Law schools generally require 2 to 3 letters of recommendation as part of your application.
These letters should highlight your academic strengths and your personal qualities that will contribute to your success as a law student and as a lawyer. Therefore, your letters should be written by professors or supervisors who are both in a position to evaluate your work and capable of expressing enthusiasm about your abilities.
Asking for a Letter of Recommendation
The following guidelines are provided to assist you in asking for a recommendation:
- Choose a reference who knows your academic work. Law schools need to know how well you read, write, research, analyze materials, communicate, and meet deadlines. Law schools will want to hear the recommender’s opinion of your ability to adjust to the rigors of law school.
- Make an appointment with your recommender to discuss your request. Explain your interest in law school and provide some of the materials listed in the next bullet point. Ask your recommender whether he or she knows you and your work well enough to write a quality recommendation for you. Respect that the recommender may not have the time or may not know you well enough to provide the type of recommendation you need.
- Provide your recommender with specific information. This might include a copy of your transcript, a personal résumé that lists academic distinctions and accomplishments, and a copy of your personal statement or an explanation of why you want to attend law school. You may also wish to provide your grade point average, LSAT score, a list of other activities (such as student employment, internships, clubs, etc.), and a list of courses you have taken so that the recommender can indicate what grades you earned and any outstanding work you did for the class (possibly including exams, assignments, and papers). Any or all of these materials will help ensure that the letter writer can prepare a more meaningful recommendation, particularly if time has elapsed since your original contact.
- Respect your recommender's schedule. Allow him or her sufficient time to respond to your request.
Submitting Your Letters of Recommendation
Your letters of recommendation will be incorporated along with your LSAT score and transcripts into your Law School Report. Download the Letter of Recommendation form from your Law School Admission Council (LSAC) account and give it to your recommender. Note that within this form, students generally waive their rights to see their recommendation letters. This allows the recommender to be candid, and many law schools will give a recommendation to which students have waived their right of access stronger weight than a recommendation that the student has reviewed.
The LSAC provides detailed information about the letter of recommendation process on its website.