Advice on Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation can be stressful because they are a part of the application that is out of your hands.  You don’t have control over what is said or when they are submitted.  Often, it’s a lengthy waiting game once a letter is requested.  Don’t let your law school application sit on the back burner while you wait for letters of recommendation.

 

Here are a few tips to help make sure you receive the best letters of recommendation possible and that they are received in a timely fashion.

 

Who to Ask

 

  1. Consider Relationship Over Title

Someone who has worked closely with you and can speak in depth about your qualities, skills, and abilities will write a much better letter than an acquaintance with an impressive title.

 

  1. Anecdotes Versus Adjectives

Choose someone who will be able to provide specific examples about you rather than just list qualities.

 

  1. Avoid Family

Family will always say nice things about their own.  It’s important to hear from a less biased source.

 

How to Ask

 

  1. Ask for a Favorable Letter

By setting your expectations, it will allow your recommender the opportunity to decline if he/she feels the letter of recommendation won’t be favorable.

 

  1. Offer Your Resume and Personal Statement

Your recommender will be better able to discuss the areas that he/she knows are important to you based on what you highlight in your own writing.

 

  1. Provide a Specific Timeline

You have a better chance of receiving the letters in a timely fashion if you state when you need/want them submitted.

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