige game – try and solicit letters from the highest impact people, who still know you. You can submit an optional third professional reference if you have one.

Can this recommender express him or herself effectively?

You want to be sure that the person writing your recommendation can advocate for you. A recommendation that is riddled with typos, or that lacks a cogent message won’t make a compelling case for you.

What context does this person know me in?

What we want to vary is content, not writing quality. Did you write a long seminar paper for one professor, and do research for another? Has someone known you for ten years and can really give testimony about your character, or what you’ve gone through? Did you get an A+ in a particular class? Try to round out the topics, and then remind your letter writer of the full context in which they know you.

Give your recommenders a firm deadline and share the date on which you would like to submit your application. Sometimes, they may even be willing to tailor the letter to each individual law school (this is especially true if you have law professors writing you letters, who often have faculty connections at various schools). Hold yourself to high standards of professionalism when requesting letters. This will make you look more serious and can lead to a better letter. It also will ensure your letter writer is happy to write new letters in the future. Do not request a letter of recommendation without attaching a personal statement draft and a resume. Don’t be afraid to check in and remind them. Furthermore, the thing you want to vary in letters of recommendation is subjects, not writing quality. Talk to your letter writers about speaking to different topics – for instance, personal character, writing skill, leadership capacity, etc.

 Read some ofJimmy's previous posts on law school admissions here and here!

Whether you’re just beginning on this race, or whether you just need a final push to get you over the finish line, your tutor will design a customized road map that will take you through every aspect of the application process, covering LSAT preparation, recommendations, the personal statement, addenda, and anything else that you need. Applicants who follow our structured approach find that they are less stressed out and more successful.

Sign up for JD Coaching

Read more  posts regarding law school admissions below!

Law School Admissions: Drafting the personal statement

Law School Admissions: Deciding whether to retake the LSAT

Law School Admissions: Deciding on the diversity statement



academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT expository writing English college admissions GRE MD/PhD admissions GMAT LSAT chemistry strategy math writing physics ACT biology language learning graduate admissions law school admissions test anxiety MBA admissions homework help creative writing interview prep AP exams MD study schedules summer activities history academic advice career advice philosophy premed personal statements secondary applications computer science organic chemistry ESL PSAT economics grammar admissions coaching law statistics & probability psychology SSAT covid-19 legal studies 1L CARS logic games Spanish USMLE calculus dental admissions parents reading comprehension research Latin engineering verbal reasoning DAT excel political science French Linguistics Tutoring Approaches chinese mathematics DO MBA coursework Social Advocacy academic integrity case coaching classics diversity statement genetics geometry kinematics medical school skills Common Application IB exams ISEE MD/PhD programs PhD admissions algebra athletics biochemistry business business skills careers data science letters of recommendation mental health mentorship social sciences software engineering test prep trigonometry work and activities 2L 3L Anki EMT English literature FlexMed Fourier Series Greek Italian Pythagorean Theorem STEM Sentence Correction Zoom algorithms amino acids analysis essay architecture art history artificial intelligence astrophysics cantonese capital markets cell biology central limit theorem chemical engineering chromatography climate change clinical experience cold emails constitutional law curriculum dental school distance learning enrichment european history finance first generation student fun facts functions gap year harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science information sessions institutional actions integrated reasoning intern international students internships investing investment banking logic mandarin chinese mba meiosis mitosis music music theory neurology operating systems phrase structure rules plagiarism poetry pre-dental presentations proofs pseudocode quantitative reasoning school selection simple linear regression sociology software study abroad teaching tech industry transfer typology units virtual interviews writing circles