Letter of Recommendation Part 1:
What Your Letter of Recommendation Should Demonstrate to Law School Admissions
Your recommendations for law schools are a critical component of your law school application. For those wondering why your letter of recommendations are so important, keep in mind this is the law school admissions opportunity to learn about you from someone other than yourself.
Naturally, you want this person to be:
- Someone qualified to write a letter of recommendation for law school
- Someone who will write an effective letter of recommendation
When it comes to attending a top ranked law school, competition is stiff. Every little detail makes the difference, and this includes your recommendation. Some recommendations will stand out over others, and we will cover that in the next section.
We’ll have several articles covering the law school letter of recommendation, ensuring you get the most from this critical piece of your law school application. For part 1 of Law School Letter of Recommendations, we’ll be focused on the general overview and purpose of a letter of recommendation for law school.
Someone Qualified to Write a Law School Letter of Recommendation
Hopefully this does not come as new information, but your letter of recommendation for law school should come from someone who has been a professor of yours, related to your academic work, or related to your professional career.
Here is what Cornell Law School expects from your letter of recommendation:
“You should ask faculty members who can provide detailed comments about your academic abilities compared with those of other students who are applying to law schools. If you are currently an undergraduate or if you have graduated but have only been out of school for two years or less, we prefer that the letters be from faculty members who have taught you.
If you have graduated and been out of school for more than two years, you may ask an employer or other individual who knows your academic abilities to submit the letters.
Please remember that we are interested primarily in the recommender’s judgment about your academic abilities and potential for success in the legal profession.”
So long as you attended school and performed well academically, it’s not very difficult to find a professor who will write a letter of recommendation for your law school application.
For those who have been employed, an ideal candidate would be your boss, supervisor, or client.
Someone Who Will Write an Effective Letter of Recommendation
We realize the term “effective” is slightly vague, and that’s for a reason.
There isn’t necessarily one “way” for a letter of recommendation to be effective. There are several.
Ideally, a strong recommendation for your law school application will:
- Demonstrate you have many qualifications
- Show your claims are true
- Let law school admissions to learn more about you
- Show your accomplishments have impressed others
- Show there are others who think highly of you.
We’ll briefly cover these 5 points, and then move on to our next section of law school letter of recommendation “Choosing Who to Ask for Your Letter of Recommendation”
Demonstrate You Have Many Qualifications
Obviously, you can demonstrate your own qualifications through your personal statement and resume, but when it comes from someone else, it tends to seem more true. Anyone can say how qualified they are, but when it comes from another source, and ideally, a very reputable source, your qualifications will seem much more verified.
Show Your Claims Are True
This is related to the last point. Your law school letter of recommendation should be somewhat congruent with what you claim in your own application. If you claim you have strong leadership skills, are incredibly organized, and have a s strong sense of self-assurance your recommendation should verify at least one of these points.
Let Law School Admissions to Learn More About You
Your personal statement is limited. By collaborating with your recommenders, you can paint a fuller picture of who you are, and what type of unique qualities and value you will bring to the law school.
Show Your Accomplishments Have Impressed Others
This again relates to showing your claims are true. It’s one thing to claim your own accomplishments and the impact they have, it’s another to hear it from someone else, specifically a reputable and respected source.
There Are Others Who Think Highly of You.
Chances are, as law school applicant, you are a great person who will be on the road to making a difference and have much success. The thing is, law school admissions can’t be so sure of that. Otherwise, they would accept everyone who applies. While anyone can write their accomplishments and what an impact they have, hearing it from someone else makes a very big difference.
Law School Letter of Recommendation Part 1:
What Your Letter of Recommendation Should Demonstrate to Law School Admissions Conclusion
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the recommendation is really focused on showing law school admissions you are who you say you are and letting them hear great things about you from a reputable source.
When it comes to applying to a top law school of course, not all recommendations are written equally. Similar to writing an effective personal statement, there are also letter of recommendations that will stand out amongst others.
That brings us to Part 2: “Choosing Who to Ask for Your Letter of Recommendation.”
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