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5 Tips for Law School Letters of Recommendation

What’s the number one complaint from law school admissions offices? Letters of recommendation are incredibly generic.

Honestly, it’s a tragedy. A solid peer recommendation can take your application from “reject pile” to “We need this person in our law school stat.” Why? Because they give you context. Grades and LSAT scores can only say so much about your value and potential.

So how do you get those kick-ass law school letters of recommendation? Here are 5 tips for applicants.

Published October 30, 2017

1. Always get two (2) letters of recommendation

DO NOT submit one or fewer letters of rec. Try not to submit more than two, either. Two LORs is the sweet spot. Here’s why:

  • Two recommendations give a multi-dimensional view of you as a person

  • With three or more recommendations, you’re more likely to have a mediocre LOR that lowers the impact of the others, no matter how awesome they are

2. Choose someone who knows you well AND has given you good grades

Some students are comfortable with a certain professor, but do poorly in their classes for whatever reason. If they can’t sell you as a person AND as a student, their recommendation won’t be so stellar.

When in doubt, choose the professor who makes you look good as a student.

3. Choose someone who is well-spoken and passionate

While this isn’t always the case, people often emote the same way on and off the page. If someone is bright, energetic, and persuasive in real life, their writing is likely the same. For similar reasons, you may also consider English or Writing professors as your letter writers.

For a stellar letter of recommendation, you need more than “X does well in class.”

4. Give them everything they need

Guaranteed, you’re not the only one who’s asking for a letter of recommendation. They’re not getting paid to do this. They’re most likely working from a template. As much as professors love their students, letters of rec can be a huge headache.

You want to make it as painless for them as possible. There are four things your letter writer will need:

  1. Transcript
  2. Resume
  3. Why you want to go to law school
  4. Examples of your best work or ways you exceeded expectations

5. Law schools prefer letters of recommendation from academic institutions

Try to get both of your LORs from college professors. While supervisors and employers can work in a pinch, law schools really want to know who you are in an academic setting.

What’s the purpose of letters of recommendation? To increase your chances of getting into law school. Do these five things, and the odds will be much more in your favor.

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Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.

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